Nathan A. Ferguson

writer | adventurer

seaplane on lakeChasing dreams beyond the back yard

It makes for a strange day when you realize that you've become your favorite childhood toy.

I had this action figure who drove around in an SUV and he came equipped with a parachute, kayak, motorcycle, and a lasso grafted onto his plastic pants.

With some slight variations in gear choices, I'm that man. I also started writing at the age of 8 and developed an addiction to flying gliders at 13. No one in my immediate family flew, but it was something I had to do. That's where all my lawn mowing money went. I later became an FAA-certificated airplane and seaplane flight instructor, a commercial multiengine airplane pilot and a private glider pilot. That's where the rest of my money went.

After high school in New Jersey, I went on to the University of Utah where I earned a degree in anthropology. The training has helped me sift through the complexities of culture and discover the most compelling stories. With words as well as photos, I've covered Indian reservations, aviation/aerospace, high-profile crime, extreme sports, outdoor adventures and the environment for newspapers and magazines.

Formerly, I was director of media access for Examiner.com in Denver, Colo., managing editor of electronic publishing for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in Frederick, Md., and city editor of The Times-Standard in Eureka, Calif.

My work has appeared in numerous publications, such as The Salt Lake Tribune, Oakland Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Flying, AOPA Pilot, Air & Space/Smithsonian and PopularMechanics.com. My short fiction has appeared in the literary journal Pooled Ink.

In my free time, I like to ride single-speed bikes both on and off road, fly airplanes and gliders, and ski at the resorts and in the backcountry. I've had hypothermia three times, wrestled an African lion and various alligators (OK, the former was a pet and the latter were small, but still!), and landed a seaplane on a tiny lake on Denali in Alaska.

I approach life with the same passion I had as a small boy who dreamed big and finally left the back yard.