Save our Parks! Interviews from a SLC Impeachment March.

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Utah has only been my official home for a short time, but it has been a place that I’ve loved and felt close to ever since the first time I visited ten years ago. The beauty and the grandeur of the landscapes in the national parks and national monuments fill me with awe each time I have the opportunity to experience them. Never have I visited one of the countless sites in this state without seeing others enjoying them as well. It’s the reason people come here, and it’s the reason people love it here.

I visited the Donald Trump Impeachment March at the Salt Lake City Capitol Building on Sunday, July 2 and spoke to some people about the current issues we are facing regarding the environment and some of our national monuments. The video is below and you can read on for how you can help:

Two of the designated protected lands, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, are currently under review along with dozens of others in the US. The American public has until July 9 to submit any thoughts or comments regarding the designation of these monuments. Please take the time to share your thoughts by going to this website.

This is the full URL: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

A lot of times it feels like we can’t do anything to change what’s happening in our country. This is an opportunity to do just that. Sign the petition, call your local representatives, write letters, make videos, talk to your family and friends. Any little thing we can do to help preserve these lands is worth the time and effort. I attempt to share the beauty of these places through photography and videos in the hopes that it will inspire others to see it for themselves or at least allow them to enjoy images of a place they might not have the chance to see in person. I hope everyone can appreciate the seriousness of what is at stake.

Thank you for taking the time.

dm.rt

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UTAH!

IMG_4401We made our way down to Capitol Reef, Neon Canyon/Golden Cathedral, Peek-a-Boo/Spooky Canyons, and Bryce this week. We experienced quite a bit including a rattlesnake in a slot canyon, hammocking overnight for the first time, and driving on way more washboard roads than I care to remember. This video is a little recap of our week here. I will be posting daily photos from the recent outings as well as working on more specific videos. Stay tuned and enjoy!

50 Days on the Road!

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We have been traveling across the US for 50 days! We’ve been biking, hiking, skiing, drinking, eating… I’ll just let you see for yourself!

This is just a quick teaser of what’s to come! There will be weekly updates of full-length videos detailing some of the most amazing places we’ve been and the places we go. There are a few new things I’ll be trying out that I’m really excited for. Subscribe or keep checking back for more!

dm.rt

The Road Beneath His Feet: Frank Turner’s Life of Music and Travel (Video Interview)

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Frank Turner has been described musically in many ways: punk, folk, country, acoustic-hardcore (okay, I made that one up.) Over his decade career of playing music as a solo artist who now tours with a permanent band his stylistic range has been great. There is something for everyone in his oeuvre, and those fans come together to dance and sing along each time he passes through a city that’s remotely close to them–and that is quite often. However you’d like to describe the music of Frank Turner, one thing is undeniable: he is a traveler.

He has been touring all over the world for the past decade or so, bringing his music to people in basements, bars, and stadiums. Although his touring has become much more regimented over the last few years, his beginnings were anything but. Taking shows any chance he could get, he often traveled on short notice and without the support of a bus or even a van just for the opportunity to go to a new place. His determination is quite evident, and his music has only gotten better for it.

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I had the opportunity to sit down with Frank at his stop at World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington, Delaware (his first show in the state!) It’s hard to believe this show was over a month ago! To give you an idea of his touring dedication, this was show number 1,971 since he started touring as a solo act in 2005, and the 2000th show is scheduled for December 15 at Nottingham Rock City in the UK. We talked about traveling, life on the road, maintaining relationships with such a manic tour schedule, and finding time to be creative along the way. We also touched on Brexit and Thanksgiving with Sick of it All. While Frank admitted to slowing down a bit with age (he takes a day off every few days on tours instead of scheduling multiple gigs in a day) he certainly has no intention of stopping.

Frank was very generous with his time, and never shy with a smile during our chat. The full video interview is below, and I have transcribed some of my favorite bits here:

“The experience of going from being medium-popular in a very underground way to back to zero again was, I think, quite useful for me on a personal level and it made me quite self-reliant and kind of determined and hopefully humble and grateful for what I have.”

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On getting to 2,000 shows: “A couple people have asked ‘what number do you think you’ll get to?’ And that’s a really, really sort of existentialist question because it’s essentially asking me how long I think I’m gonna live.”

“The thing I love about the idea punk rock is the idea of self-creation; the idea that you can consciously decide what kind of person you are rather than just accepting what the universe throws at you.”

“I took a sort of conscious decision that I was going to do something interesting with my life and not just kind of sleepwalk into the kind of person my parents wanted me to be.”

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“One of the major misconceptions that pisses me off is people who think that what I do is easy. That’s different than saying what I do isn’t fortunate; what I do is incredibly fortunate. I love what I do, I’m incredibly grateful, and I’m lucky to do what I do, and I thank the fates every morning that I get to do what I do for a living. But, for the record, it’s fucking hard.”

“I’m furiously pro-immigration everywhere and at all times. We’re a nation of immigrants as much as anybody else.”

On the best travel advice he’s been given: “In terms of appreciating a city you’re in: Look up! If you want to learn about the history and the architecture of a city, look up. Look at the tops of the buildings. And drink a lot of water.”

HERE IS THE FULL VIDEO INTERVIEW:

Where would you recommend anyone travel to: “Anyone from Europe I’d say America. I’d say ‘stop having fucking opinions about America without having been here.’ As much as much as I love them, don’t just go to San Francisco and New York. Go to Texas, go to Ohio, go to the South, go to Memphis. See the states; it’s a wonderful and unique and interesting thing. Other than that, just try and go somewhere you haven’t been! I try and do that as much as I can.”

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I want to thank Frank Turner, Xtra Mile Records, Epitaph Records, Hillary, Tre, and everyone at World Cafe Live who helped make this happen!

You can catch Frank’s 2,000th show this Thursday, December 15th at Nottingham Rock City (if you happen to have tickets. It’s been sold out for some time now!) or you can catch him at one of his many upcoming other dates for shows 2,001 and beyond!

dm.rt

Note: It’s been a busy month since this interview! I have a lot of new content that I’m preparing to upload and some exciting interviews coming up that I can’t wait to share!

Finding Your Zen

Last Thursday I sprained my ankle while running at Parvin State Park. To be more precise, I sprained my ankle while casually stepping out of the way for an old couple walking on the narrow trail and stepped on a root that I didn’t see because I was exchanging pleasantries with the old man. Luckily I was with a friend who supported my weight until I got to the parking area and was able to get to the ER for the x-rays and assurances that I should just stay off it for a while. That’s what I would have done anyway. The unfortunate incident has caused me to cancel no less than 3 trips I had planned already.

My friend texted me with regret that I wouldn’t be able to join her in New Paltz, NY this weekend for the hike we had planned. She wished me well and mentioned that the outdoors is where a lot of my zen comes from. It was a simple comment, but it got me thinking about how being active outside affects me and, more to the point, how being stuck inside affects me. I’m all for staying in and watching Netflix sometimes, but at least some part of every day for me involves going outside. It could be for a run, a walk, a bike ride, kayaking, hiking, or just taking a walk around the neighborhood with a friend. Without the (even slight) immersion in nature I start to change for the worse.

Staying inside is a creeping demon that suddenly has stolen your day then your week, and before you know it you’re mindlessly staring at your computer monitor like there’s nothing beyond it. When that realization took over for me after several days primarily spent in a chair with my leg elevated, ice pack melting onto the floor, I knew I had to do something. So I crutched down the street to the Maurice River Trail where I’ve been going for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t so graceful, but it was great to be outside.

There’s always an excuse to start something later. Start on Monday or the first of the month or New Year’s Day because that method is burned into our minds. I like the idea of starting this on a Tuesday in the middle of October; a day with no consequence. So I started recording and putting into action my plan to get outside daily and document where I go. The plan is to challenge myself to be outside more often even if it’s painful to walk (or crutch.) I also want to document my photographic process and push myself to try new things and get better at the photo techniques I already employ. This is the beginning of that journey. The video is below. Enjoy! Thanks for watching.

P.S. – I apologize for some of the focus issues. Let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas on how I can make these better and continue to improve the idea!

Here’s where to find the trail. It doesn’t show up on Google Maps, but it starts right at the end of Mulford Ave. and follows the river for about a mile.

Running the Green Trail!

One of my favorite things to say when  I meet people from New Jersey as I’m traveling is that one thing we all have in common is that we like to leave our home state. I do seem to run into a lot of people from the Garden State as I roam the country, but it seems like a lot of the people I know tend to stay put. Maybe they’re on to something. Whenever I come back from a long road trip, working abroad, or living on the other side of the country I’m reminded of the peaceful nature trails so close to my hometown that I took for granted.

Parvin State Park is about fifteen minutes from the place I stay when I’m in NJ, and it’s by far my favorite place to run. Some of it is nostalgia, but the trails circling the massive Parvin Lake are objectively beautiful. There are deciduous trees that change to beautiful colors in the fall and coniferous trees that hold the snow in winter with their bright red berries perfectly complementing the landscape with a touch of color. All of this and more makes this a perfect place to run any time of year.

There are myriad trails to choose from in the park, but my most frequent choice is the green trail that circles the lake closely and comes in at around 3 miles, allowing me to get my arbitrary 5K fix. I will often add in other trails to add distances as well as avoid the popularity of the lake trail since it is quite narrow and makes for awkward passing at times. Even on a busy day the feeling of peace and seclusion isn’t hard to find on the green trail. That’s where I filmed my three miles this weekend and took advantage of the break in the constant rain for a perfect running day.

I wanted to highlight some of the best parts of running this trail and have some fun at the same time. As steady as it felt like I was keeping the GoPro in my hand while I ran the video shows the shaky truth. I’d love to try out a stabilizer next time I do one of these. Still, I had fun and it gives you an idea of this beautiful trail. I would highly recommend coming to Parvin if you’re in the area and if not, I encourage you to go explore your local area and find the beauty you’ve been overlooking! Enjoy!

dm.rt