I was born in north central Minn in 1949. We had a wood stove for heat, water was pumped by hand and the bathroom was outside in that little house with the half moon on the door. My father worked construction during the summer and ran a trap line in the winter. He hunted for meat, had a garden for vegetables and bought what else we needed. I can still remember going out with him on his trap line through the ice and snow.
I had a Tom Sawyer like childhood. When not in school I was running bare foot through the woods. In the winter I would be out skiing through the woods and fields alone, even at night.
When 15, a friend and I did a multi day float trip down a river in PA.
Spent 3 winters ski bumming.
Some where in there, adventure travel seeped into my blood
Took up white water kayaking and did a couple of canoe trips to Canada.
Took sky diving lessons.
Started caving and even did underground surveying in Virginia.
Did a 2 week commercial trip down the Grand Canyon in 74
In 1975 did my first course with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Spent 2 1/2 months back packing in Kenya. Run over by Rhino. Stood on an equitorial glacier on Mt Kenya.
Did a winter mountaineering course with NOLS sleeping in tents and snow caves at 20 below zero for 2 weeks
1976 took the NOLS instructors course and spent the next 11 summers teaching back packing, mountaineering, climbing, canoeing, kayaking,and other outdoor skills in Wyoming, Utah, and Alaska.
Climbed the NE ridge of the Grand Teton and was forced to spend the night in a snow cave that we dug with ice axes. No food and no sleeping bags COLD!
In 1978 I bought a sailboat and learned to sail.
Spent some time living in a tipi
Moved to AK in 1982.
In 1986 took sailboat down the East Coast toward the Bahamas and blew the engine in South Carolina.
1987 got a new engine and continued my trip toward the Bahamas. More boat problems waylaid me in Boca Raton where on October 31, 1987 crashed a Halloween party.
Born in Ecuador and moved to the U S at 2 1/2.
Lived briefly in California and grew up in New York.
Spoke not a word of english until dropped into kindergarten.
Married right out of high school and had 2 daughters.
Lived in the Virgin Islands for 7 years. Learned to scuba dive, sail and race Hobie Cats and windsurf.
Did bareboat charters to Virgin Gorda, Tortola. Dive trips to the Cayman Islands.
Divorced, lived in Texas and California then moved to Boca Raton, FL.
Attended college at night while working full time as an accountant and raising 2 daughters alone.
After 12 years of college became a CPA.
On October 31, 1987, crashed a Halloween party.
Met at a Halloween party that neither of us was invited to and it was love at first sight. Saw each other across the crowded room and boing.
Maria spent weekends meeting Skip as he went through the Keys. Maria flew to Nassua for a long weekend.
Skip sailed to Georgrtown and Maria flew down for a week.
Skip went back to Florida and moved in with Maria.
Took Maria for her 1st trip to Alaska in 1988 including a kayaking trip on Prince William Sound and a camping trip to Denali (Skip forgot sleeping bags).
1989 bought 38 ft sailboat and took it up the east coast to Baltimore.
Brought sailboat back down to Florida in the fall. Frost on the decks in the mornings. Spent time tucked back in a little harbor when the Storm of The Century passed through.
Maria had her own CPA biz and we would row our tender ashore and hitch rides to a post office to mail returns.
Got married on our boat and went to the Bahamas for our honeymoon. Screaming into Nassau under full sail in 40 knot winds.
Finally purchased a place in Alaska, a little cabin outside Palmer with no running water, no heat, out house, great views 4 wheel drive even in the summer. We installed a furnace, dug a well and built a real bathroom
Drove up to Alaska from Florida. Took 5 weeks to drive up, staying with friends and family or sleeping in the back of the truck. Left Alaska a little late and spent our first night in the truck when it got down to 2 below. It took us 6 weeks to get back.
We've been going back and forth from Florida to Alaska since 1990, usually during the warmer months . However one year, we came up in Feb to 131 inches of snow. It took a bulldozer a day and a half to clear our drive. We still had the outhouse. Some time in there, it crept up on us, we became seniors and our outings became senior adventures
This is a brief overview of our years of adventure experience just to let people know that this isn't something that we are just getting into.