The Adventure Gap

#BlackLivesMatter, Adventure Film, Alaska, An American Ascent, Breaking News, Diversity, Film preview, Outdoors For All, The Adventure Gap / 02.07.2020

Thursday, July 9, 2020 will be the 56th Anniversary of Charles Madison Crenchaw’s historic summit of Denali. As the first Black person to reach the highest peak in North America this remarkable event is particularly significant because it occurred just seven days after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law. Crenchaw’s climb of Denali personified the dream described a year earlier by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the March on Washington. Through his skills as an alpinist and his strength of will, Crenchaw ascended...

Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Justice, Essays, Nelson Institute, Outdoors For All, ReThinkOutside, The Adventure Gap / 24.04.2020

Through the  hive-mind of social media I was reminded this morning on LinkedIn that yesterday was my third work anniversary at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Nelson Institute For Environmental Studies. It just so happened at that moment I was deep in thought on a series of 12 sessions I am preparing for my summer class called Outdoors For All. Over the course of four weeks my students and I take a long look back in time at the racial disparities that separate those who spend time in...

Cycling, Expedition Denali, Madison, River Restoration, The Adventure Gap / 06.09.2018

In 2014, Mary Ann Thomas bicycled solo across the US and Canada. In 2017, She peddled across India with a travel partner and connected with local bike communities in cities across the nation. Accessing these cycling havens in India provided examples of community that she, a brown queer daughter of Indian immigrants, had only rarely seen in the US bike world. On September 15, 2018 her remarkable experience is the subject of a most compelling evening of community story sharing in Madison, Wisconsin at Café Domestique and the...

Climate Change, Commentary, Destinations, Environmental Protection, Expedition News, National Geographic, On Assignment, The Adventure Gap, The Arctic / 08.01.2018

Even after many years of adventure travel I still agonize over the purchase of a new piece of equipment. With my finger hovering over the “buy now” button at the Baffin.com web site, I weighed the prospects of full commitment to this latest project. The outlay of serious cash for a pair of three-pin ski boots was the first step in putting together an ambitious kit capable of withstanding the harshest cold-weather conditions on the planet. Five years now after a double hip replacement and well into my...

Book Tour, Commentary, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Public Land, The Adventure Gap / 06.02.2017

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y host Dr. Kelli McMahan seemed to vibrate with enthusiasm. As she drove me from my hotel in Waco, Texas through the campus of Baylor University we watched an endless parade of young people in pursuit of knowledge and higher education. “There is nothing more exciting than life on a college campus,” she said. With obvious delight she smiled and shuttered with the tingling sensation of the very thought. Taking in the scene I couldn’t agree more as we rolled past white marble and red brick buildings teaming with impressionable...

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...