I was born and raised in eastern Ohio outside the steel mill town of Steubenville. The 3rd of 5 boys in the 7th generation of my family to call Jefferson County Ohio home. My father was a heavy equipment operator and my mom a dedicated housewife and beautician.
I joined the Boy Scouts at the age of 11 and earned my Eagle Scout award in 1978. I lettered in football in High School and just had a wonderful time growing up in rural Ohio.
After high school, I started my collegiate career at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. After one difficult year, I decided to join the Navy. I served 4 years in the Navy as an Aviation Electrician, climbing to the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class (E5). I sailed with the proud crew of the USS America and traveled extensively, visiting Europe and the Caribbean as well as several states. This is where my love for travel began to develop.
Upon returning home to Ohio in 1987, I accepted a position with the Colgate-Palmolive Company. I also took a position as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 192 in Unionport, Ohio. In the next decade I would be a good factory worker and Scoutmaster. I got married in 1991, just before the second of my two years as Camp Director at Fort Steuben Scout Reservation.
After a divorce in 1997, I decided to return to college. I graduated from Malone College with a BA in Business Administration in 1999. The entire time I was in college I dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Upon graduation I asked for six months off to go hiking, and a promotion. I got both.
When one hikes along the Appalachian Trail they either take or are given a trail name. My trail name is Sheltowee. Sheltowee is a Shawnee Indian name that was bestowed upon Daniel Boone when he was captive and living with the Shawnee in Ohio during the mid 1700ís. It means Big Turtle. Daniel Boone has long been one of my heroes, as have the Shawnee peoples. I respect both and have taken this name to honor those that I admire.
I have always enjoyed the outdoors and had backpacked over 1500 miles prior to hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1999. Indeed I didn't know as much about backpacking as I thought; and I continue to learn better ways to travel on foot still.
After returning to Colgate I took a promotion to the Mennen Factory in Morristown, New Jersey. I worked nearly two years there before deciding it was time for a change of scenery.
It was difficult to leave the security of a job with a fortune 500 company, but there are times in our lives when we must set aside our fears and embrace lifeís dreams. To go and rediscover America is an incredible dream. Make no mistake, the price of chasing dreams is very high...it is being questioned, being doubted and failure; as we will never achieve all that we set out to do. But the reward for chasing dreams is also very high; it is life as opposed to mere existence. I want to LIVE.
The first part of the journey completed, I moved to Maggie Valley, North Carolina got a job with the Daniel Boone Council, Boy Scouts of America. In September of 2003 I married Nina, aka Waterfall. It is now 2008 and we are still in Maggie Valley. I manage Camp Daniel Boone, one of the premier Boy Scout Camps in America. The summer of 2008 however will find me hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail. I am grateful to the Daniel Boone Council for their support of my personal goals.
Last modified: 05/24/09