Soccer and T-Ball kept all three of us boys busy. Dad was a great coach and Mom could scream really loud from the stands. We won some and lost some, but the fun was what mattered.

In '86 my parents started new jobs at a group home in Riverton, Wyoming. We got to move there. From then on my life was like being on a permanent vacation. My Dad took us hiking ... camping ... fishing. He taught us to fly fish. He got a boat.

We camped in tents, we camped under nothing but stars. We saw deer and antelope, elk and moose. Jeremy showed us snakes and we even saw bears. I loved nothing like I loved the mountains. From the time I was 9 years old, I knew that my life would be spent on a mountain. with nature, serenity, and light. I told my parents often that when I turned 18, I was running away to the mountains. I guess in a way, I did.

Adolescence has its downside, but looking back I can remember only the fun. Being male and living in Wyoming, I was expected to learn how to kill for food. I started my training with BB guns. My Dad distinctly remembers me shooting at a grasshopper that happened to jump just as I pulled the trigger - and shooting out the window of his Blazer.

When I got old enough, I took Hunter's Safety Class. A few days later I shot myself in the finger with a BB pistol. Soon after, Josh shot me in the foot with a BB rifle - didn't think the BB would go through the moon boot I was wearing. And now that I am thinking about BBs .... I think Jeremy shot me in the head, from a distance of course, when we still lived in Iowa ..... hmmm. I guess I should have picked up on the dangers sooner .... could have shot my eye out!

Hunting was great! Real guns, orange vests and hats - A MAN'S SPORT! My first try at an elk was ... well, funny. I tracked him, got into position .... took a steady aim ... fired a shot. I missed! And you know, I still don't understand why. I HAD HIS HUMONGOUS RACK RIGHT IN MY SCOPE!!

The last deer I shot was another story, one that still makes my entire family laugh hysterically. Once again, I tracked it. I got into position. I took aim. I fired. Blew off its leg. I fired again. Blew off another leg. Fired again. Third leg gone. Whew, I was sweating! Fourth shot fired. I missed. (Which is not really a bad thing - hitting one leg is a difficult shot!) I handed the gun to Josh and let him take care of the deer. It was the shortest deer I had ever seen!