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The Joy Trip Project

#BlackLivesMatter, Black History, Capitol Christmas Tree, National Geographic, National Parks, Public Land, Unhidden / 08.11.2023

On a visit to the New River Gorge National Park, I hiked through the preserved ruins of the community in which historian Carter Godwin Woodson spent his formative years. Known as the “Father of Black History”, he worked as a coal miner in the town of Nuttallburg, West Virginia. Just a few miles from the visitor center, down a very step narrow road, are the remaining structures in which Woodson likely worked as a young man, as well as the schoolhouse where he first taught Black students....

#BlackLivesMatter, Adventure Activism, Blackwaters, Diversity, Fly Fishing / 25.10.2023

Here where Jahmicah Dawes studied fashion merchandising at Tarleton State University, he and his wife Heather have focused their love of vintage clothing, technical apparel, and rugged footwear upon the creation of an establishment that encourages folks in their community to venture outside into the wilds of nature and look good doing it. Located near the center of town Slim Pickins is a shining example of the progress the outdoor recreation industry has made toward becoming more diverse and inclusive. Ironically, their store is located directly across the...

#BlackLivesMatter, Books, Diversity, Nelson Institute, The Joy Trip Reading Project / 25.09.2023

On Thursday September 21, 2023, at 5PM Central Time The Joy Trip Reading Project hosted an online discussion with Baratunde Thurston, author of “How To Be Black” Thurston tells a better story of us, weaving together threads of race, technology, democracy and climate through his work as an Emmy-nominated host, producer, writer, and public speaker. ...

National Parks / 22.09.2023

Every year on my birthday I am reminded that it’s time to renew my annual National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands visitors pass. It’s a gift I give to myself to assure the protection and preservation of our natural resources and cultural heritage. I make it a point to mark the occasion by offering a matching gift to my community of a free pass to anyone who can use one but may not, for whatever reason, purchase one for themselves. The only catch is that person must be...

Alaska, Blackwaters, Diversity, Environmental Protection, National Parks, The Arctic / 07.09.2023

In the company of local fishing expert Brian Chou, members of our expedition team and I descended upon the river, perhaps more in comradery than the likelihood of landing such an elusive species. Here we were able to reminisce over our memories of catching norther pike and grayling on the Kobuk River in Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park. On the day following the premiere screening of our documentary film Blackwaters: Brotherhood in Wild, it seemed only natural that we would find ourselves together in community once...

Black Lives Matter, Diversity, Interview, National Monuments, National Parks, The Joy Trip Reading Project, Unhidden / 28.08.2023

A few minutes before our online discussion, National Park Ranger (Retired) Betty Reid Soskin and I spent some time getting reacquainted. She was to be a guest on The Joy Trip Reading Project to talk about her memoir “Sign My Name To Freedom”. After her daughter Di’Ara got her settled in front of her computer, we smoothed out a few minor technical difficulties with our Zoom connection. We then chatted amiably as one by one the attendees populated the waiting room....