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Explorer Spotlight: Chris Mongeau

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Name: Chris Mongeau | Age: 24 | Location: Providence, RI.

What’s your day job?
I am a Freelance Lifestyle & Portrait Photographer with a B.A. in English currently searching for teaching opportunities and considering further pursuing my education.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
One of my favorite things to do outside is ride my motorcycle down to the beach. Rhode Island has a lot of great roads to cruise down, especially by the ocean, and the weather is generally permutable from April to November. I also love to ride my bicycle, hike and drink coffee in the sun.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
I think my love of travel is primarily what drew me to the outdoors, but after living in a city for 5+ years, I felt myself craving some solitude. Being outdoors for me usually coincides with a road trip of some sort, and I love being on the road with no real destination.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
My favorite hometown adventure is a nice hike along the cliffs of Beavertail State Park in Jamestown, RI. My favorite spot for a beer afterwards would probably have to be the Ivy Tavern on Hope Street in Providence. They have a good selection of beers and awesome food.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
Two things I never leave home without: my camera and my Frye boots.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Salted Pistachios in the shell.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
Ryan Adams is always a killer soundtrack to pretty much anything I do.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/ or funniest?
Once while van camping in Yellowstone, our van we were living in got booted for being parked in a place we weren’t supposed to park. At the time it really sucked, and there were some pretty lengthy consequences of that situation, but in hindsight it’s pretty funny to also think we were booted for enjoying time on land our country has set aside for it’s people to use and appreciate.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
My fiancee, Allison. She is always down to go anywhere, and constantly pushes me to keep going. I am also deeply inspired by the writing of Beat authors like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, who constantly took “great trips in cars” across the American landscape.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
One of the top places I’ve been for adventuring is undoubtedly Iceland. It is the adventure capitol of the world, I think. The Pacific Northwest is also amazing. Switzerland, the southwestern U.S., New England. I think everywhere has potential for adventures.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Patagonia and a trip through the Pacific Northwest up to Alaska that I am currently planning.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
I took this photo while driving into Teton National Park last summer with my fiancee and some really close friends. It was the day after our van had been booted in Yellowstone, needless to say, we were all pretty bummed out after that. We got the van released, but there were tickets and even a court date via phone we had to deal with. A huge hail storm broke out as we drove south into the Tetons from Yellowstone, and I think it was exactly what we needed to rid our minds of that experience and put ourselves back in the present on the road. I took this photo out the window of the van while we were playing some Bob Dylan and chatting with two hitchhikers we had agreed to drive out of Yellowstone.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and do not be sorry.” - Jack Kerouac

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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