10 Essential Questions: Maxine Dunkelman

Meet Maxine Dunkelman, a 30-year member who heads the Olympia branch library and loves bike touring and outdoor showers.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 24, 2020

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members. For our member profile this week we talked to...

Name: Maxine Dunkelman
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Member Since: November 1990
Occupation: Retired Geologist
Favorite Activities: Lake swimming, cross country skiing (classic and skate), teleskiing on mountains (not lifts), bike touring and biking for transportation, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking, backpacking, sea kayaking, reading under a grape vine, outdoor showering

10 Essentials: Questions

How did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

It was the only game in town. When I moved to Olympia I left behind a large outdoor community with people I would bike, canoe, and hike with, and upon arrival I didn't know anyone. The Mountaineers really helped me tap into an outdoor community and meet people that became lifelong friends.

What motivates you to Get outside with us? 

The biggest motivator for me is getting outside with folks that I’ve known now for decades, doing the things I love. I am also the librarian for our branch library and love exploring it for new ideas; there are so many things to do and places to go (in body or in spirit).

What's your favorite mountaineers memory?

It has to be when I met my husband at my 9th Olympia branch Mountaineers picnic in July 1999. I did something silly, and he noticed. I was in a relay and running down a rope, didn't notice the rope, and went flying horizontally.

Who/What Inspires You?

My knot teacher from my 1991 climbing course, Robert Mcintosh, is still inspiring me to hike further and get into even colder lakes, plus his ideas about the world still amaze me. I’m also inspired by Dixie Havlak, and the incredible energy in our Olympia kids programs. And, of course, nature!

As a donor and volunteer-supported organization, The Mountaineers is based on community support. How have you paid it forward, or how have you benefited from someone else paying it forward?

In addition to teaching the canoeing course and helping to run the Olympia branch’s monthly potlucks, I co-chair our social committee. I've also been the Olympia branch librarian for 26 years! As librarian, I’m frequently the in-person contact for new members and frustrated members. I try to use my volunteerism to promote environmental awareness and increasing outdoor access for youth.

What does adventure mean to you? 

Life is an adventure. I've gone from being terribly shy to being out there... new people, new locations, new sports. My favorite thing is to go by bike from town to town. It offers new foods, sights, and people, with plenty of exercise and few belongings. Don’t forget - play is good. And the environment should always come first.

Lightning Round
Sunrise or sunset? Other: tide changes

What's your 11th essential? Eye glass cleaner
What's your happy place? Any place that smells natural, is quiet, and is a pleasant temperature...especially swimming in a lake.
Post-adventure meal of choice? Something spicy! 
If you could be a rockstar at any outdoor activity overnight, what would it be? Teleskiing

Lead Image of a Kettle Valley Railway bike packing trip. British Columbia. Photo courtesy of Maxine Dunkelman.

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    Ginger Sarver
    Ginger Sarver says:
    Aug 01, 2020 07:30 AM

    Yay Maxine! Your rock!!