My path to the invention of accelerator mass spectrometry—now just called AMS—was quirky and extraordinary, and it is a saga worth telling, particularly for young people who may have an oversimplified image of how progress in science is actually made. It was an adventurous journey, and like many adventures, it was often uncomfortable, haphazard, and frequently characterized by a feeling of being lost. In retrospect, the only reason I set out on this journey was my belief that I didn't know much about finding my path in physics, and that the best I could do was to follow the lead of the great physicist Luis Alvarez. He had an incredible ability to create new and ingenious projects that led in new directions, and I wanted to understand how he did that. So I had decided that I would work with him on any new idea he came up with, even if it inconvenienced the rest of my life. And true to my expectations, while working with Luie (that's what he wanted everyone to call him), I often felt like Odysseus, tossed between distant shores by capricious gods.