Muldoons travel the world, but always find way back

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Bill and Nancy Muldoon

— The Muldoon family lives in the big house at the end of a street at the top of a hill.

From the porch, you can see rolling hills and what seems to be endless blue sky on the horizon.

But inside, the view is worldly.

There, you can find masks and mounts from Africa, paintings and books from Europe, trinkets and treasures from all over the world as well as from the ocean.

And there are photos.

And photos.

And photos.

Photos with backdrops that span the globe. Still, the main players in most of the photos remain the same: Bill and Nancy Muldoon, two 11-year Craig residents who were only supposed to be passing through Craig, but have made the town their harbor for world travels.

Bill is a planner, a thinker, someone who will not make a move in life's chess board without some thorough research and serious planning involved.

He and Nancy have lived their lives with a strict 18-month deadline as a measuring stick to gauge their accomplishments.

Craig was in that aforementioned period when the couple arrived here. They never left.

"We came here after I retired," Bill said. "We thought we'd rent for the 18 months. We ended up staying."

The road to Craig was a long and winding path.

Nancy grew up in Air Force bases around the world; her father was a mapmaker in the United States Air Force.

She grew a special fondness for the mountains and the drive to hike them.

Born in the Virgin Islands, Bill entered the Marine Corps directly after college, where he studied Petroleum Geology.

He studied the ground, then joined the service to travel it.

Together, husband and wife have conquered the ground they both cherished as teenagers. The duo married in the Virgin Islands, and the journey north eventually began.

The Muldoons started the 18-month plan in the tropics while purchasing their first business - a daily newspaper in St. Thomas - and were quickly rewarded for their determination.

In a short few years, the couple made money in real estate, purchased another daily newspaper in St. Croix, operated an advertising agency, owned a land development business and an airplane parts service, as well as collected tropical fish.

"That was the one thing that went south," Bill said about the fish. "Other than that, St. Thomas was like a frontier back then."

Nancy said she knew she had married the right man.

"Bill knew how to get things," she chuckled and said. "There wasn't one thing he set his mind on that he didn't do."

But then it was time to move on.

The couple's son had his jaw broken while "hawking" a newspaper on a street corner, their friends were murdered and the violence in the islands had escalated so much, the Muldoons' first prolonged 18 months was up.

"It was no longer fun," Nancy said. "Everyday activities were no longer safe. We had to sell everything and get out."

So, the couple set the 18-month goal once again, this time in an attempt to sell their businesses and relocate.

"It's a lot easier to say than do," Bill laughed aloud and said. "With our 18- month goal, some things got left on the table."

Bill took a position as a publisher at a newspaper in Texas, and the couple found themselves living in San Antonio.

They bought a newspaper in Kansas, then another in California, before selling and Bill taking the head position at a paper in Sterling before he retired.

"We used to fix them up and get them running like clockwork," Bill said. "Then we'd sell them. They call it repositioning."

A brief stint at the Daily Press helped the Muldoons find their way to Craig.

If the journey here wasn't enough, the travel in between is the most impressive.

The walls of their house tell tall tales of world travel.

There are rooms dedicated to continents, paintings and sculptures from cultures far away. They have set foot on lands in Australia, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Russia and Germany.

Bill has shot a leopard in Zimbabwe and was chased by a lioness in South Africa.

Nancy has hiked to a boiling lake in the Caribbean and enjoyed fantastic sunsets in the deserts of Australia.

But, when all is said and done, they have decided to lay their hats in Craig.

That is, until their next trip.

"We will keep traveling as long as we can," Nancy said. "There's no point in stopping now."

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