An Outdoors Enthusiast: A Profile of Mr. Brandstaedter


Everyone knows Mr. Brandstaedter as a physics and physical science teacher at the school. But did you know that Mr. Brandstaedter is also an avid outdoorsman? During his childhood summers, Brandstaedter would go on camping and hiking trips with his family all over the northeast. “We would drive the family station wagon up to the campsite and set up right there on camp,” he said.

Once Brandstaedter was in college, he and his friends continued to go on similar adventures. His longest journey was his cross-country bike trip. During the summer of 1996, after Brandstaedter graduated college, he and his friends packed up their bikes and flew to San Francisco, California. They began their journey on the Golden Gate Bridge and traveled for nine weeks, taking one day off a week. Their route ventured across the entire country, ranging from San Francisco to Oregon, Southern Idaho to Northern Wyoming, South Dakota to Niagara Falls, and all the way back to New York. The most common place they stayed were churches. “When we were done riding for the day, we would come into a town and knock on the door. The first church we could find we would sleep in.”

Brandstaedter describes the people he met along the way generally as very friendly and helpful. “People at bike stores would fix our bikes for free and gave us free stuff and discounts,” he said. “You really see things along the way and you meet people.” There were also days he and his friends could travel 100 miles on flat land and find nobody in sight. “We would go half the day without seeing anything in the middle of the country,” Brandstaedter said. He and his friends traveled approximately 4,000 miles cross-country in total.

Brandstaedter reflected on his trip: “I didn’t find it too difficult. The main thing you’re fighting is boredom.” He is a firm believer that riding a bicycle is a great way to travel. “I would do it again in a second.”

Now, as a father, Brandstaedter takes his children on backpacking trips in Harriman State Park, in Rockland County, New York during the summers. He hopes that his kids will enjoy these types of trips as much as he does.