Ink Stories: Moving Mountains

Gina Keough’s tattoo of the outline of Mt. Hood is simple, but it commemorates some huge milestones in her life. Read about its inspiration and see more pictures below.

The tattoo on Gina’s bicep is her first and only tattoo so far.

“I got it three or four years ago, after I climbed Mt. Hood,” she told us. “I raised money [for charity] and made a bet with my brother that if I could do it, he had to quit smoking. My brother did not quit smoking, but it was one of the best things I’d done out here [in Portland] so far–it was about three years, at that point–following through on something that was hard and adventurous.”

Gina’s move to the Pacific Northwest was an adventure in itself.

“I moved out here by myself with two suitcases,” she said. “Now I have a full apartment and I’m no longer a grocer–no slight to Trader Joe’s.”

Gina’s tattoo, an outline of Mt. Hood, with the actual Mt. Hood in the background.

Her decision to commemorate her love for the region, and her accomplishments, was a bit of a challenge in itself.

“All of the tattoo shops wanted to add stuff to it,” she said. “A horizon, a sky. But I’m not like that–no bells and whistles.”

Her solution was a typically Portland response: DIY.

“A friend of mine did it on my living room couch with a needle and ink,” she said. “She drew it and freehanded it.”

Gina loves her tattoo, its simplicity and meaning. But not everyone sees it in the same way.

“Everyone thinks it’s a string on my shirt,” she said, with a smile.

Gina has left the door open for more ink in the future, she said.

“I want a tattoo of the outline of Ohio over my heart–because it’s the heart of things.”

2 thoughts on “Ink Stories: Moving Mountains

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *