Kayley Scaffidi - To The Summit Of Eldorado Peak

Hello! Who are you and where are your hiking roots?

Hi, name is Kayley Scaffidi. I’m a travel nurse and an Integrative Nurse Coach. I’m originally from Geneva IL, but as a travel nurse, I’ve been on road for the last 4 years. If you’re unfamiliar with travel nursing, it means I take short term contracts all over the country with a 3 month minimum stay and the ability to extend the contract if I so choose. As an integrative nurse coach I can work with a variety of people to unlock their potential for wellness of their mind, body and soul.

Travel nursing has allowed me to pursue the outdoors in a way I never thought possible. In the Chicago suburbs, there really is no access to the outdoors, unless of course you count the corn fields in the town over or a tiny forest preserve.

I went to college in Michigan where I learned to appreciate lake life and finally got a taste of nature, but becoming an avid outdoorswoman was the last thing I thought I would be. 

Then one day at the ripe age of 22, I flew to colorado for a job interview as a new nurse and visited a friend who had recently moved there. As we made our way back to Boulder and I saw the front range in full view, the most perfect song came on and I was mesmerized.

I have never felt so big, so small, so curious and so humble all at once. My first ever hike was a simple one to “Lost Lake.” I remember sitting on this giant rock and saying to myself, I’m going to make it back here someday and work at this hospital-I’m going to make it back to this rock. I never did get that job, but 4 years into my nursing career, I started travel nursing and began my journey at the same hospital I interviewed at when I was 22 and I haven’t looked back since.

The more time I spent connecting with nature, the more I discovered and connected with myself. I was able to feel grounded, present, challenged, humbled and appreciate the simple things.

After 9 months of living in Colorado I returned to that same hike and stood on that very rock. I love when things come full circle

When you grow up around the midwest, everything in nature tends to awe you. It's almost overwhelming and a sensory overload because you have never seen anything like this before. It wasn’t until I was postholing up Quandary Peak at 14,271ft and and reached the summit on the most beautiful blue bird day, that I realized this is what it is like to feel infinite and present all at once.

This moving mediation of hiking and pushing myself physically was what I was missing from my life. It was something that yoga brought me, but never to this level of utter freedom and flow. The Midwest was no longer my home, out here was, and this was just the beginning. As my love for the outdoors grew, I continued to find other ways to get that flow state, from simple mountaineering, to rock climbing and paddleboarding.

The more time I spent connecting with nature, the more I discovered and connected with myself. I was able to feel grounded, present, challenged, humbled and appreciate the simple things. I worked through stress as I pushed my body--by myself or with friends. I became fully present,  leaving my world behind for a few hours or days and just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other.

I began to appreciate our planet and our country. I never realized how vast and incredible the United States is with so many different climates and elements. Everytime I went outside, I began to feel more alive with each trip. The light that had been dimmed for so long began to shine a little more out of me each time I came back from some kind of an adventure. That’s what I love most; you come back from a hike, a trip, a rock wall, anything that you love outside, a better version of yourself. The trick is always riding that feeling and implementing those lessons when you come back to the real world.

I’ve only considered myself to be an outdoorswoman for the last four years, but it has been travel nursing that has allowed me to experience everything the way I have. In the last four years I have spent most of my time in Washington and Colorado, but also in San Diego, and Reno. I’m currently finishing up my last month in the center of California before heading to Sedona. I’ve visited 21 US National Parks and 3 international National Parks. 

These locations I’ve temporarily lived in all hold a special place in my heart and I grew into who I am today because of my experiences there and the people I met along the way. Life always has a funny way of working out. At times travel nursing can be exhausting because you work, and spend all of your free time adventuring and exploring. You never really get into a routine, but you enjoy every opportunity to experience something new. I wouldn’t change a single thing about the last four years. 

I am so grateful for a career that allows me the ability to travel and connect with nature as frequently as possible. When you work 36 hours a week, it can sometimes allow up to 7 days off to explore. Sign me up for the weekend shifts, because weekday adventures with less crowds are what make my soul sing.

From having Lake Tahoe to yourself with your best friend to paddle on a to having the snowy knife’s edge summit of Eldorado with nothing but a sea of peaks in view, or just camping with friends on the coast with only two other tents is pure magic.

If there is one place though that continues to astound me though, it’s Washington. You could spend a lifetime adventuring here and it would still not be enough. You have basically every type of nature accessible to you-the beach, forrests, rain forests, high deserts, wine country, mountains, glaciers, alpine lakes, you name it.

What really sold me though, is the simple fact that I didn’t have to choose between the mountains and the ocean and the feeling you get when “the mountain is out.”  (Mt Rainier) It almost stops you in your tracks. It is so dramatic. Countless times in my car I would round the bend to see it and my entire demeanor would shift into positivity.  Being at sea level and seeing absolutely massive ranges surrounding you is a feeling unmatched by anywhere else I’ve been.

(Mt Rainier making her presence known as seen from Tacoma)

What’s your Story From The Mountain?

One of my most favorite adventures was spent in North Cascade National Park to the summit of Eldorado Peak.

It started with a crazy idea of roping up on a glacier with 3 travel nurses. My good friend Jackie (@jackieleigibel) and two guys I had recently met in the mountains. Jackie knew Marc from travel nursing in west virginia, and had met Scott a few months prior. A few weeks before Eldorado, Scott Marc and I had an amazing trip to Sahale Arm. Jackie and I were no strangers to adventures together though.  Roping up with people you’ve only known for a few months and a few weeks was one thing, but choosing to trust them with your life was certainly another.

For whatever reason, we all felt comfortable enough to tackle this mountain together. The car ride from Tacoma was our first interaction as a group of four. I knew immediately this group dynamic would be unique and that these 3 people would become a close part of my life. To this day, Jackie remains one of my best friends and we took 2 travel contracts together in Reno and in Spokane and became Roommates.

That’s what I love most; you come back from a hike, a trip, a rock wall, anything that you love outside, a better version of yourself.

Marc (@travel_murse)has been my partner now for a little over a year, and Scott (@scottkosanda) has become a dear friend. Nature always brings you together, and honestly, suffering together through some type two fun makes you feel connected and close to the people you’re with. 

Our adventure started with our car breaking down and finding rental just in time before the agency closed. We rolled into Marblemount to camp later than expected and began our night sorting out gear, distributing out weight and discussing last minute plans and skills. 

We woke up bright and early and made our way to the difficult to find trailhead and began our trip. We utilized photos from Gaia to find where to enter as our only information was a little past a mile marker to find it.

This is a photo of us before starting our hike. Happy, excited, and ready for an adventure.

I recently had flipped through the book “drawn, the art of the ascent” and a quote kept echoing in my head as we started the hike and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

“It’s not always about the summit. It’s about the experience; being there fully committed to a difficult objective with friends and thinking about what matters”

The whole way up, we were laughing, and struggling together up a mile long giant boulder field. The kind of boulder field where it takes your hands and knees to get up the rocks. The sun was hot and we had no idea when we would be out of it. Eventually, our final steps in the boulder filed led us to a beautiful meadow with streams.  We soaked it all in, and finally got a view of our prize, The Queen of The Cascades.

Our next step was to find our way down into a basin that would eventually lead us to the glacier field.  (this basin would lovingly become known as the endless basin of death on the way out) The sun was falling behind the peaks and after another mile or so we reached the glacial snow field. It was go time. I remember shaking as I placed on my harness and crampons, night was coming and we needed to navigate safely. I was quietly freaking out, hoping no one would notice.

I looked around at Jackie, Marc, and Scott and steadied my nerves by focusing on my breath and took my first step on the snow. The second my crampons dug in, I was home again. It felt normal, natural and I was at ease and exactly where I was always meant to be, in a moving mediation with friends.  We all let a fun scream as we made our way to Inspiration Glacier to camp for the night.

I could finally feel the altitude coming from sea level to 7000ish feet. I was cold, shaky, and not even hungry. I put on my peppermint oil and forced myself to eat. Marc and Scott collected ice and snow and Jackie and I boiled water for food, put them in everyone’s nalgenes with iodine and for warmth tucked them in sleeping bags.

Rest was not easy, and right when I finally fell asleep I woke up to violent shaking in the tent, startled, I screamed, only to find Jackie shivering and almost unable to speak from the cold.

Sign me up for the weekend shifts, because weekday adventures with less crowds are what make my soul sing.

She didn’t exactly have the right sleeping bag for these temperatures, I myself was only in a 20 degree bag sleeping on a pretty decent sleeping pad. (we’ve since upgraded our gear). I opened my sleeping bag and got an emergency foil blanket and wrapped Jackie in it, and huddled her for warmth.

Ironically, months before the same thing happened to me on top of Hidden Lake and Jackie was the one to warm me mid night. I returned to my bag colder than I started and somehow we finished the night out. The boys were completely unaware of what was happening in our tent. We intended to get an alpine start around 3 am but our bodies had other plans. We slept a few more hours and decided we’d start at 630. 

We watched the sunrise over our camp as we prepped and ate breakfast. It was a blue bird day but the wildfires in the surrounding areas made things a little hazy. We had our discussion before camp about potential turnaround times and we all agreed that we would go for the summit together.

As we made our way up together as a group, dialed and in and ready for anything, we were having the time of our lives. We finally reached the bergschrund and took a rest several yards behind it.  Looking around provided the most stunning views. We saw the knife edge and a suitable boot path to make it to the top. We all said we were in it and off Marc went, carefully navigating the final crevasse.

As he rounded the corner, all of us ready to self arrest in case he fell, he placed the first picket. We watched as the picket easily made its way through the snow, the sun was approaching fast, and we needed to move. We followed suit, clipping in to each picket he placed. Fully present with each step, working together and ready for any slip and fall we made our way up. If one of us fell off one side, one of us would have to balance by jumping over the opposite. Walking the knife edge of the summit was exhilarating, so much exposure on either side and knowing you were up there with friends, committed together is one of the most incredible feelings.

As Scott brought up the rear and joined us on the summit we all screamed with excitement. 

Our tent was a tiny dot in the distance and all around was an infinite sea of peaks. I have never seen anything like it, and to this day, this remains one of my favorite views.

We enjoyed about fifteen minutes at the top before making the safe decision to come down before any more snow melted. We packed up our things and made our way still roped up to the Inspiration Glacier riding those good vibes. Once the snow field ended we were back in the basin. I swear we spend most of the day there in the endless basin of death. We were beat, and everything seemed to take forever, but we were enjoying the suffering together.

Eventually, all we wanted was out, and despite Gaia, we forgot where we scrambled down. We finally figured it out and suddenly scrambling up with a heavy pack became an ordeal. After we made it up, we paused at the same meadow for a snack and water, knowing we still had several more miles and a long giant boulder field hike down before reaching the forest.

The boulder problem seemed to grow overnight. Every step was exhausting. Feeling the pack weight shift as you come down from the boulders with giant steps weights you down.   I don’t even really remember the last few hours of the trip, just that my legs were torn up and I was exhausted. When we finally made it back to the car, we took a dip in the stream and started our long drive back to Enterprise.

This is a shot of the group directly after we made it to the car, completely spent. 

This was one of our last adventures before we all left Washington. In two weeks I would be jobless and homeless and wondering where my next contract would take me, but none of it mattered. The only thing that mattered was that I was there, fully committed, on an adventure with good friends. 

That quote that started the journey couldn’t have been more true as it came to a close.

Through hiking/climbing, have you learned anything about yourself or nature you’d like to pass on to others?

This past year for me has been a challenging one. I hurt my back in December of 2019 and haven’t had a pain free day since. It’s been a rollercoaster of healing, variable pain levels and of course a multitude of emotions.

For many months, I was incapable of even sitting still for over 5 minutes. Car rides became a source of intense discomfort and every piece of movement I loved, particularly from the outdoors was suddenly taken from me. I find such ease, peace and grounding in movement outside and it has been a whirlwind trying to recreate that feeling of happiness and sanity without the physical capability to do what I love.

“It’s not always about the summit. It’s about the experience; being there fully committed to a difficult objective with friends and thinking about what matters”

I somehow managed to give myself over and over to my patient’s at work with this injury, but I suffered everyday. While caring for others, I spent my shifts icing and placing heat on my back and drenching my body in arnica and biofreeze. Lunch breaks were spent stretching instead of eating and there wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t dreaming of getting back out there.

Being outside is such a social thing to me too. I connect with people and I connect with myself, and without it I almost felt less of a person.

My self worth began to drop and so did my mood. I felt unworthy of connection and it became more difficult to work harder to recover. I began to feel resentful and jealous of everyone who got to experience nature the way I wanted to. I isolated myself, felt sorry for myself and to be honest, social media played a huge part in it too.

(pure bliss while not having to choose between mountains and water)

I would watch people I knew and strangers do the things I used to do, and craved and instead of inspiring me, it made me feel worse. The new friends I was making, all they wanted to do was be outside, and my older friends who were all back in Washington together were similar, but loved me nonetheless. I missed out on a lot of adventures with them.

My partner is an avid outdoorsman and I would be lying if it wasn’t challenging not sharing that with him. That ugly feeling of resentment and jealousy towards others and their ability to be outside and do what I love, and probably be pain free, honestly destroyed me. My motivation to heal became skewed. 

After many mental breakdowns, sleepless nights, and days of pain, I finally accepted things. When I made new friends I explained my situation and if they did want to spend time with me, we would go for a gentle walk, or hang out at the beach and if they only wanted to do more challenging things, then those weren’t my people.

My other friends began to tailor their activities to something I could join, all I had to do was ask. I grew more confident in the new friendships I was making and grew stronger in the older friendships I had. My confidence increased and I was finally on the right path. I was healing for me. 

(Breakfast with a view)

In July, I was able to scramble down into a bowl for the most iconic view of Mount Rainier after a five mile hike. On the way up, my hands melted perfectly with the rocks to pull my aching body where it needed to be. Then one day I decided to try rock climbing again at the gym. I was nervous because the last time I tried, coming down in the harness was what was painful but I surprised myself-complete and utter flow to the top, simply to be lowered with the most perfect Lumineers song, I couldn’t help but cry hysterically on the gym floor still tied in.

Then, a little while later I was able to hike 6 miles, then 10 miles then some aggressive elevation gain in short distances. Each journey I had a tens machine ready to go, biofreeze at hand, and plenty of ibuprofen/arnica and a whole lot of patient and encouraging friends to help along the way.They  would carry things for me if my back began to hurt, stop and stretch when I needed and at the end, let me unwind and stretch at the car. I pushed myself more each time; slow and steady.

Over the past few months I’m finally getting back to rock climbing, hiking and yoga but not without suffering afterwards or in the process. I can finally sit still long enough to meditate and I can drive for at least 2 hours without needing to get out of the car.

I’ve come a long way and it’s not over yet. I still have pain everyday and I’m not where I want to be strength wise, but I’m so grateful to have the ability to be back in nature and move like I craved for so long even if it is not quite the same. Even with the discomfort activities can create, it is worth it when I can find the sweet spot.

We did it. I did it. Overlooking the most beautiful view of the valley with the alpenglow on Half Dome, I realized this had been in me all along.

I've learned that there is a fine line between pushing yourself, causing pain, and creating a little discomfort. That fine line of just a little discomfort is where the magic happens. I’ve been learning to be happily uncomfortable, but it is a challenge. 

I seem to keep learning the most lessons on a rock wall though. I’m learning the more uncomfortable I am, the more I grow. The rocks teach me this; they have shown me time and time again If I can do one hard thing, I can do another. If I can be uncomfortable on this wall, I can be uncomfortable as I sit with the deepest parts of myself, and if I stick with it, I’ll grow. If I can get through the physical discomfort maybe I’ll become stronger. 

My partner, whose passion is climbing, has been incredibly patient and encouraging with me as I’ve gotten back outside. My most recent big lesson was on a climbing day trip out to Yosemite where he found a “fun” multipitch he thought I would be capable of.

(Yosemite Valley in October 2018)

Not knowing what your body is can do on any given day is a little unnerving when you’re about to do a multi pitch climb. We scrambled up quite a bit to the start and already were above the trees of the Valley. I followed him up to the top of our first pitch belay station which was a tree that bravely grew horizontally from the rock face, strong and sturdy. So far so good; nerves in check and body a little sore, but everything flowing smoothly. 

As Marc made his way up the second pitch, I stood on the tree root, leaning on it for support. I was freezing, my body was starting to ache from shaking and my teeth were uncontrollably chattering. 

I tuned in to my breath to calm my nerves and steady my hands. When it was my turn to follow and clean the trad gear I was still shaking. I had to pause to remember to breathe and focus. Eventually, I found that flow state I deeply crave, only to be interrupted by a seemingly impossible move.

I ran out of holds and Marc said I had to turn around, face the valley and push myself up the chimney with my feet and back. As soon as I realized how high I was my body almost shut down.

He calmly guided me from the second pitch and told me when to turn back around, I did and I froze. There was no communication between my limbs and I felt stuck as I was frantically searching for other holds.

The second pitch was a ledge that was barely big enough for two. I could feel the tears well in my eyes and the gear I cleaned that was hanging from me seemed heavier than ever. I was terrified and kept saying “I can’t, I can’t”. We were so close we could almost reach our hands, but not nearly close enough.

I crave the uncomfortability, even when it’s hard, because I know it will always result in growth.

He placed a cam with a longer sling between us, sensing my fear and told me to use the piece to pull myself up and he would give me a big take. We counted to three, and I pulled myself up, felt my footing slip and I screamed. I saw a look of fear in Marc’s eyes matching my own. I somehow found some new holds and scrambled up to join him on the second ledge. Huddled together I was crying, shaking and had no sense of my body other than being cold and in pain.

I felt I couldn’t even continue after that. I wanted off of the wall badly, but unfortunately where we were at was too dangerous to rappel from. The only way off was to finish the last pitch and hike down.

Steadying my nerves and belaying Marc up the last pitch felt like forever, knowing I would have to follow suite. I tuned into my breath knowing I was almost done and followed his route, cleaning the perfectly placed gear and having an out of body experience, wondering how the heck he did this, and wondering how I’m even doing it too. I kept breathing and I finished the crack climb to the top and scrambled to my knees to solid ground.

We did it. I did it. Overlooking the most beautiful view of the valley with the alpenglow on Half Dome, I realized this had been in me all along. I live so guarded with fear of reinjuring in activity, sometimes I forget to let go. I realized that when you put yourself in positions where the only way out is to keep going, you can surprise yourself.

I was stronger than I thought I was. I was more capable than I thought I was and even through the fear, I did it anyway. Type 2 fun they say is the best kind, and for over a year, I forgot what that was even like. I missed it. There is nothing like a little fear to make you feel the most alive.

We stayed at the top to watch the sun on half dome a little more and I thanked Marc for pushing my limits and showing me what my body and mind were capable of. That day was a turning point for me and story. I figured if I can do one hard thing, I can certainly do another, whether it was in the outdoors, my physical recovery, or the deep internal work we all need at some point.

This story of pain isn’t the story I want, but it has taught me more than I ever knew. I’ve been working so hard to change my story and have often looked to external sources of physical therapy and other forms of holistic care, and herbal remedies for answers.

Over a year into my injury, and I’m just now finally realizing,there is no perfect combination to heal anything- whether it is physical pain or emotional trauma. I’m learning you really have to dive inward, and deep, find the places that are uncomfortable and begin to nurture them. 

This story though, it’s my current reality. I may never be able to hike with a heavy pack to get to remote and rugged places like I used to. I may never be able to climb harder than a 5.8-5.9 and I may never be able to hike more than 11 miles like I used to.

All I know is that any time outside doing what I love, no matter what it is, is time well spent. It is time for me, time for connection, and a time to grow and time to test my limits. I crave the uncomfortability, even when it’s hard, because I know it will always result in growth. I’ve learned that not only am I stronger than I think I am, but the biggest mountains I will ever climb are the the internal ones to conquer.

Sunset above the clouds in Washington

What’s your favorite item in your pack?

Ahh. This is tough, I don’t really play favorites when it comes to gear. My current go to’s are a First Ascent Waterproof and down filled jacket from Eddie Baur and the Arc’teryx Konseal hoodie.

The First Ascent jacket is waterproof and down filled so its plenty warm and heats up quickly with activity. For how cold I get, this jacket has made me sweat and I’ve taken it off multiple times! The Arc’teryx is a go to for climbing with a hood and face shield for the wind.

When it comes to backpacking food though, I do have a favorite. The Good-To-Go meals are almost all vegan/vegetarian friendly and have plenty of gluten free options with ingredients you can actually pronounce. But, nothing beats a peanut butter and honey pre made sandwich.

Begging for my Good-To-Go meal

One thing that I always have with me in my pack is electrolyte tablets and chews. My friends know me as “the medicine woman” In a group of people on big trips I'm always the one keeping tabs on people’s fluid status and offering all the holistic remedies. Got a headache, don’t worry I have a little bit of peppermint oil.

Nausea with altitude or dehydration? I got you with pressure points or a little bit of ginger. I always knew my love for natural medicine would play a part in the outdoors for me. 

Do you have any advice for other hikers who are just starting out?

My best advice for anyone wanting to experience the outdoors is to start simple.

Find a local park and immerse yourself with total presence. Start with short walks, short hikes and continue to challenge yourself. Find a buddy to hike with or join a hiking group on social media if you’re new to an area.

I’ve learned that not only am I stronger than I think I am, but the biggest mountains I will ever climb are the internal ones to conquer.

My biggest piece of advice though is that just because you are fit and capable, doesn’t mean you are prepared and knowledgeable. Anytime you’re going into unfamiliar territory (literally and figuratively) it’s so important to do the research, look at recent reports, to take a class.

Especially if it is in avalanche terrain or mountaineering. Go with people you trust, receive proper training for new skills and be prepared with your 10 essentials.

Also, always tell someone where you are going, even if you’re going with a group, and give them an approximation of when you’ll be back along with the number of the nearest ranger station/ SAR. 

What have been the most influential hiking books, podcasts, or people?

One of my most favorite photographers and adventures is Scott Kranz. He too is from the Midwest and fell completely in love with Washington. I always look forward to his photos and his experiences. I attended a book talk by him in Seattle and he's just a down to earth guy who loves to be outside.

A few other PNW girls who are just crushing it are Nikki Frumkin (@drawntohighplaces) who is an artist, mountaineer and all around creates good vibes with the outdoor community in Washington. I love her artwork and the fact she’ll paint while on the trail.

Mallorie Estenson (@malpinist) is a pretty incredible force in the PNW outdoor community as well. She chases her passion all over the world with her love of guiding and alpinism. I’ve never met either of these women, but hear their stories through their social media, podcasts and as a part of mutual outdoor women’s groups on facebook.

Lastly, my partner, Marc Espejo (@travel_murse) is someone who continues to inspire me with their contagious passion for the outdoors. He lives and breathes everything the mountains have to offer and finds such peace in the unknown alpine terrain.

He moved out west two years ago and has not only learned, but has accomplished so many incredible climbs in such a short time. It has been awesome to watch him excel, test his limits and chase his alpine and climbing dreams. He pushes me to be a better human, and pushes me to test my own limits outside.

As far as books that have influenced me go, to be honest, I spend a lot of time in the car so I love audiobooks. I recently finished the audio book “Into Thin Air” and am currently starting another audiobook “Annapurna, A Woman’s Place.”

An actual book I’ve read and I’ve constantly recommended to people is “To Shake Thy Sleeping Self” by Jedidiah jenkins. It is a story about a man who bikes his way from oregon to patagonia and everything he learned along the way. The first page pulls you in and from there, you just want to keep reading. I also enjoy listening to The Alpinist and Firn Line podcasts as well as a podcast from one of my favorite yoga teachers, Rachel Brathen.

Where’s your next adventure?

Life as a travel nurse is often unpredictable and I never know where my next adventure will be stateside and sometimes that is the most exciting part. The job also allows the ability to take ample time off without vacation day requests between contracts.

(Sunrise Mt Rainier National Park, unedited)

I am currently entertaining the idea of a trip to Chamonix and Switzerland for some hiking and climbing. I plan to work hard in my injury recovery to make sure it can happen as it is the one thing holding me back. I’m hoping I can find light weight gear that fits my budget, because even If I recover, I have a feeling I will need to pack as light as possible to protect my back from another injury. 

There is so much beauty to see in the world it becomes challenging to narrow down where to go. I try to understand my own personal motivation for going to these places and hikes and make sure it is coming from an authentic space. Social Media seems to play a huge part in people wanting to go places and to certain things. Sometimes it inspires me and shows me places I’ve never seen, other times I pause and reflect to make sure my intent is pure. Like I said, I want to be intentional with everything I do and be honest with myself. Sometimes, that honesty  is “wow social media inspired me to go here, and after some research I’m still interested!”

When my desire to go and experience something comes from the heart, I find it that much more enjoyable, and have the ability to fully experience it the way I was meant to. It isn’t just another photo, but a wonderful memory that I can capture in my mind and heart.

As I count the days down to some stability and leaving the nomadic life behind, I will always find adventure wherever I go, no matter how big or how small. My current contract in the Central Valley of California will be up shortly and I’m off to Sedona, Arizona next for 11 weeks. 

Often times the best memories I have come from the roadtrips I make as a travel nurse getting from one contract to the next. This road trip will entail ice climbing and doing the narrows in Zion for my birthday. One of my most favorite road trips was with my best friend Jackie spanning from Reno, to California and through Utah hitting 7 national parks and one coveted spot that allows 20 people in per day, and of course a little skiing. 

I highly recommend Utah to anyone that hasn’t been and I also highly recommend Death Valley National Park-it’s completely underrated. It has an eerie mysterious feel and looks like something from another world or planet.

(Sunrise in Death Valley)

Lastly, I wouldn’t be the Washington lover that I am without telling someone to experience The North Cascades. Who ever thought Disneyworld was the most magical place on earth clearly hasn’t been here yet.

Where can others learn more about you?

If you’d like to learn more about my journey in the mountains, mindfulness, my journey of healing and recovery, or travel nursing please reach out or follow along on my instagram account @kayls.marie. I’m happy to answer any questions, and be a resource for this unique area of nursing. I’m also more than willing to be a listening ear on your own pain and healing journey; I truly believe no one should suffer alone or in silence. Also, If you’d like to work with me 1:1 to unlock your potential and utilize your inner guidance system to accomplish your goals, health or otherwise, I’m currently taking clients.

I also run a blog / virtual meet ups with a friend of mine Brit Bares (@Brit.Bares) called “The Mindful Voyage”(@themindfulvoage) where we bring mindfulness into daily life, adventure, and also strive to connect and create community with monthly women’s and moon circles. We hope to expand our work into retreats someday.

These community virtual circles have been an intricate part of growth as moving constantly can sometimes mean missing out on deep and healing connections with like-minded people.

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Hey, I'm Greg Kamradt, the founder of Terra Mano.

We interview awesome hikers/mountaineers/climbers/photographers and share the stories behind their ambition. By sharing these stories, we want to help others become inspired to reach their goals.

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