Dan Sholly will speak at Kammok headquarters on Thursday.

I first met Dan Sholly about 10 years ago, when he invited me to Big Bend Ranch State Park to do some exploring.

At the time, he was deputy director of parks at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Dan Sholly relaxes while hiking near Big Sky Montana, where he now spends summers. Photo by CHRIS LEBLANC

Somewhere between launching myself into a cactus plant and pitching a tent on the top of the most beautiful mesa in West Texas, we became fast friends. I met his wife and learned all about his background as a ranger with the National Park Service. And along the way he shared hundreds of stories about the 33 years he spent with the National Park Service, including a stint as chief ranger at Yellowstone National Park during the wildfires of the 1980s. (Read my story about the experience here.)

Sholly has since retired and moved away he spends winters in Terlingua, where I visit him when I can, and summers near Bozeman, Montana, just down the road from Yellowstone.

But hes back in Austin this week, and you can hear about his adventures during an appearance at Kammok Gear Shop, an Austin-based company that makes and sells hammocks, tents and other gear.

Dan Sholly, left, and Chris LeBlanc, right, tune up a bike after a day of riding through Big Bend Ranch State Park. Photo by Pam LeBlanc

Ask him about grizzly bears or bikes and hes got a story. Hes paddled in Alaska and rangered in the High Sierras. He started a marathon while serving at Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. He plotted the location of campsites at Big Bend Ranch State Park. And he lost an eye in Vietnam.

Drinks and light snacks will be provided. Happy hour starts at 5:30 p.m. Sholly will speak at 6:30, with questions and answers at 7 p.m.

RSVP here.

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