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Explorer Spotlight: Juan Moreno

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Name: Juan Moreno, but my friends call me Ché | Age: 30 | Location: Cathedral City, CA

What’s your day job?
Administration Supervisor at Atlantic Aviation, a private terminal for jets.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
Hiking, Camping, Exploring new and old places but above all, photographing the beauty of the outdoors, especially night photography.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
Since my early childhood, I practically lived outside. My parents were big contributors as they would take us on various camping trips and other state and national parks. When we weren't traveling, I was setting up my tent in the backyard.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
I guess you can say exploring Joshua Tree National Park. It never gets old and there is so much to do in the day and night. Best place for a beer after is my ice chest in the back of the car. We keep it stocked with San Diego's finest brews like Ballast Point and Stone Brewing.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
Camera, Tripod, Camera Backpack, Extra batteries, Headlamp, 1000 lumen Flashlight, and a Utility Knife

What’s your favorite trail snack?
Cajun Trail Mix

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
I'm very fond of Band of Horses. Their Pacific Northwest sound is mellow yet adventurous and gets me in that exploring mood.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?
I went up a steep and very big boulder with tripod and camera in hand at night up in Joshua Tree. All was good until it was time to get back down the same way and I couldn't figure it out. Good thing my buddy was there, who I was able to toss my gear down too and slowly work my way down. Couple of scrapes on the hands and it was all good. Funniest was watching the same thing happen to him as well on a different occasion.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
Sal Cavazos is hands down my number one partner in crime and the only one crazy enough to go out and explore with me at night every time. The person who inspires me to explore new places is Tiffany Nguyen. She's always killing it.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
In the states I would say all the gorgeous places near Moab, Utah and just about all of Oregon. I would love to go to Cerro Paranal in Chile to shoot the Milky Way and all the ESO telescopes down there as well as hit up Patagonia in Chile.

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
Right now it has to be Crater Lake, OR. I want to see it with my own eyes and capture it's beauty with my camera.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
Currently it has to be the Arch Rock shot. I had been taking Milky Way shots for several months but this one seemed like everything fell into place. I light painted the Arch and the Milky Way was positioned just right. Not to mention I was doing what I love to do with good friends. The weather was perfect so it was a good night.

And last but not least…What’s your personal motto?
It's never to late to get out there and explore.

Check out more of Juan's adventures here.

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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