One might ask, “Who are these guys anyway?”
My name is Junaid Dawud, and at first it was just me. One guy that really likes long walks and mountains with an oddball idea. But a few months of filling my friend Luke DeMuth’s head with visions of adventure worked, and he signed up to make the journey with me! It turns out all I had to do was promise long days spent in the mountains being sweaty, hungry, sore, and tired. He couldn’t resist!
Below are a few words we wrote (awkwardly) about ourselves. Enjoy!
Growing up in Oregon, we went camping pretty often and enjoyed occasional trips to the famous coastline a few hours away. My formative years were spent exploring the world around me and many of my fondest memories from childhood were collected in the great out doors. In 2000, I moved to Hawai’i to study Geology. It was there that I fell in love with hiking. I spent many a weekend exploring the trails of Oahu and enjoying longer excursions to the other islands. Sometime in 2005 I found out about the Triple Crown of Hiking – the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. I was quickly obsessed… in April the next year, I found myself walking north on the PCT. It was a truly life changing experience, though I didn’t make it quite the whole way (2420 of 2663 mi). I returned the following summer, 2007, and completed the remainder of the trail. In 2009, I moved to Colorado to play in the mountains that had been so absent from my life in the tropics. In 2010, I was at it again, successfully thru hiking the PCT. The idea of a thru hike of the Colorado 14ers occurred to me in the summer of 2012, and I was immediately obsessed!!
I was born and raised in and around Boulder, Colorado and currently call Basalt and the Roaring Fork Valley home. Ever since being strategically placed in a “johnny jump-up” on my first camping trip, the pull to the mountains has been irresistible. After spending 3 months hiking the Grand Canyon and ‘dirt-bagging’ around the western U.S. one summer in college, the next adventure was always around the corner. From completing a NOLS course in Patagonia to bagging big peaks in Nepal and Ecuador, the draw to alpine environments has been insatiable. I somehow manage to stagger my way through one endurance challenge to the next, be it living in my tent during winter, to running ultras through the rockies, or all night ‘(de)-hydration’ parties… I am constantly striving to push my mental and physical limits while staying true to the institution of the GreatOutDoors; the thru hike of Colorado’s 14ers is just that…