Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long have you been leading these trips?
A: I first worked as an outdoor guide in 1992, and I began leading for Everett Parks and Rec in 1995. I have now led over 2,500 outings in my career as a guide.
Q: How many trips do you do every week?
A: Usually 3 or 4. I almost always have trips on Saturdays and Sundays, and the mid-week trips vary from week to week. The vast majority of trips are one day outings, although a few times a year I lead overnight trips that are 2 or 3 days.
Q: What sort of people come on your trips?
A: All sorts. Men, women, families, young, and not-so-young. I take kids from age 6 and up, and I frequently have participants in their 80's, and even occasionally 90's! The easier trips, especially those on weekdays, tend to be an older crowd, while the longer trips tend to be a younger crowd. We tend to have more female participants than male. Most people are generally very friendly and laid-back. After all, we do this so we can relax, get away from our worries, see some beautiful places, get some exercise, experience nature, and be with other people interested in doing the same.
Q: I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up with the other hikers. Your groups probably go pretty fast, right?
A: No, no, no, not at all. Most people starting out with me are relieved to realize that the pace is generally pretty leisurely. Our groups are out there for fun and relaxation, and to take time to enjoy the outdoors. We are not out there for an intense workout! When I lead groups on busier trails, I find most of the other hikers go faster than we do.
Q: How difficult is snowshoeing?
A: If you can walk, you can snowshoe. We don't go as fast or as far on snowshoes as we would on a snow-free trail, so the effort required is not generally any greater than many hikes. And you do NOT get as cold out there as you might think. You usually stay plenty warm just by keeping moving, and not stopping for long breaks. Give it a try, I bet you'll love it!
Q: It's often hard to get on your trips because they fill up so fast! Any suggestions?
A: My trips are published in the Everett Parks Guide that comes out quarterly. There are four days a year that are the beginning of registration for my trips in the upcoming season. Usually that's on the first or second Monday of February, May, August, and November.
Probably 75% of all registrations take place on the first day that trips are available, and usually about 50% of the trips fill up that first day.
If you miss out on the first day of registration, you might not get some trips you want, but there always are some available. Look for midweek trips, which often don't fill as quickly. Put your name on waiting lists for full trips, because usually there's some turnover and you may very well get a spot. If the waiting list is long enough, we sometimes add another leader and take a second van-load of people. You can go "stand-by" on the morning of a trip too. Just show up at the Recreation Office and if there's a late cancelation (which is common), you can get the spot.
So, what's the date today? Is February, May, August, or November coming up? Make a note of when our next cycle of registration starts, and be ready. You WILL get on some great trips with me if you can plan ahead.
Q: Do you have the best job in the world, getting paid to go hiking?
A: Well, most days I would say yes. There are plenty of challenges too, like bad weather, long hours of driving, dealing with a different mix of people each time, and the physical strain of taking over 140 trips a year. But yes, I'm very fortunate to make a living doing something I love, and hopefully that comes across to everyone that I lead. We live in a wonderful part of the world, with so much to see and enjoy. I'm happy to help you get out there and enjoy it.