"Remote and Ruggedly Beautiful Ecuador" Personal Page by TooTallFinn24


Hello! My name is Steve and it's a joy to write a narrative for Virtual Tourist.

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area I can remember some fifty plus years ago hearing the Billy Grammer song, "Gotta Travel On," playing on my dads phonograph. Every time I heard that song I knew I had to get up and go some place. Nowhere in particular just see somewhere I haven't been to before.

As you can guess by my name "Too Tall Finn," I am Finnish heritage. At one time I was 6 foot 4" but as gravity as pushed down that height has dropped by at least an inch. My father was a hardworking carpenter and among many things he built and loved saunas. I can remember sitting around the sauna in my back yard hearing my aunts and uncles talk about all the exciting places they have traveled to. My mind would drift off into a sea of dreams of the places exotic to mundane that I would sometime visit.

Travel doesn't have to be to a far off place or somewhere that everyone believes you must see before you die. Some of the greatest travel experiences I have encountered are in Central Valley of California. Take a look at my "West Sacramento," page and there will soon be more to follow. To travel sometimes is to take a risk and to meet new people who may not always be open to a "hello, my name is.... "

What I've Done

Not wanting to break my back and die young like my father did I decided at an early age that I had to go to college and study hard. After a grinding six years plus of college and three degrees I worked as an urban planner at the regional, state, county and city level. In between I worked for Dean Witter and had the opportunity to work at the World Trade Center in New York City for just a short time. My last job was as the Planning Director of a City in the Sacramento Region. I am married and have two great sons.

Where I Have Been?

I have traveled now to fifteen countries and been to all fifty states in the United States and most provinces in Canada. I continue to be amazed at the diversity of sights and the strength of the people in the United States. There hasn't been a trip in years that I didn't come back from feeling fulfilled and enriched by the experiences. I only wish I had managed to take more pictures! Then when I did take them to manage them better!

Oh yes, the web page picture is of me and two of my former associates at the City where I worked for many years taken at my retirement party.


I feel fortunate to be among a select group of individuals to have the time and money to travel. With so many people having difficulty making ends meet or even surviving I sometimes feel guilty traveling. However I have tried through selective contributions to help unburden this guilt I sometimes feel. Does anyone else have those feelings as well?

Where Am I Going

I have been trying to get a job in Geneva, Switzerland with one of the United Nations agencies there. However with some minor complications the plan has been on hold for a while.

Maybe Mount Kiliminjaro?

I have an amazing duo of double cousins who love challenging themselves taking trips. Here are two of them not long ago having made the summit of Mount Kiliminjaro in Africa.

Hey with a little training and push from my youngest son I may take that on to!

So Please.....

Drop on by, say hello! I am blown away by some of the great web pages and stories of the literally thousands of Virtual Tourist members here.

The More Unusual The Better

I love seeing unusual things. Things where someone has stepped "outside of the box," to make a unique statement. Sometimes these statements are more unique and pleasing than famous historic sites.

Here is an entrance to a home in West Juneau Alaska that is decorated with over 500 pairs of skis! By the way I love to ski even though my youngest son would take issue with how good I am.

  • Page Updated Oct 11, 2011
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Sacramento, California
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