I was born and raised in the rural countryside of central Minnesota, halfway between the great Northwoods and the Twin Cities. The land of 10,000 Lakes captivated me at an early age and naturally I took to the waters with paddle in hand and canoe beneath me. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area dabbled my taste buds of adventure and motivated me to seek out the next taste of venture. I took to the mountains for college, an environment completely foreign and thrilling to me.
As a student at Montana State University I found it nearly impossible to keep my head in the books with the most spectacular playground beckoning me to come out and play. I joined the Cycling Team as an outlet for my inexhaustible amounts of energy, and my world was forever changed. Bicycling became my reason for being; it gave me the opportunity to travel to new places, and what better way to explore than by pedal power. I have since raced and ridden bikes all across the country and was fortunate enough to compete in three collegiate national championships.
It was my bicycle that landed me in Brevard, North Carolina where I committed to racing at one of the premier Varsity Cycling programs in the nation. In 2011 I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brevard College with an Integrated Studies degree with emphasis in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. Since then I have enjoyed exploring new places and challenges like competing in the Equinox Ski Challenge in West Yellowstone, Montana where I skate skied some 127 miles in a 24-hr period.
What’s your favorite vacation destination?
My backyard, also known as “Big Sky Country.” It’s a place so vast, rugged and raw it stretches the soul.
What’s your favorite bike ride?
I once rolled up to the start line of a bike race in Greenville, South Carolina and as I mentally prepared for the 68-mile suffer-fest the entire earth went silent, I felt a special aura radiate through me. As I looked up and came back to reality, I saw a sleeve behind me with the American flag wrapped around it. It was the sleeve of George Hincapie, former United States Professional Road Champion and 17 time Tour de France competitor. What a delight it was to race against one of the greatest American cyclists of all time.
Describe the most amazing experience you’ve had while traveling.
I had the opportunity to be a Ninja at the World Championship Ironman while in Kona, Hawaii.
What do you do that makes a guest’s vacation special?
I tell the most ridiculous tales, all of which are derived from some crazy adventure in my life – “So there I was in a full tuck on my trusty Fischer Skis , twilight was slowly taking hold as I screamed down the mountain trying desperately to make it back to the trailhead before complete darkness set in, as I step-turned hard around a corner a ginormous object appeared before me upon the trail” Just my luck, an irate mother moose, with a blink of an eye she was charging, a full freight train of an animal barreling toward me!
Favorite outdoor activity?
Touring unmarked backcountry roads on my bicycle
What are your hobbies?
Skijoring (Western Style), marathon canoe racing, country swing dancing, agate picking, bicycling and Nordic skiing
When did you first catch the travel bug?
While growing up in a small town along the banks of the Mississippi River I often pondered where all that water was going. I wanted to build a raft like Huckleberry Finn and float freely down the river to someplace new and exciting. I still have the same boyhood passion of discovering new and exciting places, and perhaps someday I will build that raft and journey down the Mississippi.