Ryan Hughes, Project Leader

The tall tales of Pecos Bill hold nothing but a candle to the grandiose stories told of Ryan Hughes. Born on the golden plains and rolling hills of Eastern Oklahoma, Ryan grew up tangling with tornadoes and wrangling water moccasins. After toiling in the muddy waters of the Arkansas and Cimarron Rivers, Ryan first allowed himself to be called a cowboy upon enrolling at Oklahoma State University. After four long years, Ryan discovered that he had in fact graduated, with a degree in English, and like one of his favorite characters, Huck Finn, Hughes lit out for the western territories. Since he left his prairie home, Ryan has stared down rattlesnakes on a trail crew in the Blue Mountains of Oregon and Washington, his skin grew thick and rough under the blazing sun of the Mojave Desert, he took his licks as a wildland firefighter for the Umatilla National Forest, and survived a winter in the snow at Steven’s Pass Ski Resort in Washington. Surely, though, the king of the pokes will face a tough test this summer atop the western ridge of mountains known as the Sierras, however, only the most deserving shall see his wide brim fade into the sunset.