The love of the outdoors in the St. Croix River valley influenced Allen’s life for over forty years. It began in his early teens when his family moved from St. Paul, Minnesota, to a rural community less than ten miles from the St. Croix River. Summers were spent enjoying camping, canoeing, and biking excursions that sometimes took him to the river. He spent more and more time in the valley during his middle and high school years, developing friendships with classmates who also loved the outdoors.
Allen graduated from North Dakota State University, one mile from the great Red River of the North. Then, returning home for an electrical engineering career in the Twin Cities, he and his wife moved to Western Wisconsin. Their home, less than three miles from the St. Croix River, offered the opportunity to see the St. Croix River Valley daily, crossing it for both work and play. Now retired, Allen is enjoying the great outdoors as much as ever.