My name is Richard.
For a year now, which is how long I have been building this site, my wife, Nancy, has been after me to add this page to my website.
However, for a variety of reasons, I have always resisted.
But, Nancy, and many of our friends, finally convinced me that I owe it to my visitors to tell them something about me. They reason that since many of my pages are in the first person, the reader should get to know something about me, what my credentials are, why I am writing about the Lake Powell country, and, perhaps, how they can build their own website.
So, here goes…
--A Good Place to Start--
Probably a good place to begin would be with my retirement in February of 1990 from US West Communications in Albuquerque, NM, where I worked as a communications consultant.
IN 1990, US West was trying to downsize and offered those management employees who qualified, a rare opportunity to retire early at full pension or, in lieu of a pension, accept a buyout; the amount to be determined by length of service and current salary. And, as an added bonus, everyone would still be covered by the company’s excellent health care program.
As it turned out, I easily met the qualifications, and since it was an offer too good to refuse, I took the buyout and retired at the young age of fifty-four.
--My New Home on Wheels--
With part of my money I bought a 1985 Volkswagen Camper Van and spent the early years of my retirement traveling throughout the southwest, Florida, Canada and Alaska photographing wildflowers, landscapes and wildlife.
I became a member of the Sandia Mountain Ski Patrol and during the winter months, I spent most of my days on the mountain, skiing and working in the emergency room.
I enjoyed treating the skiing injuries which were presented to us and foolishly decided I wanted to do something like this full time.
--Becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)--
I enrolled in an EMT class at the Technical Vocational Institute in Albuquerque, got my state certificate, and accepted a position with the Albuquerque Ambulance Service, driving an ambulance. My long term goal was to become a Paramedic, the top rung of the EMT ladder.
However, I had only worked there for a few months before I found that being an EMT was really not what I had expected, so reluctantly I tendered my resignation. The ambulance service is a lot like piloting an aircraft, hours of tedium interrupted by minutes of either panic or huge adrenaline rushes.
Although having to resign was quite a blow to my ego, I eventually came to accept that everyone isn’t cut out for this job.
I greatly admire those individuals who can handle this combination of tedium and stress on a daily basis. They certainly have my respect.
--Back to my Real Passion: Photography--
So I went back to the less stressful and more enjoyable life of photography. I continued to travel and worked hard at improving my photographic skills. This was the fire in my belly that stoked my passion. I was determined to succeed in the difficult task of breaking into the highly competitive field of professional photography.
Every year, starting in July, the Pacific salmon would migrate to their spawning beds in the headwaters of the Fish River near Hyder, Alaska.
So, like the salmon, I would migrate to Hyder where I would spend the month photographing the black bear and grizzly bears as they chased after, caught and fed on the spawning salmon.
From there I would either go to Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada to photograph elk and moose, or over to The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park for bear, deer, elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goats or down to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
--The North Country is Nice--
But the Winter Months are Too Cold for me--
I loved all of this country to the north, but it was just too cold in the winter and the snow wasn’t just confined to the ski areas where I thought it belonged, it covered everything!!
Also, I had a special place in my heart for Utah where there was just so much to see, enjoy and photograph. It had everything from beautiful mountains with quaking aspen and champagne powder, to high deserts with sandstone arches, hidden springs and hanging gardens and the spectacularly beautiful Lake Powell. This was the place where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
--Love and Serendipity Enters my Life--
But circumstances and serendipity would dictate otherwise. I met and fell in love with a beautiful woman who lived in northern Indiana.
She had a good job in Indiana which she was reluctant to leave and I was fancy free, so I eagerly moved there to be with her. After a two year courtship, Nancy became my wife and lifelong partner.
In November of 2001, she and I moved to southern Indiana where we bought a 153 acre hardwood and Christmas tree farm and now live there with 12 cats and three dogs (five when the neighbor’s dogs come over); the ducks, chickens and guinea hens having succumbed to either varmits or disease.
-- My Heart is Still in Utah--
--Maybe I can be there in Spirit--
Although I now live in Indiana, my heart remains in the Lake Powell country of northern Arizona and southern Utah. So, I decided if I could not be there in person, I could live there vicariously by writing about it.
Besides, it would be nice if I could supplement my income with money from a website. Others seemed to be doing it, so maybe I could too.
--I Know Nothing--
--About Computers, that is--
Now you will have to understand that even though I had worked in communications for much of my life, I knew next to nothing about computers. In fact, I was pretty computer illiterate.
I am so inept, that when we bought a new computer, Nancy had to set it up and do all the programming. Sure, I could send out e-mails and do searches on the internet, but that was the extent of my knowledge.
So, how in the world do you create a website, when you have no knowledge about computers? The answer seemed simple, search the internet and look into some of those big money-making offers we were always receiving.
--What Language Are They Speaking?
The only problem was, the more I searched, the more confused I became. I discovered words which I had never even heard of much less had any idea what they meant. Words like: search engine optimization, domain name, keywords, program affiliates, adsense, internal and external links, CSS, HTML, Java script, RSS feeds, post meta data, blogging, etc. etc.
My mind was spinning, and I was getting more and more frustrated. I was in well over my head, kind of like a first grader trying to understand Calculus. But, more than that,I felt like a complete computer idiot. If other people were doing it, why couldn’t I?
-Serendipity Again and SBI to the Rescue-
And, then serendipity once again played an important part in my life. I can’t even tell you exactly how I came across it, because by that time I had been wandering around so completely lost that I hardly knew up from down.
To make a long story short, at the age of 75, I discovered Solo Build It (SBI), a very professional company that takes computer illiterates like me and turns them into successful website owners.
Now, I am not one to just jump into things, especially when it costs money. But one of the great things about this company is that they gave me a lot of free information to help me decide if SBI is for me.
Also, they told me right up front that this is No Get Rich Quick Scheme. I would have to make money the old fashioned way, Earn It!!
There are videos of site owners who tell about how they got started and how their lives have changed.
There are hundreds of different websites, in categories ranging from travel, sports & fitness, hobbies and self-help to religion and business.
Amazingly, all of these sites are in the top 1% of the traffic rankings.
The clincher for me was the 90 day risk free offer. I could try SBI, see if it was something I could do, and if for any reason I decided it was not what I expected, I could get my money back.
--Determination and Hard Work--
Now, I am not saying that it was easy, because it took a lot of work. Over the span of several days, working at my own pace, and when I could spare the time, I watched Action Guide Videos, read e-books on different subjects such as “Make Your Words Sell”, “Make Your Knowledge Sell” and “Make Your Content PREsell!”
I was being led by the hand every step of the way, and I didn’t even have to learn any special computer language; everything was in plain English.
I already knew that I wanted to write about Lake Powell, and the country surrounding it, but even if I didn't have any idea what I wanted to make a website about, they would help me find one that would be perfect for me. They even helped me choose a name for my website.
--Not Everyone Wants a Website--
Just as not everyone wants to be an EMT, there are a lot of people who simply have no desire to build their own website. If you are one of those people, there is certainly nothing wrong with that.
But, if you are one of those people who would like to have their own website, but you are under the misconception that you can’t do it, for one reason or the other, then you owe it to yourself to at least check out this site: Solo Build It
So, now you know my story, you have a face to go along with the words, you know why I am writing about Lake Powell Country and you know how I did it.
Thank you for reading about me. Maybe one day I’ll be reading about you!