In June 2015, Darius and Trevor quit their jobs to embark on a 59-week, 59 National Park trip to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. They hopped into a Dodge 2500 truck and hit the road, on a journey to both explore the parks and share their experiences here on this site through blogs and photos, and also on various social media platforms (with the hashtag #59in59). They started in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, and have been on the road ever since, on track to finish by the NPS centennial in August 2016. It would probably be a good idea if you had a little background about why it is that they are doing this trip:
As a kid, Darius' dad took him to National Parks and shared with him the grandeur that our National Parks have to offer. He has always wanted to visit all of the parks. As he was about to turn 30, he realized that he was no closer to accomplishing that goal than he was when he was graduating from college in 2007. He could continue pretending to live out his childhood dreams by visiting 1 park per year and visiting all of them by the time he was 72. Instead, he has decided that it was more important to embark on a journey to visit all 59 parks as part of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
He recruited his friend Trevor to join in on the adventure, since they both share a love of the outdoors, drinking beer, good coffee, campfires and jumping in photographs.
Just like Darius' dad introduced the parks to him, he and Trevor want to introduce the parks to you and inspire you to follow your own dreams. They couldn't be doing this without the support of all the friends, family, and kind strangers who not only helped crowdfund the trip, but who have also been meeting them along the way and sometimes offering a home-cooked meal or couch to crash on.
Darius studied political philosophy and was at one point well versed in the works of Plato and Aristotle. He most recently worked as a fundraiser for the University of Virginia, where he went to college. Go Hoos!!! He usually can be found wearing wolf shirts, playing soccer or running ultramarathons in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.Most recently he has taken up photorunning or runography, which is a combination of running and taking pictures. He has yet to master the speed at which to run and take pictures that aren't blurry, he has yet to consider stopping.
59in59 has been in Darius' brain since 2010 when he applied for a Young Explorers Grant with National Geographic. After making excuses for 5-years he gave a TEDx Talk about Bucket Lists and decided that it was time to live up to his talk and quit his job to make it happen. When he isn't exploring National Parks he can be found playing Dominion, Settlers of Catan, Harry Potter Clue and all available board games with his friends and five siblings.
Trevor is an engineer by training and enjoys getting hands-on with just about any project, whether it's building a hovercraft or a robotic manta ray. He's a Virginia native who was bitten by the travel bug early and has had adventures in Western Europe, New Zealand, and Central America. Whenever he's not crunching numbers, fixing cars, or cooking, Trevor enjoys all manner of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, skiing, soccer, gardening, photography, and climbing trees. If he says, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do," it's not very limiting.
Trevor first heard about 59in59 when he was catching up with Darius in April of 2015 and immediately was interested in such an amazing journey. At 31, he had only been to 3 National Parks before (Shenandoah, Mammoth Cave, and Yosemite). They talked about it for a few weeks and he decided he couldn't pass up this opportunity to visit all the parks, shoot photos in America's most amazing places, and share incredible experiences along the way.