Unzipped! Featuring Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc is a yes woman who loves to push the envelope when it comes to an outdoor adventure... and that's why we love her!

What is your passion?
I'm passionate about exploring the outdoors and sharing those experiences with other people through my writing and photography.

What would be your superpower?
I'd snap my fingers to instantly load and unload the canoe that seems to live on the roof rack of my truck.

What makes you proud to be a woman?
Everything. The women I hang out with are smart, capable, caring, and adventurous - plus we love to have fun.

What made you fall in love with adventure and the outdoors?
My dad instilled in me a curiosity about the world around us. He'd sniff out interesting places within a few hours of home, pack up the family, and take us there to check it out. We hopped fences to look at dinosaur tracks, car camped at state parks, and took road trips to neighboring states. The drive to explore outdoors grew and grew, and I started writing about it as a staff writer at the Austin American-Statesman, where I worked for 21 years. After backpacking the John Muir Trail with my husband, I started craving all kinds of adventure. I declared my Year of Adventure at the newspaper, where I wrote a weekly fitness column, and started doing crazy things that made me uncomfortable, like rappelling down a 38-story building dressed as Wonder Woman, running a naked 5K, and jumping off the 10-meter platform at the University of Texas. It's only gotten better since then, and my adventures have included swimming 26 miles around Manhattan Island with a partner, completing the 260-mile Texas Water Safari paddling race as part of a three-woman team, rafting the Grand Canyon on a self-guided trip with friends, skinny dipping everywhere I can, and countless backpacking, skiing, caving, cycling and camping adventures.

How did you find Zip Hers and why do you love them?
Zip Hers had a booth set up at the Texas Water Safari check--in,and I thought they looked interesting.

What one piece of advice would you give your Zip Hers Sisters?
Don't be that person who sits on the edge of the pool and watches everybody else have fun. Get your hair wet!

What are 3 things you don’t want to live without?
Books, a camera, and my passport.

What is the most exciting/adventurous thing you have ever done?
You mean so far? Backpacking the John Muir Trail for 15 days with my husband.

If you could walk and talk with 3 women, who would they be?
Barbara Jordan, to get her take on the voting rights situation; Brandi Carlile, because I love her song "The Story" and she sounded so intelligent and compassionate in an interview I just heard on NPR; and my friend Marcy, who knows all my deepest secrets, because it's always more fun to share experiences with someone you love.

What is your favorite time of the day?
Morning. I love waking up and watching the world come alive.

What are 3 words that describe you?
Adventurous, goofy, enthusiastic.

January 20, 2022 — Debbie Mercer

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