The Joy Trip Project | Reporting on the Business, Art & Culture of the Sustainable Active Lifestyle
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Capitol Christmas Tree, Charitable Giving, On Assignment / 23.11.2015

The first significant snowfall of the year was apparent as my plane touched down on the tarmac of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. Once again I had dodged the weather. Having fallen the day before I was happy to see the ice and snow melting in the sunshine of a clear afternoon that would not delay my return flight home to Madison, Wisconsin. After almost four weeks on the road and more than 6,000 miles of travel this was just one of the many wonderful things in my...

Capitol Christmas Tree, Charitable Giving, On Assignment / 18.11.2015

Chillicothe Ohio, population 21,899, likely drew the most inspiring crowd we’ve seen so far. The Capitol Christmas Tree cruised to stop in front of Mount Logan Elementary School. To the sheer delight of several hundred children the massive semi-truck arrived driven by a man in a bright red coat that bore an uncanny resemblance to Santa Claus. The moment John Schank, 2014 Alaska Truck Driver of the Year, descended the steps of his customized Kenworth big-rig the kids swarmed around to get their pictures taken with him and...

Capitol Christmas Tree, National Forests, On Assignment, Special Events, Video / 02.11.2015

Sharon Isaak (right) is an elder in the First Nation Kenaitze tribe of Alaska. She and her family were among the many who created original ornaments for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. With great enthusiasm and excitement she made a special trip to Seward Alaska to witness the harvest and preparation of the People's Tree for its long journey to Washington D.C. "With all that goes on in the world," she said "it's just fun to see everyone smiling over a tree."Kenaitze Elder Smiles Over Captiol Christmas Tree...

Capitol Christmas Tree, National Forests, On Assignment / 29.10.2015

On October 27, 2015 the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree​ was harvested in the Chugach National Forest​ near the town of Seward, Alaska​. This spectacular Lutz Spruce will stand on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. as a timely symbol of peace and unity for the American People. The meticulous process of carefully selecting, cutting and transporting the People's Tree on a journey of more than 3,000 miles over land and sea represents the hard work and dedication of hundreds of men and women across...

Adventure Activism, Capitol Christmas Tree, National Forests, National Parks, On Assignment, Social Media, Special Events / 26.10.2015

  I never thought it would come to this. After years of railing on and on about the early arrival of the holiday season I suddenly find myself utterly and completely complicit in its delivery! Even though we have yet to celebrate Halloween today I am excited for the prospects of seeking out an evergreen for decorating. But this is no ordinary spruce. The Christmas tree I aim to acquire will stand on the grounds of U.S. Capitol Building as a symbol of peace for the American People.As an...

Adventure Activism, An American Ascent, Book Tour, Charitable Giving, Diversity, Kids in Nature, National Parks, Special Events, The Adventure Gap / 21.10.2015

For some reason I couldn’t get the song to play. After having spent hours getting the introduction just right I’d be damned if I was going to let the opening frames of this film presentation go without music. Trying not to panic I simply reconfigured the audio file from .AIFF to .MP3 and it played flawlessly. Jake Shimabukuro’s tune Dragon flowed in perfect sync with the animated text and the logos of the Madison-based nonprofit groups this screening of An American Ascent aimed to support. With a free...