I still remember the moment I discovered Beth Kellmer’s Instagram feed. Her photo invited me in, but her words painted the forest around me, the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. While it’s not uncommon to skip through dozens of photos without reading a single caption, Beth’s stories give us reason to slow down and reflect.
Beth is an adventurer, storyteller and baker based in the Pacific Northwest. She’s the Adventure Editor and Instagram Curator for The Village and shares her own adventures on The Adventourist. I enjoyed getting to know more about Beth through her interview, and I’m excited to introduce you to her here!
Tell us about yourself!
I’m a northwest based writer, hiker, and occasional baker. I’m blessed to call the Pacific Northwest my home, where I spend most of my time exploring with sweetheart Nate or networking via social media. I’m the Adventure Editor and Instagram Curator for The Village where I not only select photos and feature articles via Insta, but I network with explorers all over the world to showcase everyday adventurers. In my spare time, I’ve been building my own adventure blog The Adventourist to showcase some of my favorite travels, eats, and brands of the northwest.
What inspired you to create The Adventourist?
My blog was really a product of peer pressure. I always felt overwhelmed by the idea, but enough friends would come to me asking where to go for hiking and wishing I’d write it all down. So with the help of a dear friend and his marketing genius – I had more than an idea. I had a brand, a style, and a mission. The Adventourist is not only me, but all of us, stepping out to explore our backyards, appreciate our communities in a greater way, and embracing the dream of worldwide wanderlust as a reality.
What do you love most about living in the PNW?
Oh goodness, what’s not to love?! The Pacific Northwest is full of breathtaking scenery, endless foodie options, and people who warmly embrace it. Living just outside of Portland, the area gets a bad rap for the constant rain – lovingly called the NorthWET by many. The ironic thing, is it simply weeds out the tourists from the dedicated locals. While the rainy season is long, the evergreens are taller and greener, the landscapes are straight out of fairytales, and the environment is a haven for outdoorsy folk. And the people truly are some of the most down-to earth souls you can find. It’s a blessing to call it home!
What is your favorite local hike? (I know it can be hard to choose just one!)
Such an unfair question! One of my favorite has to be the all over exploring experience of Cape Kiwanda at Pacific City. This hidden coastal town hosts an amazing sand dunes and majestic sandstone caves set against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. There are little foot trails in every direction, if you brave the steep sand-climb up that is. But the scramble and sweat is worth it, as you find yourself atop rusty sandstone cliffs, carved into gorgeous forms and curves. With caves that are accessible at low tide, some clear enough to walk through entirely. The cape sparks such a fire for discovery that has beckoned me to return, and explore many times.
When life gets busy, how do you find time for adventures?
It’s a constant battle. As I’m sure for any of us, to fulfill our need for wanderlust and complete our responsibilities. I’ve learned when there is any hint of free time, to jump on it. I am committed to seeking out new hikes and views in the area. So I’ll spend sometimes weeks, researching a potential hike, for that chance day when schedules are free. It’s truly become a part of my lifestyle, and I’ve had to learn to say no to other things, in order to say yes to adventure. I have never regretted a road trip, a day in the mountains, a long muddy trail. They truly fill in the lines on the map of my life, and it’s the life that I am creating because I want it.
What is your favorite piece of gear to bring on the trail?
Hands down, my pack from Wilder & Sons. Earlier this year Travel Oregon reached out to me and sent a generous gift card to The Clymb (www.theclymb.com) an online collection of gear for all kinds of athletes and outdoors lovers. I found my rucksack on there and fell in love with it’s style along with durability. Since receiving it, I tote it along almost every hike – filled with extra layers, water, camera gear, maps, and toilet paper (one of my musts!)
Your words seem to go hand in hand with your photography. When did you discover your passion for storytelling?
I’ve been a sucker for a good story for as long as I can remember. I spent most of my childhood with a chapter book, high school on the Journalism team, and then college learning I was indeed not cut out for a marketing major but could craft a fairly decent paper. Words allow my photos and my experiences to reach my audience a little further. They fill in the gaps of what I felt, heard, and endured all to craft that perfect image. And what I hope is allow fellow travelers and dreamers to connect at another level.
Lately, your Instagram has been looking especially delicious. How did you learn to bake? Do you have any advice for novice bakers?
I still feel like a novice baker! Really baking has been a self-taught hobby of mine, born out of my love for surprising others. Baking is therapeutic, following directions, the ingredients paired to create decadent flavors. For me, I find moments of peace putting together a recipe. The fulfillment comes from sharing that home-baked love with others! My advice for anyone wanting to up their baking skills is to be patient and precise. Start with manageable recipes, there are so many amazing avenues for recipe tips and tricks. Some of my favorites are www.foodgawker.com or the app Yummly. Those are perfect places to find inspiration!
Since you are a self-proclaimed ice cream addict, what is your favorite flavor?
If I had to pick one – just one! – I’d go with anything salted caramel. I’ll admit it’s a trendy flavor but my favorite Portland creamery, Salt & Straw, stole my heart with their Salted Caramel. Tillamook, another northwest-made company, makes an incredible Oregon hazelnut and salted caramel which is to die for!
Where are you going on your next adventure, near or far?
The dreamer and planner in me is really hoping for a roadtrip to Yellowstone come spring. It will be my first time, and all I want is to stuff my car with camping gear, warm layers, and hiking essentials to spend a week exploring the National Park. I’m obsessing over it to the point of watching documentaries on animals and waterfalls in the park, so making this a reality is a must! Being connected to so many other explorers through my job and Instagram is truly inspiring. It allows me to see that taking risks and the pursuit of adventure is much more attainable than we think!
Photos © 2014 Beth Kellmer