North Bend-based writer and photographer Tami Asars presented pictures and inspirational stories about working on her latest guidebook Friday at the Seattle Mountaineers. The presentation was part of the Mountaineers’ BeWild series featuring stories of outdoor passion and adventure.
Tami hiked over a 1000 miles in six months to research her book Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks (Mountaineers Books). Prior to becoming a professional writer and photographer, Tami guided for REI on Mount Rainer for nine years, and it is this guiding experience that comes out in her detailed trail hiking books. Her latest book has a convenient section that compares trails and quickly tells reader about distance, difficulty, and if the hike is kid- and dog-friendly. Tami also helps the reader negotiate the often confusing landscape of permits, regulations, and fees associated with hiking in the different State and Federal parks and forests.
At the Seattle Mountaineers, Tami encouraged the 140 member audience to be adventurous and explore their passion. “Sometimes you can’t wait for your ship to come in, you have to swim out to it,” Tami told the audience. Early in her photography career she was told to point the camera at something she loved. Soon after, she began lugging ten pounds of camera equipment with her on all her hikes, and beautiful photos followed. Now that advice has become a kind of mantra – focus on what you love and there will be few regrets in life.
Tami says that she has always been drawn to the outdoors, “You can feel the peace through your skin, a primitive drive to get back to our ancestors. Hiking forces us to downsize and be resourceful.” She challenged the audience to find the wild and strange trails that people don’t normally go to and to be open to nature and see what happens.
As guidebooks go, Tami’s latest will get the reader from point A to point B better than other books, but it is the genuine love of the outdoors found on the trail between those points that come out in her pictures and in her prose. They move the reader to explore our state’s amazing wild places. Read and find your own outdoor adventure.
Five Questions with Tami Asars – Professional Writer and Photographer
Q: What hike do you recommend to Seattle hikers?
A: We are blessed to have so many great trails in Washington, but one of my favorites is the Lake Ingalls hike near Cle Elum. Mount Stuart and Ingalls Peak is in your face the whole hike and when you get to the lake, Mount Stuart is reflected in the water. If you are lucky you will see mountain goats as well.
Q: What is the best part about being an outdoor writer and photographer?
A: Six months on the trail; that’s a pretty sweet thing.
Q: What is the hardest part?
A: Loneliness. It can get lonely being on the trail that long. I could never do it without the love and support of my husband, family, and friends.
Q: How does it feel to be part of the Mountaineers BeWild series with other accomplished outdoor adventurers?
A: I am honored to be included in this group of amazing people and stories. When you look at the series that the Seattle Mountaineers has put together, it is pretty incredible, so many good adventures.
Q: On that note, what is your next adventure?
A: I am starting research on my next book. It will be an amazing full-color guidebook of the Washington portion of the Pacific Crest Trail and will include recommendations on section hiking, suggested itineraries, watering holes, and all the stuff you will need to have a wonderful experience. I am hoping to have it out in 2016.
National Geographic writer Douglas H. Chadwick and photographer Steven Gnam will show their multi-media presentation entitled the Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies on July 24 at the Seattle Mountaineers. Tickets and information can be found at www.mountaineers.org/productions/bewild/bewild#crown