Staff Spotlight: Dan Smith
Job title with Charles River: General Manager/Graphic & Web Designer/Instructor & Guide
Primary Location: Newton
Favorite thing to do outside: cross-country skiing & sea kayaking
Favorite book: I have no idea
Typical Breakfast: Trader Joe’s Vanilla Granola, and a side of vanilla yogurt with strawberries
What is your story of coming to work for Charles River? I moved to Boston 13 years ago to pursue a Ph.D in Biochemistry at Harvard. After four years I knew it was time to do something different — something that I was passionate about. I had done lots and lots of kayaking along the New England coast and while I was stuck in the lab I dreamed about being a kayak guide. I guess you could say my dream came true.
Tell us a little more about yourself in terms of your outdoor experience: I grew up spending time outdoors in the Adirondacks, but didn’t get serious about it until I moved to Boston. I started kayaking along the Mass. coast and then kayak-camping along the Maine Island Trail. I’ve done an 8-day solo trip (120 nautical miles), a couple of seven-day trips, and many, many overnights — I’ve seen the majority of the Maine coast. I’ve also done some backpacking in the Whites, a little rafting on the Colorado out West, and lots of skiing (cross-country and telemark) all over.
If you could get a free plane, bus, or train ticket anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I’d love to go to Fjordland on the West Coast of New Zealand and spend some time paddling and camping there.
What do you do on rainy days? Sit at my computer and work on my other passion — designing web apps for the company.
Who is your hero and why? Chris Duff, who has paddled solo around Ireland and the South Island of New Zealand, has done some amazing things that I could never even fathom. But there are a lot of nameless teachers out there passing on their knowledge to improve others’ lives, and they are probably doing more for our world than anyone.