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Narratives Worth Exploring

5Point, Adventure Media Review, Film Festival, Interview / 26.04.2011

The 5Point Film Festival opens its fourth season this weekend in Carbondale Colorado. Organizers are sprucing up the mountain town to welcome movie buffs from across the country to share in the latest creations of aspiring filmmakers, stories and images that celebrate the active lifestyle.

The adventure media genre is on the raise with more films, music, art and literature to pick from than ever before. Available on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, production house web sites and even network television, these days fans of outdoor action flicks can easily get their adrenalin fix of inspiration. But what makes for a quality viewing experience isn’t necessarily the vehicle you choose to watch. With your ass creasing the couch cushions downloads off your laptop or iPad2 will never be as exciting as a gathering of friends and like-minded strangers who share your passion for the outdoors and pushing the limits of the human experience. When it comes to true adventure media it’s all about the venue.

In a town with only one stop sign, one hotel and a three room bed & breakfast for lodging Carbondale is creating an intimate viewing space to tap the core energy of adventure culture. And just as I’m heading out to catch the show I connected with 5Point program director Beda Calhoun to get the inside scoop on what makes this festival a truly unique experience.

Adventure Media Review, Climbing, Destinations, Film Review, Yosemite / 21.04.2011

Living simply isn’t as easy as it looks, or is it? A new film by Allie Bombach and Red Reel Productions explores the transient lifestyles of people who live out on the open road actively in pursuit of their dreams. In a documentary filmed in a style true to its subject the short feature 23 Feet delivers the promise that happiness is often discovered in what remains of the trivial though seemly important things we leave behind.
Destinations, Environmental Protection, Interview, National Parks, PBS, Podcast, Television, Yosemite / 19.04.2011

01 Lee Stetson 1 Yosemite Valley California, president day: I’m walking with my recorder along a wooded path with a long bearded man wearing period clothing circa 1890, a tweed coat, a wool vest with a red pocket square and wide brimmed hat. Ahead of us is Yosemite Falls, a massive flowage of water running white and fast, churning with melted snow from the high country upstream. The man describes a fanciful vision of what we see. "Can you imagine? Can you imagine if in the midst of its headlong descent with all this whirling fairy springtime spray and those rushing comet tails that the fall was suddenly frozen solid and then carried bodily out into the middle of the valley that we might go around it and see it from all sides in the sunshine,” he says. “Oh was a show it would make. This colossal white pillar half a mile tall adorned with airy flowing drapery as if chiseled out of white marble.” Who better with whom to tour one of America’s greatest National Parks than the man himself John Muir. As if transported back in time I had the rare opportunity to get his impressions on Yosemite today.
Adventure Media Review, Environmental Protection, National Parks, PBS, Television, Yosemite / 18.04.2011

The idea of wilderness conservation would seem to be a foregone conclusion. But at the turn of the last century private interests of corporate greed may well have developed the wild and scenic places we enjoy today well out of existence. Prized then for their vast resources of timber, fresh water and minerals these lands are valued now more for their intrinsic beauty and awe-inspiring tranquility. Had it not been for the passionate and articulate voice of a Scottish-American from Wisconsin our system of National Parks and Conservation Areas may have never been established. John Muir will long be remembered as the founder of the Sierra Club and a great advocate for the protection of the natural world. A new PBS American Masters documentary of his life tells the story of early experiences that formed his character to become the man we know today. Directed by Catherine Tatage John Muir in the New World provides the back-story that details many of the little known influences of his upbringing that inspired him to venture west and explore what remained of the North American frontier.
Art, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Film Festival, Mountain Film, Music, Podcast / 15.04.2011

Now that spring is in the air it’s time to start thinking about that next great road trip. In the coming weeks I’ll pack up the Jetta and head out on a tour of the adventure media and film festivals. Looking for stories that celebrate the active lifestyle and environmental conservation I’ll be reporting from the 5Points Festival in Carbondale Colorado and then the Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride. But as I’m making my plans I can’t help but think about how much our nation has changed over the past half century. Last year at Mountain Film I met a man who helped me put the freedom of road travel into a different perspective. Earnest “Rip” Patton is from Nashville, Tennessee. He’s considered an historian and a civil rights activist of the last 50s and early 60s.  Fifty years ago Rip was among first wave of student activists who road on buses into the Southern United States in the spring of 1961. Called the Freedom Rides the plan was to organize demonstrations in protest of racial segregation.
Art, Food, Madison, Sustainable Living, Urban Agriculture / 13.04.2011

If you’re a fan of protein you’ll love this new project from folks the Underground Kitchen in Madison. Yesterday afternoon I received a note inviting me to a gallery showing of “Meat Art.” My friend and stand up paddling partner Scott Pauli is a talented graphic artist who designed the packaging for six weeks of artisan meat deliveries that are part of a unique community supported agriculture program.