Mileposts--The Grit to Make it Happen

"If you go on some really big, really ambitious trip or you have some enormous goal, if you look at the big picture all the time, it's too intimidating, it's too big, it seems too insurmountable," says Jim Harris. "If you break it down into the next move, or the next pitch, or the next day of hiking, or the next rapid or whatever it is, those chunks are manageable. And there's a lot of aspects to spine injuries that are that same way." 

A year and a half ago, Jim traveled to Patagonia to attempt a 350-mile traverse of the Patagonian ice cap via kite-ski and packraft. But before the team even made it out of town, Jim was practicing with his kite when an errant gust of wind pulled him into the air and the slammed him back into the ground, breaking seven vertebrae and rendering him paralyzed. 

For the fifth installment of our Mileposts series, we travel to Grand Teton National Park to bring you a story of how much these places we love can take away from us, and about how, sometimes, those same places can teach us the skills we need to come back. 

 

You can find Jim's photography at: http://www.perpetualweekend.com/

Direct download: The_Grit_to_Make_it_Happen.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT
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The Suffer Vest

"I'm not what you'd call a 'runner.' I prefer it to getting fat, but not by a lot," writes Brendan Leonard. "The most I'd run in the past fews years was probably close to 12 kn. I ran a marathon once, and although it felt pretty recent, it was nine years ago." So what's a non-runner to do? Sign up for a 50K trail race with less than 25 days to train, of course. Ready, set, race.

 

You can find more of Brendan's writing at semi-rad.com

Direct download: The_Suffer_Vest.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:30am PDT
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The Ultimate Weekend Warrior

Jim Herson and Anne Smith live in the Bay Area. They're in their fifties. Jim has worked the same computer science job since he graduated college in 1982, and he and Anne have been together nearly that long. They have two kids, a 17 year old daughter and a 13 year old son, who they shuttle around the city in a maroon Subaru wagon. An all-around American family. 

Except for one thing-- Jim and his kids get their family bonding time a thousand feet off the deck on Yosemite's classic routes. 

 

Direct download: The_Ultimate_Weekend_Warrior.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT
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Little Explorers Club

"Tommy grew up in Estes, but you notice that so many families and so many kids just don't go into the the National Park," says Becca Caldwell. While Rocky Mountain National Park is just a short drive from Estes Park, CO., Becca found parents gravitated to the local playground and coffee shops for playdates. "Why aren't we going out on the trails and letting the kids run loose? How can we change that for my sons's generation?" she asked. It's a question that many experts have been asking too. 

Today, for the fourth episode of our Mileposts series, we hike with the Little Explorers in Rocky Mountain National Park, and see how Becca's simple act is forming a community of kids and parents out on the trails. 

Direct download: Mileposts_Little_Explorers_Club.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT
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Live From 5Point Vol. 9

Before Semi-Rad.com, Brendan Leonard wrote a Short for The Dirtbag Diaries called Sixty Meters to Anywhere. He recently published a book with the same title, documenting his journey from handcuffs to hand-jams, from rural Iowa to the mountains of Colorado and from business casual to assignments for Climbing magazine. We returned from our sixth annual pilgrimage to the 5Point Film Festival with something a little different this year: a lightly edited version of the presentation Brendan gave to a packed house. See you there next year? 

You can order your own copy of Sixty Meters to Anywheresee the schedule for Brendan's 2016 book tour and find more of his writing at Semi-Rad.com.

Direct download: Live_From_5Point_Vol._9.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:56pm PDT
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Green Light

Looking west from Seattle, the skyline of Olympic National Park is defined by the notched peak of The Brothers. "I see it stuck in traffic. I see it from meeting rooms in downtown Seattle. I see it on my evening runs that I use to stay in shape for my days in the mountains. I've looked at that skyline and imagined the light, the wind and thought, 'I could be standing on that peak,' -- instead of dealing with 'this', whatever 'this' is," writes Fitz Cahall. 

It can be easy to wallow in the constraints, responsibilities, and duties of life. It can be so damn easy to play the grass is greener game. When Fitz takes a spring Friday to go and climb The Brothers, he gets a chance to look back in the opposite direction and realizes that it's not about which side is greener. It can be as simple as going when you get a green light. 

Direct download: Mileposts--Green_Light.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am PDT
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"My new husband, Bix, consulted the map and asked if I thought we'd make it to Bowknot Bend that day. Lots of honeymooners probably have similar conversations, except for one small detail," writes Emma Walker. "Unlike those couples who coyly take their twos at the gas station down the street, my spouse of less than a week sat discussing the finer points of canoe rigging from his perch atop of the river toilet." 

Today, Emma shares her take on the ingredients for an awesome relationship: honesty, openness, unconditional acceptance of ourselves and of each other--and a solid foundation of poop jokes. 

You can find more of Emma's writing at: https://myalaskanodyssey.com/

Direct download: I_Poo_A_Love_Story.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am PDT
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Trespassers

"You have to imagine that you're on the frozen Arctic Ocean. You're six miles from shore, you can't really tell where the ocean stops and the white shore begins. All you see is white--and this thing where they're dumping crap into the ocean to make this island," says Dan Ritzman. "And there, stuck in the ice, is a sign that says 'No Trespassing'."

It was 1999, the beginning of the climate movement. Oil companies had started to talk about green energy, but continued their dogged search for fossil fuel. At the time, Dan worked for Greenpeace, who was determined to expose that hypocrisy by any means necessary. 

Today, we bring you the story of a Danish ex-special forces trainer, some very cold weather, some crooked State Troopers, a group of activists and the sometimes thin line between standing up for our wild places and adventuring in them. 

Direct download: Trespassers.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00am PDT
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"The sky above you goes on forever, and the landscape appears as endless as the sky. The world is expansive and you are tiny. All of your problems shrink down to the head of a pin," writes Melina Coogan. "This is why places like this matter--places like Great Smoky National Park: they give us perspective." 

Just months after Melina got married, she walked out of a doctor's office with a sobering health diagnosis. Today, for the second episode of our Mileposts series, we travel with her to Great Smoky National Park to see what perspective we can take home. 

You can find more of Melina's writing at: http://www.thewildercoast.com

Direct download: The_Miracle_of_Darkness.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am PDT
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A Slosh in the Bucket

Eric Johnson lives in Sturgis, South Dakota with his wife and three young daughters. He works as a high school English teacher. He's responsible--well, most of the time.

Half way into his thirties, Eric emptied his retirement account to buy a raft, despite the fact that he lives in a state without any navigable whitewater. Just over a year later, he found something too good to be true: a group of experienced guides advertising an open spot on a pre-season trip down Idaho's Main Salmon. 

Today, we bring you the story of what happens when you ignore the red flags that pop up when something is actually too good to be true and of what it feels like to bob around in the bucket of someone else's bucket list.

Direct download: A_Slosh_in_the_Bucket.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:38am PDT
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The Shorts--Tower Climbing, Baby!

"I unclipped the hot belay device from my harness. I looked over at Conor, smiled and announced, 'This is the best part of my day so far'!" writes Jen Altschul. "For a moment, a smile of pure joy spread across his face--which, just as quickly, flipped into disappointment when he realized that I was talking about being back on the ground." 

The first time Jen tried to climb a desert tower, her and her partner bailed after the third pitch and returned the guidebook. Today, we bring you a story of abrasions, frustrations, failure and an eventual, unlikely love for the peculiar formations of the desert southwest. 

Direct download: Tower_Climbing_Baby.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:05pm PDT
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Mileposts--Celebrate with a Milkshake

"Sometimes, when I'm hiking somewhere near Moab and chatting with other people, I think about saying something like, 'You know what's great about this hike? In about 75-minutes, you can be at Milt's Stop & Eat'," says Brendan Leonard. "Milt's is a 19-mile drive from Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, it's 55-miles from Indian Creek and 75-miles to Canyonlands' towering red and white striped sandstone needles. I mean, when you think about it, it's kind of the nucleus of all that rad stuff."

In the first episode of our Mileposts series, we explore the national parks around Moab, Utah--and celebrate with a milkshake. 

 

You can find more of Brendan's writing at: www.semi-rad.com/

Direct download: Celebrate_with_a_Milkshake.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:06pm PDT
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Roll The Dice

"We started the trip without much of a purpose," writes Fil Corbitt. "We wanted to be pushed around. Wanted to find something we didn't know we were looking for. We wanted to take some small chance and see where we landed. And see which side was facing up." 

But how do you find that kind of serendipity when you only have a week? Fil created a game. Each morning, he and his friend would wake up and roll a single dice. The rules? A one meant go north. 2 = east, 3 = south, 4 = west, 5 = stay put and 6 meant to cross the nearest state border. The only rule? No backtracking. 

Today, we follow Fil as he and his friend Brian figuratively and literally roll the dice and see where they land. And which side is facing up. 

 

This episode originally aired as a six-part series on Fil's awesome podcast, Van Sounds. We cut quite a bit of material to turn it into a single piece. You can listen to the full version of the Dice series as well as other awesome travel stories, like the Freight Train episode, at: http://vansounds.org/

Direct download: Roll_The_Dice.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am PDT
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Paul's Boots

We got a call from Australia. M'Lynn's husband, Paul, passed away this past July. He left behind three pairs of polished hiking boots and a backpack packed for his dream hike: the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail. 

M'Lynn reached out to us. She had an idea for one final gift for her husband. "How good would it be," she asked, "for his boots to make the journey even if Paul could not?" We want to make it happen. Give a listen. We need your help.

Want to help? To learn more, click here. 

Direct download: Pauls_Boots.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:51am PDT
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The Shorts--If The Shoe Fits

"I followed my friend through the small, dark weight room in a crusty garage-like building left over from the station's army days and up a narrow, twisted staircase," Hilary Oliver remembers. "Behind the door at the top of those stairs hid a magical place."

Drudgery and boredom ruled most of Hilary's season at Antartica's McMurdo Station, but she also got an unlikely introduction--one that opened up a whole different world. 

 

You can find more of Hilary's writing at thegription.com

Direct download: If_The_Shoe_Fits_2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am PDT
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