Interview with Ed Stanley

Tell us about your outdoors experience.

I've been into the outdoors since a kid.  I've always loved hiking and backpacking in New England.  My brother and I completed much of the AT in New England as teenagers.  I've since hiked and traveled in many areas of the US and the world, but the beauty of New England is always a magnet to me.

How much do you like to outdoor recreation? Are you in love with it? If so...when did you fall in love and where? 

I absolutely love being outdoors, whether it be hiking/backpacking, kayaking, biking or cross-country skiing.  It all began many years ago when I was 12 years old and took a summer school course in ecology.  The group of us youngsters traveled all over New England - from the Berkshires to Mount Washington to the Maine coast - hiking and studying nature, and ever since then I've been hooked on enjoying and being active in the outdoors.  I couldn't live without it!   

If you knew someone who was thinking of starting outdoor recreation, what advice would you give them?

My advice is to start experiencing the outdoors in small ways, short walks and hikes in the area where you live would be ideal.  Of course, having a friend along makes it more fun. Then, progress with some easier GO hikes/trips - and from there, you're on your way!   

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

Truth be told, I can't remember my first GO trip.  I used to be very involved with Chiltern Mtn. Club, and that involvement easily segued into GO.  That said, I'm almost certain that my first GO trip was a hike in the White Mountains - and I know I enjoyed it!

What do you like about GayOutdoors?

I really like being able to enjoy and be active in the outdoors with like-minded outdoorzy guys.  There's some incredible camaraderie on (and off) the trail, and it's been a great way to make friends!

Describe Massachusetts to our outdoorzy members who’ve never been there? Is there a lot to do if you are an outdoor enthusiast?

Massachusetts is really a great state for experiencing the outdoors.  Sure, there are no high mountains, but there are the beautiful Berkshires, many hills, woodlands, lakes and rivers, and a coastline that is, in my opinion, one of the most scenic in the country.  With all this there's a LOT of of outdoors stuff you can do here - plus, you're not that far from other great places in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine! 

What is your favorite Adventure Travel place?

Though it's a bit far away, my favorite adventure travel place is the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu in Peru.  It has an incredible combination of being ultra-spectacular, cultural and historical.

What is your wish list for adventure travel and why?

On my wish list now are the Four Corners area of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah for hiking and seeing Native-American culture; also hiking in the Scottish Highlands for the spectacular scenery, culture - and whisky!; and Grand Manan Island off the coast of Maine/New Brunswick to experience the remoteness and coastal beauty.

What is your favorite thing to do a perfect summer day?

My favorite thing on a perfect summer day is to take a hike with a friend along the spectacular, rockbound Downeast Maine coast.  I have a place up there and usually lead a GO weekend trip there in the summer.  Watch out for that this year!

If you could spend the day on the trail with one person, living or dead, it would be…

I would love to spend the day out in the woods with Henry David Thoreau. I would be fascinating to hear him impart his wisdom on the woods, wildlife and human nature.  And, as you may know, he likely was one of the "family"!  

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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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