After writing The Trail North, Hawk followed his passion for horses and mountainous landscapes farther north to the North Cascades National Park, where he apprenticed as a wrangler and ranch hand with the renowned Ray Courtney of the Cascade Corrals. He spent a winter in Sun Valley, Idaho, working on Mount Baldy and learning how to ski from the gathered assortment of ski bums.
While mastering one skill in one place, Hawk’s lifelong habit has been to always keep an eye out for the next challenge, the next terrain. While cherishing the view atop one mountain, he was seldom satisfied until he saw what was over the next one. The next terrain was the Colorado Rockies, where Hawk took up ranching, managing a large cattle and alfalfa ranch on the Colorado River between Grand Junction and Moab, Utah. Ever restless, Hawk began to take flying lessons, which he continued until he’d gained his commercial pilot’s license. With that paperwork in hand, he again followed the compass north to work as a bush pilot and hunting guide in Alaska. (The others hawks can only have been pleased with this turn of events.)
Seeking to broaden his formal education, Hawk pursued a BA in the Geography of Natural Resources at the University of Washington, then earned a Master’s from U.W.’s College of Forest Resources (now the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences). During the summers, he continued his bush-flying adventures, this time into the British Columbian rainforest.
Though ranching again lured him back Colorado, Hawk soon found himself working as an air-transport pilot, flying private Lear Jets. Today, he’s taking a bit of a breather and managing a series of back-country ski huts in the Elk Mountains near Ashcroft, Colorado.
We hope he’ll write another book. Or two. He’s got plenty of material. Meanwhile, The Trail North is a fascinating read.