I had become a member of the National Institute of Exploration based in Champagne, Illinois a couple of years earlier. At the time they were escorting photography groups into Escorts Sydney exotic areas of the world and publishing photography books of photos and stories that were taken on the expeditions!

They were planning a trip to Peru and Machu Picchu, somewhere that I Escorts Brisbane really had an interest in visiting. For various reasons, I was unable to take advantage of that trip and had almost forgotten about them.

One evening, while working in my darkroom, I received a call from them saying that they were planning a expedition of 200 photographers to Australia in June and was inquiring as to the feasibility of me going and leading a group. We would spend a month in Australia, break into groups of 8-10, each group spending approximately a week in an area, then go to a different area and spend a week there.

It was something that I had never given a second taught to, but I almost said yes immediately, but hesitated and said I would get back to them.

If I recruited 10 people and became a team leader, I could get my trip for free. This sounded like an interesting opportunity, so I went for it.

I immediately began issuing press releases and recruiting people who might be interested in spending a month photographing Australia. I finally wound up recruiting 2 people, which was short of my goal, but I decided that for the money, it was still a good opportunity.

As the week of the trip approached, things became really chaotic, We had inadvertently decided to go on an Australian school holiday and it was extremely hard to get airline reservations. My flights were being changed daily or hourly, finally on Saturday about midnight, Barry Barker, the President called me and said that I would be leaving about 1:00 PM from Indianapolis on Sunday and that I should pick my ticket up at the ticket counter. At that point in time I had nothing to go on but blind faith, so my dad took me to the airport and lo and behold, my ticket was there!!

Bidding a quick good-bye to my dad, I scurried through customs with my 80 rolls of film and boarded the aircraft bound for Chicago on what was the first leg of my 40 hour plane ride. Looking at my ticket I realized I only had a 45 minute layover in Chicago, being that the plane was 20 minutes late leaving Indianapolis, that only left 25 minutes to change planes, not much time. Little did I know that this was only a hint of things to come, the whole trip was going to be about synchronicity.

As the plane nuzzled to the gate I immediately left the plane and began running to my next plane bound for San Francisco. Luckily it wasn’t too far away and my self and my luggage boarded with plenty of time to spare!

A bright, sunny, cloudless sky awaited us in San Francisco, with the mountains and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, the approach over the bay was breathtaking!