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Posts Tagged ‘Public Speaking’

I was recently interviewed by Gale Straub for one of my favorite podcasts, She Explores, and you can listen to the episode here:

https://she-explores.com/podcast/because-trails-inspire-sirena-rana-dufault/

Arizona Trail near the Utah Border

Doing book research on the Arizona Trail near the Utah border

From the She Explores Website:

In this episode, you’ll hear:

– How Sirena started hiking at the age of 19
– The impact a car accident and the onset of Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, had on her life and hiking
– Tips for women whose romantic partners aren’t as interested in hiking or backpacking
– The benefits for Sirena of hiking solo
– How to stay connected when you’re off the grid
– What fibromyalgia feels like for Sirena and why she chooses to hike through the pain when she can
– Why section hiking a long trail is a great alternative to thru hiking
– History of the Arizona Trail
– How hiking trails connect communities to hikers and vice versa
– How Sirena started a career in trails
– The work she does through her consulting company, Trails Inspire
– Why promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a key element of her company’s mission statement and how she’s already put that mission into practice
– The book Sirena is working on for Wilderness Press
– Why Sirena recommends hiking the same trail more than once

I have been on the road for what seems like most of the year, most recently I attended Outdoor Retailer in Denver and before that, the Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism. For more info about what I was up to at the Governor’s Conference, click here to read an article I wrote about the experience.

Arizona Governor's Conference on Tourism

Sirena with Debbie Johnson, Executive Director of the Arizona Office of Tourism

I’m excited to announce that my book project, Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail, will be supported in part by the Arizona Office of Tourism, and I will be doing a series of articles, social media posts, and presentations for AOT while I am doing the research for the book. I’ll be sharing tips on the best places and seasons to experience the Arizona Trail and its Gateway Communities in advance of the book’s publication by Wilderness Press in Spring 2020. A Grand Canyon-sized thank you to AOT for this collaboration!

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2018

Outdoor Retailer Summer 2018 – rockin my new Purple Rain Adventure Skirt

Outdoor Retailer was a whirlwind of activity as usual. I was on a panel about the 50th anniversary of the National Scenic Trails Act with the Partnership for the National Trails.

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Trails 50 Panel: Luke Kloberdanz from Ice Age Trail, Taldi Walter from REI, Sirena from Trails Inspire, Brandi Horton from Rails to Trails, Amanda Jameson from Granite Gear Groundskeepers

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I attended Spark 2020, a conference before OR which brought together leaders in the effort to provide diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoors. It was a great way to start the event and I’ll have an article out about it on the Gossamer Gear blog soon. Big thanks to Gossamer Gear for sending me to OR, it’s always such a great experience!

Spark 2020 Conference

Spark 2020 Conference

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Loved seeing the Outside Magazine cover every time we went into the show! With Amanda “Zuul” Jameson, Jenny Bruso from Unlikely Hikers, Ambreen Tariq from Brown People Camping

Made the cover photo and the video for Day 1 at Outdoor Retailer along with Teresa Martinez from the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Amanda Jameson, and Teresa Baker, from African American Nature and Parks Experience who received an award for her Hike Like A Girl campaign.

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Group shot before heading into the show

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Picnic with Jennifer Pharr Davis and family

I got to meet with my publisher, Wilderness Press, and talk about plans for my book, Day Hikes on the Arizona National Scenic Trail. It’s great to be a part of their team!

Meeting with Tanya from Wilderness Press

Meeting with Tanya about my upcoming book with Wilderness Press

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Georgina Miranda from SheVentures and Karla Amador from 52 Hike Challenge

F00C6189-EDDD-4CE7-9722-44052ED56A7EI haven’t been getting out much, but I finally got out to canyoneer down Willow Canyon with my buddy Russ the other day. This canyon is a gem and so close to town!

Canyoneering Willow Canyon

Canyoneering Willow Canyon – photo by Russell James Newberg

Looking forward to more book research for the rest of the summer and fall, working on writing projects and hopefully getting out for some backpacking as well. Thanks for reading!

 

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So much going on! Instead of my usual triplog format, I thought I’d give folks a update on where I’ll be doing presentations and links to recent media I’ve been featured in.

Thursday, April 26th at 7:15 pm – I’ll be doing a brand-new free presentation “From Suburbanite to Adventurer” at Summit Hut’s location at 5151 E. Speedway. I’ll be telling the story of how I got into hiking and the outdoors, sharing stories from my adventures and giving tips on planning your own! This talk is part of their Shop and Talk Shindig with raffles, giveaways, beer and wine from 6 – 8 pm.

1990's Fashion Photos

1990’s modeling photos of a much different Sirena- if I can learn to be outdoorsy, anyone can!

Saturday, April 28th – I’ll be at the Continental Divide Trail Kickoff event in Silver City, New Mexico giving a talk on Desert Hiking Tips at 1 pm, and I am also part of the Thru-Hiker Panel at 3 pm. All presentations are at the Western New Mexico University campus, in the Student Memorial Building 3rd Floor Seminar Room.

Gateway Community of the CDT

Gateway Community of the CDT

Saturday, May 5th – I will be a guest on the popular radio show Rosie on the House, talking about my adventures, Trails Inspire and the Tusayan Community Trails Plan. Click here to find broadcast times in your area or to listen to the show after it’s aired.

Sunday, May 6th – I will be a panelist at the REI Force of Nature Celebration Reunion Party from 10:30- 12:30 am at Lost Dutchman State Park. The event is free but registration is required. The Force of Nature initiative celebrates women in the outdoors and I’m excited to be a part of this event. From the description:

“It’s a social opportunity to meet women who share your interests in the outdoors, learn about women-focused programs and organizations with a women’s panel discussion from women leader’s in the Phoenix outdoor community and relax with good company! REI will provide activities, free entry to the park for those registered, and of course some rad giveaways. This event is free to attend. All that is required is a sense of adventure and the readiness to be inspired!”FON Reunion (4)-page-001

Hope to see some of you at these events, all are free to the public!

Here’s a couple of  articles that have featured either me and/or my company Trails Inspire:

I’m excited about my interview with one of my favorite website/podcasts She Explores: Blaze Your Own Trail

Thrilled to be chosen as one of the Arizona Daily Star: Badass Women of Tucson

Badass Women of Tucson

The most popular podcast for long distance hikers, The Trail Show, featured The Loop as their April Trail O’ da Month: The Trail Show #70: The Loop

Sirena Dufault Hike The Loop

Hike The Loop

I also wrote a piece about my experiences and diversity in the outdoors for Gossamer Gear’s blog,

Dad and me in Cienega Creek

Dad and me in Cienega Creek

As far as adventures go, Hike The Loop was a complete success! I hiked 80 miles in 5 days along with award-winning author Liz Thomas on Pima County’s urban trail system. We had so much fun exploring the parks, art, food and communities on The Loop and our hike into the Completion Celebration was fantastic. We invited the public to join us on the last four miles and they had a wonderful introduction to the trail system. Visit the Trails Inspire blog for detailed media coverage from the journey.

Check out the Facebook Live videos and the Trails Inspire Instagram for lots more photos and videos of Hike The Loop! Here’s my favorite, an interview we did with three women who joined us on the public hike. This is what Trails Inspire is all about:

I climbed Baboquivari Peak again with my dear friends Dave Baker, Wendy Lotze and Gary Hervert. That place is magical and challenging and I am fortunate for any time spent there.

Wendy approaching Baboquivari Peak

Wendy approaching Baboquivari Peak

Baboquivari Peak Summit

Baboquivari Peak Summit

The biggest news, however, is that I finally got the section of Grand Canyon done that I had to get helicoptered out of in 2016 after tearing my calf muscle! I spent a wonderful week solo from South Bass to Hermit. I’ll get to writing it up sometime soon, still going through the many photos and videos.

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Walking past the evacuation site from 2016

Not only did I get that section done, it connected a big chunk of my line through Grand Canyon, 65 river miles from Nankoweap to Elves Chasm. Piece by piece, I’ll get the whole thing hiked someday.

Do Epic Shit

Do Epic Shit

So there it is – lots of travel, spreading the word about the outdoors and working on my trail project in Tusayan. The Community Trails project is currently in the public comment period until May 7th and you can see the Master Plan that I developed and leave your comment about the plan at this link.Tusayan Trails Master Plan Map - Public Comment

It’s been a crazy-busy spring, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Glad that the company is doing so well and that I’m getting all these fantastic opportunities! Hard to believe ten years have passed since I started blogging at the beginning of my first Arizona Trail hike way back in 2008. Thanks to my readers for your support through the years!

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