Commentary

#BlackLivesMatter, #ORShow, #ORSummer, An American Ascent, Art, Black Lives Matter, Commentary, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Outdoor Retailer, Special Events / 05.08.2021

One Day One of the first annual Big Gear Show in Park City Utah, I had the great privilege of presenting to the outdoor recreation industry a commemorative portrait of Charles Madison Crenchaw, the first Black climber to reach the summit of North America’s tallest mountain, Denali. This original painting by the artist Lamont Joesph White celebrates the enduring legacy of an American mountaineer. On July 9, 1964 Charles Madison Crenchaw ascended to the highest physical point on the continent of North America. Just seven days after the...

Adventure Activism, Banff, Breaking News, Commentary, Diversity, Magazines, National Geographic, Public Land / 01.03.2021

At some point I went from indulging a childhood fantasy to setting a life goal. I know that in the mid 1980s I imagined creating a career of adventure, but the realities of making an honest living relegated my job prospects to positions first in sales and marketing, then in print journalism. More than a decade ago I started to attend the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta to report on the culture of environmental filmmaking and action sports. It was there that...

Commentary, Diversity, Everyone In A Park, Hiking, Ice Age Trail, National Forests, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Public Land, ReThinkOutside, The Adventure Gap, Wisconsin / 21.09.2020

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Immediately after breakfast, our little group sat discussing what would happen next. A steady rain had been falling since late the night before and the prospects of the hike we had planned appeared grim. Holding up my iPad I showed everyone an image of the local weather radar map. “As can see there’s a bit of window opening up,” I said pointing to a clear spot in a mass of swirling colors ranging from yellow/orange to deep red. “If we start now,...

An American Ascent, Commentary, Diversity, Essays, Grand Canyon, Magazines, National Geographic, National Parks, Public Land, The Adventure Gap, Yosemite / 14.07.2020

  HALFWAY INTO OUR two-week paddling trip through the Grand Canyon, my longtime friend Jim Moss had a sudden realization. After a thrilling day exploring limpid blue pools and towering waterfalls beneath the desert rim, we sat in beach chairs drinking ice-cold beer along the banks of the Colorado River.“You know? I’ve made more than 40 commercial guiding trips through this place,” he said. “In 25 years, I think you’re the first African American I’ve ever seen down here.”There’s a statistical reason for this: Although Black Americans represent 13.4...

Commentary, Essays, In Memoria, Outdoors For All / 25.05.2020

In late afternoon on July 18, 1863, Sergeant Major William Harvey Carney stood on a beach in South Carolina. Shoulder to shoulder with more than 600 men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, this formation of troops on Morris Island near the port city of Charleston, would later be described as “like giant statues of marble”. With sand sifting through their feet Carney and his men marched forward at the command of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Under a barrage of heavy rifle and cannon fire they quickened their...

Commentary, Covid-19, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Essays, Outdoors For All, Private Land, Public Land, Wisconsin / 18.05.2020

Over the weekend I packed up the Jetta Wagon for a short Joy Trip. After almost two months of working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown I was eager for a long car ride to go someplace pretty. A good friend had recently purchased a piece of property on a lake with a series of hiking trails about an hour east of Madison. Loaded with my boots, hip wadders, a backpack and a fly rod I set out on the open road under a clear blue sky through...