Ben Interview

What draws you to hiking and the greater outdoors in general?

Love for nature and spirituality of being in the natural world. I love the break from civilization ~ especially cell phones, computures, etc. 

Why do you like GayOutdoors?

Easy for anyone to lead or attend events, with very little red tape or politics. Nice group of guys.  

What would members be most surprised to learn about you?

That I actually spend most of my time working on computers! I am a scientist, and do lots of programming and writing.  

What was your first GO adventure? How did it turn out?

Oh, I think it was one where I stayed with you guys at the house in Waterville Valley, NH; but I forget the exact hike. I most remember how much I love the house, the setting, and the company. 

Hikes/Adventures that should not be missed? 

Go to the Maze in the western part of Canyonlands National Park in Utah for an out-of-the-world experience. Cirque of the Towers in the Wind Rivers [Wyoming] is an awesome backpacking loop. If you live in the DC area, do not miss the Billy Goat trail along the Potomac! 

Best Outdoor Advice You Ever Got? 

Shed the weight! Backpacking is so much easier if you lighten the load. It's even worth spending a lot on extra light tents, etc. It will pay in the long run.  

What is your favorite place in Pennsylvania?

Grand Canyon of PA [Pine Creek Gorge] area ~ though you'll probably run into fracking all over the place now. The Black Forest trail is a nice 40-some mile loop you can take in the area. I also love the parks in the Philly area ~ Wissahicken and the upper Pennypack. 

What is your secret talent?

Hmmm, will no longer be a secret. Well, I am good at planning things ~ on backpacking trips, I plan the meals ~ [that does not mean I actually cook them]. 

What is the worst outdoor adventure you ever had and why?

Backpacking trip in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado. We hit the monsoon season, and it rained, hailed, with thunder and lightning every day, starting just after noon, for a good eight hours or so. We immediately pitched our tents, ate cold suppers, and then had to spend the night sleeping after resting in the tent all day during the storm.

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Hiking, backpacking, camping or vacation adventures, GayOutdoors [GO] has been the LGBTQ outdoorzy community leader for the last 22 years. We are an informal group of diverse hiking enthusiasts in the United States with a shared love of the mountains who prefer hiking with friends. We invite you to join us on our hikes, to post hikes for other members to join you and to share your hiking photos, stories and advice.

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If you find it invigorating to hike along a mountain trail with friends not knowing what’s just around the corner, to get some fresh air, to stop and soak in the views on a summit, and to soak your feet in a mountain brook after a hike, give us a try!


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