Hello from Libby in Northwest Montana!
My name is Steve Gunderson and as of 2009 I'm 52 years old. I am a native "Northwesterner" born in Seattle,
Washington and moved around Washington and Oregon with my folks until 1962 when we settled
down in Columbia Falls, Montana. I have lived in Libby since
1969 other than a stint as a US Army Combat Engineer. I drove logging truck for awhile and spent 3 years driving
tanker transport , hauling everything from fresh water to crude oil and fuels and transport propane in the North Dakota/Montana oil fields. In 1979 I married Cherie Lawson and she accompanied me to the Dakotas where she worked as a waitress and finally as a Nurses aid in the Tioga North Dakota hospital until the birth of our first son Dustin.
In 1982 Cherie and I moved back to Libby to help her parents start a satellite television sales and service company. In 1985 the business acquired a Radio Shack franchise and the business is still growing today. Cherie is the Office Manager and I am the Service Manager and Lead Technician. Our oldest son Dustin, who just married Janel Snyder in August, 2009 works as a senior sales consultant for Altell Corp. (soon to be AT&T) in Kalispell, Montana, his new wife Janel owns and operates her own massage therapy business "The Palms Massage". Jason, our youngest is a Firefighter - EMT in Kalispell and loves wildland, structure firefighting and running medical calls with the ambulance crew and is working for Evergreen Fire Dept. Jason is currently attending Flathead Community College and working towards his Paramedic and ultimately his nursing degree.
I still install and service residential TVRO and DBS satellite systems and do some occasional commercial computer repair for Hewlett Packard around the country. The satellite and computer business has devolved over the years and since my back injury in 2003 I have had to slowly work my way into more of a supervisory capacity with most of the business. I have worked on just about every type of 2-way network satellite system out there and have worked for all the major players in the commercial and residential field. Hughes and Comsat were my favorites. I miss the jobs themselves but I don't miss the long haul drives and working on top of roofs in winter weather. I work fairly closely with Cherie and her father, Darrel in the Starlite Bail Bond business. I do all the IT work and even work with the courts and jails at times with the bonds. We have expanded the bail bond business with GPS tracking and monitoring as well as drug monitoring via these devices. Our background in satellite has really helped move us into this new and exciting realm of the business. You can check out some of the other facets of our multifaceted business at the Ocean Quest Inc. web site.
Recreation over the years has been camping, hiking and hunting. Since my back surgery though I've given up on hunting. I miss the hunt and my worst time is just as Fall is changing the colors and the mornings getting colder. I miss the smell of those early morning cups of coffee on the trail heading for my favorite hunting spot. I really miss packing our camp up to the high country in the Yaak with Darrel and the mules. Setting up camp up there was a favorite time. There were some REALLY good times up there.
Cherie and I have a 24' Toy Hauler trailer that we stay in and haul our 4 wheeler around with. Neither of us can take sleeping on the ground any more so this was the only way to keep camping. Cherie and I have been avid snorkellers for many years and have made 5 trips to Florida and 3 trips to the Abacos, Bahamas. We really enjoy Great Guana Cay and photography and really got pissed off when I couldn't set up a shot because I couldn't hold my breath long enough. I had a small green eel pop up out of his hidey hole and every time I dove down to him, he would pop back down the hole just to pop back up after I started floating back to the surface. After that I told Cherie we had to get certified so we could enjoy our underwater photography much more as scuba divers. We were going to all the right places that were good for snorkeling as well as scuba so we made the commitment to get our open water certifications. As of this summer both of us got our open water tickets and both dive dry suits so we can dive comfortably most of the year. (Cherie is a cold butt so she dives year-round with the dry suit up here.) I continued on to take a Nitrox course and completed my advanced open water. We both enjoy Crawdad hunting and have spent many hours @ McGregor Lake this summer bringing in some great catches to Cherie's folk's place out @ Middle Thompson Lake. Nice thing about scuba hunting for Crawdads is that you can be really selective and just bag the big ones.
Dave Haines and I have been doing some diving together and have a dive trip planned up to Lake McDonald November 7th to check out if the Salmon are spawning yet. We will let the dive shop know what stage of the spawn the salmon are in and they will set up the Annual Salmon dive from there. We will drop back down to Sprague Creek and do a second dive in the Underwater Forest later in the afternoon.
Will keep updating as we go.......
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