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The QALO Team: Big Pine With 9

At QALO, we believe that the outdoors is life’s greatest playground. We encourage that the team of people within these walls get outside and explore the most that life has to offer. In fact, we celebrate it! We're excited to highlight a recent road trip that Drew, one of our awesome Customer Service Problem Solvers, embarked on with 9 friends. When he's not working to the bone trying to give our customers the best experience he can, he works as a Photographer and Videographer, and all of the work featured on this blog give just a small taste of how talented he truly is! You can check out more of his work here. Hopefully, his road trip inspires the sense of adventure in you, too! 

Drew answered the call to adventure by hopping in a 15 passenger van with a few friends and a couple of strangers for a road trip to Big Pine in California. The main goal was a hike to Second Lake, but that wasn’t the only point of interest. Along the way, the group stopped at Alabama Hills, Wild Willy’s Hot Spring in Mammoth, California, and June Lake, where they swung from an old rope swing.

The hike to Second Lake is about 11 miles round trip and had been calling to Drew for years before he was able to make it a reality. The hike is a constant incline – which makes it pretty strenuous! When he arrived at Second Lake, Drew says that the water was the coldest water anyone on the trip had ever jumped into. It literally takes your breath away!

Although he had been everywhere else on the trip multiple times, watching his friends experiences these places for the first time was something special. Some had never been in a hot spring before so watching them have the experience of a lifetime was really incredible for him.

There were a lot of firsts on this trip. First time driving a huge van, first time going on a trip with that many people, first time going to Big Pine, and first time using the rope swing at June Lake! All of these firsts add up to a trip that Drew will never forget. He even made an incredible video of the adventure. Hit play below!

Drew says, “It’s those places you find in your very own backyard that you never knew existed that really blow me away. More than that though, it’s the simple pleasures that the outdoors offer me. No cell service, no buildings, no responsibilities, no nothing! Just me, whoever I am with, and the beautiful landscapes.”

He places a high priority on detaching from society as much as possible to keep a clear head and happy heart. The adventure addict recognizes that this detachment is difficult to achieve and appreciate when there is so much chaos going on in daily life. That’s why he loves these trips. They allow him the opportunity to slow down to half speed and just be in the moment.

It’s this laid-back attitude that allows Drew to make the most of every trip. In fact, on this adventure, he even notes that they made a few wrong turns, overslept, and forgot things we needed, but that it didn’t detour his experience, stating simply, “That’s why they call it an adventure!”

Pro Tip from the expert: when hiking Big Pine, make sure to pack light and bring a water purifier so that you can utilize natural streams for drinking. Enjoy every moment of every adventure − whether it be good or bad − and don't stress about the small things in life.