Daniel Hamme represents a man whose adventurous life has come full circle, back to the passions that have widely influenced his decisions along his life journey.
Having grown up in Lansdale, Penn., with a love of Biology and sailing, Hamme initially followed a pre-med trajectory in college, with a minor in geology.
He considered attending University of Colorado Boulder to study meteorology and, as he says with a chuckle, “becoming ‘Dan-Dan-the Weatherman.’”
Instead, in 1999, Hamme moved to Denver, attracted by the opportunities for skiing.
“Sailing and skiing are both weather dependent,” he says, “and that first year I skied 200 days at Winter Park and A-Basin, while waiting tables at night.”
In short order, Hamme realized he was spending more time in the mountains than in Denver, so he relocated to Winter Park, where he skied a 136-day season.
“I started a little charter sail business at Grand Lake that featured dinner cruises and ran that for a few years before taking a hiatus.”
Hamme moved to Charleston, S.C., in 2006 to get a captain’s license.
“I accomplished this by delivering boats along the East Coast to the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands. Because of this work, I obtained a Near Shore License for the U.S. Coast Guard, which allowed me to transport passengers for up to 100 miles.”
He says that life then pulled him back to Colorado.
“I found a job as a caretaker on a ranch in Fraser. It had no running water or electricity, with an outhouse about 100 yards from the rent-free cabin. Since the agreement was to care for the animals through the winter months, my friend and I would feed the horses day and night, collect the chicken eggs, and care for the ranch.”
Hamme says it was an adventure but spending eight months in winter temperatures that would plummet to 40 degrees below zero was rugged. Hamme returned to the waters, this time on Lake Dillon, with his sailing business and lived in a camper, sailed during the day and waited tables at night.
Again, in 2007, the urge to return to the waters on the East Coast tugged at him.
“I hatched a plan. I was going to sail around the world with some friends. I’d put things in storage and sell the rest.”
His friends in Denver had a going away party for him and his future wife, whom he had known as a friend for many years, was also there.
“We got together at this party and a few days later she took me to the airport. On the plane, I kept asking myself the question: “What am I leaving behind?”
Hamme says once he was back on the East Coast, he would spend hours on the phone with Clarice every night. “We had the greatest conversations,” he says. “We talked about everything.”
He went on to obtain his PADI Certification (scuba diving), and secured a job on a 100-foot sailboat.
“This ship was incredible — it was like a floating city.”
Due to some unexpected conflicts between members of the ship’s crew, the ship was not ready to sail by the end of the sailing season. “Meanwhile, I’m hearing about all this snow that got dumped on Colorado. It called me back again.”
Hamme took a job with Copper Mountain.
Later that next summer, a raft guide friend of Hamme’s from Taos took Clarice and him on a day of high water rafting.
“We did the Numbers at something crazy like 4,000 cfs.” But after the rafting and later soaking in the hot springs, they also realized how much they appreciated the little town of Buena Vista for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
By 2008, they found a house in Buena Vista that they both loved, and “we fortunately were able to purchase the home after making three offers.”
Hamme and Clarice settled down together and agreed to search for making a living with a “bigger purpose.”
Hamme says that because he lost his father to cancer, and Clarice is a 20-year cancer-survivor, they were compelled to develop a marijuana business that would provide a safer, alternative to harsh medications, and to help educate the public about the alternatives.
“We really wanted to help heal people,” he says. “My mother had a landscape design business, and I had worked at nurseries through high school, learning about biology and plants. Our mission is to provide a better quality of life for people.”
Hamme said it has been challenging, yet rewarding. “It makes such a difference in the lives of those people suffering with chronic pain and illnesses. Our goal is to make our medical business as good as it can be and continue to help more people.”
Hamme suggests that a lot of health issues for many people come from food sources.
“Buyer beware,” he says. “Buying organic will reduce the health risks of food that is doused with harsh pesticides and chemicals. We have great farmers here locally who grow food organically.”
Through his community work on the town’s Recreation Advisory Board, Hamme is happy that the town supports positive change.
“We have installed the dog park, the splash park, and removed the old skate park, replaced by a new one. We thought, ‘What will we do with an empty slab of concrete from the old skate park?’”
He says wishing and hoping don’t create action, so his business split the cost of an ice-skating practice ring with the town 50-50.
“This is just the coolest thing. We purchased ‘The Miracle on Ice’ team’s practice ring that they used at Lake Placid University in 1980.”
The process takes time and they have applied for a $3 million GoCo grant to install the ice rink.
“The outdoor rink would hopefully include the rink with refrigeration, a roof, liner, bleachers, lights, sound system, rentals and storage. It would be state of the art and such a wonderful opportunity for the town. We could have USA skating, USA hockey, and so on.”