Employee Spotlight: Jonathan Starkes

Your Name & Store:

Jonathan Starkes – Trailblazer New Haven


West Haven, CT

How do you spend your days?

Since being hired by Trailblazer I honestly find myself spending the majority of my day wistfully perusing the vast array of hiking gear available online. Prior to this crippling side effect to my employment I spent the majority of my time off hiking, camping, and simply enjoying the outdoors in whatever capacity was available to me.

What are your hobbies?

I love to read. I have a soft spot for narrative non-fiction (what the heck is that?), Jack London, Bukowski, fantasy and science fiction. Reading opened the door on almost every other hobby I now enjoy, including hiking, writing, and working seasonally in Alaska for the last 4 years.

The best meal I’ve ever had was…

A croque madame, stuffed with boar’s head ham and swiss, on 7 grain bread smeared with lingonberry jam, topped with a creamy bechmelle sauce and toasted parmesan cheese presented to me in bed by my girlfriend Larla on a day off last year in Savannah, Georgia.

What super hero power do you wish you had?

I wish I had super-stretch abilities. Although the name Mr. Fantastic has its own separate appeal, the need to reach things on the ground without having to bend down would provide an immeasurable amount of satisfaction on a personal level.

Piece of gear that you couldn’t live without?

SmartWool socks have changed my life.

If you could be any animal what would you be?

I would be a sea lion. Only they can make avoiding the world’s deadliest predators look fun.

Dream Vacation?

Something that closely resembles the movie Touristas, preferably without donating all of my organs. Tropical, remote, with easy access to the bar.

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would the title be?

“White Thang”

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