A young man from Chicago travels west where he is intercepted by Fred, a guru, on the banks of the Colorado River in Utah. Fred invites the young man to go on a journey. It begins with a soul quest in the Utah desert near Moab. He is introduced to Venus, a flesh-and-blood goddess who teaches him about the sensuous. Fred has the young man spend a summer at a small lake where he learns about fishing but more importantly about the real lives of ordinary people. There is also a stay with a cynical professor who holds strong views on the futility of communication. Finally Fred and the young man visit a Trappist monastery. This spiritual and bodily journey takes three years and results in transformation for the young man. Between each of the yearly experiences the young man goes on hiatus to Las Vegas and Phoenix. Eventually he finds his mission in life and his soul place and soul mate. Along the way he accumulates the wisdom of Fred in pithy sayings. Fred's wisdom, offbeat but profound, includes lessons for everyone.
Ernie Stech has walked into desert canyons around Moab, Utah; been on a soul quest; lived in a cottage on a small lake; visited a Trappist monastery; and hiked the mountains around Buena Vista, Colorado. He has taken those experiences and others to create Fred, a guru, who guides a young man on a journey of transformation. Ernie lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with his wife where he works as a volunteer National Park Service ranger at Walnut Canyon National Monument, hikes the mountain and canyon trails in the area, visits the Grand Canyon occasionally, and travels to New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. In the winter months Ernie teaches courses on spirituality, mysticism, Far Eastern sages, and ancestral Puebloans of Arizona in the Lifelong Learning Program in Sun City, Arizona and the lifelong learning programs affiliated with Arizona State University in Sun City Grand and Sun City Festival.