My name is Vanessa Ball. I am a freelance writer, traveler, and mother. After earning my degree in Natural Resource Management from Washington State University in 2003, I took a detour from the traditional work path and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as an Arabic Linguist (2671). The ensuing 5 years were filled with intensive language training, multiple moves, and a deployment to Al Anbar province in western Iraq in 2007. My deployment was formative in that it gave me a much deeper insight into the human condition, as well as the darker side of humanity. Coming home was a challenge, one that took several years of hard work and perseverance to overcome.

As part of my journey, I began a blog to document outdoor experiences with my kids. From simple nature walks to long backpacking trips, we currently adventure up and down the west coast. My solo trips have also been included in these musings. As writing became a more central part of my day-to-day, I applied to a fellowship through The Mission Continues, a non-profit centered on getting veterans engaged with community service. I was accepted into the program and my fellowship was held through I was fortunate to be able to write about conservation, outdoor recreation, and the beautiful places I hold dear.

My fellowship has come to a close, and I now work as a freelance writer. My interests remain conservation, environmental protection, and outdoor travel.   I continue to seek new challenges, and new adventures.

*I have recently changed my name. Previously, I wrote under the name of Vanessa Davids. Vanessa Ball is what I will be using going forward.


2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Vanessa, I don’t do Facebook often but caught your Op post today that was shared by Grand Canyon River Guides. I had a question about HR 621, you said that it had been withdrawn, but on the site it is still listed as ‘Introduced’ so I’m confused. I have alerts sent to me when there is a change to a bill I am following to try to keep abreast of what the heck they’re trying to slip past us. I was shocked and a bit terrified by the amount and content of some of the bills listed on This is disheartening to say the least but still I want to keep my eyes open to what is going on….if I can make sense of it. Seems like there could be a lot of possible ‘smoke screen’ manoeuvres going on to keep us confused. If there are other sites out there that can help with understanding what exactly some of these bills mean for our environment I’d love to know about them. And…the House Committee on Natural Resources …..YIKES!


    1. Hi Peg! Sorry for the long delay in response. Yes. HR 621 is still listed on the site. The site serves as a sort of archive for any and all bills. Once it’s listed there, it won’t be taken off as far as I understand. It can be confusing, but I think it’s also useful. This way we can all track who attempted what bills when. It allows better accountability. Hope this helps!


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