City dude becomes nature boy: Bud Tasch spotlight

Bud Tasch with trusty companion Oggie

Bud Tasch with trusty companion Oggie

Bud Tasch was born, raised, went to high school, college, graduate school and worked in the inner city of Chicago. So why did this city slicker leave it all behind for the west? Bud was so inspired by the music and lyrics of John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High, “serenity of a clear blue mountain lake” and “talk to God and hear a casual reply,” that he left it all, including a fiancée no less, for Colorado in 1975. He was truly “born again in his 29th year.” Bud says that the joy he feels in the mountains and desert is as intense now as it was 40 years ago.

Bud began hiking in Arizona in 1983 and became a snowbird in 2004 after retiring as a scientist for Lockheed Martin. Bud, his wife Bonnie and their young golden retriever, Oggie, split their time between Sun Lakes and Montrose in southwestern Colorado. Bud and Bonnie recently won the “Greater than your Age” contest conducted by valley developer Taylor Morrison. Besides being a hike leader for the Sun Lakes Hiking Club, Bud is also president of the Arizona Outdoor and Travel Club, a hiking and outdoor adventure club in Scottsdale. He is also a current hike leader for the Cobble Creek Hiking Club in Montrose, Colorado, the Flatirons Club of Boulder, Colorado, and a long-time member of the Colorado Mountain Club.

In the past few years Bud has completed a 42-mile backpacking trip through Paria Canyon on the Arizona/Utah border, a 70-mile backpacking trip through Wind River Range in Wyoming, and this summer he completed a 60-mile solo backpacking trip in four days along the Continental Divide Trail in the San Juans of Colorado with trusty Oggie. Bud cautions that solo hiking is not recommended for the novice hiker. He carries a GPS personal location device that allows Bonnie to track his progress on Google Maps. He has summited 43 peaks in the past two years, some over 14,000’ in elevation. So far this year Bud has hiked 850 miles and gained over 200,000’ in elevation.

Bud says that hiking has enriched his life and made it a lot healthier. He never misses Chicago, except for the deep dish pizza.