Outdoor Recreation

Environmental Journalism, Nelson Institute, Outdoor Recreation, Outdoors For All / 27.06.2018

In the summer of 2018 my course called Outdoors For All met three days a week for three hours each day for four weeks. At first I thought I’d have difficulty filling the time, but with subject matter spanning more than 150 years of racial oppression I had compiled enough historical references and case studies to fill the pages of my next book. Each day of class constituted a chapter on a specific element of the long narrative of discrimination from the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 through the...

Adventure Activism, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Essays, Latino Outdoors, National Monuments, National Parks, Natives Outdoors, Outdoor Recreation, Public Land, Special Events / 06.11.2017

On the last night of the SHIFT Festival in Jackson, Wyoming the organizers hosted an after-party at the Organic Lotus Restaurant. By 1:AM a steady beat of house music still roused a group of at least 30 Millennials to dance away the night well into the morning. Damp with sweat I sidled over to the bar for a drink of water. Even after a double hip replacement it doesn’t take much to get this aging Gen-Xer out on the dance floor. Inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of...

Book Tour, Commentary, Kids in Nature, Outdoor Recreation, The Adventure Gap / 14.03.2016

In May of 2014 I received a private message via Facebook. It was the summer after Expedition Denali and I was in the final stages of writing the book that would become The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors. Stories of the first African-American climbing team to attempt a summit of Denali, the highest peak in North America, had been widely reported in the news. And many of the climbers upon their safe return home had begun a national speaking tour in the hopes inspiring, in...

Adventure Activism, Charitable Giving, Fly Fishing, Outdoor Recreation, People with disabilities / 25.09.2015

United States Army Captain Michael Luckett, Retired smiled with eager anticipation. Holding a fly fishing rod for the first time he was thrilled by the prospects casting a line on a pristine Colorado trout stream. “I’ve been waiting to do some fly fishing for a very long time,” he said. “I’ve seen it and I don’t know how people actually catch fish like that. It just really interests me.” Though his eyes were covered by dark sunglasses and shaded beneath the brim of a truckers caps neither could hide his...

Adventure Activism, Destinations, Environmental Journalism, Outdoor Recreation, River Restoration, Trust For Public Land / 14.09.2015

Early on a Saturday morning I woke up near Atlanta, Georgia. The sun had not yet risen and I lay there in the dark hotel room searching in vain for an excuse not to go. Scheduled to do a presentation at the Decatur Book Festival in just a few hours paddling the Chattahoochee River should have been the last thing on my mind. But once again circumstances had conspired to create just the right window of opportunity to get there and back with time to spare. In fact...

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...