Outdoors Tag

Adventure Activism, Business, Diversity, Outdoor Recreation / 28.08.2014

In a Washington, DC hotel room I resigned myself to the image in the mirror. Years ago I swore among other things that I would never work a job that required me to wear a tie. And as I dressed for an appointment at the prestigious National Press Club in denim jeans, a long sleeve shirt and a blazer I finally abandoned my last attempt at conformity. I slipped loose the top button of my collar, grabbed my camera bag and made for the elevator. Still known in...

Climbing, Special Events / 16.05.2010

May 14, 2010 Fayetteville, West Virginia The minute you cross the Ohio River into West Virginia everything seems to change. There’s an immediate influx of lush green as the topography begins to roll through the mountain state. Raised in California I was lead to believe that the only mountains worth a 700-mile drive span ranges well west of the Mississippi. With a dramatic landscape unfolding before my eyes with each passing mile I’ve since changed my mind. [caption id="attachment_3219" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The New River Bridge"][/caption] Down the highway a bit further on you come across another bridge and enter into a world all its own. The New River Gorge is this little known wonder spot south of the Mason-Dixon. Here our tribe of climbers, local and national, has gathered to celebrate the spring season and our active lifestyle. The New River Rendezvous is an adventure festival held each year in Fayetteville. Registration closed a few days ago having reached capacity at 800 attendees.
Commentary, Outdoor Recreation / 28.07.2009

[caption id="attachment_505" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Summit of Ensign Peak "]Summit of Ensign Peak [/caption] With a few hours to kill before my flight back to Madison from Salt Lake City I ran to the top of Ensign Peak. That is to say that I climbed to the summit as quickly as I could. I did a fair amount of walking as I scrambled up the warm asphalt and dirt trails. I’m still nursing a bum hip that’s gone from dislocated to merely damn sore. I continue to heal. But there with a panoramic view of the city below I had an opportunity to reflect back on the week’s event and declare to myself that this was the best Outdoor Retailer Summer Market ever! -- A bold statement to be sure, so I’ll qualify. Having attended OR every year since 1992 at this most recent summer market the excitement and enthusiasm for our business of outdoor recreation in my opinion has never been higher. Despite dire economic circumstances retailers and manufacturers set themselves to the task of productive commerce. They seemed to encourage one another to embrace the opportunities found in an active population eager to engage the natural world through sport and play. -- “This was a great show,” said Ira Watchel owner of Champaign Surplus in Champaign, Illinois. “Most of the vendors we deal with seemed to put their egos aside this year and were serious about helping us to improve our business.” And Brenda Mohr, a buyer at the Alpine Shop in St. Louis said she enjoyed the sense of community she felt this year. “By the time we got here, most of our buy was already done,” Mohr said. “We’re here and we brought our new managers to experience more of what the outdoor industry has to offer. It’s not the products. It’s the people.”
Bikes, Commentary, Cycling, Madison, Outdoor Recreation / 19.07.2009

[caption id="attachment_484" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Team Joy Trip post Ride For Boys & Girls Club"]TeamJoyTrip[/caption] So far our Bike For Boys & Girls Club team has raised $1,375. With a more than a month of fundraising still to go we’re well on track to reach our goal of $3,500. On Saturday July 18th 14 of my cycling friends and I road our bikes 50 miles around the Madison area to help promote programs that engage disadvantaged young people in our community. And though we’ve ridden this familiar route dozens of times for our own enjoyment there was something truly special about doing it this time for such a worthy cause. --
Diversity / 01.07.2009

[caption id="attachment_365" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="photo by Dudley Edmondson"]Photo by Dudley Edmonson[/caption] A new national conference is set to begin on September 23rd.  A group of African American environmental activists and outdoor enthusiasts will gather in Atlanta Georgia to have a frank discussion on issues of race in the movement to preserve wild and scenic places.  Called Breaking the Color Barrier in The Great Outdoors, this conference promises to bring together people of color to talk about their role in protecting the natural environment for future generations. For details visit www.breakingthecolorbarrier.com -- After 20 years in the outdoor business for me this conference is a long time in coming. As a person of color myself I’ve spent my career silently hoping that more people who look like me would find themselves enjoying the wilderness areas I love. -- If only diversity in outdoor recreation were simply a matter of race. Then we might just think about ignoring it. Those who take comfort in the peace and solitude of wilderness, mostly white folks, would likely prefer to keep nature’s hideaways safely preserved for their own use. And as long as the growing minority population of black and brown folks elects to avoid these wild and scenic places, favoring instead foreign travel and urban pastimes, what’s the harm?