1. Introduce yourself...
I’m 4th generation native son of Bellingham, Wa. One thing that people who know me the best would say is how I have always taken the road that is less traveled, and that I will always find a way to travel that road. This was the cause of many gray hairs to my parents in my younger years. But I think my father enjoyed every gray hair that I put on his head. I believe this because of one of my earliest memories of my dad was when one evening, we were all sitting around the dinner table and I can't remember exactly who proposed the question first but going around the table, one by one, we gave our answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Don’t ask me what my brothers said, but I remember saying that “I wanted to grow up and be just like dad and be a mechanic who worked on school buses”. With no hesitation, my dad told me that was no dream for me; that he wanted me to be better than him - that I needed to find my own path. And from that, a large portion of my foundation for my life was poured. This foundation has led me to pursue my dream of being a ski bum in Vail, Colorado. After living with almost no money in the bank and averaging 150 days a year of skiing, I went to studying Fisheries Science and set off working for Washington Fish and Wildlife. After 2 years of working studying the migration of fish, I also found myself making a hand on the Walking D ranch in Winthrop, WA. This is where I was first introduced to horses and packing with mules in the mountains. I would then develop my skills over the years, where I am now able to make a full time living doing what I love. I pack mules for the US forest service in Bishop, CA in the summer, and the winter months when I can no longer be in the mountains with my mules, I make custom saddles and other leather products.
Dad was robbed of the ability to continue to live, and so he lived through his sons I believe. He lived for the days that he would sit there in his wheelchair and watch us pull out of the driveway on his Harley, or with him in the sidecar as a passenger. He could no longer ride, but he could in his heart and spirit. So I'll go on living for him, and in turn, hope to tell his story so that people might understand him a little more.
2. What is the craziest adventure you have had?
Well, that’s easy. Riding from Mexico to Canada continuously, which means NO jumping around in a trailer. I started April 10th, 2017, and finished at the Walking D ranch 60 miles shy of the Canadian border as at the time the trails to the border we closed due to fire. I saw it fitting that my ride ended where my journey of living in working in the saddle began. As well the connection to my great grandfather Patrick Hennery who was the last person in my family (and one I share my birthday with) to have anything to do with packing was right there in those mountains and in that valley. I have never been tested that much in my life, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use the lessons learned while alone on the trail with my Mustangs.
3. Who is your biggest source of inspiration?
No question, my father, Gary Peterson. For his life was robbed from him, teaching me to Ask plenty of myself and live life courageously. No day is to be wasted. He always said, there’s no bad day, just bad parts to the day.
4. In another life where would your dreams have taken you?
To be doing exactly what I'm doing now, just in a time when things were simpler. Meaning no technology, no phones, no social media, just a man and his horse.
5. What is your dream adventure?
To maybe one day ride across America, and then around the world. I want to see this planet at 3pmh before I die.
6. What is your favorite piece of Outback Gear?
I can't tell you how many times my Duster has saved me and got me home in a storm. It lives on the back of my saddle and I never go into the mountains without it. Partly out of superstations as the day you don’t take it is the day you’ll need it. I also love the shirts and waistcoats.