Tucked behind rolling hills of Kentucky yellow wheat, sits a pond backed by a forest landscape. There, you’ll find the perfect spot to hang up a hammock and kick back for a few hours. GrandTrunk Jolly Llama, Nicky Howard, knows the spot all too well. “It’s wonderful because you are right there in the country. It’s quiet, you’re alone, you’re surrounded by mountains.” As a hiker, backpacker and overall explorer, Nicky lives for the days that take her away from the grind of daily life. From the east coast to the west, she has ventured into the unknown and come back with epic stories.
One of her greatest adventures happened on a two week road trip through western states with the goal of hitting as many national parks as possible. During their stay in Yosemite National Park, Nicky and her boyfriend hiked up to the Sentinel Dome where they soaked in the scenery and the rays of the rising sun. There, at the top of the world, Nicky’s boyfriend of eight years proposed to her and made for one of her most memorable travel memories. They will be returning to Yosemite for their wedding and honeymoon, where they plan to visit Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. But, what all adventurers have come to know, is that for every high, there is often a low. On the same trip to Yosemite, Nicky and her fiance decided to stay one night in a rental cabin. They didn’t last long before they packed up and headed to a campground in Colorado on account of bed bugs!
Through the good and the bad, Nicky lives for the adventure and captures her memories as an avid photographer. Her photography shows her love for “capturing a moment in time that so easily brings you back.” Her subjects include nature, backpacking sites, waterfalls, trails and everywhere in between. It’s on these trips that Nicky takes the time to reconnect with what’s most important to her. She feels most accomplished whenever she finishes a long backpacking trip, “I love it because you set out on this journey, knowing the miles you have to put in and when you know, by your own will that you finished, it’s amazing. Nothing else compares.” Nicky’s will and perseverance is what makes her an incredible Jolly Llama.
At GrandTrunk, we take pride in our awesome team of adventurers. Nicky shares the same love and passion for adventure that we live for. To learn more about Nicky, follow her on Instagram @venturegirl_ and grab some of the essentials she keeps in her pack; a GT hammock, TrunkStraps, and Poptarts!