Sophia developed a love for wilderness at a young age. It all started with her three older brothers whose life purpose seemed to be making strange contraptions to cart her around in on their five acre piece of property, nestled amongst the fir forests of Southern Oregon. From the vantage points of sleds, dirt bikes, failed aerial crafts, and front buckets of tractors for their dad’s mushroom farm, Sophia’s fascination with the natural world blossomed. She loved being in it, moving through it and learning how it all worked.
Sophia also loved to climb trees. So much so that at the age of 12, she got a job coning with family friends. During the summer, Sophia would put on a harness, climb big trees, collect pine cones and give them to nurseries to plant more trees. For her 13th Birthday, Sophia was given a perfect gift: an un-flippable tree hammock made for tree climber’s to set up hundreds of feet up in the air (similar to a climber’s portaledge). For the next few years, Sophia and her best friend refused to sleep in a normal bed. After the tree hammock, it was an easy progression into a life of adventure – climbing, cycling, backpacking, and running.
As an adult, Sophia has traveled all over the world, exploring natural places and the people that inhabit them. She has spent time in Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Tasmania, Europe, and Mexico. She led remote backpacking trips throughout California and Oregon. She biked 4,000 miles across the Southern US from California to Florida, photographing the people and places along the way. She ran her first marathon 1 year ago (it was terribly painful). She worked as a research biologist in the Australian Outback for 5 months and studied how climate change effects the reproduction physiology in zebra finches.
Now, Sophia has found herself immersed in the churning and dynamic world of whitewater. For most her life, she has felt like a cat. Meaning that she’s particular, has fine taste in things, enjoys sun-napping and doesn’t like water. However, her motto in life is to face what scares her most so entering the world of kayaking has been an avenue to get over that fear.
You can find Sophia at Wet Planet taking photos, teaching people how to develop a coffee palette (she is also an experienced barista) and attempting to add a bit of fashion to the river world through Wet Planet’s 2016 apparel line. She enjoys managing base, *learning* to shred in her kayak and hopes to learn to raft guide this season!
Other odd facts about Sophia: She has 7 middle names. She has walked across a large portion of the Sahara Desert with camels. She was initiated as a whirling dervish when she was nine. She is classically trained on the clarinet. She won the undergraduate conference of research at the University of Montana with her research on bird communication systems. And she is addicted to the smell of chalk.
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