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Narratives Worth Exploring

Adventure Activism, Adventure Media Review, Breaking News, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Film preview, Life Out Loud / 25.06.2014

Back from the mountain for almost a year most of the members of Expedition Denali gathered as a group for the world premiere of the new film that documents their climb of the highest peak in North America. An American Ascent details the journey of the first team of black climbers to attempt to reach the summit of Mount McKinley, also know as Denali, in June of 2013. Before an excited audience of viewers in the Jefferson Auditorium at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington DC members of the team...

Adventure Activism, Camping, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Special Events, Yosemite / 13.06.2014

In the fading light of a late spring evening, gospel singer Sista Monica Parker sat humming on a bench at the Yellow Pines Campground in Yosemite National Park. There she waited patiently for others to gather. Quiet at first, her melodic voice gained strength as she swayed to the rhythm of a hymn perhaps not heard in the Valley for more than a century. The sound slowly swelled into a powerful chorus that echoed off the granite walls of El Capitan and Half Dome. Even the birds fell...

Adventure Activism, Camping, Diversity, Environmental Justice, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Yosemite / 09.06.2014

  The outdoor industry has enjoyed a long history of diversity across a wide variety of people from many different backgrounds. Over the weekend a group of African-American outdoor enthusiasts made the long journey from the Presidio in San Francisco to Yosemite Valley in order retrace the path the Buffalo Soldiers took in 1903 to take up their duty station as defenders of the first National Parks. The enduring legacy of their efforts more than 100 years ago is reflected in the faces of those who love the outdoors...

Book Review, Fly Fishing, Life Out Loud, Outdoor Recreation, Product review / 05.06.2014

I haven’t cast a fly rod in several years.  Back then I didn’t have much luck. That is to say I had plenty, all bad. Casting lines with my friend and master fisherman Craig Amacker on the Wisconsin River I spent more time untangling my hooks from low hanging branches than actually tempting trout. With all the best equipment and under the instruction of a talented angler I had to assume that any failure I experienced that day was all due to my own lack of skill and expertise. Fishing was...

Adventure Media Review, Climbing, Diversity, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Justice, Expedition Denali / 04.06.2014

Just about anyone who writes for a living will be compelled eventually to write a book. Personally, I tried to put it off as long as possible. I simply didn’t have anything truly relevant to say or share on the scale of a 50,000-word manuscript. As it happens though that all changed in the fall of 2011 when I was invited by the National Outdoor Leadership School to take part in the first African-American team ascent of Denali, the highest peak in North America. Although I was not on...