My name is Steven Jones and I am a professional guide/photographer. I was fed the same lie that we all are told as children; Get a Degree, Get a Job, Buy a House, Settle Down. I worked tirelessly at it and then in a split second it all changed. Then one day I lost it all, my career, my house, my car. Everything I had worked towards was gone. I decided to make a change, instead of fighting my circumstances, I embraced them. I am reminded of a story:
There was a young man who wanted to make a lot of money, and so he went to a guru. He told the guru, “I wanna be on the same level that you’re on.” And so the guru said, “If you wanna be on the same level that I’m on, I’ll meet you tomorrow at the beach at 4 am.” The next morning guru and the man walked out into the water, all the while the man puzzled at what this had to do with success.
The guru held his head in the water. The man was scratching, clawing, fighting to get up. The guru kept him down under water. And just before the young man was about to pass out the guru raised him up and said, “When you were under water, what was the only thing you wanted to do?” The man replied, “I wanted to breathe.”
When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.
I decided soon after that I would commit everything to living a life that I and others could only dream of. April of 2015 was the official start of this journey, physically and emotionally, I was going to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. This new start, beginning if you will, was a fresh page, an unwritten part of my life. Who knew what would happen from there and where I would go?
On October 23, 2015; I finished my thru hike of the AT. This monumental 2189.6 mile journey was exciting, raw and inspiring to many, including myself. I spent the next winter between Granby Colorado and 50 miles North of Fairbanks Alaska, guiding by dog sled. At the end March 2016 I traveled to Denali National Park for the summer to guide.
In September 2016, I left Alaska and Denali, traveling back to Maine to summit Mount Katahdin with Zen, finishing his thru hike. My next adventure would take me to the opposite end of the United States, a small island no more than 7 miles long by a 1/4 mile wide. In the Florida Keys, I found work as a SCUBA Dive guide working for a few of the local shops in town. All the while prepping for the next adventure; In December, the trail provided again and we took off to live and trek in Thailand for four months. In March of 2018 Sierra and I embarked on a thru-hike of the PCT. Starting in Mexico and heading North to Canada. After 1,000 miles with 700 miles of it spent in excruciating pain from a foot injury we decided to pause our journey. Life brought me back to Alaska and then back again to the Florida Keys. Just as it had done before the itch came back and we started to prepare for our current adventure The Florida Trail.
Either way I ask you to come close, closer, sit down, I’ve got an amazing story to tell you. You’ll never guess where I have been. There I was all by myself, sitting out there in the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen. The air so crisp and refreshing, each breath chilling the inside of my nose as I took it in. Then without warning….
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