3/6/10

About John and Jean


We love to hike and backpack and have been to many great places.  John takes high quality photos everywhere we go and Jean writes about our adventures (among other things).   We get to do this a lot as we're retired and since April 2010 we have been traveling full time in a motorhome.

110906_JTSi_0563_d.jpg
John and Jean on the summit of Mt Whitney (14,505 feet) after completing the John Muir Trail

John is originally from Chicago. In 1974, after graduating from college, he spent the summer traveling throughout the western US. He began working in Louisville, Kentucky later that year.  However, he always intended to relocate somewhere in the northwest US in the future. Jean is originally from Jeffersontown, Kentucky and had always dreamed of exploring the western US.

We met in Louisville.  In the fall of 1977 we packed up a few belongings and left our family and friends behind and headed for Seattle.

John and Jean in Louisville, Kentucky

We have both always loved the outdoors and living in the Pacific Northwest provided us with numerous opportunities to hike and backpack.

John on a backpack trip in the Pasayten Wilderness, Washington

Family vacations with our sons, Dan and Tom, allowed us to explore the western US as well.

John, Dan and Tom on a backpack trip in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

And we have been fortunate to have opportunities to experience some of the iconic natural wonders on other continents including Tanzania ...

JTS_2007-09_IMG_2228_d.jpg
John and Jean on the way up Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

... and Nepal.

080427_JTSe_5854.jpg
Jean and John while trekking up the Khumbu Valley in Nepal

All have provided John, a lifelong avid photographer, opportunities to take countless photographs.

John in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Once our sons were grown ...

JTS_2004-11_IMG_8597.jpg
Dan and Tom

 ... and John retired we made plans for the next chapter in our lives.

Post Update:

In April 2010, after selling our house in Kent, Washington, we began living and traveling fulltime in our motorhome. We're modern day "Nomads"!  However, unlike the stereotypical retired “fulltime RVer” we are still physically active and we love to hike and backpack.  This lifestyle has enabled us to do many great trips in the western United States and Canada. You can read about our travels in chronological order or about specific adventures in Australia, Canada, NepalNew Zealand, Peru, Tanzania and the USA.

Our 27' motor home, the one on the left, is considered to be too small for full timing and has even been called a "divorce in a can".

111003_JTSg_2388.jpg
Our motorhome on the left compared to a "Big Rig" that some "Fulltimers" prefer

However, our "backpacker's mentality" enables us to see it as a veritable palace. We love backpacking and sleeping in our tent ...

110614_JTSg_9316_h.jpg
Our camp while backpacking in Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument, Utah

... but we also thoroughly enjoy returning to the luxuries of our home; lights, heat, fresh food, a comfortable bed and especially a hot shower.   

100711_JTSg_7676.jpg
John taking it easy at home

Despite the skeptics I am happy to say that our relationship has thrived throughout our travels.  Our first year on the road included a three month adventure through British Columbia ...

100930_JTSg_6769.jpg
John and Jean at Lake O'Hara in Yoho National Park,British Columbia

...Yukon...

100718_JTSg_8329.jpg
John and Jean while backpacking in Tombstone Territorial Park in Yukon

... as well as Alaska.

100904_JTSg_3138_f.jpg
John and Jean in Wrangell - St Elias National Park, Alaska

Our second year on the road was spent primarily in the southwest US including Utah, ...

110416_JTSg_1114_f.jpg
John and Jean on Deertrap Mountain in Zion National Park, Utah

... Arizona, ...

110530_JTSg_7686.jpg
John and Jean backpacking in the Grand Canyon National Park

... Colorado ...

110703_JTSi_0456.jpg
John and Jean on the summit of Handies Peak (14,058 ft) in Colorado

...and California.

110904_JTSi_0360_d.jpg
Jean and John on Forester Pass while backpacking the John Muir Trail in Sequoia National Park, California

In early 2012 we spent three months in New Zealand. It was a trip of a lifetime! The highlight was completing seven of the nine "Great Walks" including the Routeburn Track ...

120304_JTSg_4768.jpg
John and Jean on the Routeburn Track within Mt Aspiring National Park, New Zealand

... and the Milford Track.

120316_JTSg_7094.jpg
John and Jean on MacKinnon Pass while hiking the Milford Track in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

During the summer of 2012 our sons came to visit while we were in Montana.

120727_JTSi_0803.jpg
Dan, Tom, Jean and John in Glacier National Park, Montana

We also did several backpack trips in Glacier National Park, Montana as well as Wyoming's stunning Wind River Range.

120914_JTSi_0419_d.jpg
Jean and John on backpack trip in the Wind River Range, Wyoming

We are now looking forward to the 2013 "backpacking season".  After spending time in Grand Canyon National Park in the spring we plan to head to Washington State for the summer.  Our options are many and possibilities include the Wonderland Trail in Mt Rainier National Park, the portion of the Pacific Crest Trail that bisects the state from north to south or doing the portion of the Pacific Northwest Trail that crosses Washington State from east to west.

This lifestyle is definitely not for everyone.  However, for us the reality has far exceeded our expectations.  We had no trouble thinking of our motorhome as "home".  Washington State is our domicile but "home" is where ever it is parked whether that is in British Columbia ...

 100705_JTSh_0497.jpg

Yukon, ...

100720_JTSg_8367.jpg

... Alaska, ...

100904_JTSg_3013.jpg

... Utah, ...

110622_JTSi_0032.jpg

... Colorado ...

110718_JTSi_0169_h.jpg

... or Arizona.

130122_JTSi_0064.jpg

We originally thought we would travel for about ten years before settling down someplace.  However, we have since decided that we'll just keep traveling for as long as it is fun. I'm happy to say that after three years on the road we are still having just as much fun as when we first started.

110701_JTSi_0346.jpg
John and Jean on Redcloud  Peak in Colorado

Post Update:

Highlights of 2013 include backpacking in Grand Canyon National Park ...

130415_JTSk_3560_d
John and Jean exploring the Monument Creek slot canyon in Grand Canyon National Park

... and hiking in Washington State including with our two sons, Dan and Tom

130831_JTSk_3073_d
John, Jean, Dan and Tom on the Railroad Grade in Mt Baker National Recreation Area, Washington

Highlights of 2014 include more backpacking in Grand Canyon ...

140419_JTSk_1881_d
Jean and John on the Escalante Route in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

... as well as another trip of a lifetime when we went to Peru.  We hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and did a high altitude trek around Mt Ausangate.

140620_JTSk_4062_a
John and Jean at Machu Picchu in Peru

2015 brought our 5th anniversary of traveling.  We are off to a great start for the year and we aren't planning to settle down anytime soon! 

150419_JTSk_7944_d
Jean and John at the Nankoweap Granary in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, my daughter Sarah and I had the pleasure of meeting you both on the West Rim Zion Park trail. Thanks for the words of encouragement to keep going up the West Rim trail to our camp 5 destination. We had a spectacular sunset view that evening and a wonderful sunrise the next morning. You have a wonderful lifestyle and website -- keep on hiking !!

R. Mahoney

AZKMB said...

Great pictures! Any chance you could discuss your gear? Perhaps give us some specifics about your setup in some of your best pictures?

Great site!

Kevin (AZ hiker)

John and Jean Strother said...

We have been planning to do just that with all of our stuff; RV, backpacking etc and I definitely want to include details about John's photography. I'm just not sure when he'll get to it but I'll keep working on it.