Meet Shoestring Warrior and Retail Manager Valerie

Shoestring Warrior Valerie doesn’t believe in wasting time and has the experiences to prove it. A busy mother of 4, her greatest purpose in life is providing for her kids. When she gets valuable “me” time, she makes the most of it, running, hiking or white water rafting.

In March, she shared a Shoestring Adventure in Joshua Tree National Park with girlfriends Ana and Diane. Learn more about Valerie in the interview below, including her advice on finding your own adventure community!

Shoestring Warrior: Valerie


San Mateo, CA

Current Location:

San Mateo, CA


Retail Management

What are your passions outside of work?

I try my best to be the perfect parent (if there is such a thing) and do my best to raise my four children. I will not rest until they are taken care of. If I have a moment, I look for some “me” time. Running helps me clear my head and just makes me feel rejuvenated. I love staying busy, and I like to keep going.

How would you describe your level of camping experience?

I am a for sure a beginner. I have a hard time distancing myself from a bathroom and mirror, but I recently did it!  I’m so proud.

Shoestring Adventures Trip Completed:

Joshua Tree Camping Adventure

Tell us about yourself!

I am an adventurous mother of 4: Vincent, Vanessa, Victor and Viviana. I love to have fun and stay busy. I am also a dedicated individual. I will give my best to everything I do. Whether it is work, or my home life, I have to give 100%. I never want to waste a day and will live each day to the fullest. My goal in life when I’m older, I want to hear my kids reflect on their memories as a child and be able to tell me they had a great childhood and a mom that made great memories for them.

When did you first discover your love for the outdoors?

I love being outdoors. I have learned from certain times in my life that I love to see the light and enjoy the weather versus being indoors laying in a dark room. I love taking in “the views” and the beauty of the sky truly has a positive impact on me.

How did you 3 ladies meet? What advice do you have for Shoestring Warriors on finding their adventure community?

I met Ana when my oldest son was in Kindergarten. Her daughter and my son were in the same classroom. I truly believe that people are placed in our lives at the right time for a reason. Ana was one of those people. She met me at the toughest part of my life and really showed me what an angel she is. From there we became friends. A few years later Ana introduced me to Diane. We all seem to have the same bug, and that bug is… we can’t sit still. We all seem to love adventures and I just wait to hear what the next one is…  there is not one thing that we have done that we didn’t have a blast.
My advice on finding an adventure community is finding an activity that you like, and start talking to people that do the same… one person introduces you to one person and so on, and the conversations are endless.

How do you balance being a busy mom with exploring new destinations?

This is hard for me. I have a hard time separating myself from my kids without feeling some kind of guilt. I try to remind myself that in order to stay healthy and fresh, that I have to take care of myself sometimes too. I don’t do this too often, so when I do, the guilt isn’t too bad.

What is your favorite local adventure in Northern California?

I am a big fan of whitewater rafting. It gives me such a big adrenaline rush going down class 4 rapids. I have only done this on the middle fork of the American River, but I plan on doing the North Fork, soon, as I hear it’s a little bit more of class 4/5 rapids.

What is your favorite memory from your Shoestring Adventure in Joshua Tree?

I can’t say that I only have one… I truly loved it all. I was so fascinated with the beautiful scenery. I was completely in love. The combination of Joshua Tree and Shoestring was perfect. They took such good care of us, and I truly enjoyed their company. I have to admit that I ate more than I wanted, but the food was sooooo good!  I can’t begin to tell you how amazing the coffee was too… I could not have enough of it.

What is your greatest personal accomplishment?

I have a few… in relation to outdoors and being active I would say running and participating in races. My most sense of accomplishment is running a trail run in the rain.

Words to live by?

Live each day to your fullest, have fun and don’t let time go wasted. We can’t get it back.

Where to next?

I would love to go to Havasupai. The beauty of it is something that I have to experience in person.

 The perfect s’more?

I like my marshmallow crunchy and gewy and messy too.

Photos © 2017 Justin Fricke

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