Simple is Good, Less is More
Story time! My favorite time, as you all know. Today's story comes from Kristo and it's a doozy.
With a love for thru-hiking and the simplistic perspective those experiences have offered him, Kristo now builds
tiny homes out of shipping containers up in Alaska. But why don't I let him tell you all about it, hey?
"Once you catch a glimpse and understand the demographic of those of us trying to live
life by our own rules, then you realize how awesome some people's stories are. However, to the common
person trapped within the typical confines of our societal struggles, it's a little different...so..."
Find and follow Kristo and his whereabouts on his website kristoHIKES.com.
I grew up an hour east of Lake Tahoe and worked a solid, consistent, corporate job through most of my 20's. When I was 27 I started a hiking club, Nor Cal Hikers, to get friends interested in going on day hikes and some short over-nighters. To this day there are still over 100 members. After taking a voluntary lay-off from my job which was sucking my soul and making me feel in my 50's rather than my late 20's, I decided to hike the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012. And that's where the story really begins.
I hiked the 2650 mile long Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada from late April until Mid October 2012, creating a way of life where you 100% have to live life in the moment. It introduced me to 1000's of people who were like-minded and opened my eyes to the world of being truly free and making my own rules. It gave me the confidence that even when you don't know what tomorrow will bring, it will be alright… hell it will likely be better than you could have ever planned.
So after hiking the PCT in 2012, I moved to Alaska for the first time in Spring of 2013 to work for Alaska State Parks and was on a trail crew working and fixing Katchemak Bay State Park, across the bay from Homer on the Southern Tip of the Kenai peninsula. It was another amazing experience and got me addicted to Alaska, but I returned to Nor Cal where I worked and scraped to save to hike the Appalachian Trail.
Early March of 2014 I started hiking the Appalachian Trail, 2200 miles north from Georgia to Maine. Five months later and countless more lessons learned and life being forced purely in my direction, I was standing at the top of My. Katahdin in Baxter State Park, northern Maine. Half broken and depleted from finishing the most physically taxing challenge I've ever given myself.
After completing the AT I again returned to home base in Nor Cal where I was quickly hired by a friend who owns and runs the most awesome flower shop you've ever been in. I began working there and when Spring rolled around I took up work as an actual lumberjack (runs in the family) and was a cable logger for a couple seasons while still working the flower gig in my free time.
I have had a number of awesome ways of making cash flow happen in the last five years that I've never expected.
• I worked a part time gig for Under Canvas, setting up awesome TiPis at neat events all over the place.
• Major to Minor marijuana farms lending expertise
• Renovating apartments and land management
However, since 2013 Alaska has always been on my mind. So in the fall of 2016 I put out some feelers to some friends that I have in Alaska that live here and work here full time, and asked them about potential job opportunities in Alaska. They were in the position as Ranch Managers to hire me to come be there all-around ranch hand, which has led to many many more opportunities. Since arriving, our boss has decided to start a B&B, so I am part of a 2-3 man construction crew building tiny homes out of shipping containers. It has been so cool and is really only just beginning.
I have been at Birchtop Hill Ranch since May of 2017. I am now a full time Alaska resident who is able to make a living in some of the most beautiful spots on the planet. I'm a lucky guy; the beauty I've seen the places I've been. All of this while living mostly out of, or using my 4x4 Toyota Tacoma as homebase. Not quite as comfy as Teeg (name drop! hahah thanks Kristo), but she has always kept me warm and dry and safe.
What's next?! Well, I am working on a travel podcast. I have all the equipment and am just trying to get content now.
• Beginning stages of planning a Yukon River thru-paddle; 2000+/- miles on the river.
• Saving for my own van, to embark on my biggest trip ever: 50 hikes, in 50 states, in 50 weeks.
• AT- 2014
• SDTCT- 14,15,16,17
• Verde River Paddle (170 miles) 2016
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