After 36 years, a new chapter...
When I was seven years old, my parents took me on a trip that would change my life. For six weeks, the three of us piled into a sky-blue Ford pickup truck hooked up to a 15'-long Dutch Craft travel trailer and set off to follow the advice of Simon & Garfunkel: we were going to look for America. We visited magical places with names like Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns and more. Somewhere along the way, I became enamored with the guys in the flat Smoky Bear-style hats! They were smart, funny, and lived in the coolest places. I told my folks "I'm gonna be a National Park Ranger when I grow up!"
That dream came true when I was 21-years old at a gigantic hole in the ground in Kentucky called Mammoth Cave. For 36 years, I guided walking tours, boat tours, bus tours, tram tours. I answered tens of thousands of questions. I took kids camping, treated their injuries, told them stories around campfires. I made slide shows, brochures, exhibits, and websites. I curated art exhibits, fought fires, created an alter-ego. I rescued entangled animals, swore in junior rangers, shuttered buildings for hurricanes. I worked with kids, families and seniors. I went to their school plays, their graduation parties, their weddings and their funerals. I became part of their lives, and they became part of mine.
And on December 31, 2022, I retired, anxious to make new memories and share my passion for what Wallace Stegner called "America's Best Idea."
Welcome to my next chapter.