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Meet Terri

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am 63 years old. I live in Lees Summit, MO which is a suburb of Kansas City, MO. I have been married for 39 years. We have 6 children that I homeschooled from Kindergarten through 12th grade. We have 3 grandchildren so far but they live 12 hours away from us. I took up photography when my children got older and I have had many adventures with my camera since then. I am a photographer. I do sell some of my work on a website.

What’s your favorite way to get your miles? 

I prefer to ride my bike to get my miles. I had both knees replaced in Dec. 2018 and sometimes walking is still hard on my knees. I have found that biking is easier for me and my doctor loves that I ride my bike.

You took us all along on your epic road trip. Can you tell us what inspired it and share some highlights and downsides?

I saw a Facebook post a few years ago about the shortest driving trip to all the national parks. I asked my husband if he would like to do that when he retired. He said yes but later got worried about actually doing it. Part of that reason was because we have never been RV people. It was a big learning experience for us. We took 3 trial trips before we hit the road in April of 2019. We left on his last day at work.

What’s your favorite outdoor memory?

You might think this would be from our epic trip and there were several wonderful moments and great surprises at the parks, but I think I would have to say a different time. One day my husband and I stopped at a wildlife refuge in northern MO on the way back from a trip. This refuge has snow geese that migrate through the area. We pulled into the parking lot got out of the car and there were 1.75 million snow geese (they do counts) flying up off the water and doing formations in the air. It was truly one of the most amazing natural events that I have ever witnessed.

Do you have a “disaster” story? 

We took our kayaks on the trip with us. On our first trip in Washington, we dropped off our scooter at the end point and locked it with a cable lock and padlock to a large cement barrier. We drove upstream, unloaded and left our truck. This was about 3pm or so in May. 

When we were going down the river my husband asks “Do you have the key to the padlock?”. I had to answer “No we locked it in the truck.” We decided our only option was to try to estimate about when we thought the river was taking us close to our RV. We guessed pretty well. It was one mile away. My husband walked/ran to the trailer to get a bicycle. Then he rode 6 miles to the truck before he started back to get the dog and I. Meanwhile, the dog and I were dragging the two kayaks up a steep hill, through a farmers field, through the gate and onto the side of the road. This was five months after double knee replacements. 

When our knight in shining armor showed up, we were sitting on the roadside each wrapped in a beach towel because it was getting cold and dark. Then we had to go retrieve the scooter at the end. Next time we remembered to make sure we had the key in the kayaks.

What have you always wanted to try?

Skydiving is on my bucket list.

You have logged a lot of miles this year. Do you have any tips for success to share?

I am a fairly driven person and I like to make goals. This year my yearly goals have been 

  1. Edit photos each day and post to a site
  2. Read my Bible through this year
  3. Get regular exercise by doing 365 Mile Challenge

What are you looking forward to?

Our next major trip is suppose to be to Europe. Our lawyer daughter bid on a week in a bungalow in Italy and she won it. She has asked us to go along. Since my husband has always promised to take me to Europe, I think this is the catalyst that will get us there. We plan to stay for 2-3 months to see all the sites and take a couple of river cruises. There is no date yet for this due to Covid, but it might happen in 2022.

Are you enjoying the 365 Mile Challenge?

I am enjoying the 365 Mile Challenge. I think God directed me to this group last December when I was starting to make a plan. My first goals did not work out. I wanted to do 366 walking, 366 biking and 366 kayaking. I caused myself severe tennis elbow in April, so all that kayaking was not going to happen. Then I had a passing thought of making my goal the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. That goal did not last long perhaps a couple of weeks until sanity returned. Then I decided that I thought maybe I could do a quad. I am still working on that but I believe if I stay healthy and injury free that I can make it.

You are a big source of inspiration for the group. What inspires you?

This question really caused me to think. I believe that I would have to say people that overcome adversity to persevere in life. I think of veterans that come home seriously wounded that go on to do incredible things, people that had terrible childhoods for an number of reasons and go on to make a terrific life for themselves, people that have the courage to leave abusive situations and start over in life. 

I would also say everyone that does their best each day of the year to accomplish this challenge. Somedays I am only able to do a little bit due to one health issue or another and other days things are much easier. I know there are several people with their own health issues that work very hard to meet their goal and that is inspiring to me.

Is there anything that you want us to know about you?

If you wanted to know more about our trip we wrote a blog about it. I am not much of a blog writer and I do not earn money from it, but this is the address if you want to look.


Anything that you’d like to add? 

I am also what I would call a walker instead of a hiker. Due to asthma I really am not good at going uphill. I have exercise induced asthma. If I am going on a hike there had better be a very neat thing to take photos of when we arrive. I am also going to be the one that is asking “ Are we almost back to the trailhead?” “I am tired and I have to go to the bathroom” you might say I am a whinny hiker.

I am totally content urban walking, rail trail riding, boardwalk walking and etc. If you happen to not be a lover of through hiking and what I call major hiking (over 6 miles) then rest assured that you are not the only one. It takes all kinds of us for this challenge. Perhaps I will see you as I am walking past Walmart 🙂

Thank you, Terri!! 

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1 Comment

  1. Jenna Simonoff

    Nice to meet you Terri! 1.75 million geese! I can’t even imagine! 

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