My name is Dan and I'm a 29-year-old professional baker and aspiring photographer, living in Portland, OR. I've lived in the Pacific Northwest almost all of my life and have been doing my best to enjoy the natural wonders of Cascadia. I grew up in Federal Way, Washington and attended high school in Tacoma, where I was introduced to backpacking through a couple of school-sponsored trips to Olympic National Park. After discovering a love of baking, I attended Oregon Culinary Institute (Go Ninjas!) and have been working in the baking industry for the past 6 years. The baker's life has blessed me with numerous opportunities for backpacking trips and day-hikes after work. This past summer, I married the girl of my dreams (she even let me wear my hiking boots in the ceremony). We have a 2-year-old Belgian Shepherd named Scooby that is was too smart for us and we enjoy exploring Portland and beyond whenever we get the chance. Also Frasier. Lots of Frasier.
Though we were not much of an 'outdoor family' growing up, a love of nature and respect for the environment was instilled for an early age. A sense of wonder about the world has taken me to some pretty incredible places, and over the past few years, I have focussed my efforts on promoting the natural splendor of the Pacific Northwest through photography. I'll be honest, I get really excited when I talk about Cascadia. It's an awesome place to call home.
Why I’m participating with mYAMAdventure
A structured program that offers me contact with veterans of the trail for advice and encouragement, as well as others currently planning it for the first time, and some pretty sweet swag is what got me to apply, as well as championing the efforts of the PCTA.
What hiking the PCT means to me:
I've come to believe that crossing long distances under my own power is the purest form of being human. The Pacific Crest Trail is an opportunity to explore that form in a way that very few get to. I'm excited to spend time taking in the distances between places. To watch the seasons change as the landscapes blow by. To drift into towns that I've never seen and will probably never visit again. There are so many places along the PCT that I have not seen (the Sierra and North Cascades to name a couple), and can't think of a better way to experience them than to walk to them.
Why support the PCTA?
A journey of epic proportions cannot be done alone. Though I may be hiking from Mexico to Canada on my own two feet, the Pacific Crest Trail Association exists to ensure that walking is the hardest thing I'll have to do. They strive to perserve, protect, and promote not just the Trail itself, but the unique experience that it offers as it winds through some of the most scenic and remote landscapes in North America. Everything that I am passionate about is wrapped up in sharing the Pacific Crest Trail with the masses, which is only possible as long as the PCTA is around.
Thanks to all my friends and family for their support, the mYAMAdventure program for this incredibly unique opportunity, and most importantly to my wife, who knew from the day I mentioned the trail that it was something I just had to do. You're the best.