"I made 52 descents of the Grand Canyon," says Bruce Klepinger, PhD, who left an academic post at the U of Kansas in 1973 to begin a career as a river guide. "The first time was with my dad around 1970." Klepinger credits his passion for outdoor adventure to his father, an Indiana physician who took the family on extended vacation trips. "One of his favorites was Rocky Mountain Park," says Klepinger, who got into climbing as a teen, then became a mountain guide in the mid-70s to fill out his working year. "The river season is summer." From 1975-88, he led 105 trips for the Mountain Travel adventure-trip company. "I worked 355 days in 1981, all over the world," he says. "I didn't need a house or a car." In 1989, the same year he chose to settle in Eugene, Klepinger started his own adventure-travel company, Ibex Expeditions. All Ibex adventures are custom-planned treks, journeys by foot where the traveler's personal gear is carried by pack animals or human porters. "I've envisioned my trips as hands-on, dirty hands," he says. "One of the objectives is to see the real world in remote places, where there are many lessons to learn." Learn about upcoming expeditions to Ethiopia, India, and Peru at trekibex.net.