dennis behan




February 2, 1981 The dawn of Dennis, weighing in at 7.5 lbs in Rochester New York, USA

Winter 1983 I started skiing, after a childhood career filled with injuries, I decided skiing was definitely for me.

June 1985 I graduated kindergarten at the head of my class; I was and still am a master finger painter.

Summer 1995 After getting my first work permit as a farm hand I got my first job picking raspberries at the local farm market. 50 cents a pint.

April 1999 Attained the rank of Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts highest rank

June 1999 I graduated from high school, Aquinas Institute

February 2000 Was being studious at Delhi State University, working towards my Associated in Architectural Technology. This is where I met Lane, my partner in outdoor mischief.

May 2004 Graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelors of Architecture; hugged the school president.

November 2004 After working a “real” job in Troy, New York I left the east to head west like so many before me. Lane and I drove 42 straight hours to reach the target destination, Lake Tahoe.

May 2005 I Completed Guide School for Tahoe Whitewater Tours, this is where I first met Alice, the car less foreigner. On my first ever commercial trip, I was navigating a class 1 rapid when I ran into a rock. The boat almost flipped thus dumping my four customers into the water. At that point in my career I had already learned how to hold on, I stayed in.

November 2005 I traveled to Europe to ski (see) the world. I lived in France for 5 months with Alice in a mountain town called Chamonix. Biggest mountains I have ever seen in my life.

October 2007 – February 2008 Hiking New Zealand


  alice smith
  I was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1981. I had the typical childhood of going to primary school, playing on the netball team, spending summers at the beach and being bribed that if I wouldn’t ride my bike without the training wheels, I wouldn’t be allowed on the first family holiday to see the snow.

After finishing university and working at a desk for a year, I decided to put my television production degree to good use. I headed off into the big wide world to be a ski bum. My original plan of going to London after spending a winter in Lake Tahoe soon fell to pieces as I discovered the joys of skiing every day, hiking in the mountains, and becoming a professional white water raft guide. Also, meeting Dennis at raft guide school also had a ‘slight’ influence.

After ditching Dennis to lie on Greek beaches for a few months, we met up again in Chamonix, France, the place of insanely big mountains and endless skiing possibilities. When we couldn’t handle the sight of yet another bowl of fondue we headed back to the States for another summer… then winter… then summer again.

But now I feel its time to head home for a while, though I’m sure the rain will be a bit of a shock to the system following day after day of perfect blue skies. Being overseas has really reinforced how uniquely beautiful New Zealand is and what better way to see more of it than spending five months exploring endless beaches, rivers and mountains. Also, finally, I won’t be ‘the one with the accent’.

  lane schaffer

The year was 1981, the month was May, and the day was the fifteenth to be exact. On this day almost 26 years ago I came into existence in a small rural town called Gibson in Northeastern Pennsylvania. For the next seventeen years I lived relatively close to where I was born with two exceptions, a trip to Disney in Florida at five years of age, and a trip to the thousand islands in my early teens. Travel east and west of the 46th meridian was negligible. But, it was in this small town setting of Great Bend, and the surrounding areas, which I called home, that I grew to love the outdoors, from fishing and hunting to hiking and camping. The outdoors was a big part of my youth.

For the next seven years I dabbled with college and worked attaining an associates in architectural design from SUNY Delhi. After college I began to work in construction with a small family owned business. I liked creating with my hands and seeing a days accomplishments take place. In my spare time I would find myself out of doors on my grandma’s farm, or at the trout streams where my dad taught me to fish. And, the Adirondacks would often times find me in its midst. Dennis and I would take off and go explore the peaks. This was a place he introduced me to in college, and I’m glad he did.

In 2006 I decided to expand my life experiences not only to include work, college, and family, but also to experience new people and places. So, I hesitantly left my job, packed my belongings, and drove across country to Lake Tahoe California. In my short time here I have enjoyed much of the outdoors. There is endless hiking and climbing, beaches and mountaintops, biking and white water rafting to name a few activities that I have partaken in. And, as far as meeting new people, well Tahoe seems to be a melting pot for the outdoor enthusiast. I have met an interesting array of people here, and made some new friends.

Some where along the way, and I don’t know if it was in the Adirondacks or when I reached Tahoe, I realized what the outdoors meant to me. I realized what a big part of my life they had been, and I started to take a closer look on my impact on the environment. It became apparent to me that I need to change some of my habits so that future generations could enjoy the same things I have. So, in September of 2007 I will be 26, an age that when I was a young child I used to think was old, an age that I thought one was locked down to a job and set in ones way of life, I will be making my biggest trip yet. To New Zealand with Dennis and Alice I will go. This trip will be a life-changing event. We hope to raise awareness of the outdoors, and help younger people get involved with the outdoors. I hope to take in this country with all my senses and travel New Zealand underfoot where only few have before.