Week 1: Santa Barbara to San Francisco

By Bryan Snyder

Outdoors Writer

What is making all that racket? With growing irritation, I leave off packing and trudge outside to investigate. Around the corner, two wild turkeys are crashing into my screened bedroom door, thrashing their wings furiously and threatening to take their battle inside the house. The ruffians are too busy shoving their beaks down each other’s throats to notice my presence three feet away, so before they can wrestle their way into my bedroom completely, I decide to break it up.

“Look, I can have Frank Perdue here inside of five minutes,” I threaten. Two pairs of avian eyeballs turn to stare at me in horror. Dumbfounded and beaks open, the turkeys look like a pair of schoolboys caught by the principal. They scurry off quickly into the brush, and the bedroom door slams shut again.

My name is Bryan Snyder, an outdoor science teacher originally from Norwich, New York, and yes, this is my day-to-day life. I sleep in a log cabin in an oak forest, thirty minutes from the beachside glamour and million-dollar homes of Santa Barbara. It’s a humble sort of existence; I could never afford to purchase a house in southern California, but I can afford four-month summer vacations if I’m willing to cook my own food and sleep under the stars. You’ll be hearing of my adventures in the Rocky Mountain high country throughout the summer, as well as a few hitchhiking stories from Iceland and Norway ... if I can ever finish packing.

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