Dr. Richard H. Lathrop --- Other Pursuits


Dr. Lathrop has hitch-hiked through all 50 states of the USA and once hitch-hiked from Sarasota, Florida, to Anchorage, Alaska, where he lived for over two years. He has visited most major national parks in the USA. He has been around the world twice and set foot on all seven continents, including Canada, Mexico, French Polynesia, Raratonga, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanamar (Burma), Hungary, Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Morocco, India, Sri Lanka, Norway, Italy, England, Denmark, Sweden, Japan, Portugal, Andorra, Monaco, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Netherland Antilles, Switzerland, Greece, Holland, the British Antarctic Territories, Chile, Madagascar, S. Korea, and Vietnam.

Dr. Lathrop has seen the midnight sun and the aurora borealis; ridden an elephant into a tiger forest in India; crossed the Amazon jungle by truck sleeping in a tent; watched a molten red lava flow from six feet away; ridden the Marakesh Express in Morocco and the Orient Express in Vienna; boated on the Irrawady River to Mandalay; danced in the streets of Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval, and of New Orleans during Mardi Gras; seen two total solar eclipses; watched flying fish across the lagoon at sunset from the deck of a Tahitian freighter; seen glaciers as large as Connecticut and been at temperatures below -50 degrees (F or C); been across the Bridge on the River Kwai; caught and eaten a piranha; seen a snake charmed; flown in to Angel Falls, the world's tallest waterfall; climbed Ayer's Rock, the world's largest monolith; been awestruck by the Taj Mahal, the world's most beautiful building; driven more than 20 times coast-to-coast across the USA by car; gone white-water rafting down the Upper and Lower Grand Canyon, and the Wild and Scenic part of the Rogue River; been sky-diving (once!); swum in the Antarctic Ocean on New Year's Day, 2001; voted in every eligible national election; heard the Grateful Dead and Santana in the same live concert; crossed the Arctic Circle, the Tropic of Cancer, the Equator, the Tropic of Capricorn, the Prime Meridian, and the International Date Line; and done several other things that are not on his C.V.

Dr. Lathrop is a certified SCUBA diver; a blackbelt (sho-dan) in Shotokan karate; a former Civil Air Patrol Earhart cadet (Cadet officer rank of Captain), who has been Cadet Squadron Commander (Chico Squadron 76, California Wing), drill team commander in a parade, and search base radio operator and search-and-rescue mobile ground team for missing civilian airplanes; the former Class C Chess Champion of Alaska; and the former President of the Reed College Fencing Club.

In addition to his scientific and technical employment, Dr. Lathrop also has supported himself by doing road construction; installing fiberglass insulation; short order fry cook; dishwasher; bus boy; ditch digger; plumber's helper; carpenter's helper; seismic crew member; and day laborer. His most memorable job was dishwasher on the Alaska Railroad, working the Anchorage-Fairbanks line. Twelve hours of heartbreakingly beautiful Alaskan wilderness where not even roads go, sleep overnight in the railroad depot in Fairbanks, and twelve more hours of wilderness back to Anchorage, all viewed from a window above the dishwashing sink. The train passed close to Denali, the highest mountain on the North American continent; and sometimes when Denali was shining cloudless and snowcovered in the sky and reflected in full majesty by a mirror-still wilderness lake, the engineers would just stop the train and let everyone drink in the beauty.

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