The Guy Who Sings Out Loud On The Trails

Steven is new to this whole outdoorsy thing. But he quickly became addicted to the physical and mental benefits of adventures, when he moved to San Francisco to work as a developer six months ago. By now, exploring  the many protected nature areas around the city have become a natural part of his time off. Rumor has it, he’s been seen dancing and singing to his favorite tunes out there – thinking no one else was around. Well, this Pioneer sounded geeky and interesting enough for us to ask him a couple of questions.

Hi Steven. We’d love to hear a bit about your background.

I am a 33-year-old web developer, originally from Arlington, TX. When I’m not swearing at bugs or celebrating a successful product launch, I enjoy spicy food, Toyota sports cars, trip-hop, and beer snobbery. I’m accompanied by my loving wife, Tiffani, our twin sugar gliders, Eliza and Jane, and Rory, the green spotted puffer fish.

What’s special about your region?

We just moved to San Francisco’s East Bay six months ago.  I like everything about the area.  They describe the weather here as a “Mediterranean climate” which is just perfect.  The warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters in combination with the hilly landscape mean that it is beautiful here year-round.  The area doesn’t see all four seasons in the traditional sense, but thus far, I’m not missing them.

What do you like about being outdoors?

To be completely honest, I’m brand new to this.  I had maybe one to two days of hiking experience in my life before this year.  I had never looked at a trail map before July.  Komoot maps actually gave me a bit of courage to get out there and give it a shot.

In every tour I always try to find a little place, roughly half way through, where I can stop for a few minutes to take everything in.  I prefer these places to be isolated and quiet since I use it as sort of a mental recharge time.

What does a typical adventure of yours look like?

While exercise is great, I am more intrigued by the mental health aspects of hiking.  I enjoy getting lost in my thoughts on the trails and as a result, most of my outings have been solo.  I find a peace in it.  That said, I’m not against hiking with others.  I have my eyes set on more than one overnight trip for the year, but for the record, I’ve never been camping outside of a man-made campsite.  I wouldn’t mind a hiking companion for something like that.

What do you bring on your trips?

I try to carry as little as possible, but a few things I always take with me are my first aid kit, ample supply of water, light rain jacket, and layered clothing.  I also always leave my wife a copy of where I intend to go, often a komoot planned tour.

Do you have a secret ritual when you’re out there alone?

I like to listen to music on the trails, but I don’t like using headphones because they also remove the sounds from the natural environment.  More than once, I’ve been strolling along jammin’ out to some 70s disco funk, only to come over the top of the hill to find another person standing there — wondering what in the world I’m doing.  It’s embarrassing, but the fun I have makes it worth the risk of being seen.

Thanks Steven, it was great chatting with you.

“Rock 2” Radio Tower"Rock 2" Radio Tower

Aside from the obvious beauty, I like the area because it has a history in the Cold War where it served as part of a Nike surface-to-air guided missile system.  Almost everything in the American West is built after 1800, so finding anything with a story is always interesting.”

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Shiba Spot

Shiba Spot

“Located in the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. The 2nd time I was out here, the valleys filled with fog and placed me above the cloud line.”

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See Through Rockuc5mqlkt1v8p1banqpcnbjj4k16mxs66d-uhinull

“The rocks in that area are made of sandstone. During our winter rains, acidic rain water seeps into and sits in the rocks. The next summer, the dry heat pulls the moisture back out of the rock, leaving behind these holes.”

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Pine CanyonPine Canyon

“Located in Diablo Foothills Regional Park, the area is popular with rock climbers.”

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Bathtub Fallstzkv7pml4x0oh7vr9sum7116xqf7nl-uhinull

“I came across this site unexpectedly while exploring a new trail in the park closest to my home in northern California. It had rained a lot that week, otherwise this place would have looked very different. It looks like the falls will only flow if it were actively raining.”

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Mount Diablo SummitMount Diablo Summit

“Located in Mount Diablo State Park, Mount Diablo is the highest peak in San Francisco’s East Bay area. On a clear day you can look east to see over the city of San Francisco and on the Pacific Ocean.”

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Pioneers are the most active komoot users, highlighting the best spots on their Tours with photos and comments for others to check them out. Our Pioneer series introduces exceptional members of the komoot community, that have already proven themselves as Pioneers.

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