Author: James Edward Mills

Cycling, Expedition Denali, Madison, River Restoration, The Adventure Gap / 06.09.2018

In 2014, Mary Ann Thomas bicycled solo across the US and Canada. In 2017, She peddled across India with a travel partner and connected with local bike communities in cities across the nation. Accessing these cycling havens in India provided examples of community that she, a brown queer daughter of Indian immigrants, had only rarely seen in the US bike world. On September 15, 2018 her remarkable experience is the subject of a most compelling evening of community story sharing in Madison, Wisconsin at Café Domestique and the...

Diversity, Essays, Grand Canyon, National Parks, Public Land, Whitewater / 03.09.2018

Several weeks ago a travel magazine contacted me out of the blue. The senior executive editor of  HereMagazine.com very graciously invited me to contribute to an upcoming issue dedicated to the theme of freedom. She was particularly interested in a story from me on the National Parks and the role that spending time in nature plays in my personal pursuit of happiness. It just so happened that I had given that topic a great deal of thought in recent months and I accepted the assignment with the intention...

Commentary, Deserts, National Parks / 10.08.2018

It’s a rare travel day when I can sleep past 6AM. On this particular occasion I had more than four hours to kill before my flight was scheduled to depart. As the dogs padded circles around our bed I heard the click, click, clicking of their nails on the hardwood floors. Mekela, our blond Great Pyrenees, leaped up on to the bed between us, snuggling her face close to mine, licking at my nose until I rubbed her furry belly.“That was your last night in a bed for...

Diversity, Essays, Expedition Denali, Magazines, Public Land, Uncategorized / 06.08.2018

Over my coffee on a Saturday morning I reached for a new magazine at the top of my reading pile. I actually thought it was the Patagonia catalog, thrilled to see at first glance a person of color on the cover. On closer inspection, though, I realized that it was the American Alpine Club “Guidebook to Membership”.A tight close-up image of a face with apparently dark skin wearing glasses had that vaguely artistic quality that offers little in the way of relevant information but draws the viewer in...

Ask James, Letters, National Parks / 03.08.2018

Just back from the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market the business of adventure is very much front of mind. With a major push underway within the industry to expand the diversity of outdoor recreation and environmental conservation I am especially thinking about how a person might begin a career. After almost 30 years steeped in the community of outdoor professionals it’s hard to fathom where to begin turning your passion into a vocation.I recently received an email from a reader who asks the same question: [dropcaps type='normal' font_size='72' color='#f78e0f' background_color=''...

#BlackLivesMatter, #ORSummer, Diversity, Outdoor Retailer, Outside Magazine / 31.07.2018

 On Day Zero of the 2018 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market I strolled around the Colorado Convention Center. As exhibitors set up their booths in advance of the four-day trade show I began plotting a course of travel to traverse a path from one end the sprawling structure to the other. As I made my way to the front of the building I was excited to see a crew of familiar faces. My friend Rue Mapp had just arrived with a few leaders of her empowerment group known as...