Growing up I had one real passion, the outdoors. It didn’t really matter the activity I just wanted to get outside and be in nature. I got my first rifle when I was 4, caught my first fish way before that.
Instead of birthday parties as a kid I begged the folks to take the family camping so I could camp and fish at the same time. Any night it wasn’t raining I was in a sleeping bag sleeping on the back deck of the house. I wanted to sleep out in the yard, but mom just knew a squirrel, or even a giant raccoon, would get me. Moms, got to love them; like a raccoon wouldn’t climb up on the deck.
My passion for the outdoors continued to grow, and now having a driver’s license just fueled the fire. Now, no longer dependent on the folks to transport me from suburbia to the end of the road I was making regular trips myself. But there were other people at the end of the road. So, I took up backpacking and started backpacking deeper and deeper into the back country to try and escape human contact. I wanted solitude, if I wanted to be in a crowd, I could have stayed in town.
In the spring of ‘83 I got married, started a family. Not long after that we loaded the U-Haul complete with a Tupperware bowl of goldfish on the dash of the truck and headed toward Montana. Shortly after settling into the Montana Lifestyle I just felt to be a true Montanan I needed a horse. One became 2 which became 3…..and on and on.
One day while watching them out the window my wife said you should do more with them than feed them. All I could think of were those long pack strings, garnished in white canvas, headed into the high country, loaded with huge elk racks, on the cover of every outdoor magazine I ever read. So, packing it was!!! Over the years this hobby has become a passion, and a lifestyle. After thousands of trail miles, along with countless nights sleeping in the back country, the obvious next step was to open Trailhead Supply, and share the knowledge which I picked up along the way.
I started teaching pack classes and clinics across the Pacific Northwest, next thing I knew I was writing for magazines, and doing radio talk shows. Then one day the phone rang and it was National Geographic, which turned into a TV series. This life I’m living is so much better than the corporate world I was in. Like I always told my kids, chase your dreams, not a pay check, It took me many many years to realize it for myself….But life is good on the back of a horse!!!
See you on the trail.
Thank you, Lord, for creating this land for my horse and me to ride, where I can enjoy your handiwork, with you by my side.-author unknown
Robert W Wagner says...
Great Bio Andy ! Not much different than my own other than after 14 yrs in Montana I followed my heart and moved to Georgia to be with the love of my life regards Bob Wagner
July 19, 2017
It was great to see ya’ll again at Salmon and spend time
talking and sharing stories !
Hope your shoulder heals fast and good !
Sorry about the Bear Hug !
April 17, 2016