We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Kimball and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ryan, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from the beautiful Pacific North West region in Oregon. I grew up in a small town an hour East of Portland called Hood River. Hood River is famous for being a mecca for the active lifestyle. People come from around the world to enjoy all the outdoor activities. We have Mt. Hood that has year round skiing, the Columbia river that allows for all water and wind sports, epic mountain biking 10 minutes out of town and endless opportunities for hiking and backpacking. Not only do we love our outdoor sports in my home town but we love our alcohol. We have endless microbreweries and the valley provides the perfect environment for wineries.

My parents moved from Salt Lake City to Hood River to raise my sister and I. We had an amazing childhood spending all of our time outside. We didn’t grow up with a tv so my sister and I were always outdoors. We both learned how to swim, mountain bike and ski at a very young age. If we weren’t in the water we were deep in the woods on a bike or a hike. The outdoors is where I felt most at home.

This has carried on into my adult life. I live to be outside. It is where I feel the most connected to myself. After college I began traveling the world. It was when I was in-between my travels I rediscovered my love for skiing. I decided after an epic powder day on Mt. Hood that I would peruse the ski bum life. I feel deeply in love with being in the mountains. I ended up chasing the snow moving from ski town to ski town.

After moving to Telluride, CO to continue my skiing lifestyle, I discovered my new found love of the desert in Moab, UT. Since they are only 3 hours apart. The next dream was chasing endless desert nights living out of my car. The desert allows me to be free. To mountain bike the slick rock, hike deep into slot canyons and find secret watering holes. Having grown up in the PNW the desert was an environment that completely took me by surprise. A whole new world to discover.

To bring this full circle, having grown up among the trees and rivers taught me to love the outdoors. To continue exploring every chance I get. I am also so grateful my parents showed me the world of playing in nature. Mountain biking, skiing and hiking are what keep me grounded. I have always said it is my form of meditation and for that I am so grateful.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career path as of right now is elementary teacher. I knew from a very young age that I loved children. In high school I got the chance to work along side my favorite 3rd grade teacher helping out in her classroom. She was so inspiring that it made me realize that is what I wanted to do with my life.

Once I went to college I feel I was the only freshmen who knew what major they wanted to pursue. Throughout college I worked in local elementary schools, moved to Spain and taught English to families. After college I moved to Nepal where I lived in an orphanage and helped the children with their English.

After Nepal I continued to travel the world. Like I mentioned before I re-discovered my love for skiing and followed the snow. I put working with kids to the side so that I could be a ski bum. It wasn’t tell the pandemic hit that I was forced to move home from CO back to OR. I had lost my jobs and my apartment. After a year of trying to figure out what direction I wanted my life to go I moved to Bend, OR where I decided to use my bachelor degree and start working in a classroom again.

Fast forward to present time and now I am working in a Waldorf school in Bend, OR. Even after all those years since I was in high school I still have the same love for children that I always have. I truly believe kids are what make the world a better place.

Although, with all of that being said, I believe that after this school year I will begin to head in a different direction. I tried out the teaching career but I feel I need to be living on the road. The South West calls to me and I feel I need to follow my heart, just like I always have. I am unsure of what my new career path will be but I know choosing to leave what I know and explore the unknown will be scary but exactly what I need.

I feel my biggest challenge throughout my life is believing I should follow what society says I should be doing. Going to college, career, marriage, buying a house and having a family. I have always felt that wasn’t the life path for me. This year working full time in a classroom has truly proven to me that a 9-5 isn’t made for me. I am starting to accept that for myself. That maybe what society believes to be true isn’t right for everyone. Although, its scary I have to trust myself that it is the right thing to do.

If someone was to describe me to someone, I would hope that they would say that I live for adventure.That I don’t follow social norms and I follow my heart. That I am brave. Even though I may be single, be a mom of two wild pups, have zero clue what career path I should pursue, that I am out there getting after it and living life to the fullest.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am currently living in Bend, Oregon! I am coming up on my one year anniversary. This place brings people from all around the world to visit because of its insane outdoor playground, many breweries, and awesome restaurants.

If my best friend was coming into town for a week I would begin her stay by taking her to Crux brewery for a beer. You order inside the pub but then take your beer out to the lawn where there are puppies and kids running around. Its so nice to be outside drinking a beer with our pup by your side. Once we get hungry El Sancho food cart is parked on the lawn where you can grab a variety of tacos.

We would spend a day walking through the Old Mil District along the river on the River Side Trail. You can follow this path for miles. It brings in dog walkers, bikers, runners, kids learning to ride bikes and so on. There is a section of river that has a man made wave where locals get to surf! It’s a blast to watch.

If the weather provides we would spend a day floating the river either on a stand up paddle board or an inter-tub. Its an all day activity where you can bring yummy beverages as you float. There is a shuttle that will bring you back to your car at the end of the float.

Another day I would take my best friend up Cascade Lakes Highway. This road has unreal views of the Cascade Mountain Range. We could spend a day at the bike park at Mt. Bachelor then head over to one of the many lakes for a quick dip after riding. There is also endless hiking to any of the lakes in the area or if you are feeling brave you can summit South Sister. The 3rd highest mountain in Oregon. Believe me its a trek!

There are endless breweries in Bend. We would spend a day brewery hopping. Oregon is known for their micro brews. Just remember to drink plenty of water in between!

A few of my favorite places to eat are 10 Barrel Brewery for pizza, Active Culture for a healthy option, and Brother Johns for hearty options.

If my best friend had a dog I would take them to the many dog parks in the area. Pine Nursery is a massive dog park that is amazing for your pup to get exercise and to just plain dog watch.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
What instantly comes to mind is my family. For my parents choosing to raise my sister and I in Northern Oregon. For teaching us to love and cherish the outdoors. That exploring nature is good for your mind, body and soul. For that I am forever grateful. I had a beautiful childhood that shaped me into who I am today.

Instagram: @ry_44

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