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…
Hey guys – just crossed your paths on the Horsethief trail this past Friday on the way up to the Bridge of Heaven – I was on my way back to light a fire under my daughter and you guys stopped to talk with my husband up ahead. HOLY CRAP what a cool thing you have planned out here. Probably not feeling cool when the rains assault you every afternoon but after he told me what you guys were up to I felt a lot of regret for not getting to talk to you a bit about your hike. Epic and awesome and I feel insane respect and a crazy bit of envy at the planning that went into it and the task at hand. I know Todd told you I am an AT thru hiker which is so mild in comparison but there is always that piece of my soul that longs for the long trail. I was hoping to find something online about your trip and here it is. Have an amazing trip, congrats on making it to Gunnison and if you ever find yourselves passing through Ridgway, we always have cold beer! Cheers Alisa
Hi guys. We met you on the sumit of Shavano. Great meeting you both, best of luck on the rest of the hike!!
Jonathan and Jason
I met the two of you on the summit of Missouri Mountain in early September. I am the older guy who joined you there moving in slow motion after a long day (for me) knocking off Belford, Oxford, and Missouri. Not sure what I miss more, my younger legs or lungs, probably both, and I’d like to offer my congratulations to you both for reaching your goal. I am in awe of your accomplishment and wish you the very best. I admire the cause you chose, thanks for sharing this experience with us.
Truly epic guys! Congrats on the accomplishment. Enjoyed reading about it. Ping me on email. I’d like to hook you guys up with some free stuff (firstname.lastname@example.org).
– Sherpa Bill
Just found your website—met you guys when I was hiking Colorado Trail solo …..