Based on Carl O. Sauer's taped reflections on his own academic life, this paper outlines and offers a personal appreciation of Sauer's intellectual history. I argue that Sauer's intellectual life can be conceptualized as three dialectical developmental stages: (1) the Warrenton-Calw stage, marked by general education in his hometown environment; (2) the Chicago-Ann Arbor stage, marked by steep intellectual growth and expansion of his knowledge in geography as an academic subject; and (3) the Berkeley Stage, characterized by his Mexican field work and establishment of his own form of historical-cultural geography. This paper argues that Sauer's own intellectual curiosity, rather than any external influences, was the primary factor behind his scholarly progression to successive stages. Driven by his own curiosity, Sauer covered a wide range of research themes covering physical geography, use of fire in the development of landscape, theoretical discussion of the landscape morphology, and prehistorical agricultural origins and dispersals. He was a remarkable scholar and teacher who made a significant impact on the course of geography.