Commentary

Bikes, Commentary, Product review / 29.01.2016

Few things in life inspire enthusiasm like a bicycle. Even when you reach a certain age that sense of eager anticipation is hard to deny when you start making plans for pedal-powered excursions across town as part of a daily commute or over long distances in search of adventure. So when the folks at BeachBikes offered me the opportunity to try one of their wonderful cruisers I immediately jumped at the chance to take it for a spin. In the interests of full disclosure they gave me the new...

Commentary, Kids in Nature, Madison / 26.01.2016

After a deep breath to steady my nerves I pushed upon the door. Beginning my second year of public speaking I was in the habit now of arriving a few minutes early to gage the room and get a feel for the audience. Knowing what likely lay in store, this particular crowd made me a bit nervous. But fully committed now to my mission I set aside the anxiety I felt and smiled broadly in the face of my worst nightmare, a class of 30 sixth-graders. At Sherman Middle...

Balance Madison, Commentary / 19.01.2016

Now that we're well into the New Year most everyone I meet seems to ask me the same question: “What are you working on next?” I suppose that with that question comes the expectation of something more exciting than they might have previously imagined. After a 12-month tour filled with adventures from one end of the country to the other including a short detour through the national parks of Tanzania and a visit to White House I’m fairly certain that 2015 will be tough to beat. But rather than...

Commentary / 06.10.2015

The presence of cows only made the experience more surreal. But I suppose one should expect nothing less while fishing along the banks of a Wisconsin trout stream. On the last day of the season in 2015 my friend and guide Craig Amacker deftly cast his line over a narrow bend of the Blue River. It was a Wednesday morning in September and we each relished our good fortune to have chosen professions that encouraged us to play in the middle of the work week. As the river curved...

Commentary, Destinations, Diversity, Fly Fishing, Kids in Nature, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Social Media / 02.09.2015

As summer draws to a close across North America I have noticed something most profound. After more than 20 years as a professional in the outdoor recreation industry I’ve begun to see more people of color than ever before venturing out into the natural world. This is of course an anecdotal observation base not in fact. But the depth and volume of stories and photographs posted to social media reveals to me that things have indeed changed. I am both encouraged and inspired by the bold exciting ways...

#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...