Where are you from?
I am originally from Ferrum, VA and I now reside in Roanoke, VA.
What Walkabout location do you work at?
As of March 1st, I have taken over as Manager of the Downtown Roanoke Walkabout Outfitter.
What do you enjoy most about working at Walkabout Outfitter?
My entire life I have been enamored by the outdoors and all outdoor activities. Working at Walkabout allows me to spread that love of the outdoors to anyone that comes into the store. It also allows me to meet some amazing people and help people prepare for awesome adventures!
What is your first childhood memory of camping or being outdoors?
I do not have one specific memory of camping and being outdoors, I have an entire childhood of camping and outdoor adventures. Every summer my parents, my brother and I would load up into our 1990 Volkswagen Vanagon and travel all around the US camping and enjoying National Parks the whole way. This yearly adventure allowed me to see amazing things and to be able to say that I have camped in all of the 48 contiguous states!
What first interested you in the outdoors?
Growing up in a house with 30 acres of land and parents who are Environmental Scientists has influenced me to always strive to learn more and experience new things. When I was young these adventures always included running around in the woods, making forts, and just all around exploration of the land that we had. Once I started exploring I was hooked and never looked back!
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I have done just about any outdoor activity you could think of in my lifetime but, BY FAR, my favorite is hiking. I think this also relates to my favorite animal, the turtle, which taught me, “Slow and steady wins the race”.
What is your “must have” piece of gear from Walkabout Outfitter?
While I could classify just about everything in our stores as a “must have” since I have used it all in one way or another, I would say my most used product in our stores are my Injinji socks. I wear them all the time and have styles ranging from running to hiking. That being said, the product I have been dreaming about since it arrived at our store is the Osprey Atmos AG 50. As soon as I put this pack on I knew it was time to replace my pack of 15 years.
What has been your most exciting outdoor adventure?
My most exciting outdoor adventure, hands down, was when I spent an entire summer in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (Payette National Forest) just outside of McCall, Idaho. I worked with a small team hiking throughout the 2.3 million acre wilderness clearing trails and building new trails. Not only was it amazing to see the beautiful scenery but being away from civilization for that long allowed me to appreciate things from daily life that much more. Not only did I enjoy this experience but it changed my life forever.
If you could have your “Dream Expedition”, where would you go?
I have always dreamed of exploring the many wonders of Machu Picchu. That being said, one of the coolest things I have ever heard of and has been on my mind since I did is the World Race. The World Race is a stretching journey into 11 countries in 11 months to serve “the least of these” while amongst real and raw community.