Originally from Pennsylvania, Lauren (aka Neon) spent much of her younger days discovering the outside world, sometimes with one or more of her three siblings. As she grew up, she continued expanding her hobbies and interests in the outdoors. While going to school at Penn State University, she led climbing, canoeing, and hiking trips with the school’s outing club while working towards degrees in Hospitality Management and Commercial Recreation Management.
After graduating from college, Lauren thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (AT) from Georgia to Maine. During her hike, she discovered how rejuvenating, empowering, and challenging the outdoors can be and thus, she became “hooked” on the wilderness experience and on long-distance hiking. She has since thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Colorado Trail (CT), and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). Having hiked three of the longest trails in the U.S.-over 8,000 miles, she has earned the ‘Triple Crown’ of the hiking world. In her time away from longer trails, she keeps finding herself working for a wilderness therapy program in Utah, aiding others in finding their way in the world.
While hiking the PCT in 2010, she met Fidgit (aka Bethany), and has been on many adventures with her since. When Fidgit first approached her about this trip three-ish years ago, she was immediately intrigued, though unable to completely commit until the beginning of 2015. She looks forward to traveling South America more in-depth and can’t wait to see what the journey brings!