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Auburn woman engineers her own adventures

With her father pulling her behind a dirt bike, Auburn’s Brandy Rogers snowboards down a sand dune near Las Cruces, N.M. The photo was an international contest winner.  - Courtesy photo
With her father pulling her behind a dirt bike, Auburn’s Brandy Rogers snowboards down a sand dune near Las Cruces, N.M. The photo was an international contest winner.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Brandy Rogers is a thrill seeker who doesn't mind sharing her escapades for all to see.

By day, she is a structural engineer, a professional career woman. By night and on weekends, she is free spirit, a daredevil of sorts who enjoys snowboarding and dirt biking on the most difficult and challenging terrain she can find.

She might not look the part, but that's just fine with her.

"If you met me on the street, you wouldn't know I was an engineer," said the 30-year-old Rogers, a native of New Mexico who has called Auburn her home for the last five years.

Rogers and her colleagues at Parametrix, a premiere Northwest engineering and environmental sciences consulting firm in Auburn, are working on the replacement for the 520 Bridge.

Away from her complex job, Rogers' continues to think big and come up with unique ideas, the latest of which brought action-sport enthusiasts' acclaim, and an unexpected prize.

Always looking for a great outdoor adventure, Rogers recently took her recreational pursuits to a more imaginative level. Her wild idea put her two passions together – a dirt bike pulling a snowboarder through sand dunes.

With her father, Bobby Rogers, supplying the horsepower on two wheels, the undaunted daughter hopped on a large snowboard, grasped the end of a long ski rope and hung on to follow behind, sliding down a sand dune in the southern New Mexico desert near their hometown of Las Cruces.

"I actually got a lot of resistance," Rogers said of the joyride. "You coast behind it really well, but you can't turn.

"I had so much sand in my teeth, ears and hair," she said. "But as long as you followed the line of the dirt bike, it wasn't difficult."

The digital image of the family's wacky outing was sent into an international photo contest – Snow Bum 2: The Snapshot – that Rogers' sister, Jennifer, discovered.

A couple of months later, Rogers received a surprising phone call. She had won the contest, beating hundreds of entries from more than nine countries.

For her intestinal fortitude, Rogers won the top prize – a five-day, six-night winter stay for four guests at Sun Peaks Resort in British Columbia. Rogers plans to take her sister and two friends.

Rogers also earned the opportunity to make her very own snowboarding video with an experienced videographer. The adventure includes ski passes, treats and adventures on the hill.

Entrants were encouraged to capture their fun side by being as creative as possible while incorporating country or city landmarks into their shots and the essence of winter before sharing their image online.

Rogers grew up in an active household that was quick on its feet. Riding bikes and snowboarding are in the family blood.

While she doesn't compete in either sport, Rogers challenges herself to tackle certain trails. She has glided down and weaved her way through some of the most majestic mountain spots she can find in selected sites around the country.

Tree lines and steep terrain are in her vocabulary.

"I still have a long way to go," she said of her skills. "You can always learn more and more in this sport."

Rogers may be busy designing the next 520 Bridge, but her thoughts sometimes drift.

"I had snow on my mind (last week). ... I get through the week, so I can play on weekends," she said.

Nothing like darting down a slope on a snowboard or kicking up dirt on a 125-cc Honda.

"It's so addicting," she said.

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