Jennie Lay is a writer and editor who works from her off-the-grid log cabin at the rural edge of Steamboat Springs, a Colorado mountain community where skiing cowboys lured in ski bums and hot springs first enticed spa junkies more than a century ago. It wasn’t long after college that Jennie too was lured by these natural wonders and the boundless year-round adventures they provide. She came…and never left.
Jennie’s independent reporting and writing have covered energy, the environment, land conservation, sustainable living and eating, the nuclear West, wildlife, arts and culture, recreation and far flung travel. Her work appears in High Country News, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Scuba Diving, Yoga Journal, Wilderness, Ski Magazine, Telemark Skier, 5280 and other publications.
On assignment, she’s been scuba diving with sharks in Denver’s aquarium, raced go-karts against real-life race car drivers, learned to surf with female pros in Mexico, practiced yoga on the rooftops of Marrakech and skied the Great Sand Dunes. She has crafted portraits of reclusive Western policy makers, blown the whistle on gas drilling near an antiquated nuclear test site, cooked Slow Food with Moroccan housewives, explored the reefs of the Turks & Caicos and tracked reintroduced lynx through the Rockies. On her own time, she has honeymooned while trekking in Nepal and Tibet, danced her heart out in Guinean villages and explored wild and tropical paradises from India to Honduras, Vietnam to Hawaii. She spent a decade editing for Steamboat Magazine, a beautiful quarterly publication that looks at the environment, culture, politics and recreation in northwest Colorado. Before that, she covered the beats of arts, entertainment and rural county life for her hometown newspaper.
Jennie earned a B.A. in political science from the University of California Berkeley. She earned a master’s in journalism, plus a graduate interdisciplinary certificate in environmental policy, from the University of Colorado Boulder. Before becoming a journalist, she clocked in as a land trust grant writer, radio DJ, concierge, camp counselor, and a strange array of seasonal jobs that allowed her all the advantages of living in a ski town and harboring a chronic travel bug.
Jennie’s passion for adventure is matched by her deep sense of awe for wild landscapes. Having experienced a transformative visit with Churchill’s magnificent polar bears, she continues to tell the stories of Nat Hab’s conservation-minded expeditions.
Read some of Jennie’s recent posts on Good Nature: