My journey started as a very small boy with an orange shirt sporting a tiger on it. Little did I know that I had taken my first steps in a life full of outdoor adventures. I would grow and advance from a Tiger Cub to wear the blue shirt of a Cub Scout. Before long I would achieve the honor of Eagle Scout- the highest rank in the Boy Scouts. In the process, I helped others along by sharing my love for the outdoors, the same way those I looked up to had done for me.
During the middle of my Cub Scout days I was diagnosed with Acute lymphocytic leukemia. At the age of 10 I was catapulted into a world that would change me forever. Less than one year after my diagnosis, I had received the news that I defeated my cancer. It was the greatest victory of my life to date, however, preventative treatments were still needed for several years to follow.
I graduated from high school in 2001 where I then attended Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville Missouri. In 2005 I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Interactive Digital Media – New Media, a three part degree focused on computer science, art, and communication. I have been working as a web designer / developer for several companies around the Kansas City metro area for the past 6 years as well as running my own design company.
Early Career Days
I have enjoyed my time working as web designer / developer but simultaneously felt that there was a void in my life. While watching a documentary about the Appalachian Trail, I feel in love with the vivid imagery of this epic 2,220 mile trek. Deep down I knew this was the challenge and adventure I had been waiting for. I knew that Hiking the Appalachian Trail in its entirety was a huge task both physically and mentally. I know now that my journey is only beginning. Join me as I document my entire expedition of both getting to and thru the Appalachian Trail.
2013 – Hiking the Appalachian Trail!
I managed to make it through 200 miles of the Appalachian trail in the spring of 2013 before deciding to leave the trail. There were many issues and reasons for doing so. The trail still calls and in the meantime I find myself creating new adventures and spending more time on the trails.
2013 – Packed up and Moved West!
In late 2013 I packed up my 95 Jeep and headed west. I found myself in southern Arizona and decided to stay. I am now much closer to the mountains and have been enjoying the desert ever since.
2014 – Epic Adventures were created!
In 2014 I helped create an adventure called Hell Hike and Raft with Americas Rafting Company. Together we created a 6 day backpacking and white water adventure for 12 bloggers and social media influencers. The trip lead the adventurers into the Seven Devils mountain range and into the depths of Hells Canyon. A truly amazing adventure that can only be described as EPIC. Towards the end of 2014 Epic Social Adventures was created to continue to create trips and experiences like Hell Hike and Raft.
2015 – Exploring Arizona and an Epic trip back to Idaho!
2015 was full of local exploring around Arizona as well as a return visit to Idaho for the second Hell Hike and Raft. I met and hiked with many great fellow outdoor lovers. I continued to grow my outdoor network through social media while blogging about local adventures and tested and reviewed many piece of gear. It was towards the end of the year that I found myself unemployed and the difficult task of finding employment started.
2016 – New Career, New Adventures, and New Friends!
With the changing of the calendar to 2016 I found myself on a new adventure working as an SEO Analyst for SimpleView. My work focuses on helping Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) analyze traffic and create strategic plans to help the CVBs and DMOs grow their web traffic and search volumes. In an effort to stay in shape I have continued to hike and created the HTT 365 Challenge. The goal is to help keep myself hiking and outdoors and inspire others to do the same. Before the Arizona heat took hold I was invited by Rozanne of MountainMatron.com a fellow Hell Hike and Raft crew members to hike into the depths of the Grand Canyon to visit Havasupi Falls for a long weekend. I also had a great time attending Outdoor Retailer’s Summer show. With record highs and record rainfall it has been hard to get outside as often as I would like but the cooler weather is on its way.
The second half of 2016 and 2017 are shaping up to be even more adventurous!