Western North Dakota is where I was born and raised. In the heart of the rugged badlands is where I spend 98% of my time. There’s plenty to offer here in ND including the use of public lands for hunting, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities. Most folks have heard about the Bakken Oilfield in western North Dakota. Well I took advantage of being a young local kid and started off working there right out of high school. Which helps out to pay to the bills for my intensive love of the outdoors and all it has to offer.
While growing up, all the neighbor kids had snowmobiles and we would ride them to school and into the late hours of the night. Unfortunately, I never had one to call my own but had close friends that always lent me one to rip around on. After working for about six months out of high school, I had saved up enough money to buy my very first sled. It was a 2003 Polaris 700 RMK vertical edge. I strutted my stuff around town like a spring turkey. That sled was my pride and joy.
Due to lack of snow fall in recent years, I took my interests outside the state and started adventuring to other mountain ranges. My very first trip westward was to Island Park, ID. We had about 25 guys in our group, which back home was a small group of riders. We quickly come to find out that 25 guys in the mountains was WAY too large. We had spent about 5 days out there and it wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy the newly grown desire to ride the mountains. After that, I concentrated on working as much as I could in the summer months to save up money and take some time off during the winter. On average, I now spend 45-60 days in the mountains riding my snowmobile.
Traveling around the western states I have found that there is one common issue, Public Lands. It seemed as if everyone had a story of how their family had been riding these mountains for 50 plus years, and now that it is all at risk to be swept away. After hearing many of these stories, I figured it should be our duty to help protect these lands. I knew what had to be done to help, just never could pinpoint how one would go about doing it.
One day while mindlessly scrolling my Instagram feed, I saw someone wearing a Sum + It Riders hat. The design caught my attention so I clicked the link, started to research what they were about, and the light bulb went off. They had to perfect business plan to help fight for our right to ride and enjoy our public lands.