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Africa, Climbing, Destinations, Ethiopia, Yosemite / 08.09.2010

Don’t expect me to apologize for loving what I do. I’m over feeling guilty about it. “So what kind of journalist are you?” the physical therapist asks as he reads my chart. “I write about outdoor recreation, gear, adventure travel, that kind of thing,” I say. “Really? Like for National Geographic Adventure?” “I wish. Mainly for trade publications, web sites mostly, magazines sometimes.” “Ever go anyplace cool?” he asks? “Going to Yosemite next week, then Africa,” I say. “Ethiopia actually.” “Uh yeah…you suck,” he says with apparent envy. “Roll over.”
Special Events, Stand Up Paddling / 06.09.2010

With a surfboard in one hand and a long paddle in the other seven fierce competitors dashed across the sand and plunged headlong into the breaking waves. Mounting their boards each stand up paddler dug into the churning water with powerful strokes charging pell-mell toward the horizon and a distant buoy for the first turn. The race was on. Along the shoreline a crowd of spectators cheered above a howling wind and the thunderous roar of the crashing tide. On this broad expanse of beach under a deep blue sky you’d never know you were in Wisconsin.

Commentary, Diversity, Outdoor Recreation, Outdoor Retailer, Summer / 03.09.2010

[caption id="attachment_3787" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="OR director Kenji Haroutunian (left) walks the show floor with DOI Sec. Ken Salazar"][/caption] After 20 years in the industry I can’t recall a cabinet level executive ever attending the Outdoor Retailer Show. Those with long standing memories may prove me wrong and I’ll stand corrected. But I believe that the address of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to the biannual Outdoor Industry Association breakfast meeting was a truly unique occurrence. His position in the Obama Administration not withstanding, Salazar’s visit to OR is important for other reasons. As a person of Hispanic ancestry and the direct representative of the first African-America president of the United States for the first time in our history, federal policy for the protection of our public land, air, water and natural resources is being guided predominately by people of color. Salazar brought with him a message from the White House that stands not only as a sign of a strong relationship between our industry and the U.S. Government, but it may also serve as a rare opportunity to finally bridge the divide between outdoor recreation and ethnic minorities in our country who fail access it.
Product review / 01.09.2010

This pre-edit new gear round up by James Edward Mills was originally posted in the B.O.S.S. Report

In an industry driven for so long by innovation it’s ironic to discover that as technology changes a great many things remain the same. Equipment meant to get people outdoors aims simply to provide comfort and security while hauling supplies, creating shelter, preparing food or bedding down for the night. Of course new products introduced at the 2010 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market offered many of the technical advances one typically expects from the world’s leading gear manufacturers. But a recurring theme throughout most presentations included an apparent desire to return to the core values behind the creation backpacks, tents, cooking supplies and sleeping bags. The latest outdoor gear is getting back to the basics. [caption id="attachment_3749" align="alignleft" width="258" caption="The Jansport Versteeg"][/caption]
Climbing, Mountain Film, Podcast / 26.08.2010

An interview with author Jennifer Jordan

In 1939 Dudley Wolfe was on one of the earliest expeditions to reach the summit of K2. An adventurer and one of the wealthiest men in the world he was left for dead with a rescue team of Sherpa after a devastating avalanche. Some say he was the victim of his own foolishness, others say he was abandoned by the members of his climbing party as they fled the mountain to save their own lives. And even though his body has been found there remains a great deal of controversy around Wolfe’s death that continues to this day. In her book “The Last Man on the Mountain” Jennifer Jordan gives us a close look into life of an American adventurer and the first to die on K2.

[caption id="attachment_3683" align="alignright" width="213" caption="Jennifer Jordan"][/caption]

Capital Region Business Journal, Charitable Giving, Cycling, Kids in Nature, Madison, Magazines / 23.08.2010

A corporate training seminar left Maribel Fry in tears. Wiping her eyes, this sales specialist smiled as she watched 14 very happy children ride newly built bicycles around a large conference room of the CUNA Mutual headquarters in Madison. She and 90 of her colleagues from across the country gathered to boost their professional skills while dedicating their efforts to the benefit of area young people from the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. But little did Fry realize that she would get something in return.
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