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M.E.

I was born in Nashville, TN on February 23, 1993. I grew up here, I learned how to walk here, to talk here, ride a bike, and even fall off of one. Nashville is home, and it will always be home. However, being from Nashville and having a love for all things outdoors creates a challenge, of sorts. We do not have the “Great Outdoors” in our backyard - it is more so in our neighbor’s backyard. With that said, I have learned that it takes motivation and determination to get outside often, but if you are willing to go, there are so many places to explore. Growing up, I was surrounded by this drive to get outdoors and heavily influenced by my creative parents to not just explore, but also to create. 

In Nashville, I studied neuroscience and writing, worked with rehabilitated birds of prey, and received a certification to identify mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies. On top of all that, I adopted the greatest pup to keep up with me and tag along on all the adventures. When I was not studying or working, Milo and I went rock climbing, trail running, fly fishing, and stand-up paddle boarding.  I started instructing classes pertaining to fly fishing and paddle technique (not at the same time). I have also had the opportunity to race in local SUP races, and I completed my first 50k trail race in April 2018, an idea I had after returning from our CDT thru-hike in 2017.  Through all of this, I have been working at a charming outdoor gear shop since 2012, which is where I met Ethan. 

 

Ethan

I am 26 years old. I grew up in a small town in Southern Illinois wandering around the Shawnee National Forest and my family farm. After high school, I moved to Mississippi for four more years of school. There I made life-long friends and got a degree, but I continued to feel as if something was missing. I had spent time in mountainous regions, working on a sheep and cattle ranch in South Africa and traveling to the high mountains of Peru, but for some reason I kept living in flat farmlands. At 20, I took a trip my with my roommate to hike a week in the Great Smoky Mountains. It was freezing cold, the wind was blowing ice on us, and it was paradise. After this trip I could not think about anything but the high feeling of being on the crest of a mountain.

At 22, I returned back to Illinois and operated heavy machinery seven days a week for a while after a few failed endeavors. This made the time pass, but I was never able to outrun the feeling of the rugged unknown the mountains provided me. I romanticized the idea of a thru hike and decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail that next Summer. So I did just that. I finished my west coast hike in September of 2015 and soon after moved to Nashville, TN where I am still living. I work with M.E. at a very hospitable gear shop called Cumberland Transit and spend my free time climbing, fly fishing, hiking, paddle boarding and doing whatever I can to stay outside.

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