Tuesday, January 10, 2012
MARC CASSONEGuide, Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician
Crackling fire and the laughter of friends define Marc's first memory of the outdoors. From his first Boy Scout trip to the Adirondacks to his long meanderings on the Inca Trail, Marc's life has become one grand adventure. Growing up in Plattsburg, NY, Marc was fortunate to have developed an early love for outdoor pursuits. Always looking for ways to share his passion with others, Marc spoke to us about some of his greatest experiences and shared his advice on living adventurously. What's your most memorable outdoor experience?
Do I have to pick one? I'll never forget all of the hiking trips with Dad — Grand Canyon, Kilimanjaro, the Inca Trail. Leading students on hiking and biking trips throughout Europe, specifically Pyrenees and Alps, comes in as a close second. I also really enjoyed cave diving in Mexico and skiing the Vallee Blanche of Mt. Blanc. Is there one trip you are most proud of?
I covered over 1500 miles – seven countries! – with a small group of high school kids. This was an unsupported bike tour from Amsterdam to Barcelona, and we did it in four weeks. I was so proud of them for their hard work and determination. What is your favorite thing about getting outside?
I love the logistics of it all. When your daily routine changes and your thoughts shift from "I'm late for work! Rent is due tomorrow" to "it's pouring rain and my stuff is all wet. There better be an epic view around this ridge, otherwise I'm completely lost." Problems seem much more immediate, but also much more manageable in a bare-bones kind of way. It leaves more room for creative problem solving, and the results are more guttural, more immediate. You already sound superhuman, but if you could choose a superhuman power, what would it be?
Shoot bubbles from my fingers. Or teleportation. Maybe somehow incorporate both. Let's figure out how to make it happen. You've had years to develop your campfire palate. What's your favorite camping delicacy?
This one is easy: macaroni and cheese with sun-dried tomatoes and bits of summer sausage. And banana boats for dessert. You've lived in New York City for almost one year now. Do you have a motto to share with others?
"Sometimes you have to stop taking up room in the middle and start living life on the edge." In between applying to medical school, training for triathlons, and leading European cycling tours, Marc can be found driving Discover Outdoors vans with the windows down, radio turned up, encouraging others to join him in singing along at the top of their lungs. Interview submitted by Michelle Welsch.
Raised in the Rocky Mountains, Michelle was born with a spirit of adventure. It has carried her across continents and overseas, eventually bringing her to NYC where she writes and looks for new challenges to explore. Follow Michelle in her urban and outdoor conquests @redheadlefthand.