Glenn Fairbank has spent a lifetime following tracks. Born and raised in Sheridan, he quickly developed an affinity for the outdoors and the many tracks one can find exploring the Bighorns. A career with BNSF led him down railroad tracks to Denver and Kansas City. Now, in retirement, he’s spent much of the past three years following a new set of tracks – the singletrack of SCLT’s network of community trails.
“I spent 20 years in the flat, prairie land and missed my mountains terribly,” Glenn said of his choice to come home.
However, it nearly wasn’t so.
“Shortly before I retired, I had a life-threatening illness and was told by a neurosurgeon to get my affairs in order because I had a brain tumor,” Glenn relayed. Without surgery, he said, he was sure to pass away.
That not-at-all-good-news inspired him to make a change if he survived.
“I decided that if I survived brain surgery, I was going to come back to this community and pay it back somehow,” he reasoned.
Thankfully, the operation was a success. During what he described as a “lengthy recovery,” Glenn saw a posting for a seasonal trail maintenance job with SCLT.
“My prayers were answered,” he affirmed. “I started working trails three years ago and I love it!”
Recently, Glenn returned to the trails after being out following knee replacement. It begs the question, why keep coming back to the trails?
“I’m either crazy or love this job (maybe both), but I couldn’t wait to be able to be back on the trails,” he relayed, explaining that he loves “working with the SCLT group, meeting and greeting trail users, and being out in the open country enjoying the smells of sagebrush, a few wildflowers, and the earthy scents that presents itself every day.”
SCLT Executive Director Brad Bauer said he’s incredibly thankful Glenn is back on the trails. “Without Glenn these last three years, many of the fine touches to the trails would not have been possible. He is absolutely a critical team member.”
When not on the trails, Glenn enjoys hiking in the mountains with his wife Denise, family, and friends, going to the YMCA to keep up his trail legs, and spending time with his three grandkids.
Glenn said the next time you visit your community trails, be sure to “take care, enjoy, and respect our unique trail system,” and, “If you see an old dude out there swinging a weed eater, clearing rocks off the trail or knocking back some brush, stop and say hello.”
And tell Glenn thank you for loving the trails and our community.
Thank you, Glenn!