To dance on the edge is an incredible thrill, but falling off can be downright terrifying and sometimes deadly. During my life of adventure, I have come close to death on a few occasions and have lost some very good friends. They all had exuberance for life that few people shared, and they died doing what they loved. I offer a special dedication to Paul Zirkelbach, John Foss, Dugald Bremner, Henry Filip, Chris Kessler, Tom Snyder, Craig Soddy, Matt Gaines, Mark Gunderson, Mark Wolling (Big Wolly), Derek Hersey, Randy Kennedy, and Lars Holbek. They are deeply missed by their families and many friends, but their spirits will always be with us.
A special thanks to Mary for her patience and encouragement, and gratitude to my parents who tried to understand why their son had chosen a path that was considered totally insane in the small farming community where my life began. They both had very positive attitudes, and this background taught me to persevere when the going was hard.
The farm was a wonderful place to grow up. The empty prairies offered a great playground to roam and explore nature, and we feasted on organic food that my family produced.
My love for nature continues to grow stronger, and I am constantly invigorated by the many spectacular places that this planet offers to explore. I am also deeply saddened, as I watch my home being destroyed by the forces of greed and technology. Science has created some incredible things, but unfortunately they have not always been used in the wisest ways. If mankind wants to survive, we must re-embrace nature and learn to care for the great Mother Earth which feeds us.
I hope this book will inspire many people to live their dreams and become a positive force, because this crazy planet is such an incredible place, and you might only live once.