Living-on-the-edge explorer, traveler and climber, Dan Travers has traversed, climbed, scaled, scrambled, skied, trudged, trekked, hiked, biked and kayaked in 6 different continents and over 40 countries. Wilderness First Responder trained and a jungle veteran, lacrosse player, beer drinker, trekker and traveler, diver and climber, but not dancer nor singer. “I want to experience all I can, because if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space.”
Equally at home in Peru, the mountains, or Seattle, Washington, Tammy Leland has spent the last 18 years exploring every nook and cranny of Peru’s Amazon, its Andes mountains, Southern desert and ancient history. Earning a reputation as a passionate adventurer and explorer, Tammy had wandered over 5 continents, spending her time learning from different indigenous cultures, gleaning important lessons about sustainable tourism and now offers practical guidance as a tourism consultant and environmental educator.
I started out life as an International Baby of Mystery when I was born in Canada to my American parents. Since then, I’ve daydreamed of travel probably more than I’ve daydreamed about boys. Back in high school, I hadn’t felt any rush to move on to University, but wanted to travel for a year or two instead. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but I knew I wanted to travel.
Enter Tammy Leland: I met Tammy and Dan when I was a sassy 18 year-old on a trail-building crew in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness; Tammy was our crew leader. That summer, while leading us on a 50 mile hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, she regaled me with tales of her many travels to Europe, Central and South America, and I was thrilled to have met a flesh-and-blood lady traveler who had done everything I had hoped to do and more! 15 years later I am still sassy, but deservedly so as I’ve had formative experiences on six of the seven continents we all call home.
This will be my second visit to Peru after a five-week trip with Crooked Trails and on my own in 2005, when I visited several regions of the country, except for the Amazon. Since then, I’ve been working as a registered nurse in Seattle, and I became a Wilderness First Responder in 2009. Dan, Tammy, and Leonard Clark have all inspired me to embark on this adventure to where the rivers run east with my eyes wide-open to the dangers we face and the possibilities of what we might learn while retracing Clark’s footsteps in his search for El Dorado. I’ll bring a love of adventure and my first aid kit to the team.
Sue Bloch is a travel junkie. A truly global citizen, she has worked in and visited over 25 countries, and loved every minute. Travelling down the Amazon has been on her wish list for decades. The opportunity to travel with Crooked Trails explorers, into the Peruvian jungle following in Clark’s footsteps, is irresistible. She has trekked across the Namib desert, enjoyed many a safari camping trip in Africa, and loves nothing more than gazing up at a pollution free starry heaven, or snorkel with turtles and fish through coral wonders.
In Peru, Sue will be looking to connect with the plant and animal life far away from the madding crowds, and learn so much from the local people. She aims to share this and more to ensure we continue to build sustainable travel projects, and preserve all the wonderful things around us that we’re blessed to breathe.
“Only by meeting and working with people from different cultures, beliefs systems and religions can we promote peace and understanding
for a sustainable planet.”
Being a geologist with interests in historic exploration and Mesoamerican archaeology I took an opportunity to work in Brazil a couple of years ago. The fascinating biodiversity and vastness of the tropical rain forest made and still make me realise that much remains unknown – even in these modern times. Nowadays there are individual specialists for every area of research but I suppose that not many of them have really set out in order to investigate their subjects and objects in the natural surroundings.
Scientific knowledge has grown exponentially in the last decades; therefore diversified basic awareness of natural phenomena is gradually becoming replaced by increased knowledge in limited areas of interest. Unfortunately, the era of classical exploration campaigns headed by highly skilled and multilaterally interested people is long gone. That’s why the few who continued this way in the 20th century caught my attention.
One of them is Colonel Leonard Clark whose life was, according to the available information, that of a real explorer not being afraid of difficulties and dangers in order to satisfy his inquisitiveness and achieve his objectives.
After reading his travel book “Yucatan Adventure” I felt the wish to immediately set out for Yucatan in order to look for Haldun, the mysterious underground lake that is supposed to have supported the widely spread Mayan settlements in the dry karst region that is part of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala today.
Then I got his second travel book, “The Rivers Ran East”, describing a truly unique trip in the Eastern part of Peru, along the Western rim of the Amazon basin. Again, Clark collected a fascinating amount of information on flora, fauna, native population, topography, geology and occurrences of natural resources along his way.
When I started to look for additional information on Clark and his South American expedition I happened to find the “The Rivers Ran East” website. I was instantly thrilled by the idea to join the team in the planned follow-up on Clark’s route, and I am more than happy to have got this opportunity.
I am a native Seattleite who has always loved being outdoors, which has led to many years of hiking, climbing, biking, boating, and traveling. These activities have fed my interest in plants, animals, and rocks, and in cultures different from the one I grew up in. In an attempt to actually make a career of being outdoors, I became an archaeologist.
Most of my work has taken place in the western U.S. but I’ve visited some amazing historic and prehistoric sites and landscapes in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Morocco, and England too. A few years ago I went with Crooked Trails to the Ladakh region of India and had a great time hiking in the Himalaya, staying in a village perched on the side of a gorge, getting to know and interact with the people there, carrying baby goats and sheep around, and working in the fields.
So far I have only traveled to three continents (or four counting North America) and am looking forward to going to South America for the first time. I’ve always wanted to travel to Peru in particular and see what the Incas saw, and am very excited to be going to the Amazon, where I look forward to a great adventure seeing and helping find what Leonard Clark saw (although some things he saw I could do without!). Traveling broadens the mind, and traveling to places very different from our own broadens the mind the most.
As a photographer, Alex’s passion for the environment, people, and diverse cultures has led him to many countries across South and Central Asia, the pacific, and South America. Alex has Masters of Science in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University (2016), a Bachelors of Science in Biology, and a Minor in Music (also from CSU in 2010). He has lived in New Zealand, Alaska, Hawaii, and now resides in Fort Collins, CO. Continually pushed to learn from himself, people, and the mountains, Alex always strives to be learning. As a central part of this trip, Alex is Leonard Clark’s great nephew. He grew up reading Leonards’ stories as a kid, and finds himself more and more intrigued by Leonards life as time passes.
“I find great inspiration from the RRE team and their passion for this project and am excited to build relationships with and learn from them throughout this process. Leonard touched many lives, including my own, and I feel that I embody his spirit of exploration in the corners of the world that few have seen. I come with an “attitude of gratitude” to experience this part of the world with the utmost care and respect for the local people and their home and look forward to be on the road again!”
Enrique Basurto Carvo (Kike)
Always learning, especially with people who go barefoot.
Studied law and political science and an MA in Amazonian studies.
I have traveled to Africa, Europe, and America in search of waves and cultures.
What excites me cultural traditions and wildlife.
I am happiest on routes without people.
I work in various projects valuation of culture and nature in the jungle and on the coast of Peru.
“I am as I am and you are who you are, build a world where I can be while still being me, where you can be while still being you, and where neither I nor you we force the other to be like me or like you.”
– S. Marcos