Meet Tarnna Simpers, our sweet Pacific North Western NO&YO Ambassador. A “tarn” is a geological term for a glacial lake, and her Mom liked the word so she added another n and an a.
Tarnna was born and raised in the extreme sports mecca of Hood River Oregon to a paragliding mother and a traveler/naturalist father. As a kid she was out hiking every weekend, building forts in the woods behind her house, and traipsing up and down the creek finding any bugs and fish she could. She’s an adventurer at heart-traveling as much as possible and when she can’t, exploring local areas. She lived in Texas, an island in the South Pacific (Pohnpei, Micronesia), all over Oregon and the Napa Valley but now Tarnna, her husband and their little girl moved back to Oregon.
Little more about her:
What “adventure” means to you?
Adventure is getting out of your comfort zone. Exploring a new area, whether it be a creek, a country, or a new restaurant. Go out on a limb.
What’s your favorite adventure to-date?
Oh man, do I have to choose just one? It might be the time I was in Micronesia and we were supposed to head back from an outer atoll back to the main island but the weather was fierce and we spent the whole time bailing water out of a small boat, taking each wave head on so we wouldn’t capsize. Or maybe hanging out with wild kangaroos in Australia. Or caving in eastern Oregon. Hanging out on a boat on Oahu for a week. Shit I can’t decide.
What’s your largest accomplishment (by your standards) in adventure/exploration?
My largest accomplishment by far was the year I spent teaching 2nd grade in Micronesia. Because it was so long and a completely different place it was adventure stacked with adventure. I experienced the loudest thunderstorm I’ve ever heard. I marched through the jungle to see 6 different waterfalls in one day. I got caught in a boat on my way to island when the tide went out. We pushed the boat through the dark, trying not to step on sea cucumbers for what felt like miles before finally giving up and sleeping in the boat with a tarp over the top. Boating past the ruins of one of the most ancient civilizations on Earth. Trying new foods. Having our apartment broken into in the middle of the night and us 4 girls scaring the living daylights out of him and getting him out. Snorkeling, paddling, sitting in the crystal clear water for hours.
What do you want to explore/pursue/try in the future? Any plans?
I would really like to improve my flyfishing skills. I have not been able to dedicate the time it takes to really do this succesfully-in other words I spend most of my time untangling line from trees or re-tying flies. My goal this year is to get some good surfing time in. Because of where I live I don’t get to surf consistently, so this year I’m going to dedicate some real time to do that. That way the waves don’t have so much fun flinging me off of them (that Pismo beach wave, whew).
How do you like to explore?
I like to explore by paddleboard, by foot, and by car. You can see so much from a car and experience different climates and areas quickly with some tunes, snacks, and partner. When you are really exploring by foot you get tired but you see so much more. My husband always gives me a hard time because when we hike I stop to notice everything and name all of the plants whereas his goal is to reach the top. Exploring means being in the moment and seeing all you can. The day I went paddling out in the fog I hung out with 9 bald eagles at Wah Gwin Gwin falls. Just sitting on the paddleboard floating around until I was too cold to stay.
Why did you want to become NO&YO ambassador?
Because I believe in being comfortable while I’m exploring. No one wears a wetsuit because it’s comfortable, we wear it because we have to (especially in the Pacific Northwest). So when I take that wetsuit off I want something that feels good and looks awesome. I mean seriously, have you tried NO&YO sweatshirts on? Softest thing ever! It’s an absolute necessity for post surf session or during a spring paddle. I love what NO&YO stands for. #moreadventure
What was the last road less traveled you took?
The last road less traveled was bushwhacking with a baby on my back and the dogs running around while we looked for chanterelles. We found heaps! On the other end of the spectrum our little family drove from DC to Philadelphia to visit my other half’s family-talk about the road most traveled. Ugh.
What’s the most important “freedom” to you? What makes you free?
I feel most free when I’m out in the woods or near the water. Freedom is sitting next to a campfire with people you love playing ukulele and telling stories. Freedom is enjoying the environment and protecting it.
What is your passion of the moment?
My sweet little girl and my love, my husband. I mean seriously, she is the littlest, most adorable, happiest little camper. And my partner works so hard at making wine (*Oh yeah they own a winery too!!!*) and being a good Dad, and then still makes time for me to go get a quick paddle in (and even brings me my fin when I’ve left it at home on said quick paddle). My passion is paddling. I always want to go paddling, rainy, sunny, calm, or windy. I just want to be on the water. I can’t even help it, I see every day as a paddle day.
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