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41 years an adventure traveler

Today June 15th 2018, marks my 41st year that I have been an adventure traveler. I first left home on this date in 1977. I started as anyone knows from reading my profile by hitchhiking 10,000 miles around the USA from June to September 1977, then I moved to Alaska to homestead in October that autumn. I stayed two years until December 1979.

Then returned to the Lower 48 and started by backpacking in the late winter of 1979-80 in Yosemite spend 90% of my time in the High Sierra, from early January to late May. The end of May I hitchhiked to Jackson Hole WY (JH) and spent three weeks backpacking in the Tetons.

Then I stayed on the road for another year until going back to JH in the summer of 1981 and working what would become 30 of the last 37 summers there. I also have worked in Yosemite,Denali,Glacier (MT),the Grand Canyon, Grand Teton and Zion National Parks.

In 1982 I started bicycle touring, haven never driven a automobile, had my first and last machine, a 49cc moped in 1972 when I was 16. The fall of 1982 I left JH and pedaled to Hope AR. The following summer I went back to JH worked and then in September 1982, pedaled to upstate NY and down to Arkansas. After spending the winter in AR I left for Arizona the end of March 1983 and rode to Tucson then turned north and rode back to JH. I went 7000 miles on that ride.

Since then I have done about 70 bicycle tours, and spent 20 years from 1983-03 backpacking the Grand Canyon in winter, on up to 28 day/four week trips into its backcountry from Oct-May. My longest single hike was 256 miles in 28 days January 1999.

I retired this spring in Tucson in February a few weeks after starting early retirement at age 62. I am now a full time retired adventure traveler. I am currently back in JH biking and soon to be backpacking the high mountains surrounding here once the snow melts more, most likely starting in July. I plan to hang around JH till late September then will go back to where I have wintered in southern Arizona for 34 of the last 35 years, where winter to me is like summer and I can be in shorts and a tshirt almost everyday Oct-April.

Next summer my goal is to return to Alaska and spend the whole summer Memorial Day to labor Day hiking,cycling and seeing more places there than ever before.

Thank you Trailspace for making a great website to share "our" adventures and to make our live have purpose! 

Congrats on the anniversary Gary. You have led an interesting life with travels many of us only dream of. Hope you enjoy many more miles and keep us up to date on your travels.

Sounds like you've had an amazing run so far! Can't imagine the amount of sunrises and sunsets you've watched. The amount of snow you've seen, the amount of fog you've walked through, the wildlife you've encountered. I hope you can adventure for many more years to come!

One question, are the mosquitoes in alaska as bad as everyone says?

Northwestwanderer asks: are the mosquitoes in alaska as bad as everyone says?

Yes, and the gnats,black flies and Noseeum's. I use garlic tablets to combat them from the inside out, instead of wearing bug dope on my skin! They will still buzz around but will not land or bite!

That's quite the interesting, adventurous life you've led! Reminds me of the happy ending version of Into The Wild, where everything goes well and people survive til retirement. 

Do you have any big trips left on your bucket list? Have you adventured much outside of North America?

Hey Gary, I hope to hit the Wind River range sometime in late August or Early September.  Just FYI, if you want to meetup for a camp or maybe dinner lets stay in touch. I think I'll be flying in to JAC to start and renting a car. 

I have only been in North America, western and eastern Canada included, I hitched down the Alaskan Highway in 1978. And I rode across Ontario across the north side of Lake Erie during a 7000 miles tour around the USA in 1983-84. Except for when I was in the US Navy and went to Spain, France, Italy, Turkey and Greece, I have not yet been over seas. Maybe in the future 

Gary a big Congratulations on the journey and may you have many more safe and healthy years of traveling.

September 20, 2020
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