Thursday, July 14, 2011


Heading home from Maroon Bells, Colorado
Without really knowing it, it happens.  Someone has just changed the direction of your life forever.  There was no planning, no decisions to be made, no commentments or contract.  It happens because of a dad that took you on your first canoe trip, a friend that asked you to play tennis and a teacher that spent time after class to teach you something that really mattered.  The influences from those around you are only seen later in life when all the pieces come together and you finally get it.  In 1972, I was invited to go on a two month drive with my snake hunting buddy and best friend Bobby through New Mexico, Arizona , and Colorado. I was just out of seventh grade.  Dick Kreutzer was Bobby's dad and Dick's dad was the first forest ranger  in the United States.   I heard some great stories about the wild west, Indian tribes, the gold rush, mountain men, and that elusive jack-a-lope .  That trip was burned in my soul forever and I can still recognize places I had visited on that trip of discovery 30 years later.  It was a  trip that opened my life to one of discovery and adventure that I still subscribe to today. I was able to write Dick a note before he died to tell him just that.  The Portal is my place to share some of my adventures as I continue to explore this incredible planet home and if you're lucky spark some interest within for the great outdoors, just as Dick sparked my interest so many years ago. 


  1. Hi to Pat (from Dick Kreutzer's daughter Sue, sister to your long ago best friend Bob) .... I'm headed up to Basalt in a few hours to fish the Frying Pan. But will read your blog with interest when I get back . I see you graduated from hunting snakes in Magnolia to traveling the world ! good for you, later it is SUE Kreutzer

  2. Hey Sue,
    Thanks for the note. Last time I saw you was in Rocky MNP 1972. You and your boyfriend took Bobby and I on a jeep ride up a slick mountain road. That trip with your parents and Bobby was a great one and really sparked my interest in the outdoors. I will always be grateful. Hope the fishing was good on the Frying Pan. Keep in touch
    Pat Sixbey

  3. Pat -

    The 1972 trip is one I will always remember. Still have the diary laying around here somewhere. Good times.

    I'm sure my desire to hike, camp, and be outdoors was a direct result of all the cool trips I was able to take with my dad. He had a genuine appreciation for nature and the outdoors. I've been fortunate enough to pass that along to my son, Nicholas.

    Hope we can cross paths around a campfire somewhere one of these days.

    Your pal and snake hunting buddy,