Meet Ian,
 
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"Sometimes the life chooses you."

Ian is a former CCC Backcountry Corpsmember and 8 season trail worker and instructor with Forest Service and California State Parks:

 
Kelly Kate Warren
Meet Soy,
 
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Annica, aka "Soy," was a  corpsmember on the 2016 CCC Backcountry Trails Program Shasta-Trinity crew. Soy spent our KP days describing her mother's amazing Cambodian cooking. She inspired my first backcountry attempt at Pho (or Ka Tieu in Khmer), which was one of the most satisfying and surreal meals I've had in the backcountry. She was the person I trusted to grill while I was busy in the kitchen, and she constantly volunteered to help cook. Soy bought into all the goofiness of being on a backcountry crew. She applied war paint, danced, and lead the crew in performing the Haka. She inspired laughter. She worked incredibly hard. And now she's fulfilling her dream of becoming a firefighter as a member of the Miwok Tribe Fire Crew. They're very lucky to have her. 

 
Kelly Kate Warren
Meet Lindsey,
 
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Lindsey was the resident yoga instructor on the 2016 CCC Backcountry Trails Program Shasta-Trinity crew. She has the magic power of transforming a bag of marshmallows, some goldfish crackers, and a bag of smashed cookies into an incredible dessert. She kept the crew loose with weekly yoga classes and became an excellent rock worker. She carried all her food, gear, and tools on her back while clearing logs from miles of trail. And yeah, that's a full lotus in hiking boots. Girl got game.

 
Kelly Kate Warren
Meet Kelly Kate,
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I’m the human being behind @thetrailspeaks, which is a project I’ve been hoping to manifest since I entered the world of trail work as a corpsmember with the California Conservation Corps’ Backcountry Trails Program in 2012. I’ve worked for or with the CCC since, along with California State Parks and Forest Service, mostly cooking for trail crews in Northern California. The people I’ve worked with have knowledge and stories about the Parks and Forests where they work that I wish were accessible to the public, so I’ll be sharing them here alongside interviews and portraits.

I’ll be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail starting April 10th, so you can expect to see a lot of thru-hikers, but I’ll also be detouring from the PCT to visit and cook for a variety of trail crews and outdoor nonprofit programs. If your crew is near the PCT and would like a visit, shoot me a message. I hope to feature articles, interviews, art, and photography generated by people just like you, so please contact me if you’d like to contribute. 

I have 5 interview questions I will be asking this summer, and I’ll throw them into the abyss of the internet for you all to ponder:

  1. Why are you out here?
  2. How does it feel to be in the Wilderness?
  3. What do you like most about being human?
  4. What do you wish humans were better at?
  5. What do you think makes America great?

... and one last one, for the people of the PCT: The year is 2067, what's it like on the PCT?

You can follow me / my hike over at @thebackcountrycook.