In 1988 I purchased an old homestead that came with a 1920s era gas station located just outside the Nisqually entrance to Mount Rainier National Park (aka Mount Tacoma national park). I converted the old gas station into a small store offering visitor information, coffee, pastries, camera film and other useful items for park visitors. As an artist and oil painter, I also began selling cards and prints of my work inspired by the mountains and forest that were now my home.

Folks visiting the store, often asked if I sold walking sticks. Inspired by these requests, I made six walking sticks, and a display stand. I placed then in the store on a Saturday morning in July and they sold out by day’s end. I proceeded to develop a few different styles of hiking sticks and canes, and in 1993 I began selling sticks to both Mount Rainier National Park and Mount Saint Helen’s National Volcanic Monument. Soon I expanded the business, with retailers in several western states and a few east coast states.

Over time, I began adding both pyro-graphic illustrations using a wood burner, and color illustrations using various fine art techniques, to create scenes of wildlife and landscapes. Soon customers began to request a vast array of subjects from wildlife, pets and landscapes, to Bigfoot and Baby Yoda.

As customer orders for my work increased, I necessarily began to phase out sales to retailers, turning my focus to custom orders only. Over the ensuing years, I have enjoyed serving customers throughout the United States and beyond.

~ Kirk J. Zenkner~

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