Public Land

Adventure Activism, Charitable Giving, Commentary, Environmental Protection, Ice Age Trail, Kids in Nature, Madison, National Forests, National Parks, Outdoors For All, Public Land, The Pathways Project, U.S. Forest Service, Urban Parks, Walking, Wisconsin / 03.06.2019

Much of the joy in my life I owe to the generosity of strangers. The advent of social media has merely expanded my capacity for building relationships with people I hardly know. For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed the benefits of an existence vulnerable to the whims of fate. With a vague notion of what the future lay in store, I’ve pretty much trusted in the naive belief that everything will just work out for the best. Many of my adventures have been made possible...

#BlackLivesMatter, Adventure Film, Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection, Madison, Public Land / 01.10.2018

Over the weekend I had the distinct privilege of hosting a panel discussion. The CapTimes Idea Fest is annual gathering in Madison where local thought leaders share their expertise on a variety of different topics. Ranging from the current state of Wisconsin politics and early childhood education through racial equality and the cultural significance of the musical Hamilton, more than 1,300 members of our community came together so that they might better understand the pressing issues of modern times.  The panel I moderated was titled Wisconsin’s Environment and Communities...

Diversity, Essays, Grand Canyon, National Parks, Public Land, Whitewater / 03.09.2018

Several weeks ago a travel magazine contacted me out of the blue. The senior executive editor of  HereMagazine.com very graciously invited me to contribute to an upcoming issue dedicated to the theme of freedom. She was particularly interested in a story from me on the National Parks and the role that spending time in nature plays in my personal pursuit of happiness. It just so happened that I had given that topic a great deal of thought in recent months and I accepted the assignment with the intention...

Diversity, Essays, Expedition Denali, Magazines, Public Land, Uncategorized / 06.08.2018

Over my coffee on a Saturday morning I reached for a new magazine at the top of my reading pile. I actually thought it was the Patagonia catalog, thrilled to see at first glance a person of color on the cover. On closer inspection, though, I realized that it was the American Alpine Club “Guidebook to Membership”. A tight close-up image of a face with apparently dark skin wearing glasses had that vaguely artistic quality that offers little in the way of relevant information but draws the viewer in...

National Monuments, National Parks, New Century Vision, Politics, Public Land / 08.05.2018

Within minutes of my flight touching down at McCarran International Airport I felt that unique buzz of kinetic energy. Like a force of nature the city of Las Vegas, Nevada seems to vibrate with the thrum of living creatures writhing in a primeval forest of tall buildings. Throughout an ecosystem whose atmosphere teams with the smell of cigarettes, the sound of slot machines and the fuzzy glow of neon lights, the temperature was relatively cool, even pleasant on this day in early spring. A gentle breeze wafted across 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...