About Us

Charles atop Mt. Olympus (2008)
Charles interviewing school kids celebrating diversity (2011)
Charles Doersch

Charles is the wizard among us. He opens doors no one thought would open. And he conjures up one adventure after another. He's an instructor in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado, and has taught Art History at Naropa University, the Humanities and Writing at Front Range Community College, and English in Hong Kong and Taiwan. He's also a poet, publishing in literary journals in the US and abroad (do not get him involved in a limerick contest – he only knows the dirty ones). Charles first went backpacking in 1974 over Kearsarge Pass to Rae Lakes and Baxter Lakes in the Sierras. It was love at first sight. Since then he's backpacked or camped by one means or the other all over the world. 

Seano working on St. Helena Island, Queensland, Australia (1989)
Sean McCollum

Quite a successful educational writer for children and teens, Sean has published more than 30 books and 500 articles. His writing career has taken him to some awesome places -- and some terrifying ones (he was six blocks from the World Trade Center on 9/11 rushing toward it to try to help, when it fell). Together with Charles, Sean has traveled around the world, living on six continents, working on scientific expeditions, herding cattle, teaching English, reintroducing pythons to islands, conducting reef fish censuses (not kidding), lugging fossil giant clams across uninhabited islands, and writing. He is the steady Rock of Gibraltar in our family (naturally, since he's an ethnic Minnesotan and a Vikings fan).
Seano traveling with Tuaregs in Mali (2000)

Christo atop the First Flatiron (2009)
Christopher Corl

Having graduated magna cum laude with a double major in English Literature and Humanities, as well as a minor in German from the University of Colorado, Christo is the Elf among us -- talking to trees and flowers, chipmunks and birds, and always bears (and sometimes they answer, depending on how much tequila is involved). He also defies gravity and walks straight up rock faces (well, no, not at all straight). He was Poetry Editor and then Art Editor in successive years on the CU Honors Journal, at the same time he was Assistant Manager at the UMC Art Gallery. Together with Charles, Christo drove 8,000 miles from Colorado to the far end of Panamá and back, studying Mayan and Aztec architecture, and doing intensive birding, scuba diving, body surfing, and volcano climbing. He then dragged Charles the following year from Istanbul to Arctic Norway studying more art and architecture, paragliding in the Alps, kayaking in the fjords of the Lofotens, and body surfing in arctic Norway (au naturel, naturellement). Two summers ago, Chris won a competitive scholarship to study Chinese art, architecture, history, and culture in Xi'an, China.
Christo studying the Temple of Hera, Paestum, Italy (2008)

Christo at the Aquavit in Manhattan (2008).

Christo, Charles, and Seano section hiking the Colorado Trail (2011).

Our Queer Family
The three of us have been together for many years now ~ Sean & Charles since 1988, and Chris since 2006. We've already had so many adventures of very different types ~ and we just keep having a blast discovering what the next one will be. Our family is full of variety (sometimes it has been larger) but we three are the core. We live in Boulder, Colorado, where we hike, free solo rock climb, backpack, whitewater tube, cliff jump, snowshoe and ski. We live in a mountain house with lots of wild critters (some of them dramatic) close in and familiar with us. We love our lives and live well, feeling ourselves at home only when we're in motion. And now, the PCT is the next chapter. We have been planning and preparing for it for the past 12 months ~ and we are soooooo looking forward to beginning the Great Trek. Wowie. This experience is sure to top them all. 

Our Queer Family after the PCT

The experience of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail blew us away. After we thru-hiked the PCT in 2012, we returned to Boulder, Colorado, knowing we felt most at home with new trails rising up before us. We are nomads. We knew we no longer needed the house, the furniture -- "all the stuff and all the bills" -- we had in Colorado. We got busy. By September 2013, exactly a year after we completed the PCT, we had sold all of our furniture, 17th century antiques, huge library, art, art, art, artisan-crafted dinnerware, etc. And we rolled out of Boulder with everything we owned in our luggage. We moved to a villa on St. John in the US Virgin Islands, where we lived and explored the island for almost a year taking care of a lovely villa. Since October 2014 we have been traveling about Europe, earning our keep working online, and having a blast. We are thru-hikers for life.


  1. Replies
    1. You bet, Threshold. Ain't it fun? You're on the PCT 2012 Facebook group. Will we see you at the KO? The bummer about the iPhone app for blogging is (so far) I can't figure out how to respond to comments on it. So I guess it's going to be delayed responses until we get to a computer. Anyway, hello to Maine (one of our fave States). Cheers.

  2. Your site is bookmarked. Looking forward to following our adventures, trials and tribulations.
    Good luck and be safe.

    1. Thanks, Axel. Your blog - The Downhill Side - is gorgeous. What a photographer and adventurer! Cheers.

    2. Inspirational blog! Keep on trucking. I'm about to hop on to the PCT (secs K, J, I) from Hwy 80 (Truckee) to Tuolomone, where me and two other guys will be hiking south on the JMT to Whitney. Any gear you have that isn't necessary, or stuff you wish you'd packed? Advice? Sounds like mosquitoes are rampant.

      Awesome to see how you've all managed to tough out the harsh aches and pains (groin pulls and ankles sprains -- ugh!), and overcome even tougher psychological battles. Hang in there!

      Chris (aka "Noah")