Instructor, California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2
Marlo is joining Adventure Treks for her first season as an instructor. She grew up splitting her time between central New York and Maine but now travels throughout the American west. Her parents, a park ranger and NOLS alum, helped instill a love for the outdoors at a young age. In fact, Marlo recently became a NOLS graduate herself, having completed a two-month course in Utah that focused on backpacking, canyoneering, and rock climbing. Currently, Marlo works as a hiking and backpacking guide for Wildland Trekking. Previously, she worked in the admissions office for Tompkins Cortland Community College in New York. She’s also worked as a counselor at a 4-H summer camp in Maine.
- Education: Cazenovia College; bachelor’s degree in English
- Certifications: Wilderness first responder, Leave No Trace Trainer
- Favorite outdoor memory: Some of the best times of my life were orienteering and backpacking through the remote canyons of southern Utah on my NOLS course. At one point, the group split up according to the desired level of challenge, and some of us decided to scout a possibly impassable (and highly impractical) route we had only vague information on. We wanted to test ourselves and experience a sense of adventure with stakes. And we did—at one point while crossing a mesa, we came upon historical artifacts we were unsure had been seen by many people. We took a moment to marvel at the idea that even in this modern world it may still be possible to set foot somewhere possibly no else has been in hundreds of years. We felt like explorers. We also acknowledged the weight of this responsibility and, leaving the site undisturbed, resolved not to mark it on any maps or post on social media. We savored it, and then moved on. That moment made an impression.
- Favorite outdoor achievement: Every summer that we’ve been able to in the last few years, my dad and I have come together to tackle a section of the Appalachian Trail. Together we have completed roughly 600 miles of trail through New England, matching short windows of time in our busy lives, to spend a little quality time together away from front country distractions. Starting with the White Mountains, these hikes are what first ignited my passion for backpacking.
- Favorite hobbies: Backpacking, mountain biking, running, hiking, yoga, weight lifting, rock climbing, cooking, writing, dance. It’s also important to me to source seasonal food, preserve natural places, support small farms, buy from local artisans, and celebrate forms of creative expression.
- Favorite place you’ve traveled: That’s hard! The world has so many wonderful places and spaces to explore. A recent highlight would be my rim-to-rim day hike of the Grand Canyon. The layers of geologic history on display there are like a form of time travel. I found the colors and vistas, as well as surprising lushness of the river bottom, to be absolutely breathtaking. Then again, maybe I was just out of breath…
- What do you hope to learn this summer? I am excited to get better at plant and animal identification, especially of western flora and fauna that are largely new to me.
- What are you most excited about this summer in general? Creating community through teamwork, shared food, and belly laughs.