Q&A with Martha K., Adventuring During a Pandemic

Martha K. took some time to chat with us about her recent adventure to Idaho and about traveling during a pandemic. Martha first went with us to Iceland in February of 2020, where she experienced the majestic northern lights just before COVID-19 turned the world of travel upside down.

Early during the pandemic, we asked Martha if she could be doing anything, anywhere, what would it be? She said, “At this time in my life, because of the pandemic, I wish I could be with my family. I am happy though to be living in a lovely home on the Oregon Coast with my dog. I am an animal lover.” While stuck at home, she started planning another trip to Iceland in the summer of 2021, this time with one of her daughters.

Then she decided to go to Idaho. When we asked Martha what made her decide on the rafting trip, her answer took us by surprise. We expected to hear that she was getting stir-crazy (we’ve been hearing that a fair amount), but she said that she noticed the trip on Facebook and immediately thought of her sister, who was a rafting guide for forty years and just stopped guiding about five years ago. Martha thought they might go on this trip together. Although her sister ultimately decided that it wasn’t the right time for her to go, the trip had gotten stuck in Martha’s head. At 70 years old, she felt that she needed to “get these things done” – that she would never do it if she didn’t go now. So she told her sister she was going to go anyway and packed her bags!

Martha is, like many Adventure Women, warm, kind, and constantly thinking of others. When she decided to drive to the rafting trip, she called up an 87-year-old friend whose daughter lives in Idaho and asked if she’d like to ride along. Her friend jumped at the chance to see her daughter, and they set off together to do the drive in two days. Martha was even able to bring her dog, who had a vacation with her friends while Martha went rafting!

What were your favorite moments on the river?

I just keep thinking of the wildlife; it was amazing. We saw river otters, eagles, and kingfishers, which I’ve never seen before. Just being on the water felt amazing. The rock formations and all the different colors of the rocks and the water just keep coming back to me—nature is amazing. I had been a mariner Girl Scout in my high school years, and this trip brought back memories and skills I haven’t used in a very long time. I had been a canoer but had never been in a kayak. The first day on the river, I thought “I’m not going to kayak through rapids,” but a day or two later I thought, “why not?! I can do that!!” I did one day in a double kayak and the next day I went alone, and sure enough, it was fun!

What is something that no one would guess about you?

I raised a grandson, and when he was a senior in high school, I let him use my car to go to school, to baseball practice, and to work. I, in turn, bought an electric bicycle to get around town to do my shopping and to get to my volunteer jobs.

How did it feel to travel again? Be on a trip?

It was great! The trip—and our group talking about where they want to go to next—gave me momentum and inspired me to keep traveling. I decided I always wanted to see the whales in Baja. I have seen them going north, but I want to see them in warm water. Also, a trip in February sounds great.

Do you have any advice for a woman who is on the fence about traveling during the pandemic?

As a retired nurse after 48 years, just wear your mask, wash your hands, and stay distanced. If you take the necessary precautions, you’ll feel safe.