Nate's origins can be traced back to the rural mountain town of Arnold, in the central Sierra foothills of California. Son of Anne and John and older brother to Caity and Noah, his awesome twin siblings, he grew up in a loving home, and was given the freedom to pursue his own interests and adventures. His family has been exploring the outdoors for as long as Nate can remember. With the Stanislaus National Forest surrounding his neighborhood, he had an endless backyard to explore from a young age. Summers were spent swimming in lakes and rivers, hiking in the Sierra's, building forts, playing with other neighborhood "groms", and catching frogs and crawdads in the creek out back. Wintertime would find Nate up in the mountains riding the fresh snow.
In high school, Nate and his friends made the outdoors their own, spending their free-time backpacking, caving, skiing, rock-hopping, river-rafting, swimming and exploring. He graduated in 2002, and moved to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC the following fall.
During his first year of school, Nate met up with an awesome group of friends to find adventure and mischief, including Goat, Jacob, and Sean. They spent their time skateboarding, dumpster diving, tree-climbing, biking to the ocean and exploring the beautiful forests of the Santa Cruz mountains.
After a single year of living on campus, Nate and a friend from Virginia decided to build a treehouse and move into the woods. With the help of Goat, the treehouse construction master, they created a masterpiece with views of rolling redwood forests leading to the vast Pacific Ocean.
Nate lived in the woods for the better part of the next 3 years while finishing school, taking time off to spend a winter skiing in Utah, and a summer paddling canoes across the lakes of northern Minnesota. He spent the fall of his senior year in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, India, studying natural history and sustainable development issues, teaching at a rural elementary school, backpacking and climbing mountains with friends.
Nate graduated from UCSC in the spring of 2006 with an Environmental Studies degree, focusing on Agroecology. The following summer he worked as an assistant land steward at the Big Creek Reserve in Big Sur, CA. Nate moved back to the Sierra's in the fall, living with his "hams" on a piece of property outside of Fiddletown, CA. He spent his time gardening, composting, and working on various projects on the property, working as an arborist in the community, and backcountry skiing in the mountains. In March, 2007, he decided to pack up his bicycle and head to Flagstaff to "ride the spine" with a few of his good friends.
Nate spent the next few months riding across Arizona, Sonora, Chihuhua, Sinaloa, and into Nayarit with the bike crew. He left them at a WWOOF farm in the small beach town of Aticama and returned to California at the end of June, 2007. Nate had a great time on this adventure and hopes to join them again further down the trail.
© 2006 Riding the Spine