The Joy Trip Project | Reporting on the Business, Art & Culture of the Sustainable Active Lifestyle
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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.
Assignment Earth, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection, National Monuments / 20.08.2010

At Trackways National Monument, experts have excavated the best examples of Paleozoic era plants and animals on the planet. “These different types of fossils are the best preserved and the most significant of their kind in the world,” said Jerry MacDonald of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. MacDonald has made his life’s work searching for and excavating prehistoric fossils in the Robledo Mountains just outside Las Cruces, New Mexico. His discoveries, starting in the early 1980s helped to establish the area as the 5,200-acre Trackways National Monument in 2009. “It’s a concentrated fossil deposit that not only has track-ways but it has petrified wood, fossil leaves, marine fossils, he said And all of these things represent a window to the past.” This public land in the American Southwest desert is one of the few places on Earth where evidence of the Permian period is exposed. The creatures who left these tracks in the mud almost 300 million years ago occupy a much different version of New Mexico.

Film Festival, Mountain Film, Podcast / 16.08.2010

I know. It’s been a long time since the last audio edition of The Joy Trip Project. But if you’ve been following the blog and the Facebook page you’ll know that I’ve been traveling on an extend Joy Trip. I just got back. Over the past several weeks of summer I’ve been conducting interviews and collecting stories about people and institutions hard at work making the world a better place. I know that sounds like hyperbole or so vague that it sounds almost meaningless. But there’s really no other way for me to describe the athletes, artist and activists who find their way on this show. Yeah I know we talk a lot about climbing mountains or making movies about people who climb mountains or base jumping or kayaking or whatever, the point is these people work at protecting the planet and improving the lives of others by being actively engaged in the world in which they live. Through their stories about their adventures they stand as an example of how each of us can make a difference in the course our own lives and perhaps do some good. A few weeks ago I was at the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride. And if you’ve ever been you’ll know this annual celebration of adventure culture through cinema is about a lot more than high altitude thrill rides and adrenaline induced mayhem. The collected speakers, authors, and filmmakers give us a look from their perspective into the many complex questions of life. One of the presenters and judge in the film competition was the actress Anna Deavere Smith. And while she’s not a climber or a skier or any type of outdoor professional through the power of storytelling she has the ability show us a glimpse into the lives others who ponder these same questions.
Magazines / 14.08.2010

Swirling high water on the New River in Fayetteville, West Virginia got me pumped for the summer paddling season. Though heavy concentrations of silt churned the rapids a shade of brown like chocolate milk, a daytrip on a dozen miles of fast whitewater was all it took and I was hooked. I just wanted to paddle! My own enthusiasm for the sport was mirrored by an up-tick in sales of paddling equipment and accessories at the local shop in town Ace Adventure Gear. “We’re up remarkably from last year,” said assistant manager Brad Scott. “Some of it might be the economic downturn coming around. People might just want to recreate at something that doesn’t cost so much. It might even be because of the oil spill and people don’t want to go to the coast. Mainly I think it’s people who want to come in to learn a new sport.”