Thanks for checking us out and be sure to leave a comment on our blog with any questions, comments or jokes. We like jokes.
Welcome to Trail Notes, the official by-product of the Travels of Lee, Allison and most importantly, Kodiak; our trusty dog who transforms into an unstoppable bear in the backwoods. As for Lee and I, we are two relatively average-joe's, not all that different from yourself. Unless of course, you are not a Cartographer or an Acupuncturist from the beautiful town of Sandpoint, ID, in which case we are in fact quite different, but I imagine there are still some fundamental similarities between the three of us (you, Lee and I).
We thrive on adventures and live for planning one after another. It's true that the world may have already been discovered, conquered, subdivided, and documented, but with each new eye that sees a beautiful landscape, hears a roaring river or smells the distinct scent of "so far out there you couldn't be rescued if you wanted to," there will be one less polluted river, one more happy soul and a thousand different stories.
Allison brings a flare of spontaneity, curiosity and eagerness to the team. She was born in Fairbanks Alaska and spent her early days growing up in Juneau. Her earliest memories are staring up at the enormous pine tree covered mountains of her homeland thinking that it would only take a few hops and a couple skips to get to the top of each peak. She later come to learn, that it in fact took much more than that. But it was this early idea that anything is possible which has fueled her throughout this lifetime.
Allison has done many things in her life, but the majority of it has been spent studying the human body. She currently spends her "8 to 5 hours" working as a massage therapist and completing her Masters in Oriental Medicine. She views the body as a Microcosm of the Universe. This perspective drives her love for being out in nature, staring up at the skies, and appreciating the world of which we are a part. In College, While studying Exercise Science at the University of Montana, she survived many months of oatmeal for breakfast and ramen for lunch in order to save her slowly earned pennies for a trip to South America. This trip was the launching off point for discovering what she was capable of and the beauty, kindness and obstacles that this world has to offer. Her Grandparents taught her the importance of scientific study and documentation while her parents showed her how to harness a passion for travel and exploration. Combined, these lessons have led her to vigorously journal during road trips, day hikes and over seas adventures, alike. She is eager to share her thoughts, feelings, crazy ideas, and organized itineraries with you here on Trail Notes.
Lee may be the more calculating and methodical member of the team, but his flare for adventure can lead the duo just about anywhere. While a multi day off trail trip in the wilderness might keep some at bay, Lee thrives on exploration and route discovery. Growing up in rural neighborhood in northern Idaho fueled Lee's love for the outdoors at a young age. His parents strapped cross country skis to his feet when he was able to walk and he hasn't stopped moving since. His most happy memories take place running on trails, skiing, playing on the soccer field or traveling to new foreign destinations.
It wasn't until the end of his college education at Northern Arizona University that he discovered cartography was his true calling. He traveled to Punta Arenas, Chile for a new and exciting internship with Nomadas Outdoor Services. He spent several months at the southern tip of the world creating some of the first modern maps of the region for an expedition race through some of the most remote terrain on Earth. This opportunity was his jumping off point for a career in cartography and a love for travel. Since then Lee has worked seasonally for the US Forest Service in Alaska and Idaho to see more of the beautiful places in the United States. In 2011 after returning from a second stint in Punta Arenas, Lee had the opportunity to move to Colorado and work for National Geographic Maps creating the Trails Illustrated line of outdoor recreation maps. Colorado has been the perfect place for Lee to pursue his love of the outdoors and develop his skills as a cartographer. When he's not working, he spends his free time with his girlfriend and cofounder of Trail Notes, Allison. They enjoy running or mountain biking the many beautiful trails in the front range, hiking in the majestic Rocky Mountains with their dog Kodiak, or playing soccer together in the Denver area.