man standing atop rocky summitHi. I’m Rick Mannshardt. Welcome to my world.

Who am I and why did I launch this website? Well, I started out as a dorky school kid from the San Francisco Bay Area who was afraid of dogs, UFOs and anyone in authority. My young adult life wasn’t much of an improvement. Never athletic or adventurous until I hit my thirties, I spent most of my time fantasizing about the real world that I would explore “someday.”

Then, someday came—with a thundering crash. My older brother, who had always lived a full adventurous life, died of cancer at the age of forty. It changed everything. Eager to make up for lost time,  I started traveling; I started mountain climbing; I started doing all those challenging, sometimes scary things. And it made all the difference. Soon, I found myself wanting to chronicle these experiences, so I started travel writing.

But I had no interest in writing traditional travelogue pieces: stories that entice the reader to hop on a plane and go there. I wanted to share the darker side of the adventure: the screw-ups and doubts I wasn’t proud of; the emotional roadblocks that almost derailed the whole thing. Why? Because I’ve learned that you need those lows to reach the highs. So why not celebrate them?

I created this website to demonstrate that you don’t have to be a major league player to participate in the game. I’ve found that glory doesn’t lie exclusively atop the highest peaks; you find it wherever you strive for it– regardless of your abilities. Maybe you’ve discovered this yourself. Or maybe you’ve yet to get there. Either way, thanks for joining me on this adventure. I hope you enjoy reading my stories. And I’d love to hear from you in the Comments section. Or you can send me an email through the Contact Me page.

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