Get Outside Podcast
What leads us to the outdoors? I started following outdoor pursuits late in life, by some standards. I was raised in a wild place so took nature and my place in it for granted when I was young. Later on, I wanted to be an artist. To me, that meant living in cities, and living in cities meant divorcing myself from the natural world. In my mid-30s, I finally realized that the divide between nature and culture isn’t so clear.
Living in Los Angeles, the evidence of culture was all around me, but so was nature: alpenglow bathed the San Gabriel mountains that border the city each evening, earthquakes and wildfires threatened to overtake the built environment, the Pacific Ocean perpetually ebbed and flowed at edge of the continent just a few minutes away from my home, and coyotes trotted down the middle of my street. For years, my work in the arts was built on a foundation of personal refusals and denials and a scaffold of socially and linguistically constructed exclusions and oppositions. And then I started walking. I walked into the mountains one day, and in some ways, I never came back.
When I was invited to be a guest on Jason Milligan’s Get Outside podcast, I assumed we would talk in some detail about Pangaea Outdoor Supply and the outdoor pursuits that led to its creation. But rather than talking about things like my yo-yo traverse of the Verdugo range or my Rim to Rim to Rim crossing of the Grand Canyon, we discussed my past at great length. We do talk some about my walk on the John Muir Trail, but I think this interview is less about my outdoor pursuits and more about what led me there. I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to explore that path, and I hope you enjoy it.