Alaska author Don Rearden grew up in Southwest Alaska living and observing rural life. His books "Raven's Gift," a novel, and "Without A Paddle," a collection of poems, reflect his Alaska experiences and life. Don also co-authored books featuring two of Alaska's professional military rescuers. Don joins host Paul Twardock to discuss Alaska's culture, history and environment and how they influenced his writing.
On this Outdoor Explorer host Paul Twardock welcomes Will Taygan with the Chugach Mountain Bike Riders and Rene Dervaes with the Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers to discuss what is happening in Mat-Su Valley and Chugiak/Eagle River and the upcoming Alaska Mountain Bike Summit.
Joe Kurtak embodies a modern day Alaskan. He was raised at a remote mining camp in eastern California, went to college, then came to Alaska in 1971 for a summer job. He quickly fell for everything the Great Land had to offer, especially its geology. Joe worked for 40 years mapping Alaska's geology while working for both private firms and the federal government. Along the way he also pursued his love of skiing and sea kayaking. On this Outdoor Explorer Joe shares his wealth of knowledge of Alaska's geology, including Prince William Sound, and some of his many adventures with host Paul Twardock.
This Outdoor Explorer features the book "Wheels on Ice," a collection of stories from the gold rush to present day. The book is a compilation of stories edited by Jessica Cherry and the late Frank Soos. Jessica and author Andromeda Romano-Lax join host Paul Twardock to discuss the book and its stories.
Peg Tileston has been active in organizations including the Alaska Center for the Environment (now called the Alaska Center), the Alaska Women’s Environmental Network, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Alaska Water Resource Board, Trustees for Alaska, the Alaska and Alaska Common Ground. She has also been on the board of Chugach Electric Association, the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Council, and the Anchorage Recycling Task Force to name a few. She has received numerous awards including being inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. Along the way she explored much of Alaska. She joins host Paul Twardock to discuss her many contributions and adventures.
Summer in Alaska brings a plethora of outdoor adventure opportunities. Boating, hiking, climbing, fishing, wildlife viewing, fishing, and hunting ramp up — and so do the calls for help. On this episode of Outdoor Explorer, host Paul Twardock speaks with representatives from various rescue groups to learn about what they do and how to avoid needing their help.
John Schoen spent 20 years working for Alaska's Department of Fish and Game as a scientist studying Sitka black-tailed deer, mountain goats and brown bears in the Tongass National Forest. He is a wealth of knowledge for anyone interested in field science and conservation. John joins host Paul Twardock to discuss his fascinating career and memoir titled "Tongass Odyssey: Seeing the Forest Ecosystem Through the Politics of Trees, A Biologist's Memoir."
A few scientists and outdoor pioneers are studying and advocating for changes in the outdoor gear industry. Arlene Blum is one such person. Arlene is a groundbreaking mountaineer and scientist. She led the first all female ascent of Denali and Annapurna, and was the first American woman to attempt Mt Everest. While breaking stereotypes in the mountaineering world she did the same as a scientist, publishing research that led to the banning of toxic chemicals in children's pajamas for starters. Arlene is still at it working on "forever chemicals" (PFAS) that are found in the remotest parts of Alaska. Arlene and Pam Miller with Alaska Community Action on Toxics join host Paul Twardock to discuss Arlene's contributions to mountaineering and science.
The first migratory birds are showing up and bear tracks have been sighted in the Chugach. That means it's time to dust off the backpacks, boats, and tents and start planning for summer! Join host Paul Twardock and guests on this week's Outdoor Explorer to get a start on summer.
There are many organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life of Alaska's youth. Many use the outdoors and nature to help kids overcome the challenges they face. Onward and Upward is a nonprofit based in the Mat-Su Valley and is one such organization. The group offers programs that use the concept of "one health" that incorporates adventure, challenge by choice, experiential learning and place based education while being sensitive to trauma. Randy Dowd, Executive Director and founder, and his staff join host Paul Twardock to discuss the programs they offer and benefits that youth receive from their program and ones like it.
Denali and the Himalaya have attracted mountaineers since the early 1900s. Many climbers, including Alaskans, got their start on Denali's bitterly cold and windy slopes, then moved on to the Himalaya. This show features Steve Mock with the Denali Rescue Volunteers, the Alex Lowe Foundation, and the Khumbu Climbing Center.
What draws us to the outdoors? Marybeth Holleman is an Alaskan writer who's new book of poetry, titled tender gravity, expresses many reasons. Marybeth is a long time Alaskan whose works include The Heart of the Sound and Among Wolves. Her collection of poems are accessible and cover everything from moss to comets and from her garden to the Brooks Range. In her interview with host Paul Twardock she discusses how loss, exploration, activism and day to day life intertwine with her poetry to create this deep and lovely collection.
Tom Choate came to Alaska in the in the late 1950's exploring and climbing, and is still at it. He was a ski infantryman for the Air National guard, the first ranger naturalist in Mt Mckinley National Park, now Denali National Park, climbed or tried to climb Denali in 1963, 1983, 1993, 2003, and in 2013 became the oldest person to summit Denali at the age of 78. His other significant climbs include the South Face of Sunlight Peak in the Chugach Mountains in 1967, Bellicose Peak in 1990, Mount Torbert in 1988 and has many first ascents around the world. He has hours of stories and shares some of them and his ideas for a successful long life of adventure on this episode of Outdoor Explorer.
Planning for the outdoors: The Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan and What’s new in outdoor gear
Planning for the outdoors comes at all levels, both personal and for State Park staff. On the first half of this Outdoor Explorer we'll talk to Ricky Geese, Director of Alaska's Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, and Zach Babb with the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program about the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, or "SCORP." This document is in draft form and the state is looking for input from the public. It help sets the state's priorities when it comes to managing state parks for the next five years. It is also full of interesting data about outdoor recreation and tourism. On the second half of the show Rick Roth of Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking discusses the newest outdoor gear in time for the holiday shopping season.
Anchorage's Off the Chain Bicycle Collective is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that provides bike repair advice while aiming to increase bicycle ridership, awareness, and safety. Join host Paul Twardock as he visits the Off the Chain shop for a tour and bike repair advice
Salmonfest is Alaska's largest outdoor music festival held every year in Ninilchik Alaska, hosting around 8,000 attendees. Join host Paul Twardock as he roams the festival grounds and nearby camping areas recording people's experience with the music, camping, and their connection to salmon.
What is it like to be an avalanche specialist? A conservationist? A wilderness traveler? A Buddhist? Brad Meiklejohn is a long time Alaskan who has written a new book titled The Wild Trails that explores these topics and more. Join host Paul Twardock and Brad for this great conversation.
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