Public Land

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...

Environmental Protection, National Monuments, Politics, Public Land / 11.06.2017

Hiking shoes in my luggage are a gentle reminder. Get some exercise when traveling, preferably outside. Truthfully, after 4 glasses of red wine the night before and a sumptuous meal of duck confit egg rolls, assorted cheeses and a pork/chicken paella it was all I could do to get out of bed. It should be said that despite my robust physical appearance, I’m a devout glutton. As much as I enjoy spending time in the outdoors I often do so grudgingly, as I struggle with a simple yet...

Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Environmental Studies, Nelson Institute, Public Land / 08.05.2017

When it comes to discussing complex social issues it’s hard to know where to start. This summer I'm scheduled to teach a course on diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation called Outdoors For All at the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. As a linear thinker my first inclination was to begin the class with an  in-depth exploration of the cultural circumstances that got us where we are today, a nation tragically divided alone racial and socio-economic lines. For a variety of different reasons there are...