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Narratives Worth Exploring

Interview, Outdoor Retailer, Podcast / 09.11.2019

Early in November Columbia Sportswear matriarch and outdoor industry icon Gert Boyle passed away. She was 95. Having fled Nazi Germany with her family in advance of World War II Gert’s father started the Portland, Oregon-based company that today is worth billions. Throughout her long career Gert cultivated an image as a fierce business woman, but that tough persona was belied by a delightful personality and a generous spirit. Way back in 2006 I had the great pleasure chatting Gert at the Outdoor Retailer Show in an interview for...

Banff, Climbing, Diversity, Film Festival, Influencers, ReThinkOutside / 31.10.2019

From the moment I first arrived I was made to feel welcome. I remember on that first day, years ago,  I was greeted so warmly by Jim Olver the director of customer service at the Banff Centre For Arts & Creativity.

You just showed up and glommed on to one of my tours,” he reminded me. “Now look at you. You’re back as a big-time speaker.”

For more than a decade I’ve enjoyed the privilege of attending the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in Alberta, Canada. Like most aspiring adventurers I first became aware of Banff through the amazing films that tour the world every year and feature the best athletes in the sports of skiing, climbing, mountain biking and kayaking. I was also inspired by the remarkable stories of passionate people and communities that express their place in the world through an active relationship with nature. And despite marginal skills and few noteworthy accomplishments as an alpinist I managed to become part of this annual 9-day celebration of mountain culture. 

American Rivers, Environmental Justice, Essays, ThinkOutside / 20.10.2019

Over the last several weeks I’ve enjoyed many opportunities to reimagine the outdoors. I’m not suggesting that the natural world should be seen as landscapes with purple skies or orange grass populated by prancing unicorns ( as cool as that might be). But rather I envision an environment in nature where everyone is not only made to feel welcome, but encouraged to become active participants in its long-term preservation. I want to see everyone outside. Recent reporting projects included stops at the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia, the Willamette...

American Rivers, Diversity, Podcast, Public Land / 04.10.2019

Very early in my career, way back in the 90’s I received the gift of a book, South of Haunted Dreams by Eddy Harris. As a young Black man venture out into a professional environment that was mostly white I took great comfort in this remarkable story of a person with a background similar to my own who was successfully leading a life of travel and adventure. In his book, Harris recounts his experiences of making his way through the Southern United States on motorcycle while enjoying occasional...

American Rivers, Hiking, Interview, Kids in Nature, National Forests, Podcast / 27.09.2019

Wherever you are in the world I hope you had an amazing summer. I know I did. Over the last several months I’ve been on the road collecting stories for a broad new initiative to explore how people find their way into the outdoors. With grant funding from my partners at the nonprofits American Rivers and the National Forest Foundation along with Patagonia I made stops in the states of Georgia and Oregon to trace the routes of the great rivers that run through their biggest cities. From...