Alright guys, even though I've been on the site for a couple of months now and have posted quite a bit, I figured I would use this thread for some background so when I post or if you meet me on the trail in the future, you know a little bit about me and where I am coming from....
I currently live in South Scottsdale with my 81 year old parents. It's a nice mutual arrangement, but something that I hope is not permanent, although with the folks, it might be. I get to help my mom with my dad, who is kinda high maintenance with health issues, and I have become the Lifter, Handyman, Roof Climber, Grocery Bag Carrier, and Taxi Driver for the household. In exchange, they help me get back on my feet financially after a bad last few years of marriage and divorce.
I have worked outside for a career for the last 17 years. I was an Underground Utility Locator for 10 years, first with a BlueStake type contractor and then with a Survey/Engineering Firm. With the Survey firm, which was back here in AZ, I did alot of State Highway work and got to see alot of AZ and New Mexico, discovering a bunch of awesome places to see and explore. Saw a little bit of Northern Nevada, Southern Texas and Southern Cal as well. After I got married, I got sick of not being home, living out of hotels and restaurants and took a big paycut, but landing the job of my dreams. I have been an Animal Control Officer for the last 7 years and still love it....
I have worked and trained animals all of my life. I started by training the family dog in Grade School and entering her in little Summer Recreation Pet Shows, and actually won some ribbons, lol! I have had dogs all of my life with the exception of 4 years in MN when I was living in an apartment. Today, I work with dogs all day and then I play with them all night! A few years ago, I discovered Dog Agility and it became a passion. I trained, competed, and ran with 4 dogs for about 3 years and today, although I only have 2 dogs, they are somewhat retired due to $$$, but I still instruct a Foundation and Relationship class once a week. I plan on competing again someday, but right now I just work the Trials and Instruct. I got an opportunity to work the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina doing animal rescue. It was the most humbling, fulfilling, heartbreaking experience of my life and I would do it again in a hearbeat! If you look at my personal Photo Album on this site, there are pics of that trip.
I have loved the Outdoors all of my life. As a Teenager, I participated for a couple of years in the Federal YCC Program down in Fort Huachuca. We did outdoor projects in the Huachuca Range, while staying in the Barracks on the base. Quite a cool program for a teenager. My best memory was flying in a Helicopter to the top of a peak, getting dropped off and building a trail from the top to the bottom, in one day. I think it was Ramsey Canyon, but not sure, it could have been Sycamore Canyon, I just don't quite remember. I also took an Orienteering Class my senior year of High School, don't know how much of that I have still retained, but I'll find out soon enough...lol! I also Volunteered as an Assistant Animal Keeper at the Phoenix Zoo for about a year during that time, and would do it again anytime, that was incredible. I also volunteered for the DNR in Minnesota when I lived up there for 14 years, doing Osprey Watches, Whitetail Deer Watches and helping at the booth at the State Fair. (I used to bring the Black Bear, blueberries, he loved it when I worked, lol) I currently volunteer with the Phoenix Herpetological Society on occasion doing Reptile Rescue, and of course helping out with various Dog Rescue and Exotic Bird Rescue groups. I am not a tree hugger, I do not like PETA or HSUS, they are too politically based and take things a little too far for my liking. I do love Nature, I don't litter, and I believe in the Conservation movement, but I'm not a hard core "activist". I try to do my part and support the ideals that make sense and work!
I have hunted with a bow, rifle, shotgun and camera. These days, just the camera, the firearms are gone. I have fished extensively since I was 15, including competitively for several years. About the only fishing I haven't done is Deep Sea fishing and Fly Fishing. I still love to fish and will pack a rod and tackle on my hikes sometimes.
A sports enthusiast to the core and have played and competed for quite a few years. I come from a family rich in Baseball history, you'll have to ask me about that sometime....
I have worked in a Male Dominated Field most of my adult life, so it takes an awful lot to offend me. You can swear, spit, fart and joke with me over just about anything and I won't blink an eye and will probably laugh. I love to laugh. My humor is sarcastic at times, weird sometimes, over the top sometimes, but I have fun with it. I am very direct and will tell it like I see it and shove my foot in my mouth later, but oh well, such is life! I smoke, but would love to quit, have tried and failed many times. I am, however, conscientious of those around me when I light up.
I love to hike, but most of my hikes have been impromptu, spontaneous hikes while on vacation. I am now looking to change that and get into it as more of a sport and seeing places that few people ever get to see. Thus I am on this site, looking for new friends and enjoying the wealth of information that comes with an absolutely wonderful site such as this one. Thanks Joe! I have alot of pictures that I would love to share, but most of them are older and need to be digitized and on a CD before I can share them. Hiking and Kayaking the North Shore of Lake Superior is among those on the list. What gorgeous country that is and I have a lot of cool pics of it. Canada was awesome too.
So there I am, in 9 paragraphs, lol! Hope to meet a bunch of you, hopefully on a trail and not when I'm working, lol! I have some insight about dogs, hiking and leash laws that I will contribute soon, but just know that what I post here will be my personal opinion based on personal and professional experiences. I will never post here officially as I find that that would be inappropriate, but if you have any dog related questions or questions about the law, feel free to ask, I will always answer, either on the forum or PM. I look forward to many years of sharing hikes, pictures, stories and laughs with all of you.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"