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 rangerin 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.