Updated: Nov 27
Meet Mersey Ambassador Trevor Walker, an avid adventurer and endurance enthusiast living amid the breathtaking peaks of Colorado. In this conversation, Trevor shares his inspiring journey from childhood sports to discovering the joys of running and embracing the world of pack burro racing. Join us as we learn more about his commitment to exploration and how it resonates with Mersey Spirits' values.
Let’s start off with some background on you – where do you live, how did you get into endurance activities and what keeps you motivated?
I live in the mountains West of Denver with my wife Amanda and a menagerie of animals including two special burros that have helped keep me motivated on many endurance activities but more on them later.
Growing up in the Midwest my father was an avid runner and cyclist, however I chose the more conventional route in those years of playing baseball, basketball and football. Only occasionally when I’d gotten in trouble and needed to mend fences did I join him on a run or bike tour. The endurance sport suffering was a minor price to pay so long as I didn’t get grounded. Nonetheless I got a taste of it, and it really was in my blood.
After playing football at the University of Minnesota and bulking up to over 260 lbs I knew I needed to do something to keep my weight in check. A friend of mine encouraged me to join a local running group and I found I really enjoyed it.
Soon thereafter I moved to Colorado and found so many interesting and fun endurance activities. One in particular combines my love of animals and running in the sport of pack burro racing. The speculative originations of the sport are that two miners struck a claim at the same time and raced their donkeys laden with mining equipment to the claims office. This historical event is now celebrated in mountain towns throughout Colorado where modern day adventurers 2 legged and 4 race others in distances from 6 to 30 miles.
Running with my burros Comet and Mason is one example of a physical challenge that has also required learning new skills, exploring new places and meeting like-minded people. This is the spirit of Mersey and it feeds my soul.
What does "following your spirit of exploration" mean to you in the context of Mersey Spirits?
Traditionally when one thinks of the spirit of exploration you automatically think in geographic terms. While I see it much the same, however, I also equate this to the exploration of one's inner self. What drives you and what may limit you in terms of enduring life’s challenges whether on the single track or in the workplace.
Mersey Spirits may help give you that moment of solemn self-reflection or sharing with friends and meeting new ones. Exploration doesn’t have to mean summiting Everest, it can be as simple as asking a dear friend how they are doing over a glass of good bourbon.
What inspires you to align yourself with a brand that promotes adventure and following one's spirit of exploration?
We live in a big wide-open world and opportunities abound. I love exploring, challenging myself while seeing and experiencing the wonders life has to offer. This to me is what Mersey Spirits brand exemplifies and that makes me smile.
Can you describe a specific moment or experience where you felt a strong connection between Mersey and the outdoor activities you enjoy? How did it deepen your appreciation for both?
The fall of 2022 some friends and I went elk hunting in the central mountains of Colorado.
This particular year we had seen a lot of snow and thus it made for some tough hiking in some rough country. Each night we looked forward to getting back to camp for a warm meal and most importantly sharing our daily adventures with each other over a fine bourbon.
Can you share a personal story of a time when you followed your spirit of exploration and embarked on an adventure? How did this experience shape your perspective on life and align with the values of our whiskey brand?
The most challenging event I’ve ever experienced was a backcountry ski race, The Grand Traverse. The race starts at midnight in Crested Butte when the risk of avalanche is lowest. You must race with a partner and carry required gear for 40 miles mostly above tree line through the Elk Mountains. The goal is to reach Aspen ski resort the following day before closing time.
The scenic beauty, exertion and high elevation were all truly breathtaking. There were numerous times that I wanted to quit. I was bitterly cold and had very little energy left. However, I wouldn’t just be exiting the race on my own; my partner won’t be allowed to continue on his own. Thus I’d be quitting for both of us.
While fighting my desire to quit I changed the way I was looking at the event. It wasn’t me against the race, it was me experiencing an adventure. It was my first time on this course and each glide on my skis revealed more beautiful country and there was more to see.
The spirit of Mersey to me is there is always more to see and experience.
What advice would you give to individuals who may feel hesitant or unsure about embracing their spirit of exploration?
Go for it! Have confidence in your knowledge, skills and abilities to allow yourself to drink in the sweet nectar of exploration.
How can Mersey enhance the whiskey-drinking experience by infusing elements of adventure and exploration?
I would love to see Mersey come out with a wilderness container for their whiskey so that it can be more easily transported on every adventure.
How do you stay motivated and continue seeking new adventures and experiences in your own life? How do you translate this enthusiasm into inspiring others?
Fortunately or unfortunately I don’t need to motivate myself to jump into new adventures, it's the preparation and training I sometimes am challenged with. Self-discipline and comradery in preparation I find inspires others and further oneself. In financial terms it’s the beauty of compounding growth.
Tell us a bit about your next adventure that you have planned?
As I get older I realize I have a shrinking window in which to tackle certain physical adventures. This includes training the mind and body. Thus I have begun on both as I get ready for an ice climbing trip this winter to Ouray.
I’m both intimidated and excited about the coming adventure and yes I’ll be taking some Mersey along.
What is your favorite way to drink Mersey, including cocktails?
Trevor’s spirit of adventure is a testament to the pursuit of personal growth and exploring life's boundless opportunities, just like our ancestors who embarked on the Queen of the Mersey. As we at Mersey Craft Spirits raise our glasses of award-winning whiskey to more escapades and life's grand moments, remember, it's the journey that brings the truest sense of fulfillment.