Suzanne Finney


My Life

I've traveled inner and outer worlds: sky, earth, and beneath the sea. I go wherever curiosity takes me. "Explore" is one of my favorite words.

For years I lived in the air, flying hot-air balloons, airplanes, seaplanes, and helicopters. Now I've come down to earth.


Words I live by

"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart" - Confucius

            "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Security...does not exist in nature." - Helen Keller

                           "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." - H. D. Thoreau

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot


My writing:

As a contributing writer to RANGE Magazine, I focus on people in the American West who work to provide our food.




I grew up in central California where I spent early years on a cattle ranch. Four days after high school, I moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA where I graduated with an A.B. in Theatre Arts/Acting, followed by an M.A. in Drama from California State University, Sacramento. Taught high school Drama and English for four years before leaving to earn a Technician's Certificate in Electron Microscopy from San Joaquin Delta College.

Then I discovered flying. I owned and operated a hot-air balloon business first. Then learned to fly single and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes, and helicopters. I taught flying and worked as a maintenance test pilot before leaving to work for a Fortune 200 aerospace company in Michigan.

Since retirement, I've solo-hiked from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail, a five-and-a-half month adventure. Two years later, I bicycled from the West Coast to Washington, D.C. through the middle of the country. Now I'm writing. I've never been afraid to change my life.

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Then and Now

Hot-Air Balloon Pilot

Airplane Pilot, Idaho

Pacific Crest Trail, Washington