Once upon a time (1972, to be more precise), Dan spent six months abroad with his family learning German, eating bratwurst, and exploring Europe in a VW Beetle. Twenty years later, while he was toiling away as a CPA, his father George said, “Dan, I’ve just converted my tour company to a walking format and need some help. Would you be interested in traveling the world to plan fascinating walks, meet interesting locals, find intriguing cultural activities, and then share the Adventure with a fun and active group of travelers?” Dan considered the offer for about 30 seconds, then grabbed his overcoat and handed his resignation to his boss on the way out the door. In 1996, when George retired, he handed the company keys over to Dan. So now you know how the fairy tale began and why Dan is compelled to “count noses” on the coach.
Tim and Jeannette have the dubious distinction of sharing the last name Friesen with certain other Team members (Tim is Dan’s “little” brother). Tim spends the school year as a high school music teacher in Molalla, Oregon, and is occasionally known to burst into song on tour in places other than the shower! Jeannette works part time in the office helping travelers over the phone and generally keeping us organized! Tim and Jeannette currently lead summertime walking adventures in Ireland and Great Britain, and are looking forward to the time when they can leave their day jobs behind and hit the trail on a year-round basis.
Scott Isom has a passion for the outdoors and serving people. Scott currently lives in Puyallup, Washington, with his wife Debbie and their three girls. Scott loves to hike and backpack, and enjoys athletics of almost any kind. He’s trekked the Pacific Crest Trail from the California-Oregon border to Canada and climbed several of the Pacific Northwest’s Cascade Range peaks. Scott knows how to have a good time, and has spent his career including others in the fun. He looks forward to sharing the Adventure with some of the best travelers on the planet!
Pat and Denise both grew up in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. Pat’s career path led him into science, particularly geology, and he ended up sharing his knowledge as a high school teacher for 32 years. Denise followed her passion in the arts and developed her craft as a sculptor, sharing her creations with an appreciative clientele through her own small business. Before their destinies were joined, Pat lived several years in Puerto Rico, Spain, Wales, and other areas of Europe where his father was employed as a teacher with the Department of Defense. Later, Pat and Denise returned to Europe with their young family where Pat taught school for a couple years near Naples, Italy (can you say “gelato”?!). Their overseas exposure has made them naturals to lead our international Adventures. Nevertheless, the Lemmons also love being “homebodies,” and if you were to visit them at their small farm near Mt. Rainier, you might find Denise tending the garden with a grandchild or two in tow, and Pat puttering around on his tractor.
Scott and Ruth were introduced by Scott’s uncle, who proclaimed “the two of you should meet; you both love to travel.” Their first date was spent hiking Mt. Tamalpais, just north of San Francisco – which quickly confirmed uncle’s intuition. The couple spent much of their free time over the last two decades exploring the world, while successfully instilling wanderlust in their two teenage children. After working as a strategic management consultant, Ruth now operates her own business as a writer consultant for high tech companies. Ten years ago, Scott’s career in air traffic control transferred the family from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon. The family does life together on some acreage with their dog, cat, and chickens. They look forward to walking this beautiful world with you.
Russ and Judy met at a voice lesson, and have been making music together now for over 44 years. All that great harmony has resulted in three sons, three beautiful daughter-in-laws and seven wonderful grandchildren. They love to be active and enjoy laughter and good times with others. Both were raised in the Pacific Northwest so they’re right at home in the great outdoors; one of their favorite hiking haunts is the Columbia River Gorge. Easy to talk to and walk with, Russ and Judy look forward to sharing the trail with you.