Welcome to a new monthly feature in which we go behind “Behind the Scenes” to learn more about a member of the Capstan team. If you’d like to see someone specific featured, let us know!
It’s fitting that Ty Wimmer was the lucky engineer to visit Montana and complete “Capstan’s 50 States.” Ty loves travel and the great outdoors – he’s has been as far south as Patagonia, as far north as Iceland, and he’s hiked through 17 National Parks. In this month’s Behind the Scenes, we chat with Ty about his memorable travels, his secret talent, and why it feels like he’s been at Capstan forever. (In a good way.)
I’ll start with a tough question – of the 17 National Parks you’ve visited, do you have a favorite? Or are they all equally majestic?
[Laughs.] No, I totally have favorites. In fact, my top 3 are the Grand Teton, Yosemite, and Glacier, with Grand Teton absolutely at the top.
Why is the Grand Teton firmly #1?
Well, it’s just vast. Unspoiled. And it’s not hard to navigate – it’s easy to get from hike to hike, you don’t need to bring a vehicle. Plus, the surrounding area of Jackson Hole is awesome – it’s this great mix of an old “wild west” type of aesthetic, mixed with a more modern, artsy vibe.
You should write a travel book.
I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Tell me about some of your international adventures.
My wife Hope and I have been to Patagonia, Iceland, Thailand, Switzerland, and Italy.
Wow! Remind me where Patagonia is again.
It’s the southernmost region of South America. Primarily Argentina and Chile, and it’s stunning. Want to see some glaciers? [shows photo].
That is stunning! Now tell me about Switzerland – how much chocolate did you guys eat?
[Laughs] We ate a ton of chocolate. I mean, it’s Switzerland. They literally give you chocolate on the plane. We’ve eaten such amazing food overseas. Don’t get me started on the pasta in Italy. And we actually took a cooking class in Thailand.
Wait, that rings a bell. When we compiled our Capstan Cookbook last year didn’t you submit a Thai recipe?
I did, and it was inspired by something we learned how to make at a cooking class in Chiang Mai!
So when you travel you go to cooking classes?
Sometimes [chuckles]. We like to try local restaurants and new foods. We really like to spend a lot of time outside – hiking, fishing, boating. We went paragliding in Patagonia, which was really something.
I bet it was! Now, inquiring minds wanted me to ask this next question Ty. Do you or do you not cut your own hair? There are rumors around the office.
[Laughs]. Well, yes and no. I DID cut my own hair for about five years, but I just started going back to the barber shop.
Five years? So this wasn’t just a Covid-mandated necessity?
I started cutting my own hair before Covid. I had one of those little kits, and I learned on YouTube. Once Covid started though, I had lots of friends and family asking for cuts. My father-in-law was really hesitant at first, and now he won’t let anyone touch his hair but me.
I hope Capstan won’t lose you to the lure of the barber shop…
Don’t worry. I love the Capstan life too much to hear that siren’s call.
I love that, “the Capstan life.” What do you mean? Could it be a hashtag? #thecapstanlife
It could be a hashtag, I guess [laughs]. I guess I mean a place that fosters a healthy work-life balance, and a place where everyone is valued for what they uniquely bring to the table. I can’t believe I’ve only been here three years.
You’ve only been here three years?! It feels like so much longer. No offense.
[Chuckles.] I know what you mean. It feels like WAY longer because I started before Covid, and everyone knows 2020 lasted like 8 years.
Indeed. Can I tell everyone something incredibly wonderful that you do?
Do I have a choice?
Nope. I understand that you and Hope are licensed foster parents, and that you take in kiddos who need a safe place to land.
That’s true, we are foster parents. We don’t have any kids with us right now, but we had a little girl about a month ago. What usually happens is that we fill in the gaps – sometimes kids need to leave their homes immediately, but permanent arrangements haven’t yet been made. That’s where we come in – kids will stay with us for a few weeks at a time while the system does its thing, and we try to make those weeks as comfortable and happy as possible.
It helps that we both work from home, so even if I’m on the road doing site visits, Hope is home to receive any kids who might unexpectedly need a place to stay.
Forget paragliding in Patagonia – that’s truly incredible.
Ty Wimmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He welcomes feedback on his National Park rankings.