GAR – About Doug

Who the heck am I?

I was born in Marin, grew up in Sacramento, and completed my B.A. in Photojournalism at San Jose State University.

I then moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, and lived there for 25 years. When not kayaking, ski mountaineering and doing adventures, I worked as a writer and photographer – including as photo editor of the Mountain Express and editor of Sun Valley Magazine.

I later went on to freelance, with editorial work appearing in The L.A. Times, New York Times, Outside Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Ski Magazine, Skiing Magazine, American Cinematographer, Photo District News and other publications.

While recovering from a kayaking accident in 1996, I saw the internet for the first time and had the revelation “this is the way information is suppose to be!” I then moved to Silicon Valley and worked in six different start-ups as a webmaster, information architect and content developer.

In 2001, disillusioned when the tech boom went bust, I took an extended break and traveled through Southeast Asia and Nepal. A few of my adventures included trekking to Everest Base Camp, spending a month in a Buddhist monastery, and kayaking 10 kilometers underground.  

But it was a 2-week trip along the Burma-Thai border on small, nimble dirt bikes that I discovered my favorite way to travel.  To me, motorcycles are the most visceral way to travel.  One travels light and unencumbered, and immersed in the surrounding countryside rather than sealed off in a cage of metal and glass.

Along the way my companion and I stayed in remote hill tribe villages, taught impromptu English classes, and explored the area known as The Golden Triangle.

I eventually returned to America, and invested and rambled around the West.  I also became something of a workshop junkie with the hope of finding meaning in my life.

And then in 2008 I was diagnosed with advanced glaucoma.  By then I’d lost much of my vision.

I experienced the associated anger and grief and entered a depression that seemed endless. That’s when a voice deep inside – perhaps as a last ditch effort – said “Do your Bucket List”. That journey into darkness, along with the Grand Canyon river trip, are the basis for my book.

It’s called From Grief to Grace and won the Transformational Author Writing Contest.  I am now writing a second book called From Grace to Growth about my solo motorcycle ride from Mexico to Canada on dirt roads up the Continental Divide.   But that “outer adventure” serves as the backdrop for the inner adventure I did while studying the chakra system and “doing a chakra per week”.

I now do Internet consulting and am planning for this final bucket list item.