10 Essential Questions: Arin Sharkey

Meet Arin Sharkey, a hike leader and 5-year member who's dream came true with The Mountaineers: seeing a bear on the trail.
Kristina Ciari Kristina Ciari
September 18, 2015

For our member profile this week we talked to ...

Name: Arin Sharkey
Hometown: Preston, WA
Member Since: July 2010
Occupation: Librarian
Favorite Activities: Hiking, biking, photography, and reading beside our river.

10 Essential Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

I was doing a lot of hiking alone, and I decided to give the Mountaineers a try. I was immediately blown away by how friendly everyone was, and when it was suggested that I become a hike leader I jumped on the chance to give back to the community.

What motivates you to get outside with us?

I work indoors and live indoors, but the woods are truly my home. There is nothing like the feeling of comfort and wonder, when your feet are making their way along a soft pine covered path and the smell of moss and sap is enticing your lungs to push a little further.

What's your favorite Mountaineers memory?

My first year in the Conditioning Hiking Series, our graduation hike was doing the part of the Wonderland Trail from Summerland through Indian Bar and out Steven's Creek (the road to Box Canyon was closed for repaving). We had seen goats just over Panhandle Gap - a first for me and very exciting. I had run closer to get better pictures. Then we saw elk on a big snowfield. I was telling everyone how much I had always wanted to see a bear, but felt destined to only live vicariously through the stories of fellow hikers. Just before Indian Bar, I had stopped for a party separation, and when I was just heading to catch up I heard my fellow hikers yelling that there was a bear ahead. I laughed, thinking it was all a joke, but when I came out of the woods, sure enough there was an idyllic scene across the river: a black bear eating wildflowers.

Who/What inspires you?

Senior citizens on the trails. Whenever I am hiking one of my long and strenuous hikes, and I see someone who looks to be in their 70's or 80's hiking along with no sweat on their brow - which happens quite often - I grin and hope that when I get to be their age, I will still be able to hike as well.

What does adventure mean to you?

Putting yourself out in the wilderness where you don't necessarily have all of the control that you often take for granted when living among humans. Accepting that what comes will come, and enjoying the possibility that this realization presents.

Lightning Round

Sunrise or sunset? Sunrise.
Smile or game face? Smile.
Superpower? Putting my feet out of my mind so that walking/hiking becomes like a beautiful train ride around me.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Lasagna, bolognese, or a cheeseburger with bacon.
If you could be a rock star at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Hiker Buddha!

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