Los Angeles Times writer Valerie J. Nelson gave us a great obit about this local hero. I’d never heard of him before reading the column, but now he’s my hero, too.
It’s a story of a well-lived life. He grew up running around the Oregon wilderness and set his sights on becoming a forest ranger. World War II put the kibosh on that. He joined the Army Air Force where he flew planes for twenty years and, in his spare time (!) got a Bachelor’s degree in engineering. Next he moved to the Valley, worked as an aerospace engineer, where in his spare time (!!!) he designed and made jewelry. Also, on the side, he blazed trails where there hadn’t been any (if you will pardon the tautology) in the mountains surrounding the San Fernando V. On a dare he wrote a book about the trails. When every book publisher turned it down, he started his own publishing company.
He kept leading hiking groups and blazing trails until he was 86. Then he got a little tired. Wotta guy!
You can read Valerie Nelson’s piece about Milton McAuley at LA Time’s online site by clicking on these words: I LIKE TO GO A-WANDERING ALONG THE MOUNTAIN TRACK, AND AS I GO I LOVE TO SING ‘MY BACKPACK ON MY BACK.’