THE WHAT AND WHERE OF WILD MILES I was born in 1952 in Hawaii. My father was in the Navy. We moved a lot. I was raised middle class in the city or suburbs. My father became a college professor. I was raised in an upper privileged class in college towns. Nothing stood out growing up. I was perhaps a square peg in a round world. While flunking English I was writing girlfriends 300 to 700 page letters over a weekend. I was recognized as artistically gifted and in the news by the time I was 5. I learned outdoor skills not covered in school. I was told none of those things would get me a job or help me in life. Those who cared about me were worried. At 15, I took the greyhound bus across the country alone to a summer job, on a ranch in Montana. At 16, my parents sent me off to join the navy during the Viet Nam conflict. I got out at 22. The rest is recorded in my books. I pay a pilot to fly me into the wilds of Alaska and walk out 8 months later. I have been written up in the New York Times with a big double page pictures and long story. Alaska magazine carried 5 of my wilderness stories. Geo magazine in Europe featured me. I was on the cover of Ruralite, the Alaska Trapper, and in gem magazine. Whatever I'm good at, does not show up in statistics, lists of accomplishments, degrees, gold stars. I studied under no one. How do we describe or speak of one who will face a charging bear with a handgun and be amused. A city kid steps off the bush plane floats cold turkey and calmly says, "No need to come back, I'll be walking out in a year." And does it. I'm not bragging, just describing a personality type. I use the term 'High Jesus factor' from the book 'The Right Stuff' about John Glen, who flew jets never tested that tended to blow up. There are a lot of fools in the world willing to die. There are not so many who become seniors. Statistically, I'm one on a million. So I honestly tell you as best I can, what makes me tic, through a lifetime of, so far, 5 books working on number 6.