If you live in the upper Northern Hemisphere that can only mean one thing. SNOW! Instead of staying indoors all winter, eating comfort food and complaining about the cold, why don’t you take advantage of the white fluffy stuff!
One of the easiest ways to enjoy the snow is to find a hill, any size will do, and go sledding. Don’t give me the excuse that you are too old to enjoy this sport. In fact, it’s a great way to bond with your kids and enjoy yourself in the process. Walking up that hill in full winter garb will also burn off oodles of those Holiday calories.
I just went sled riding myself. I live in Bowling Green, OH, and if you’ve ever been through, you know that it is very flat topography! There are no natural hills within miles. However, there is a golf course on campus, and on the last hole there is a 50 foot high man-made hill that is perfect for sledding.
If you’re worried about spending money on a sled, think again. My friends and I decided to use some unconventional objects that didn’t cost us a dime. We took 2 large cookie sheets, 1 garbage can lid, and a giant 2’ x 5’ plastic tub out to the hill. We soon found out that the plastic garbage lid did not work at all. It just dug into the snow and stopped. The 2 cookie sheets worked well if you went down the hill on your stomach, but if you sat on them you often ended up going down the hill backwards.
The ultimate sled was the giant tub. It was big enough to fit two people! We decided to pretend we were in the classic Jamaican bobsledding film Cool Runnings. One of us would push the tub down the hill and then jump in the back. The other sledder would steer with their hands by putting pressure on the ground. It was similar to steering a kayak. You just put your hand down on the side that you want to turn toward.
There were plenty of tense moments as we picked up speed on the hill and lost control. About half of the time we would flip out of the tub near the bottom of the hill and go rolling for 20 feet. Toward the end of the night we mastered our steering technique and we even managed to steer ourselves through an opening in a fence on the more “dangerous” side of the hill. It was one heck of an adventure, and it was only 5 minutes away from my house.
So when the snow starts to fall, jump into some warm clothes, find the biggest plastic tub in the house. and run for the hills! Happy Backyard Adventure!
If you have any Winter Sledding tales, please share them with us in the comment section below.
I’m going to start posting a weekly section called, Backyard Adventure. This will contain ideas for inexpensive ways to dip your toes into the waters of the adventure lifestyle. Oh yeah, and most of them will be activities you can do in your own back yard.
I realize that not everyone has the time or money to make a lifestyle change as dramatic as becoming a wandering mountain climber. But you can still experience the same level of excitement and connection to nature through mini-adventures! Remember, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy these either. So break out of your stuffy shell and experience life a little. Have fun, and who knows, maybe you’ll get hooked and set off on your own world-wide adventure!
Also, if you have any creative ideas for a Backyard Adventure, leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, keep it fun, cheap, and close to home. Who knows, I might just post it in next weeks Backyard Adventure!
It was early afternoon and the rain was coming down at a steady pace as Nick and I rolled into Athens, Georgia. The first thing that was on our minds was getting some quality Southern chow!
Automatic For The People
So naturally we rolled into the parking lot of a Slimer-green building, and went in to try the famous Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods. It was a small place with several long tables laid out like you were at a family get-together. Nick and I both ordered the fried Chicken, with sides of Catfish, mac and cheese, and collards.
It was my first time eating collards and I was a little nervous. They looked a lot like boiled seaweed to me, and smelled kinda funny. I decided to taste them first, and after a couple of bites I was hooked. They reminded me of spinach, of which I’m already a big fan. Overall the food was pretty good. It’s not a fancy place by any means, but it’s quick service and filling food. I also learned that the band R.E.M. took the title of their 1992 album “Automatic for the People” from Weaver D’s motto. Pretty cool, huh?
After satiating our hunger we moved on to downtown Athens. The only way to really experience all of the cool shops, cafes and bars was to park the car and walk. The rain was still coming down hard as we ran down the streets looking for something that piqued our interests. First we stop into an old looking used book store. Nick and I have a habit of visiting a bookstore or two in every town we drive through. What can I say, books rock!
We hit up a great record shop, comic book store, and a cafe / bar. All the while we were running back and forth through rain and puddles. About an hour into running around town, I noticed that my feet were completely soaked through. Yeah, it was wet out, but I didn’t think I stepped in anything deep enough to warrant such soggy sneakers! I asked Nick if his feet were wet, and he said they were fine. Well, after we got done doing some shopping and coffee drinking we went back to the car so I could change my shoes before I got trench foot.
When I pulled the shoes off I noticed that their bottoms were not completely covered in rubber like most soles! The middle of the sole appeared to be woven hemp or some other material. The water was able to go right up into my socks! I love these Skecher shoes, but you think they would have come with a warning! DO NOT WEAR IN THE RAIN!
Live at the 40 Watt
After drying out and cooking another meal in the parking lot of a Sam’s club, we decided to go to the famous 40 Watt and rock out at their Christmas party. The club was not very big. There was medium size stage with about 10 round tables in front of it, just enough room for some dancing, and a nice long bar the length of the room. Surprisingly there were very few people there that night. I guess it’s because Athens is a college town, and everyone was at home for the break…
Anyway, there were some great southern alt-rock bands playing that night. I forget the first two names, but the headliner was Lona. They put on a great show and had a ton of energy. They even managed to entice some dancers to the floor. It was so cool standing in the place that the Drive-By Truckers (One of my favorite bands) recorded their live album, aptly named Live at the 40 Watt.
Overall, Athens was a blast. It’s probably even more exciting when school is in session and thousands of students are roaming the streets. Rain or shine, you should visit Athens for a good time!
Day 4 and The Long Road Home
The next day we got up late, around 11am. We slept that night in a tent, for the first time on our trip. The temperature went down to near freezing, but with a little space heater cranking all night we kept warm and cozy. Most of the night I didn’t even need a blanket because it got so warm. In the morning we showered, cooked some eggs, and hit the road by 1pm.
We were hoping to get one last climb in at Rock Town, GA on our way home. Sadly, with our late start, it began getting dark just as we were nearing Rock Town. Then to add insult to injury, the sunny skies turned gray and it began raining again. Nick and I finally resigned to the fact that we would not be climbing anymore on this trip :(
We remembered that we needed to get back in Bowling Green, OH by Sunday morning. At this time it was already 5pm on Saturday and we were still in Georgia! We had a 10 to 11 hour drive ahead of us! We decided to grab some food and make the long push for home.
Thank you technology! If it wasn’t for my iPhone and the ability to stream Pandora radio and Youtube videos into Nick’s car stereo, that would have been one long and monotonous trip home. I took the wheel in Chatanooga to give Nick a break from his driving duties. All went well until midway through Kentucky. That’s when the snow started falling.
From that point, until we pulled off of the Bowling Green, OH exit ramp, it snowed. There were a couple of times that I was gripping the steering wheel and hoping that the car wouldn’t lose traction, careening off of the mountainside. In the end we got home without incident at four in the morning. We unpacked some of my gear, hauled it up my stairs, I told Nick, “Awesome trip Bro, see ya later,” and within minutes I was out cold.
What a great trip! If any of you have been to Athens, GA or Chattanooga, TN let me hear your stories. Until next time, Happy Traventures!
Well, we got a late start after a late night in Chattanooga. Nick and I thanked Mark and Cindy for their hospitality, packed our gear back into the car, and headed for a place to eat.
Parking Lot Picnic
We had enough food packed for the week, so we decided to find a big parking lot to setup kitchen. There was a nice big Bi-Lo’s just outside of downtown that had a quiet loading area. We parked the Civic there and unloaded our cooking gear. We had a Coleman PerfectFlow 2-Burner Stove for cooking our egg, cheese and mushroom omelets, and a Coleman 1-Burner Propane Stove for boiling hot water for tea and coffee. We also slapped together some peanut butter sandwiches.
We had a few passers-by that gave us funny looks, and one group that jokingly asked if they could join us for lunch. This was our first parking lot picnic and it was a success! No one tried to kick us out, and our fresh cookin’ was quite tasty! Thanks Bi-Lo.
Back to LRC
It was some time after noon when we finally made it back to Little Rock City. We hurried up, checked in, and ran back into the boulder field like little kids. We decided to walk further into the field, knowing that we had a lot more time to explore this time around. We found a couple of problems that we identified by chalk markings. We gave them a go, but we were unable to get very far :( We were still unsure of the problems, and we didn’t know if we were on a V1 or a V16…
We ended up searching around and trying a few other problems. Eventually we decided to head back to the entrance of the boulder field to retry the problems we worked the night before. I managed to get three quarters of the way up one of the high problems, but nearing 15ft high and unsure of where to go next I ended up backing down 2 times. I never realized how high some of the boulders could get. You never get to top out at the indoor rock wall, and I think the highest you ever get is about 10ft above the mats.
We found another group of climbers and worked a hard problem with them. The one guy was a local and he nailed this V5 like it was nothing. It’s amazing to watch the way experienced climbers move. Their motion is very fluid and purposeful. I know I catch myself jerking around a lot trying to force moves instead of using my balance. I guess this will come with practice.
My First Flash
Later in the day we came to a nice high boulder with tons of good holds. I’m not even sure if there was a set problem. If there was it was probably a V0, but I was tired of not getting in more than a couple of moves so I gave this bad boy a go.
The start of the problem was easy. There were a bunch of sharp jugs that went in a diagonal up the rock face. About half way up there were some slopers and pinch holds. When I was about 5 feet from the top most of the obvious holds ran out. I wasn’t sure where to go next and I was starting to tire out. I looked down at Nick and realized I was pretty high up. I didn’t want to jump from where I was, so I thought about down climbing for a second.
Nick encouraged me and I just went for it. I’m not even sure what I grabbed onto. I slapped my hands onto some slopers that didn’t look like they were possible to hold onto, but I managed to stick. Those last few feet gave me a nice adrenaline rush. If I would have slipped at that point I would have dropped close to 20ft. Our little crash pad didn’t reassure me that I would have a safe fall. Well, I managed to pull my self to the top and I was psyched! I finally topped out my first boulder and flashed a problem. Like I said, it was probably a V0, but it was a high one :)
Nick ended up getting to the top of the same boulder from another route. But when he got to the top he was worn out. His arms were on the top of the boulder in front of him and there was nothing to grab onto. I was doing my best to spot him, but there was not much I could have done if he fell other than try to push his body onto the crash pad. Nick managed to down climb several feet and he launched off and landed safely on the pad.
We worked a few more routes before it got dark. We left exhausted but hungry for more. I can’t wait to climb outdoors again!
Q: Do any of you climbers out there remember your first time bouldering on real rock? What was your experience like?Was it what you expected or were you surprised?
Wal-Mart Parking Lot
We ended up avoiding one night in a Wal-Mart parking lot, thanks to Mark and Cindy. But on our second night in Chattanooga, TN we decided on giving the parking lot a shot.
It turned out to be a good night. We played some Scrabble Slam and Boggle, and after reading Urban Climber Magazine we wend to bed. I was a little uncomfortable at first, but after covering my head with a sweat shirt I fell fast asleep. Thanks Wal-Mart!
Wow! Chattanooga Rocks! Nick and I had such a blast on our trip down South.
We woke up at 4am, ate some food, packed up the car and left Bowling Green, OH for Chattanooga, TN. It was a good long 9 hour drive. We went through Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ve never been to Cinci. There is an awesome view of downtown when you’re heading north on I-75. That was enough to convince me to give it a visit in the future.
We arrived in Chattanooga around 2:30pm. Our first stop was Tim’s house. Tim and his wife are both great climbers, but since having 2 kids and some injuries, they have decided to focus on bicycling for the time being. So Tim sold us one of his nice crash pads and some chalk for our bouldering trip at a really great price. He also let us borrow some bouldering guidebooks from the Tripple Crown Bouldering Series, that way we could find our way around. Thanks again Tim!
Little Rock City
After getting the last of our gear we raced to make it to Little Rock City before nightfall. We arrived at the Montlake Golf Course at 4pm (sunset was 5:30pm). We rushed to get our gear together, signed in at the club house and ran into the LRC boulder field that borders the course.
Once there, we were both simultaneously excited and at a loss. Use to little colored tape markings on our routes at the indoor rock wall, we had a hard time locating boulder problems. Luckily some friendly local climbers showed us the way.
We jumped on a couple of “easy” routes, some V0 / V1’s. Well the first one was more difficult than expected. The friction was great with the cool dry air, but it was just so different. Nick managed to flash the second route that we tried, while I was still having a hard time. I went back to the first route and made some progress. We started playing around on another route and then the night quickly settled in.
After our short, but exciting, bouldering experience we decided to go into downtown Chattanooga to get some food and drink. We took The CragBaby’s advice and decided to check out the Tremont Tavern and it’s famous burgers. CragBaby was right about the burgers! They were huge and amazing. Tremont Tavern also carried a large variety of beer that I never heard of. There was a tasty Terrapin “Side Project Pumpkinfest” that was on specia, and your first glass was free!
The best part of Chattanooga was the people. Everyone was friendly and talked to you like you were their long lost brother. We met Pete, who just graduated with his MBA from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. He told us of his hard time trying to find a job in Chattanooga, some of his business ideas, and he helped us find out if the road to Rock Town, GA was repaved after being recently washed out. We found out that it was, but we never made it. I’ll get to that later.
Then we met Mark and Cindy, two artists and teachers, who recently moved to Chattanooga. We found out that they were originally from Toledo, OH and Michigan. Mark new all about Bowling Green so we were quick to hit it off. We had a few drinks and enjoyed the great company.
At some point Mark asked where we were staying that night. Due to the lack of good camping sites in the area we decided to sleep in the car in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Mark and Cindy joked with us about how cold it was going to get that night. When we were ready to leave they offered us a place to stay at their home a few miles down the road. After walking through the cold to another bar we decided to take them up on it!
Thanks Mark and Cindy!!!
Nick and I ended up staying up late with Mark listening to music we never heard of, checking out his art, and talking about Toledo and Chattanooga. Thanks for the musical education Mark! I never knew Jimi Hendrix had a Christmas album, and the Avett Brothers rock!
They offered us blankets, pillows, coffee and much needed showers. Thanks again Mark and Cindy! Your place really beat the Wal-Mart parking lot :)
What is bouldering you ask? Does it have something to do with rolling rocks down a hillside? Well no, but that’s kinda half right. It does have to do with rocks, BIG rocks!
Bouldering is a type of rock climbing that usually takes place well below 20ft. It is geared toward hard moves and technique instead of the endurance required for long sports or trad climbs. Some climbers boulder as a form of practice for higher and longer climbs. But there is a large group of climbers that choose bouldering as their main style of climbing.
Bouldering is one of the most intense and enjoyable workouts that you will ever experience. You really need to be in tune with your body and mind when you climb. There is a reason that they call bouldering routes “problems”. They may be short, but they require very specific and precise movements to complete them. You become very aware of your body position and your balance. The success of completing a hard problem keeps you motivated and coming back for more.
Bouldering is great, even for beginners, because it requires little investment in gear and less danger from a high fall than one could experience in other forms of climbing. It still holds its dangers, of course, like falling from six feet and hitting your head off of a rock. Ouch! But with proper safety, these kind of injuries can be avoided.
Most boulderers only have a chalk bag, a pair of climbing shoes, and a crash pad.
The chalk is used for keeping ones hands dry. When your hands get sweaty or wet, climbing certain types of rock can become very difficult.
Climbing shoes are made with special rubber that is durable and sticky in comparison to your everyday kicks.
A crash pad is a thick piece of foam that works great for softening your fall. Even though you may not be very high above the ground, many times your body is horizontal, or even upside-down. Falling from those positions can be dangerous on rough terrain without a pad.
Bouldering connects you with nature. Of course you can boulder indoors at most climbing gyms, there are even huge gyms dedicated specifically to bouldering, but bouldering outdoors is where the magic happens. It’s a time where you can leave behind technology and your everyday worries. It’s a time to take in the world around you. And it’s a great way to connect with the raw physical forces of the universe. Man, one with rock.
Bouldering is also a great way to meet new and interesting people. In the short amount of time that I have spent climbing I have found that other climbers are some of the friendliest and most helpful people that I have met. You could be climbing a new route and someone that you never met will begin giving you encouragement and suggestions. The passion for climbing is a glue that quickly builds bonds between fellow climbers.
Believe it or not, there are tons of great bouldering and climbing videos out there. Most of them are also made using great style and technique. For bouldering specific videos check out www.modump.com. For all kinds of climbing videos check out www.ucmag.tv. You can also search climbing and bouldering on YouTube and Vimeo and find plenty of great videos!
There are many places to go bouldering around the country and around the world! You can start by finding a nearby climbing gym. It’s a great way to get some climbing experience and meet people that know where good outdoor climbing is available. This website, www.indoorclimbing.com, is a great reference for indoor gyms.
Unless you live in the middle of the Great Plains you are probably within a few minutes to a couple of hours of a great outdoor bouldering location. Do a web search for your area and climbing or bouldering to find information on great locations. Finding outdoor sites is where those friends you made at the gym can come in handy :) Oh, yeah, and remember to obey trespassing laws. Do not climb on private property without written permission!
Traventure Down South
The South East is a great area for winter climbing. In fact that is where my friend Nick and I are going this week. The temperature will be in the low 50s during the day and dip into the low 30s at night. The colder the temperature, the better the friction on the rock. We are going to go to Little Rock City in Tennessee and Horse Pens 40 in Alabama. We are super exited to climb outdoors and meet some great people. We will probably also check out some of the sites in Chattanooga and perhaps Birmingham. So make sure to check back this week for posts, pictures and maybe some video :)
Call to action!!!
Stop sitting around and plan your first climbing experience!!! See you on the rocks!
*Note: The photos of climbers used on this site come from Google Images. I do not own the rights to them and I’m using them for illustration only. If you find that I am using your photos and you would like me to take them down, please let me know. If not, send me your name and website and I’ll give you credit. Thanks in advance :)
“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”—Ad placed by Ernest Shackleton
Okay, those aren’t exactly the lyrics, but that is where I will be going in a couple of weeks. My good friend Nick and I are driving down I-75 from Bowling Green, Ohio to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ever notice how many double letters are in that name???
Our new found indoor wall climbing addiction is what lead us to pick this location. That and the fact that we have never been to this part of the country. True we have done all of our climbing to date on fake rock, but we are hoping that the weather holds out so we can do some Southern Outdoor Bouldering. Right now it’s pretty cold in TN (42°F), so we may have to go souther :)
Triple Crown Bouldering
Chattanooga is one of the homes of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series. It’s a rock climbing event hosted by Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition and The Carolina Climbers’ Coalition. It takes place in 3 locations within 3 months - Hound Ears in Boone, NC, Horse Pens-40 in Steele, AL, and then Stone Fort in Chattanooga, TN. We will be missing the event by 2 weeks, but we hope to meet some awesome people and experience bouldering on real rock for the 1st time.
I just got some new 5.10 VMILE climbing shoes in the mail today, and I’m going to break them in on Sunday at the wall. Actually I’m wearing them right now! They are pretty tight, but bearable, so hopefully they will break in just right. It’s scary buying climbing shoes online without being able to try them on. But there is no one that sells them near me. A shame, I say!
We are also looking for some used crash pads. Most of them are really expensive brand new, so if you know anyone that has one or two, let me know ASAP!
Our plans are pretty loose (I’m holding back from quoting The Office). If everything works out as planned, we are leaving Wednesday, December 16th. First up, we are considering hitting up Urban Krag, a climbing gym in Dayton, Ohio. It looks amazing! It’s built in a renovated church and blows away the wall at BGSU in terms of size. We want to scope it out for some future weekends of climbing, and get our blood flowing before the long push south.
Next we are going to continue down I-75 all the way to Chattanooga. Along the way we may stop to see some sites and grab some food. We will keep our eyes and iPhones open for exciting side trips.
Once in Chattanooga we will be looking for bouldering locations and people to climb with / interview. We’re keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that we get some sunny 60 degree weather! If we can’t make it outside we have two options: Climb at some of the great indoor facilities in Chattanooga, or drive south into Georgia or Alabama to find better weather and dry rocks.
Either way it should be an adventure. As always I will send you photos, video, and posts along the way. If there is anything you want to know about climbing or the locations, let me know by commenting or tweeting me here. If I don’t know the answer, I will find someone in Chattanooga that does!
In this video you will see me hamming it up for the camera as I make my first tandem skydive with Tod from Canton Air Sports. I couldn’t ask for a nicer day! I think it reached 70 degrees, and that’s hot for Ohio in November!
If you look closely you can see the lines tangled on the right side of the chute soon after it opens. Tod had to cut away to the reserve shoot and I got an extra mini free fall. Of course I didn’t really know what was going on at the time so I just enjoyed the ride. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!
If you want to play along there is a drinking game that takes advantage of the multitude of horns that I throw at the camera. All you need to do is take a sip of your favorite beverage every time I make rock n’ roll hands. And please keep the sips small, because you wont believe how many times I throw the horns! I haven’t counted, but if you get a total please put it in the comments :)
Thanks again to Ashley, Rick, Tod and everyone at Canton Air Sports for an amazing first skydiving experience! I hope to be back for more soon!
So I did it! I made my first skydive. It was a tandem with Tod from Canton Air Sports in Ohio. I also got an unexpected 2 for 1 deal when the main chute was too twisted to fly. Tod decided it was best to cut away and go to the reserve. That gave me an extra 2 seconds of free fall! The reserve opened and we glided in for a smooth landing.
And yes, even with a malfunction on my first jump I’m still going to tell you why I’m so excited about skydiving and why you should try it out!
Why did I decide to Skydive?
I’ve always had the itch to skydive. Everyone that I have ever talked to that has skydived has said that it was one of the most amazing experiences of their lives.
I’ve always been obsessed with airplanes and even took some flying lessons when I was in my teens. The smaller the airplane the better! I love the sensation of making turns and looking out the window to see the tiny trees and houses below.
I new that one day I would skydive… I have Ashley Mead of Skydive Chick to thank for giving me that extra little “push”.
I met Ashley and her boyfriend Rick at Bridge Day, several weeks ago, and she told me all about her experience with skydiving this past year. Later that week she emailed me and mentioned that if I was interested in making my first jump, that she and Rick would be happy to go along with me and shoot some video. I thought about it for a minute and decided that now is the time to do this!
Canton Air Sports
Shortly after Ashley’s email I called up Canton Air Sports and scheduled my first skydive. Canton Air Sports is Ashley and Rick’s home base for skydiving, and it’s only 45 minutes from my hometown of Yankee Lake, OH. The jump was set for this past Sunday, November 8th, 2009.
I arrived at Canton Air Sports around 1pm on Sunday. It happened to be one of the most beautiful days of the past couple of months. It was sunny, no clouds in the sky, and about 70 degrees on the ground.
The first thing that I noticed when I arrived was that the place was smaller than I expected. There was one barn-like building and a field next to it. Parked by the barn were two small prop planes.
I walked into the side door and everyone was super friendly from the start. I had to sign a couple of waivers and take everything out of my pockets. Then I went through a short training session where I learned how to exit the plane, arch my back, and put my legs out for a landing.
In order to jump with Ashley and Rick I had to wait for several loads of jumpers to go ahead of me. This gave me plenty of time to meet some great people and watch everyone pack their bags. I never realized how much effort was put into the packing. You have to use your whole body to get that big chute into a little bag!
Now it was my turn! My instructor, Tod, geared me up with a jumpsuit and a harness, and we were ready to rock! We all crammed into the little airplane (The Pilot, myself, Rick, Tod and Ashley). There was barley any room to move, but we managed.
The plane rolled down the runway and we lifted off. I had pictured this jump so many times in my head, and I was so ready for it that I didn’t get too nervous. I knew this was it, and there was no turning back. I also felt very safe with Tod, Rick and Ashley. I knew that they knew what they were doing, and I was just ready to have some fun!
It took us about 10 minutes to reach our exit altitude, which ended up being around 9,500 feet. The air was a little cooler and the ground was far below. Tod instructed me to kneel in front of him and he hooked my harness to his. As he tightened me down I slid my goggles on and I was ready to go.
Rick opened the door and climbed out first, holding onto the strut of the airplane. The wind was loud and rushing into the cabin. Tod told me to step out onto the landing gear. I put both feet out and he said, “Let’s go!” Next thing I knew we were tumbling into the air.
Time was a mix between super fast and super slow. I don’t really even remember leaving the airplane. I remember tumbling a couple of times and then stabilizing and looking around. Rick was out in front of us and the world was below us. I alternated between trying to take it all in and hamming it up for the camera. I think I threw more horns that day than I have my whole life :)
The free fall was quick. It probably lasted less than a minute. Tod released the chute and we slowed down to what seemed like almost a complete stop. A cheered a couple of times and took in the amazing view. Then Tod asked, “Are you ready to do that again, bro?” I said, “Hell yeah!” not really knowing what he meant.
Next thing I knew we were free falling again. This time I could feel my stomach moving up into my chest, that sensation you get on a big roller coaster. It was freaky and awesome at the same time. Then out popped our reserve chute and we were cruising smoothly.
Tod explained that the main chute was tangled and not flyable. So he made the decision to cut away and go to the reserve. Looking back at the footage I could see what he meant. That was a nasty tangle. The malfunction was very rare, and made for an unexpected 2 free falls for the price of 1 deal.
We coasted slowly for several thousand feet. I got a chance to take in the view and watch our main chute fall into the trees below. It was a great feeling to be hanging in the wind. We watched Rick and Ashley land below us and then circled around for our own landing. Since the reserve landed a little faster we put our feet up and just slid in on our asses for a safe landing!
My first skydive was such an amazing experience! Malfunction and all, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Everyone at Canton Air Sports was great. It really felt like I was entering a happy family while I was there. Everyone looked out for one another, and they all had a good time joking around and enjoying each others company.
If you have ever thought about skydiving now is the time to act. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today! Overcome your fears and have one of the most amazing experiences of your life. Chances are you will get hooked and be back for more. I know I will!
I will also be posting the video within the next couple of days, so that you can get a first hand look at my jump. Until then, Blue Skies!
I’m just about to leave my apartment in Bowling Green, OH for a weekend with family and friends back in my hometown of Yankee Lake, OH. I’m going to cap the weekend off with my 1st Skydive on Sunday, November 8th, 2009 at around 1pm.
Follow me on twitter here. I will be posting photos and answering your questions, before, sorta during, and after my first skydive!
I will be doing a tandem jump with one of the instructors from Canton Air Sports and I will be accompanied by Skydive Chick (Ashley Mead) and her boyfriend Rick. The jump will be video taped and I will post it within a couple of days of the jump. Wish me luck. I’m super excited. See you on Twitter and in the skies this Sunday!
“If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it.”—
Saturday, Oct. 17th was Bridge Day's 30 year anniversary! The event has been commemorating the New River Gorge Bridge's completion since 1979. I could barely sleep the night before. I knew that I only had a few hours, so I just tried to relax. At 4:00am the alarm went off! I awoke to the blackness of the hotel room. Normally I would want to keep hitting the snooze button for another hour, but on Bridge Day I had too much energy, and too many things to do.
Dustin and I got everything packed and ready and we were on the road by 5:00am. According to the schedule there was a 5:30am Pancake Breakfast at the Fayetteville American Legion. We wanted to make sure we got there in time to beat the rush of people, and hopefully get some interviews. Well, we got there at exactly 5:30 and no one was around! We walked inside and the men working said that they wouldn’t be ready for at least another 45 minutes!!!
We walked back to the car in the darkness of the early morning. Dustin thought I might have gotten the schedule wrong, but I took another look and sure enough it said Pancake Breakfast 5:30am. Then we turned around and saw a sign that said Pancake Breakfast 6:00am. I guess there was a change. So we went to the gas station to grab
a few things and then came back.
6:00am: There were still no hungry lines of people. We got our microwaved pancakes and sat down in an empty dining room. The sausage wasn’t bad, and I was hungry so I sucked it all down within a few minutes. We left around 6:30 and still there were only a couple of people coming in to eat. I must have hyped up the breakfast in my mind. Apparently no one gets up at 4am to eat pancakes on Bridge Day :)
On The Bridge
We ended up parking at the New River Gorge Visitor Center and we sat in the car until 8:00am. It was rainy, cold and foggy. We decided there wasn’t much we could do until things cleared up a bit. At about 8:20am we walked out onto the New River Gorge Bridge. We had to pass a security check and wave our media passes. The bridge was basically empty except for a small gathering around the launch point.
We had a short conversation with a couple of US Marshals. They said that in all of the years they worked the event, they had never seen so few people on the bridge at that hour. Normally the bridge was already crawling with people at 8:00am. We figured it would pick up as the day went on and the weather
The view of the gorge from the bridge was impressive. You could even see some of the rapids that are so popular with the whitewater rafters. As we approached the jumping platform we could see a line of BASE jumpers gearing up and getting excited. There was a lot of energy and nervous tension building as 9:00am and the first jump were nearing.
Miles Daisher (Red Bull Air Force)
The first jumper that we had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing was Miles Daisher of the Red Bull Air Force. Miles has made over 3000 skydives and over 2400 BASE jumps (unofficially more than anyone else in the world). On Bridge Day he was totally stoked and ready to jump. We had a great little interview that included a lot of “WooHoos” and laughter. Make sure to check
Miles out in the video episode when it is uploaded in the next couple of weeks!
Later on in the day I got to see Miles make a landing where he nailed the 3ft target circle. Not an easy feat, considering that many jumpers ditched in the water and had hard landings on the rocks. Ouch! Thanks again Miles for your enthusiasm and taking the time to talk.
At 9:00am the first BASE jump of Bridge Day 2009 took place. It was an ash jump by Paul and Lonnie in memory of their friend Dan ‘Danger’ Mathie. For more on their jump read Skydive Chick’s post here. From that point on there was a jump every
30 seconds to 2 minutes until 3:00pm. It was amazing to see all of the experienced and first time BASE jumpers out there doing their thing.
Some of the jumpers held their little pilot chute and threw it as they jumped. Others free fell 1 to 3 seconds before pulling their chute. I was blown away at how far some of them would fall before opening. A few of the low openers were unable to make it back to the landing zone. They had to ditch in the water, and a few landed in the trees. Luckily there were 4 boats and plenty of rescuers to help recover everyone quickly.
Shuttle to the LZ
After about 45 minutes of shooting jumpers from the top of the Bridge we decided to take the shuttle to the bottom of the gorge and capture some landings and interviews. We walked past all of the fair food and apparel vendors and finally found a shuttle stop several hundred yards from the bridge. We jumped on and took a wild ride down the mountain that lasted 20 to 30 minutes.
Our driver was very experienced and had driven for Bridge Day for several years. Some of the turns on the mountain were so sharp that we actually had to back up several times for the bus to make them. The view was beautiful. At points you could look out of the bus window and see straight down to the water. We finally arrived at the bottom and hopped out in search of the LZ.
There was a large tarpped area where the jumpers were re-packing their gear. We walked past them down to the landing zone and setup our gear to get some shots of the incoming jumpers.
I was surprised at how many jumpers ditched into the water. I soon realized that many of them were simply avoiding landing on the gravel LZ to save themselves from broken bones. There were at least two people that did break their legs when we were at the bottom. One of the rangers that was working the event told us
that earlier in the day one of the jumpers went face first into a tree! They had to be taken to the hospital for stitches. Yikes!
There were many other hard landings where the jumpers slid onto their hands and rolled onto their sides. Landing is one of the most dangerous parts of BASE jumping, and one of the reasons that you should have plenty of canopy / landing experience before you attempt one. There were also plenty of soft landings by the more experienced jumpers. They make it look easy, but don’t be fooled!
After a little boat ride to get some more shots from the river, Dustin and I made our way back to the packing area. Here we captured some post-jump footage. Then we started to eye up the crowd for some potential interviewees.
Alexander Polli (BASE Jumper)
First up was Alex. He was bouncing around with energy and gave us a nice flash of his ripped pants. We called him over and he was happy to give us a quick interview before he ran off to make his last jump of the day. Alex had been BASE jumping for about 6 months at that point. He said that he had the desire to jump ever since he saw the videos of wing suit jumpers. He couldn’t believe it was real. Alex also said that he had to make a lot of sacrifices to get to where he was, but that he’s living his passion.
Thanks again Alex! Check him out in the coming episode!
Ashley Mead (Skydive Chick)
Ashley has been skydiving since April of 2009. She made her first jump at the end of a vacation and has been hooked ever since. Ashley had about 64 skydives at the time Bridge Day 2009 took place, so she was just scoping things out, enjoying the festivities, and taking photos of her friends. She hopes to make her first BASE jump at next years Bridge Day event, and she plans on landing in the water.
I asked Ashley how she afforded the sport. She said that she temporarily went in debt to get all of the gear and training, but that it was well worth it in the end. Ashley has a blog chronicling her skydiving experience at www.SkydiveChick.com. Check it out!
She got me so excited about making my first skydive that I scheduled the jump for November 8th 2009 at Canton Air Sports. I can’t wait. Thanks again Ashley for a great interview!
Last Jumps of the Day
1:30pm: After mingling with some more jumpers and rappellers, we decided to head back to the top of the bridge and get shots of the last jumpers. We captured
some great photos and footage. We were even lucky enough to capture Alexander Polli’s last jump of the day. What a jump it was! A double back flip and a low opening. Way to go, man!
The crowds thinned out and the last jumper jumped. Dustin and I grabbed a gyro and ribbon fries on the way out and ate until we were sick. What a great day!
Thank you Bridge Day! Thanks to everyone that participated in the first Traventure. And a special thanks to everyone that did an interview with us! Until next year, happy jumping!
Friday, Oct. 16th Dustin and I made the trek from Yankee Lake, OH to Fayetteville, WV. Though the weather was a little nasty, rainy and cold, it was still a beautiful ride through the mountains. All of the trees were turning bright orange, yellow and red. The total driving time only ended up being about four and a half hours long.
We stopped in Summersville, just north of Fayetteville, and grabbed a quick lunch at Applebees. I have to admit, it was probably one of the most tasteless burger and fries that I ever had. The onion rings were okay, but super greasy. At least I was less hungry when we left…
From there we rolled on to Fayetteville and arrived at the New River Gorge Visitor Center at 1:30pm. There was a light mist in the air and the temperature was a bearable 42 degrees Fahrenheit. Visitors were pulling in and the lot was crowded, signs of the day to come.
Dustin and I walked down the long stairs to the lookout point. Here we got our first glimpse of the magnificent New River Gorge Bridge. Until that point I had only seen the top of it as our family drove over on our way to Myrtle Beach. The reason this bridge stuck in my mind all of these years was the fact that my mother would always freak out as we went across. My mom is a little terrified of bridges, barriers and the like :)
The New River Gorge Bridge is 876ft high at its middle. That’s where the jumpers would be leaping from. As I gazed upon it I became a little woozy. For myself, I knew that there would be a lot of fear to conquer before I could get my legs to throttle me from that ledge! Maybe one day…
Media Meeting and Tasting
After perusing the information center and getting some ice cream, we made our way down the road to Smokey’s on the Gorge. This is where the media meeting took place at 4pm. We signed in and received our media passes, wrist bands, and binder of information. There was a crowd of around 30 people when the meeting began.
ndy Dragan gave the introductions and laid the ground for Bridge Day 2009. We also got security information from local law enforcement, learned that we could take a boat out on the river and shoot some video, and were given the details on Bridge Day’s move to go digital.
Bridge Day goes Digital
Pat Strader of Matterhorn Marketing explained that there would be a team of photographers and videographers capturing the days events and posting them online. There was a constant feed on Twitter where you could view the images, links to blog posts, and ask questions using the hashtag #bridgeday. They also encouraged everyone to attach #bridgeday to all of their own photo, video and blog posts so that they could be shared with the community. Traventure Man took advantage of this and we posted several photos and links to blog posts with the accompanying #bridgeday hashtag. It was really fun!
From all accounts Bridge Day’s move to go digital was a success. I’m sure next years event will take the online interactivity to a whole new level!
After mingling and getting some food, we retired to our hotel in Beckley, WV. It was a beautiful Holiday Inn just off of the freeway, chalked full of amenities like a gym, pool, bar, and restaurant. We didn’t have much time to take advantage of them, but our room was very neat and clean. We unpacked all of the gear and prepped everything for Bridge Day. I wanted to keep everything as compact and carryable as possible.
We finally got to bed around 11pm. Bridge Day 2009 would start for us at 4am sharp! Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz
We finally did it! My friend Nick and I joined the rock wall at Bowling Green State University. We tried it out during one of their free weeks at the beginning of the school semester, and we have been talking about it ever since. It was only $56 for the rest of the school year (May 2010), it’s open 5 days a week, and shoe rental is only $1. So today we finally signed up!
The wall at the BGSU Rec Center is 35ft high and full of friendly staff and climbers. There are multiple routes for the novice and intermediate climber. One thing that I noticed on my first wall experience was that some routes were easier than I expected, and others seemed almost impossible. There is more strength and technique required for the challenging routes than I imagined. But I love it for it’s fun workout, and mental challenge. You really need to think through your moves, or you’re probabley going to fall off.
Today we got our memberships and we took the 1 hour belaying class (pronounced /bi-ˈlā/ with a short i). The first thing that we learned was how to tie a figure 8 knot. At first I thought, “Oh, crap. I have to learn a knot that my life will depend on!” But it wasn’t too hard of a knot, and after a few attempts Nick and I both mastered it.
Next we learned how to properly use a grigri (pronounce /grē-grē/) and connect it to our rope and harness with a carabiner. The grigri is a device designed to apply pressure to the rope when fast acceleration occurs. When used properly it acts like a brake to stop a climbers fall. It can also be slowly released to lower the climber safely to the ground.
The most important thing to remember when belaying is to never let the slack go with your right hand. You use your left hand to grab the rope above your right hand and then you slide the right hand down towards the grigri in order to release more slack. You always need that right hand on the rope to catch your climber if he or she falls! The grigri should lock even if the belayer fails to have a grip on the rope, but you never want to rely completely on the equipment. Plus poor belaying technique can result in injury in the future when doing more complex climbs. I know I don’t want a bad belayer holding my life in their hands. So learn and use proper technique!
We took our little test at the end of our lesson and we passed with flying colors. We are not the smoothest belayers, but we have the basics down. Now all we need is practice. We spent the rest of the night climbing and bouldering. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The more experienced climbers helped us locate footholds and gave us tips on how to move from one hold to the next. Needless to say we had a blast!
I hope to climb at least 3 times a week now that I have a membership. I will keep you posted on my experience. As I get to know the staff and learn the sport I will take pictures and setup some interviews.
If you ever thought about climbing, now is the time to do it. Look up the closest rock wall in your area and try it out. It’s a great way to meet new people, and to get a great workout doing something that is challenging and exciting.
This is the real deal folks! I am your host John Jurko II, and this is Traventure Man! This will be the first official Traventure, and it is a whopper of a weekend. With the power of the internet and social media, I am taking you, the viewer/participator, to Bridge Day in Fayetteville, West Virginia. It is an all day event including BASE jumping, rappelling, high line rides, chili cook-offs, and loads of other food, music and festivities.
You can ask me questions and follow my adventures on Twitter. I will let you know where I’m at, what I’m doing, and shoot you photos and video clips in real time. When I’m going to do an interview I will ask you what you want to know from the interviewee. This isn’t just a TV show that you sit in front of and veg out. This is Traventure Man, and you get to take part in the making of each episode. So come on a Traventure with me! Read on to get the low down on this weekends shoot.
Part 1 - Road Trip
Friday Oct. 16th, 2009 it all begins. My friend/crew member, Dustin, and I will be leaving my humble home town of Yankee Lake, OH at approximately 8:00am EST. Our destination, Fayetteville, West Virginia and the Bridge Day event! We will be taking I-79 South passing just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Then we will take US-19 for the last 50 miles, and if all goes well we will get there by 1:30pm. This should leave us time to get the lay of the land and possibly shoot some footage and interviews before our Bridge Day Media meeting at 4pm.
From 5pm-9ish we will be meeting and mingling with Bridge Day staff, other media, and possibly some jumpers and spectators. We hope to get some great interviews and behind the scenes interviews here. Oh yea, and some great food at Smokey’s on the Gorge! It should be a great night and start to an exciting weekend.
We don’t want to stay out too late though, because we have a 25min drive to our hotel in Beckley, WV and we will be getting up extra early Saturday. I’m hoping that the Holiday Inn has WiFI so that I can post some of the behind the scenes video and photos. If you’re lucky, I may even do a Live USTREAM video cast. So watch your tweets!
Part 2 - Bridge Day
Saturday, Oct. 17th, 2009: Bridge Day. The current weather forecast calls for a 40% chance of rain with highs in the low 40s. But don’t worry, we are dressing warm and dry, and the BASE jumpers will be jumping no matter the weather. They are prepared as well, and out of the last 29 years of Bridge Day, there has never been a year that they did not jump!
I want to get a nice sunrise time lapse sequence, so we will be up extra early. Probably around 5am. That way we can shower, eat and setup our cameras in a good location! From there we will probably poke around and talk with some of the vendors. We need to get into a good position at the top of the bridge by 8:30am. The BASE jumpers begin jumping at 9:00am and I want to be there for the fist launch!
From 9am to 3pm Dustin and I will be running all over the place to get shots of the jumpers, the rappellers, and high line riders. I want to get tons of great footage from a multitude of angles, and I want to get interviews with as many participants as I can. If I’m lucky I will even score a high line ride and take you on it with me!
After all of the adventure activities wind down, we will be hitting up the food and music of Bridge day. There is an Oktoberfest & Chili Cook-off in Downtown Montgomery. This will be a good chance to warm up and get into the minds of chili artists. Mmmmm. Bands will be playing all night, and if we are lucky we will get to talk to a couple of them. This is going to be one running and gunning, blast of a day!
12am Pass out…
Part 3 - Day After
Sunday, Oct. 18th, 2009: We will drag ourselves out of bed at a reasonable hour… We will finish any last minute interviews that we arrange, possibly get some more shots of the bridge and surrounding area, and check out the Harvest celebration. By noon we will be on the road homebound with hours of exciting video footage, photos and stories to tell!
Part 4 - Behind the Scenes
This is where Traventure Man shines, and is unlike any other show you know of! We will be posting constant behind the scenes photos, video clips, audio clips, and plenty of tweets. We will do our best to interact with you as we run in circles around the New River Gorge Bridge. I will be setting up a posterous site where I will upload photos I take with my phone throughout the day. Whenever I have WiFi access I will upload Flip Mino footage of the days events and travels. I might even post some audio files from my phone to Tumblr. Ahh, technology!
So watch your twitter feed and make sure to follow me: @TraventureMan. If you don’t have Twitter, now is the time to sign up! It’s quick and easy. Go to www.Twitter.com now! If you don’t you are going to miss out on an Entertainment Revolution that you could have been part of. Don’t miss out! Come on a Traventure instead! Oh yeah, and anytime you tweet about Bridge Day use their hash tag #bridgeday.
Part 5 - Completed Episode
Once I get back home, recover from the trip, and find some time between my two “real” jobs, I will edit the footage into a polished episode! I hope to get it completed within a month at most. Sooner if possible!
I’m shooting for 20 minutes as a good episode length. This is the internet and no one wants to sit around for much longer than that. Plus I will be posting full interviews, video montages to music, and blog entries about the Traventure as well. In fact, when I get home I will post an entry giving you an overview of the whole experience from my perspective. There will be plenty of content to feed your hungry eyes and ears, and get you totally psyched about the travel and adventure philosophy!
Live your one life to the fullest, and stay tuned for more Traventures to come!
P.S. If you have any adventure footage, rocking audio, or motion graphics chops, and you love what you see, then please send or do what you can to get this show going. I hope to be doing Traventure Man full time in the future, but I need sponsors and people power! Next summer I want to do a 3 month long Traventure across the US and Canada. I’ll keep you posted!
B. - Building A. - Antenna S. - Span (Bridge) E. - Earth
Jumping - To spring off the ground or other base by a muscular effort of the legs and feet.
"BASE jumping is a highly dangerous sport that can easily injure and kill participants. Think long and hard before making a BASE jump. We do not recommend BASE jumping to anybody. You, and you alone, are responsible for your safety." —www.basejumper.com
BASE jumping is the sport of jumping off of a high grounded object with a specialized shoot that allows you to “safely” float to the ground after a short free fall. One of the first recorded jumps was off of the Statue of Liberty by Frederick Law in 1912. BASE Jumping was sporadic over most of the last century and did not become popularized until the 1970s. Filmmaker Carl Boenish filmed the first BASE jumps u
sing ram air parachutes in 1978. At about this time Carl, along with his wife and a couple of friends, coined the acronym B.A.S.E. and the sport has been growing ever since.
BASE jumping grew out of skydiving, but it is a much more dangerous undertaking. You have less time to react, because of the lower jump altitudes, and you have less control over your flight, due to the slower air-speeds attained. That means, if you make a mistake, your chance of survival is greatly decreased in comparison to that of a skydive. Many BASE jumpers do not even carry a reserve shoot, because they wouldn’t have time to use it anyway.
How do you get into BASE jumping?
First you need to put in at least 100 to 200 skydives. You need to know your equipment and you need to be able to react in a split second. Your free fall and gliding times are significantly shortened during a BASE jump, so you need to have be able to hit your marks. Then you need to think long and hard about your decision to BASE jump. There is a high probability that you could get severely injured or die. This is no joke. Sober up by checking out the BASE Fatality list here. If you still can’t live without BASE jumping then you need to find the proper training and mentors. For more details on getting started, check out Dwain Weston’s article on www.basejumpers.com.
Once you make a jump from each of the four categories - Building, Antenna, Span, Earth - you can apply for you BASE #. Now you are one of the few, the proud, and the… crazy. But, hey, that’s okay, because it’s something that I hope to do one day too :) Sometimes you have to be a little crazy to live to the fullest. From what I hear though, once you jump, you are hooked. Know your limits, and if your gut tells you not to do something, wait another day to give it a second chance.
Isn’t BASE Jumping Illegal?
Believe it or not, BASE jumping is legal in the US and in many other countries around the world. The reason that so many people are covert about their jumps is because of the fact that they are jumping off of private property designated “No Trespassing.” But there are many places that are open to “Legal” jumps, including the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia. One day a year, since 1979, Bridge Day has been held in Fayetteville, WV. It hosts over 450 jumpers who legally launch off of the New River Gorge Bridge within a 6 hour period.
BASE jumping at Bridge Day 2009
This weekend I will be at Bridge Day and I will get a chance to interview and film many BASE jumpers. I will ask questions about what drives them to partake in such a daring sport. I will ask them how they can afford to live a lifestyle that includes the expense of so many jumps and days away from home. I will ask them the questions that you Tweet me within the next few days. So what do you want to know about BASE jumping?
Travel route 19 into the heart of Fayetteville, West Virginia, and deep within the Appalachian mountains you will find the second largest arched bridge in the world. It’s the New River Gorge Bridge, and it is 3,030 ft (924 m) long, with a span of 1,700 ft (518.2 m) at a maximum height of 876 ft (267 m). This steel-arched monster was completed on October 22, 1977, and it only took two years for thrill seekers to decide it would be a great structure to jump from. Okay, I thought two years was a long time to make that decision too.
The Bridge Day event is sponsored by the
Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, and it has made BASE jumping off of the New River Gorge Bridge legal for one day per year, since 1979. The annual event commemorates the completion of this amazing structure, and this year, on Saturday, October 17th, 2009, Bridge Day will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Fayetteville is expecting over 80,000 spectators and participants. The event includes BASE jumping between 9am and 3pm, rappelling from underneath the bridge, 700ft high line rides, and rows of food and festivities.
My good friend Dustin and I plan on arriving in Fayetteville this Friday in order to attend the media briefing event and get the lay of the land. This will be the inaugural Traventure Man episode and we are taking you with us. Let us know what you want us to ask these daring BASE jumpers. What are your favorite foods? Maybe we will try to find them at Bridge Day, or on our trek to West Virginia. We will be keeping in touch through Twitter at @TraventureMan. We will also be posting short behind the scenes updates on this blog through YouTube. AND if we can pull it off we are going to try to do a Live USTREAM video cast.
So come Traventure with us to Bridge Day ‘09 in West Virginia!
Well, if you have been following me for a while you will know that the first big Traventure is this weekend: Oct. 16th - 18th. We are going to Bridge Day in beautiful West Virginia. This is possibly the worlds largest adventure sporting event! BASE jumpers, repellers, and adventure enthusiasts from around the globe convene on the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, WV.
Bridge Day is turning 30 on Oct. 17th and they are expecting over 80,000 spectators and participants. Traventure Man (me, John Jurko II) is going to be there to cover all of the excitement. Finally here comes the reason for having a “temporary” website. I have been working my butt off at two jobs while trying to prepare for this first epic Traventure, and time has not allowed me to complete the full featured Traventure Man website. So I am using a Tumblr template to get things going. That way I will have a means of connecting with all of you during Bridge Day 2009, and I can concentrate on preparing for the event instead of building a website.
Eventually this Tumblr site will be the home of the “Behind the Scenes” section of Traventure Man; where I will upload photos and short clips from my Flip Mino. But like I said, right now this site is the main Traventure Man website :)
How this all works
These are just the beginnings of Traventure Man. I see it as a fully interactive Travel and Adventure show where you, the viewer/participator, will get to communicate with me in real time through social networking platforms, as I travel the world. You will get to help create each episode and experience by suggesting places to go, people to talk to, and questions to ask. Right now you should follow me on twitter here. I will post updates as my trips go on, and I will ask for your input and suggestions. I will also tweet out every time there is a new blog post or episode for viewing. I hope to tweet with you this coming weekend as we go to Bridge Day in West Virginia!
P.S. If you happen to be at Bridge Day this weekend, tweet me and we can meet up! Happy Traventuring!
P.P.S. Stay tuned for more posts about Bridge Day and Traventure Man.