Take one adventuresome author, add one outdoorsy guy, spend a few months together on the Appalachian Trail, and you get us: Sandra Friend and John Keatley(aka JK & Navigator), your hosts to the grand adventure that is Florida’s outdoors.
Between us, they’ve hiked and biked over 20,000 miles, toured by motorcycle and sailboat, explored waterways by kayak and SUP, slogged through swamps and scrambled up mountains, met presidents and worked with astronauts. They hike, camp, backpack, paddle, bike, and explore the outdoors from their vintage VW camper.
As luck had it, they met while hiking the Florida Trail, which they both love. They’ve been inseparable as an outdoors couple since sharing their 2012 attempt at thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Sandra has written 31 books, with more than a dozen on Florida’s natural areas and hiking. John started blogging in early 2012 and joined in on four new guidebooks since 2013. They’ve also produced some apps.
John’s outdoor background includes sailing, diving, and extensive bike touring. He’s ridden numerous Safaris and two Cross-Florida rides in a day. He’s also grew up with Scouting. He became an Eagle Scout and the Lodge Chief of Tipisa Lodge, Order of the Arrow. He served as a camp counselor for several seasons at Camp La-No-Che in Central Florida.
Sandra started her career as an author in 1996 when she was actively involved with the Society of Childrens’ Book Writers and Illustrators, completing a five-part earth science series by 2002. Now a friend and business partner, editor Karen Berger connected her with The Countryman Press, where she launched their series of Florida books. She hasn’t stopped writing books since. Her dream is to move on to fiction. Stay tuned for the next chapter!
They’re both public speakers, and are members of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and the Society of American Travel Writers, where Sandra recently served on the Board of Directors for four years. She is now the Immediate Past Chair of the Freelance Council for SATW.
Their mission is to connect you with the outdoors, and by doing so, they hope that you fall in love with Florida’s natural places as much as they have, and will help conserve and protect them in the future.