In December I knew that I needed some inspiration. I knew that I needed to surround myself with a group of women who could motivate me and push me to reach my goals, that’s why I started the Summit goal-setting group. But launching it was really hard, I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to make their goals public and be accountable to a complete group of strangers. I was so wrong. One by one women asked to join the group, introduced themselves and I instantly felt like I was amongst friends. Mary Beth is one of those friends who I’ve never met in person but who I feel an instant connection to because she is bold, but more important, she is kind. When I read this blog post that she published I knew that I wanted to get to know her better. I was happy when she agreed to be interviewed as part of our #womenwhoinspire series.

  • What or who inspired you to become an “outdoor woman?”

I was raised in the outdoors.  I grew up in the Southern California mountain community of Lake Arrowhead where nature abounds.  On top of this aspect, my father’s nickname is John Muir.  It is without a doubt that I got my love of nature from him.  As a child, when my friends were being taken to movies or the malls, we’d go on hikes.  We’d swim in rivers and not pools.  I wore jeans, not dresses.  Those were some of the fondest memories from my childhood, and now I’m making those same memories with my toddler son and husband. 

  • What are your goals? 

What aren’t my goals!?  I suppose my number 1 goal is to hike the Way of St. James (aka the Camino de Santiago).  I was inspired by the movie, “The Way,” and just 3 years ago my cousin hiked the Way and documented his journey via film.  Immediately I knew it was something that I had to do.  We’d also like to bring our son, but will most likely wait until he is a little older (16 months old might be pushing it ☺ ).  Also, we recently located from California to my husband’s home state of Minnesota.  One of our goals when we moved would be to visit every state park in MN within 5 years.  We only have 3 more years to accomplish this, and I truly think we can do it!Meet Mary Beth

  • What is your favorite outdoor activity? 

Backpacking.  I love the freedom of being lost in an untouched wilderness.  I love living out of my pack.  I love sleeping under the stars, only to wake up and still be lost in nature.  We have yet to take our young son on a backpacking trip, but we are shooting for this coming summer/fall.

  • Can you share a story about when you learned a lesson the hard way?

I learned a LOT about winter hiking after our move to MN.  I’ll never forget our first hike in the MN winter.  Mind you, this was pre-child, thank God.  My husband warned me I needed more layers, but I shrugged off his advice thinking “I’ll break a sweat and be fine.”  I had hiked in my hometown, where it snows, but “cold” in Lake Arrowhead, CA means 32 degrees.  This particular day the temperature was 3 degrees.  To make a long story short, we had to cut our hike short due to the fact that I’m pretty sure my legs were entering the first stages of frostbite, as were my ears.  Needless to say, I’m now an EXPERT at what NOT to do for cold-weather hiking ☺

  • Do you have a blog or are you on any social media sites? Where can we follow your adventures? 

I have more than one story and many awesome tips that you can find on my blog, The Sundance Mama ( .  It is a blog primarily geared towards inspiring parents and caregivers to get their kids outdoors, but I have all sorts of tips geared towards anyone who is either a seasoned, or non-seasoned, outdoors person.  You can also visit my blog via my facebook page.

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add? 

Hike Like A Woman has been a huge source of continued inspiration for me since I discovered it some months back.  Thank you for sharing your love of nature with the world! <-Awwww shucks, thanks MaryBeth 🙂


Who inspires YOU! Who should I interview next? Leave me a comment below or on our facebook page.

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