My wife and companion on many of the trips. She’s a trooper, but relishes in a nice shower and s’mores at the end of a long day of adventure in the outdoors. She is an accountant here in Pittsburgh.
My son, born last year, already loves the outdoors. Or so I’d like to think. I want to prevent the onset of “nature deficit disorder,” and I want him to be able to say that he’s been camping and hiking “as long as I can remember.”
My long-time friend from Boy Scouts. Always pushing ahead (we think sometimes he runs) on the trail. One of the most intense outdoorsmen I’ve ever met, Andrew is easily excited and motivated by any opportunity for competition. He is also easily frustrated and angered by any hint of laziness or despair exhibited by his companions. His irascibility and “encouragement” is a staple of trail life. Andrew is currently practicing law back in North Carolina. (Andrew’s reply to this bio: “FYI: I do occasionally run.”)
Eric is another long-time friend from Scouts. With Andrew, the three of us were collectively known as “the triumverate,” as the three of us ruled our Boy Scout troop and later our Venturing crew for almost 5 straight years. A formidable dynasty, indeed. Eric and I will often stick together while Andrew is miles ahead on the trail. He has recently remarked that every backpacking trip he’s been on he says to himself, “I never want to do this again,” but forgets how miserable he actually felt by the time he decides to go on another trek. Andrew and I fear that he finally remembers…and that the triumverate will finally come to an end, at least in regards to backpacking. Eric is currently working in Boston.
“Big T” is the trail name of one of my former scoutmasters (given to him on the High Knoll Trail in 2002, described elsewhere on this site). He has been a constant source of support on each and every outing. He introduced me to kayaking and helped me succeed at it, despite the constant challenges I seemed to face. One might say (and he does say) that he has saved my life on countless occasions (and I am sad that I was remiss in reporting his meritorious actions to the National BSA so he could receive due recognition – if he ever re-ups with the scouts, I will send the nomination form off straightaway). I know that I was a significant burden at times in many ways, both indoors and out, but I am grateful for his guidance, support and friendship over the years. I don’t know whether we’ll hit the trails or the tides together again anytime soon, but I hope we will.
My philosophical colleague and friend here in Pittsburgh. Hikes with him prove to be professionally fruitful, since our trail and camp conversations actually deal with philosophical themes. Also a native Pittsburgher, Joe has a good sense of where we should visit. Joe is, like me, navigating the world of grad school in Philosophy.
As an assistant scoutmaster, several of the trips I go on are associated with the troop. I hope we can get a venture patrol going within the troop to take some more fun and more demanding trips.