Commentary

#ORShow, #ORSummer, Commentary, Diversity / 10.08.2015

On the last day of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market I received a message on Facebook. Walking briskly down one of bustling aisles of the Salt Palace I paused for a moment to read this text. “Anything interesting come out of the diversity conversation?” The question came from my friend and colleague Teresa Baker, founder of the African-American National Parks Event and an advocate for bringing more people of color into the world of outdoor recreation and environmental conservation. Without breaking stride I rattled off a quick reply. “Only that smart...

Adventure Activism, Commentary, Diversity, Outdoor Retailer / 03.08.2015

[caption id="attachment_2063178" align="aligncenter" width="489"] photo by John Maniaci[/caption]   Today is the launch of my first television commercial. I say first as if this will be the beginning in a procession of broadcast appearances, but as I indeed have a face for radio this could possibly be my last. So it goes. As it happens this week could actually mark instead the next phase of my rather sordid career. Through much of my life as The Outdoor Professional I’ve tried to stay pretty much invisible. My own story I prefer to...

Commentary, Fly Fishing / 31.05.2015

The strike took me by surprise. As the fish tugged on the line beneath the brackish water I was slow at first to set the hook and draw my quarry from the lake into the warm evening air. Its green/yellow scales flashed in the low angle light of the setting sun as I gently removed the fly from its mouth. With a sharp snap of its tail the first bluegill of the season slapped the palm of my hand as I released it back into the rippling pool....

Commentary, Diversity / 13.05.2015

An awkward silence quickly grew to fill an interminable moment of sheer agony. The thunderous clicks of my own eyelids boomed in my ears as I stood there blinking back at her. There in the crowded lounge amongst the sounds of clinking glasses and casual conversation I sighed quietly in frustration. Through clinched teeth I forced a smile and searched my mind for a politic answer to her question. As the seconds ticked past without a reply it’s possible she thought I hadn’t heard her. She asked again,...

Book Tour, Commentary, Life Out Loud, The Adventure Gap / 11.03.2015

[caption id="attachment_2062934" align="aligncenter" width="603"] On the trail with a crew of young men led by Big City Mountaineers ~ 2003[/caption]   March 11, 2015 Next stop Burlington, Vermont. Now that I'm finishing up the last leg of The Adventure Gap college book tour a few of the students I've had the opportunity to connect with are reaching out with letters and comments. It's very exciting to know that the work I am doing has begun to resonate with young people around the country and I am very eager to engage in...

Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Justice, The Adventure Gap / 07.03.2015

I sometimes struggle to clearly define exactly what I mean when I talk about The Adventure Gap. The book I wrote of the same title details several specific examples of African-American women and men who had overcome their fear and apprehension to cross the divide between where they were and where they most wanted to be, to venture anywhere their hearts desired. Today most of the barriers that prevent us from achieving our full potential are in our minds. We often talk ourselves out of doing things that...