Hunter, Tyler and I met at Teton Valley Ranch Camp (TVRC) during the summer of 2004, and for the next four years, we spent our summers together learning how to saddle, ride and wrangle horses, properly don a cowboy hat, and backpack through the beautiful wilderness that surrounded us. At TVRC, we were able to do things that we had only dreamed of, like summiting nearby peaks on day hikes, wrangling the ranch’s horses at 5 in the morning, or fly fishing on the snake river. Under the mentorship and unbridled enthusiasm of our counselors, we quickly grew to love the camp and the freedom associated with the Wyoming lifestyle.
While at TVRC, we went on many backpacking trips together where we would spend hours on the trail talking, singing, joking, and being lost in our own thoughts. Some of our favorite conversation topics included, what our dream meal would be, what our dream girls looked like, and what everyone would put on their dream yachts. One of our favorite pastimes was coming up with amusing stories about what might happen to each member of the group someday. We called these stories, 100 Trails. While our focus at the time was on creating funny ways that each of us was going to die (getting smothered by too many beautiful women, one of our yachts sinking the other’s, or simply being launched out of a cannon in a glorious blaze of fire), our stories/trails reflected something that each of us shared in common: we all loved dreaming up just how many different trails there were out there, waiting for us.
It’s been 7 years since the three of us were in Wyoming together, and we’ve each taken different trails to get where we are today. We attended three different high schools, three different colleges, and each had different majors and extra-curricular activities. Today, we are an eclectic group, with a professional photographer, a financial analyst, and a sports writer, but somehow we find ourselves back in Wyoming on the same trails that brought us together in the first place, with no less of a thirst for adventure than when we first arrived at TVRC 11 years ago.
We’ve found that regardless of what path life presents us with, there is always something to be learned by giving it a shot, and our experience at TVRC showed us just how amazing our path could be if we gave it our all. This is what Give’r means to us, and we have no intention to ever stop giving it our all.
On July 7th, we will embark on another adventure that we had only dreamed of, made possible through a true Give’r pursuit of that dream. Not only will we be able to travel back to Wyoming to spend time together and visit our old stomping ground (TVRC), we will be embarking on a 10 day long backpacking expedition through the Wind River Mountain Range as the winners of the Huckberry Explorer’s Grant Program. Through the inspiration of a 10 x 10 challenge, we will be traversing through the Wind River High Route as trekked by Alan Dixon and Don Wilson, with some of our own adjustments:
Bonus: 10,000+ foot peak summited
On this trip, we will cross the Continental Divide four times, traverse ten passes between 12,200 ft and 11,500 ft and cover 100 miles with about 20,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain (nearly the same elevation gain as climbing the Grand Teton 3 times over).
We’re honored to share our story with the Give’r Community, and hope that our trip will inspire others to pursue their dreams. We had big dreams when we first met in Wyoming, and have even bigger dreams 11 years later, but what we’ve found is that when we give them our all, we can never be disappointed.
Here’s to the 100 trails we’ve traveled, the 100 trails we’re traveling, and the countless trails that wait for us in the future.