Featured Explorer 001 //
Occupation: Hotshot Firefighter for the US Forest Service / Brewery Employee for Mammoth Brewing Company
Residence: Mammoth Lakes, California
How did you get the two manliest jobs on the planet?
For the firefighting side of things, I left Apple Inc. knowing I wanted to do something outside and a little more exciting. So I ended up spending a year getting a degree in Fire Science where I learned what Hotshots were and just knew — Thats what I wanted to do. After that it just came
to getting the job in an amazing place to live.
For the brewery side of things, I have been a fan of good beer and the beer culture for some time now. While researching places to work and live, I discovered Mammoth Brewing Co. and knew I could be happy with falling back on that in the off season of fire. Now I see it as just enjoyable as fighting fires.
Where do you find the time to take cool pictures, between fighting fires and making beer?
When you really enjoy doing something, you make time for it. The fire season is typically May through October, meaning have the other half of the year off. While some collect unemployment and soak up all the free time after working all summer, I like to spend my time at the brewery or
exploring more of the Eastern Sierras. When I have a day off, it’s an easy choice to spend it out in the woods with a camera and cooler.
Where did you develop your love for camping?
As long as I can remember, my family has been camping. From large family reunions to immediate family weekend trips… I spent many days camping. I’d have to say when I was able to set my own tent up, that’s when I knew camping was a hobby of mine. I still to this day, go camping with my Dad and Grandpa about five times a year.
Whats your favorite camping spot?
This is a tough question, almost as tough as the “favorite band” question. I definitely have some favorites. One of my favorites being the Alabama Hills area in the Eastern Sierras. You have the little town along the 395 called Lone Pine, which all has a great view of Mt. Whitney. It gives you the mountains and desert in the same area. Rocks to climb, dirt roads to drive, and big skies to gaze. Another memorable spot was the valley floor of Yosemite National Park. Being one of California’s greatest places easily make it obvious to why it’s so enjoyable. Everyone is excited to be there, everything around you is absolutely stunning, and there is just so much to do there.
If you could share a s’more with any historical figure, who would it be?
This question is good; real good. I almost don’t know how to answer it. I feel like the easy answers would be someone like John Muir or Ansel Adams, but that’s too easy. A great person to sit around a campfire and share a s’more with and hopefully a few beers, would be Arthur Carhart. He started the movement of what we have now when it comes to protected wilderness areas. Wilderness areas are the only thing left that can’t be touched by modern technology and advancements. It leaves portions of the most gorgeous places the way the are. To the point where fire crews like my own, can’t even start a chain saw or use water from the sources to fight fires. Let it burn naturally.
Last question: Adventure or Explore?
Similar but very different; I’d have to say explore in an adventurous way. In my eyes exploring would be wondering around in an area discovering new things there, while adventuring is doing that very thing in a more risky or dangerous way. I once heard someone day it’s not an
adventure unless something goes wrong and forces you to come together with others or some sort of problem solving to make it all work out. Therefore I like to explore in an adventurous way.
Follow Gregg’s adventures on Instagram and his website.