Who is Dug??

Would you donate to a cause through a guy you know absolutely nothing about?

Yeah…I don’t know if I would either!

Thus, the “Who is Dug?” page was born out of necessity.

For those of you that know me, you more than likely know most of this. But I know for those that don’t, this is an important few minutes spent. You may need a shot of coffee to keep yourself awake, though!

My name is Dug Shelby, and I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. I’m a “middle child,” and not really sure what kind of syndromes or tendencies I’m supposed to have because of that. If I do have any syndromes, it’s more likely because I was raised between two sisters. OK, two amazing sisters, but still. ๐Ÿ™‚

I grew up in church, and “met God” on a personal level when I was 17, at a place called Camp Colby, a summer camp in the Angeles National Forest. ย At the time, I had thoughts of becoming a high school english teacher, but those thoughts changed after I got involved in the junior high youth ministry at the church I was attending. After an amazing year of learning from those junior high students way more than I taught, I attended John Brown University. It was there I began entertaining the idea of becoming a youth pastor and going into full time youth ministry. I ended up doing this, and eventually working at three different churches over much of the 90’s.

I went through a divorce in ’99, which for the most part wrecked me for several years. I was torn down and lost for some of that time. I was vulnerable to being accepted again, and made poor choices for a while. Some people call this type of time “walking in the desert.” I’d agree. Deserts are places where more pain than fun happens. But they can also be a place of strengthening and growth if you survive them. Thanks to a supportive & loving family, good friends and God’s mercy & grace, I emerged through the other side (for the most part) in one piece.

Today, I’m living in Northern California, near Sacramento. I’ve focused a lot of this last year putting together a ministry (Great Escape Ministries) that offers motorcycle retreat tours to Christian riders, and uses the profits to aid the organizations I’ve listed here on my website. ย My day job is portrait photography, and I enjoy it very much.

Speaking of “jobs”…many people find their identity in their jobs. If that’s the case, wow…I’m a class ‘A’ schizophrenic! I’ve had so many jobs, if I tried to ‘define’ myself by them, I’d go crazy. Thank goodness for Dr. Abraham Twerski’s line of thinking:

“We’ve put so much emphasis on our job … (but) the job isn’t our identity.”

I’ve sold the USA Today door-to-door when I was about 12, back when it first came out. I’ve done construction, worked on an avocado ranch, sold women’s shoes, managed a sporting goods store, been a youth pastor, office supply clerk, worked in a boatyard, delivered pizzas, made pizzas, been a cook in an Italian restaurant, worked in two different salmon processing plants in Alaska for 3 summers, been a barista on both coasts, a busboy, a dishwasher, worked as a limousine driver, waited tables, been an auto parts delivery driver, bookstore clerk, hotel renovator and trolley driver. ย And that’s not even all of the jobs I’ve done. I get tired just looking at the list!

Thankfully for me, our jobs don’t define us. This brings me back to the question, “Who is Dug?”

I think I’m just an ordinary, average guy. I’m a son,ย a big brother and a little brother, ย an uncle to 3 nieces and a nephew whom I love more than I can say, a cousin, a friend. Above all else, though, I’m a child of God, and thankful for His hand in my life, and His heart for the lost. Ultimately, I just want to be known as someone who loved God, and loved others.

If you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to ask… I think this would be a great place to ask anything from the silly to the serious, so if something strikes you, please ask it below!


Dug ย ๐Ÿ™‚

22 Responses to Who is Dug??

  1. Pingback: The Quest Begins…. | THF2

  2. Mitch and Angela Jan says:

    We love you Dug Shelby. We are proud of the man of God you have become and are being formed into. And for being passionate for what God would be passionate for. Your heart and love for God and your vision to make a difference for Him and His Kingdom is inspiring to us. We are blessed to call you our friend and brother in Christ.

  3. Ariana says:

    Dug I’ve seen a clip of life without limbs and it inspired me, how wonderful to know that you were are part of this. I’m so impressed with who you are. I only wish I knew you on a more personal/spiritual level instead of playing a part of some silly job that didn’t define either of us!!!

  4. Kit Kat says:

    Dug! I absolutely adored the 17 year old boy at Camp Colby and am in awe of and full of admiration for the man you are! Blessings to you as you prepare for this amazing journey!!

  5. Liz. says:

    Hey Dug, couldn’t find a contact option other than to comment…. Came your way off BPL gear swap, regarding the Atlas — Just so you don’t feel too bad about not having the funds to purchase the pricey little jewels, you should know that I’ve heard several firsthand accounts of their inaccuracies, as well as the fact that in several of the trail journals I read over the last year referred to them as “the Book of Lies”. Don’t sweat it.

    I’ll see you out there this spring ๐Ÿ™‚ Class of 2011!!

    PS. I live in SB, but I grew up in Nevada City (maybe you’re close to it?)…
    PPS. You should add a Contact button to your page!!

  6. S.Kidd says:

    Looking forward to fallowing you on your journey! be safe and thanks for the link ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Harold Stoehr says:

    Hey Dug, Rock On! This is such an awesome cause and adventure! I am really looking forward to meeting you at one of your re-supply points along your journey. Keep updating your status – we are watching this come together. God is so Great to us!

  8. matthiaskodym says:

    Hey Dug!
    Thanks for your visit, great to know that you are out there as well, I pretty sure we will meet each other on the trail!

    so long,


  9. I love that you were a youth pastor! Anyone with a heart for teens ranks high in my book. ๐Ÿ™‚ I majored in youth and family ministry (and doubled in Christian education) at Harding Uni. I interned for two summers and absolutely loved it. For reason far too long to write here, I chose to work part time as a nanny while spending the rest of my time volunteering with a local youth group here. So I may not get paid what I studied to be, but I do what I’m passionate about and it works for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Aaaanyway, way to much about me here, haha! I love what you are setting out to do and accomplish here! This is incredible! I look forward to reading more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. thf2 says:

    Thanks Rach! And there’s been times when I was a full-time salaried youth pastor that I wished I could just have the freedom to be a volunteer with the students. There’s good to both sides, but as long as you are pursuing your passion and following Jesus Christ with all of your heart, you are right on track. Drop me a line anytime and let me know how I can pray for you, your relationship and your ministry with your students!

    I’ll be updating pretty frequently once I’m on the trail…wherever I get wi-fi, which is available but not everywhere (if you have seen the map of the PCT, you’ll see why…it’s way out in the middle of nowhere!)

    You rock!


  11. George Spearing says:

    Hi Dug,
    Just came across your site. You must be just about at the ‘starting blocks ‘ for the main event by now, so good luck and I know it’s going to be a worthwhile and unforgettable ‘milestone’ experience for you.
    Thanks for the kind words and am really happy that I was able to provide a small bit of the inspiration/info for your trip.
    Good on you mate.
    Say hello to the marmots for me!

  12. Tim Ritter says:

    Hey Dug,

    It’s “Just Tim”. Thanks again for the drink mixes the other day! They helped get me back to the preserve safe and sound. I’m at home resting and recovering and trying to figure out how to stay healthy when I get back on the trail. I lost 17 lbs in 2 weeks out there, but I hope to be back in a couple weeks so I hope to see you soon!

    Also, I think it’s great that you’ve dedicated your hike to a couple great organizations. I started a Christian-based charity called Walking for Their Water (www.walkingfortheirwater.org) that is using my trip to build clean water projects in Haiti. God bless you and your journey!


  13. Marlene says:

    Nice meeting you today at McDonalds and on the ride up to Wrightwood. Wish we’d had more time to talk because, from reading “Who is Dug?”, it looks like we have some stuff in common besides a love of the PCT. I’ve been riding motorcycles for about 9 years now, including cross-country trips of 6000 miles. And I am a pastor! I am between churches right now as I complete my Master of Divinity degree at Azusa Pacific University. Blessings on the rest of your journey, on the PCT, personally, and professionally.

  14. Jim Meyer says:

    Hey Dug,
    Saw your Straitorm III review on youtube, glad you are liking the tarp. I co-designed the Stratiform with Gen for a hike I did here in Australia in 2009, the idea was to create a tarp that had everything, and lacked nothing. I hope we achieved that, glad it’s working for you!

    Jim Meyer (stranger)

    • thf2 says:

      Hello Jim!

      Great of you to drop a line! You just made my day! In fact, it’s been raining and/or windy the last few days, all at above 11,000 feet or higher, and the tarp has been amazing. More than a few hikers have been interested in getting one for themselves. Last night it helped keep me dry & protected at the base of Forester Pass in very cold conditions. Thanks for helping with such a great design…I’m beyond happy with it!

  15. Keri Crook says:

    Dug! You are just awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Elena says:

    You are amazing! Added you to my links.

    love & light your way


  17. Ana Serena says:

    Hi Dug!!

    I am fascinated by your project!! I am interested in raising awareness and funds for similar projects.

    Without sounding cliche’ – I unearthed this crazy notion (hiking the PCT) after reading Cheryl Strayed’s book, “Wild”.
    I know…a million women in book clubs all over America may be wanting to do the same thing….yet their interest may be more of a passing phase…
    but this has sparked something strong in me… I can’t shake it. I have been devouring every book I can find about the trail…and then you!!
    There are no accidents….this I firmly believe.

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