James was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but grew up around Dayton, Ohio. At a very early age (by 2 yrs old) his parents had him camping and hiking in the State Parks of Ohio and in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. This was the base for James’ love of the Outdoors. As a youngster he joined Cub Scouts followed by Boy Scouts and High Adventure Scouts where he began to hone his wilderness and leadership skills. After high school James began to take longer wilderness backpacking and canoeing trips with friends, some of which were up to two weeks long, to places such as New York, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. After working as a Certified Chimney Sweep in his father’s business for 15 years, James decided to change career paths and follow his passion for the wilderness and our wild spaces. Currently James is working on his Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources at West Virginia University (one year left!)
In February 2010, as part of my internship for the Adventure Leadership and Wilderness Skills Program, I researched, planned, and co-facilitated a 15 day wilderness backpacking and canoeing expedition to the Chisos Mountains and Big Bend National Park in Texas. While at Hocking I was also able to spend a quarter on Andros Island, Bahamas studying marine ecology, and island resource management. A Wilderness First Responder certificate and a Red Cross Canoe Instructor certification were also earned before graduating with honors in March 2011.Trips Guided by James Bradbury:
James's Guide Survey
What's your favorite destination?
So many to choose from, but studying abroad in the Bahamas for 3 months was pretty amazing! With wildflowers, mountain laurel, and rhododendron blooming and waterfalls flowing, Spring and early Summer in the Smoky Mountains is an awesome place as well!
What destination would you like to visit?
Anywhere that I can have an adventure! A multi-week canoe trip in The Yukon is high on my bucket list as well.
What's your favorite bike ride?
The Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park, South Dakota. From a bike, it's a great perspective to view all the different wildlife. Don't mind the wild burros, they're friendly!
What's your favorite hike? Lava Lake near Big Sky, Montana. Beautiful!
What do you do that makes a guest's vacation special?
I try to share my passion for the Outdoors with the guests. No matter the activity or the weather conditions, it's just great to be in such amazing environments and I try to convey that to them. Being able to deliver to a guest the same “Oh Wow!” factor that I get when I'm outdoors is just the best! As a guide I get to do what I love in the places I love, and if I can get people to feel the same, then to me, that is special.
Describe the most amazing experience you've had while traveling:
So many to choose from! But a few of my favorites are SCUBA diving at 112 feet in the World's 3rd largest barrier reef off Andros Island, Bahamas; A five day canoe expedition on the Rio Grande river between Texas and Mexico; Exploring miles of an unnamed cave system in Kentucky; and the one I cherish the most- having a snowball fight with my Dad on a hot July afternoon in the Rocky Mountains when I was a kid.
Favorite Movies: The original Star Wars Trilogy, Last of the Mohicans, Dances With Wolves, and of course, Anchorman!
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Canoeing and backpacking are tops! However, I'll take on any adventure!
When did you first catch the travel bug?
My parents had my sister and I camping at a very early age. I think I was roasting marshmallows over the campfire in the Smoky Mountains by age 2! Since then it's been full steam ahead! Gotta love the Outdoors!