“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re takin’ up too much room.”


Gary Oberg has spent his life on the edge. 

As an engineer and entrepreneur, he’s taken a lot of chances, but he really learned about risk mitigation over a lifetime of pushing the limits outdoors. 

He grew up on a farm in 1940s Minnesota, where he learned to appreciate nature and her ways, and spent much of his life fishing and hunting throughout North America. 

His book SIDETRACKS shares the stories Gary has accumulated over 70 years, and the lessons they’ve taught him. 

Told with much humor and humility, his tales are a celebration of God’s creations, comedic failures, and gratifying triumphs. 

From duck-hunting in the marshes of Minnesota, to fishing the pristine lakes of Ontario, to bagging moose among the jagged peaks of Alaska, Gary writes about all the compelling characters, all the blessings, and all the curses of living life on the edge—where, “if you’re not living on the edge, you’re takin’ up too much room.”

(final thoughts…..taken from the book SIDETRACKS by Gary Oberg)


Later, as I sat at home on the first day of 2018, smelling the tantalizing odors that Ginny was creating in the kitchen, I got to thinking about side tracks. Very early on in life, way back on the farm, I realized that I wasn’t going to get what I wanted out of life by following the crowd. No, I would need to forge my own way.

I looked up at my 57-inch moose rack from Alaska, my newly aquired whitetail deer rack, a half of an antler that reminds me to keep my gun close by, a beautiful mounted arctic grayling that I caught in Saskatchewan, and a slew of framed photos of my children and friends and family, and finally, a nearby well-thumbed Bible. I felt an overwhelming and profound sense of fullness and gratitude.

I thought of The Lone Cowboy and of how I used to pour over Herter’s catalogs. I remembered all the teachings from my mom and dad and uncles and aunts and how they shaped the man I was to become. I remembered the moment I laid eyes on my Ginny, and how fine she looked that night. I remember the look on her face when she first handed me each of my newborn babies. 

I remembered so many of my adventures with Quint, the years at the Chute, and I remembered his funeral. How worried I was about Dawn when I met with her boyfriend’s father, who would become one of my best friends. I thought of the decades I’ve been going to the Lake of the Woods and all the good times we’ve had there. 

How many times have I been to Alaska? 

How many fish have I caught in my lifetime? 

How many campfires have I built? 

The mountains and forests, lakes and rivers are all a part of me now; they’re my bones and muscles, my arteries and veins. 

I reflected on my career, rich with experiences and accomplishments. I thought of all the good times, all the good friends, and all the wonderful family that I am so deeply blessed with. I’m not given to emotion, but in that moment, I felt so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for all the blessings that God has bestowed on me that I felt I would nearly burst with it all.

Then, in the quiet, I heard my old friend Quint’s voice, echoing off the walls.

“You know Gary, you should write a book.”

© Garg Oberg 2020 – ROSE CITY PRESS – - website by Joan Holman Productions: