Who I Am
IW Assistant Editor Cassandra Orton shares a few pieces of her story
I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. As a child, I’d curl up in a chair and compose imaginative mysteries and poems about the world around me.
Today, I’m a writer, storyteller, editor and web “master” by profession. I’m also a tea drinker, organizing junkie, IU grad and mom to a 1-year-old cat who wakes me up each morning with affectionate nose rubs.
There are many parts to my puzzle, but here are a few pieces of me. I am a …
I like to spend as much time with my family and close friends as possible.
I’m blessed to be the daughter of John and Simone Orton, my loving, hardworking parents who dwell in the mountains of Roanoke, Va.; sister to Joshua Orton, a smart and caring physical therapy undergrad at James Madison University; and girlfriend to Ross Johnson, the supportive guy who’s got my back and throws a mean Frisbee.
Together, we enjoy hiking, playing board and card games, traveling, cooking, eating and laughing.
I’m happiest in a T-shirt and headband, sporting a pair of Brooks running shoes and a Garmin watch.
I love exploring the world by foot and seeing the city from a different perspective. Whether on forested trails, country roads or urban greenways, my favorite runs are when I get lost in conversation and forget I’m running.
I started jogging with my dad as a child and fell in love with the sport during high school cross country. I’ve run countless 5Ks, a handful of half-marathons, and completed my first full in 3:50:39 at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon last year.
Although I consider myself an Indianapolis woman, I haven’t always been. I’m a Canadian citizen, born in Ottawa. I’ve also resided in Ann Arbor, Mich., Bloomington, Ind., and Boulder, Colo.
While I no longer pronounce “zee” as “zed,” I am proud of my roots and love “going home” to visit family.
My favorite Canada memories are summer days on Lake Muskoka, camping at Point Farms, Christmas at my uncle’s cottage, and family vacations to Prince Edward Island, Quebec and British Columbia.
And then there’s the food. I have a soft spot for Canadian sweets and goodies. Favorite delights? Crunchie bars, poutine, butter tarts, Nanaimo bars, Timbits, Nestlé Smarties, beaver tails and ketchup chips. Yeah, that’s the short list.
I’m most at peace in nature: hiking a fourteener (a peak above 14,000 feet in elevation) in Colorado, mountain biking at Brown County State Park or running trails in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
On a weekend in Indianapolis, you may find me running the Monon, playing disc golf at Washington Park or geocaching at Fort Ben.
I am passionate about environmental and transportation issues, which go hand in hand with my love for the outdoors, as I work toward leaving a lighter footprint on our beautiful earth.