By Ani Robertson
Many people dream of spending their lives the way Emery George has. When wanderlust strikes, off he goes. History is what feeds his soul.
It all started in his Kentucky elementary school, where he learned how Norwegian children smuggled their gold on skis past German soldiers during the invasion of 1940. He acquired a pair of wooden skis, and thus began his love of backcountry exploration and outdoor skills.
As he says, “I wasn’t born 200 years ago, but I’ve lived like it.”
While working as an industrial electrician on a uranium mine in New Mexico, Emery slept in a small cave for a year. “If I overslept, the ravens would come along and wake me up.”
Emery lived two years in a plastic lean-to in the Uintas while working on the federal Central Utah Project, enduring frozen fingers and toes.
His love of the outdoors and rugged lifestyle continues today. Emery says, “I teach survival classes, cook for a hunting camp in the Wind River Range, and spend most of my time outside.”
The art of woodworking and leather craft, using both handed down and handmade tools, takes up some of the time he spends with wife Brenda in Kamas, which he has called “home” since 1968. “I couldn’t do what I do if she didn’t care for the kids and grandkids.”
Volunteering as a deck hand on 100-year-old schooners, Emery now collects data on each vessel and takes sailing classes onboard. He navigates with a sextant and does calculations on an abacus.
Next up…the Antarctic, sailing there on yet another fine wooden schooner.