Interview with Dan Nelson

Tell us about your outdoors experience. How much do you like participating in outdoor activities?

I've always enjoyed and lived my life outdoors. I was a youngster who followed my father out hunting and to fishing spots at remote ponds. In my early 30's, I was a workaholic. I had a bad car accident which ended up with me in a coma for a week. After I regained my life back, I knew something had to change. Climbing the corporate ladder became less important. I joined AMC, Appalachian Mountain Club, where I did my first hikes in the NH Whites. It was fun, but I wondered if there was a gay group that did this. I found Chiltern and then GO. I'd enjoy doing more in NH or skiing in VT, but living in Boston, the drive is a hassle, so I've turned to stuff I can do locally. I actually enjoy biking the most. Then skiing. Then hiking and walking, swimming, (although I am no good at). I participated in several Boston to Ptown fund raising bike rides and was on my first training ride for a diabetes 480 mile bike ride/fund raiser when I was hit by a car this spring. I've summited Mt Washington at least 5 times and been to the summits of all 48 of NH's 4000' peaks. My toughest climb was Mt Rainier. 

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

Get outside and do it. Don't try to summit Mt Washington on your first hike, but push out of your comfort zone a little. It is great to do it with others so joining GO or another group makes it even better. The advantage of doing it with others, besides the social aspect, is you can learn so much from the others.

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

My first GO trip, I am guessing, was a hike to Lonesome Lake hut. It was one of my future husband first hikes. I do remember how much he enjoyed it saying how it made him feel like a kid again. I am very happily married after 18 yrs together, so I'd say the hike turned out great! 

What do you like about GayOutdoors?

I enjoy meeting new & diverse people. GO brings people together from all walks of life together since it is web based. I can also see how I will use GO as a great tool when I travel.

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

Before I came to Boston, I lived in Northwest CT just south of the MA border.  Western MA has lots to do for hiking, great biking, Tanglewood, the AT and lots more . And here in Boston, Blue Hill Reservation is where I spend most of my hiking time. It is actually surprising how difficult the hiking there can be for a park so close to a metro area. Less than 2 miles from home is a very diversely attended swimming hole that I enjoy tremendously. And there are many different clubs for jogging, biking, tennis, flag football, baseball and just about everything else you can imagine.

What changes have you made to better our environment?

We have joined a electricity cooperative that supplies energy via green production methods. I was riding my bike 12 miles a day to work. I plan to start that back up again in the late spring.

What outdoor skill you wished you had?

Rock climbing or geocaching seem like they'd be cool to try, (but I doubt Joey will let me try rock climbing!) 

To save weight, what item do you no longer carry in your pack?

I am lucky in that I don't require much food so I have decided to take less food. And I have become a fair weather hiker so I can leave my rain gear at home too. 

What is a memorable mountain moment?

My buddy, Doug & I, summited Mt Kilimanjaro on 1/1/2000. No question, that is and is likely to remain to be the most memorable event of my life.

What is your favorite day hike?

Joey & I have put in our will that 1/2 of our ashes will be distributed on Mt Morgan's overlook of Squam Lake,  so the Morgan & Percival loop is my favorite day hike. 

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