Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Position
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, along with Subaru of America, puts together four teams of two every year to travel the United States and encourage people to enjoy the outdoors while teaching them to do so responsibly. The four teams correspond to four regions of the country, split roughly evenly: East, East Central, West Central, and West, and in addition to giving talks and interactive presentations, are encouraged to spend as much time – and as many nights – as possible outside. Documentation is also a huge part of the experience, as Traveling Trainers produce most of the social media, including blog posts, for the Center.
Spesh and I are Team East Central, which means we’ll be running all around what’s traditionally considered the Midwest and the South for the next calendar year. I’m looking forward to trying lots of new activities as the schedule allows: canoeing in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, exploring underground in Mammoth Cave National Park, and wandering the swamps of Louisiana. I’ll be posting at least once a week here, but you can also
giggle at check out my developing video editing skills over at the Leave No Trace blog starting in July.
Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is one of the crown jewels of American long-distance hiking, running approximately 2,650 miles from the U.S.-Mexico Border near Campo, California to the U.S.-Canada Border in Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. It is the second longest of three trails – including the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (~2200 miles) and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (~3100 miles) – that make up the “Triple Crown” of long-distance backpacking. The PCT has approximately 421,000 feet of elevation gain, with the elevation ranging from 140 feet above sea level in Cascade Locks, Oregon, all the way up to 13,153 feet at Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.
I hiked northbound from Mexico to Canada from May 4th to September 29th, 2016, for a total of 149 days on trail – just shy of 5 months. My “late” start date meant I was a bit behind the herd – most folks started about a week before I did – but I had plenty of company for the whole trail. I chose to take the side trip to Mount Whitney for sunrise, I walked the rim of Crater lake, and I got to see Tunnel Falls in all its splendor on the Eagle Creek alternate. All that said, I think my favorite part of the trail was Washington, and I’d like to hike it again in an earlier season, to see it in all its splendor (minus all the rain). I think a northbound hike was right for me – I frequently walked downhill thinking “holy shit, this would be hard going uphill” – but now that I’ve completed a northbound hike, I think a southbound hike would be fascinating. I’m looking forward to trying something a little more navigationally challenging for my next thruhike.
I’m doing daily updates for my PCT hike Monday – Friday, until I reach the end of my journey. Then, I’ll be talking stats, gear I used, and about gearing up for my next trek!
The Colorado Trail is one of the shorter long trails in the US, winding 485 miles through the Rocky Mountains. It begins in Waterton Canyon, just south of Denver, and extends West and South to Junction Creek, just north of Durango. The trail has approximately 89,000 feet of elevation gain and averages approximately 10,347 feet throughout its length, with the highest part reaching 13,240 feet. 2014 was the trail’s 40th anniversary.
I hiked South/Westbound from Denver to Durango, starting August 15th, 2015 and finishing September 19th – a total of 36 days. I took the Collegiate West route – the old school Collegiate West over Tincup Pass, which avoided the amazing uppy-downy section that everyone raves about that opened in 2014. I didn’t end up going up Mount Elbert or Mount Massive, which are just off-trail, but San Luis Peak was my first fourteener, and I’m looking forward to many more.