Toby recently graduated with a degree in Ecotourism and Adventure Travel. At the end of the 2009 guiding season he will return to Ohio to pursue another degree in Natural resources management and Parks and Recreation. Over the past two years he has spent ample time throughout the Americas. One Quarter was spent in the Bahamas Scuba diving and working on marine ecology and island management, and another quarter was spent in Central America through the countries of Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Belize. While in Central America he worked on rainforest ecology, Cultural studies, Birds of Central America and sustainable development and design of these countries. Toby possesses a wilderness first responder certificate, but hopes he never has to use it to aid anyone. Among all of the places that he has been in the past few years he still holds the Appalachian Mountains close to his heart, as this is where his love for the outdoors developed.Trips Guided by Toby Grapner:
Toby's Guide Survey:
What's your favorite vacation destination?
I especially like places that I haven't been before, but I'll say North Carolina in the Spring and Fall, particularly the mountains and the coast.
What's your favorite hike?
The Wapiti Trail in Yellowstone National Park.
What's your favorite bike ride?
Around the lake in Celina, Ohio with my Mom. The ride to Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone isn't bad either. Ha-ha it's amazing!
What's your favorite trip to guide?
Yellowstone/Teton National Park - Best of the West
What do you do that makes a guest's vacation special?
I try to focus on the small things that make us individuals. Through that, good conversation, comfort and most of all friendship becomes possible. To be able to be comfortable in new territory helps ensure a good time is had by all.
Favorite Movie: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Favorite Book: Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
Favorite Song: I have no idea what song, but my favorite artists are John Prine, Loudon Wainwright III and The Avett Bros.
Describe the most amazing experience you've had while guiding a trip:
Last year my partner Ryan and I had the pleasure of hosting two families near the end of the season, the Creamers from Chicago and the Salas from Mexico City. At our final dinner, we were going around the dinner table telling one another what our favorite part of the trip had been.When it came to Martha Salas things got interesting. She started fine, but then as she began to cry, she exclaimed that over the week her life had been changed and for the better at that. She felt closer to her family, closer to the natural world, and had gained new perspective and friends.I've had one year to reflect on this and it will forever standout because this is why Ryan, Austin Adventures and I do this.I still keep up with Martha and with each chat or email I remember that night.This is what life is all about.
When did you first catch the travel bug?
After graduating high school, I began moving around the east coast working on golf courses. I've been going ever since.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy doing almost everything outside, from building and working on landscaping to hiking, biking, canoeing and photography. I also really enjoy playing golf and all sorts of other recreation.