And now, continuing our new crew introductions, let me introduce our newest crew member, Brian Evaul.
Hi, my name is Brian Evaul. At 34, I may be the old man on the mountain (except when Alan or Tim show up!), but I don't feel that way as the new guy on crew. I've been on LeConte since May, but I already feel like a part of the big Framily we have up here.
I'm from Chattanooga, TN by way of Western North Carolina and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I love Chattanooga because so much has been done in the area to restore and highlight the local wilderness areas. It is a beautiful place to live for an avid hiker. I also love it because my fiance, Valerie is there working on a degree from UTC. She is also an avid hiker and we spend most of our free time on various Cumberland Trail segments and at the Chickamauga National Battlefield.
Although I feel at home in the woods around Chattanooga, I could say that about any wilderness. I've always felt more at peace miles away from everything.
In the late 90's I worked for Camp Living Water in Bryson City, NC. It is right on the Park border at Deep Creek and I spent many nights under the stars there. One summer I guided on the Nantahala River for a large rafting company.
In 2000 I completed a North to South AT thru-hike. I went North to South because, like Treebeard, I believe walking South always feels like walking downhill.
In 2001 I joined the Navy. At combat photography training in Maryland I enjoyed the woods, battlefields and monuments in the DC area. Then I was transferred to central California and was there able to visit such marvels as Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite as well as the High Sierras. In addition through my travels in Joshua Tree, Death Valley and the Mojave I learned to respect and love wilderness in a desert setting as well. "Join the Navy and see the world," they say while forgetting to mention that 70% of the world is water. Nevertheless, I'm proud to have sailed on all 7 seas, across both the Prime Meridian and the Dateline, the Equator and the Arctic Circle. I've visited Hawaii (Oahu and the Big Island), Guam, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and the Arabian desert around it, Kuala Lampur, Perth, and Afghanistan, just to name a few.
Since returning to Chattanooga in late 2006, I've done some trail building on the Cumberland Trails and worked for a long time at a large, well known Chattanooga book store. I'm currently writing an epic Science Fiction Novel and a trail guide to the Chickamauga Battlefield as well as whatever photo project the Mountain inspires each day - or night.
Fate brought me here to LeConte and I love where I work! For a writer and photographer there is nowhere more inspiring. The new view and new animals and new flowers and new visitors we get everyday make this job a joy. I love my crew Framily and the bond this place creates. That's what the wilderness does to people. Those who visit join an elite and uniquely united group simply by being there. Going where few venture holds the same value today as boldly going where no one has gone.