The author was born and raised in the state of New York. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he was directed to report for duty in the Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. There he joined the Beavercreek Junior Chamber of Commerce and was asked to pose in a canoe for publicity pictures that the local newspaper would use to announce an upcoming canoe race on the Little Miami River near Dayton. Then, for the first time in a canoe, he paddled down the river for 12 miles and tipped over three times. This began his love of canoeing that would last a lifetime. He participated on a total of 19 canoe trips in the wilderness of northern Canada. The trips ranged from 11 to 36 days and totaled about 4,500 miles. Most of the trips ended at either the Arctic Ocean or Hudson Bay.