Jennifer Tippins: Three Questions, Three Answers


1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rockland County – the northern exurbs of New York City west of Westchester and south of anything considered “upstate”. My parents moved there because it wasn’t an exciting place, in a time when the Bronx was burning and NYC was going through some rough times. With hindsight and 3,000+ miles of perspective, Rockland has its charms. I miss hiking the Appalachian Trail awash in vivid fall colors, picking apples in the neighborhood orchard that has in operation since the 1700s, and feeling the history of the place. I also miss the good Italian food and real bagels.

2. What is your favorite thing about the PNW?

The PNW has the best summer weather, a perfect time to head outside and enjoy the abundance and diversity of natural landscapes that nourish the soul and spirit. One of my favorite things is the smell of sunbaked pine trees in the summer. I wish I could bottle that up. On a recent walk along an interpretive trail near Blewett Pass, I learned that the bark of ponderosa pine smells like butterscotch. I gave it a try, and it does!

3. What is your favorite place in Washington State?

I have many favorite places, but I’ll make a plug for one: A favorite summer hike has been to the Mt. Margaret backcountry near Mt. St. Helens. Where else can you witness an ecosystem in recovery 30 years after a major volcano eruption? To see the powerful forces of nature, as well as its quiet and steady resilience, really helps put things in perspective. Added bonuses: an amazing panoramic view from Bear Camp of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood off in the distance, watching and listening to elk herds on the move in early morning, mountain goat sightings, picking fresh huckleberries, and a very scenic vault toilet near Dome Camp.