From a tent in a desolate desert region in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan, to the ferry docks on the island of Milos, Greece, to an isolated snowy mountain pass accessible only by snowmobile in the Rocky Mountains: It’s all in day’s work for David Drotar ’74.
“One of my favorite trips recently was a bear-watching excursion in British Columbia,” said Drotar, who leads the life of a modern-day adventurer—one who shares his travels with readers as the author of seven books and hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines and online publications. “A lot of the time spent was just sitting quietly in a wooden blind at the river’s edge waiting for the bears to come fishing.”
According to Drotar, his wanderlust began during his time as a student at SUNY Oswego as a biology major with interests that gained traction in the stacks of books in Penfield Library, where he was a student employee.
“That experience fostered my love of books, journals and sense of trying to organize and make sense of the world,” Drotar said. A class on chil- dren’s literature with Helen Buckley Simkiewicz, he said, sparked his interest in writing.
“Soon I found myself writing about nature and the outdoors in many of my stories,” Drotar said. Drotar also founded independent publishing’s
Brookview Press. In addition to serving as Drotar’s publisher for his later books, Brookview is home
to works such as the memoir Chasing Dreamtime by Neva Sullaway, which went on to win six book awards.
Drotar, who was awarded the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award from the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers, said Australia and Antarctica remain to be conquered by his pen; in the meantime he continues to visit locales both near and far to his home in Castleton-on-Hudson, N.Y.
“I particularly enjoy the more leisurely paced trips in which you can really soak in the ambience of a destination and relate to its people,” he said.