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The Joy Trip Project
42 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
An Interview with Perry Yung
During the global Covid-19 Pandemic one of my favorite programs to watch on television was the Cinemax miniseries called “Warrior”. Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the late 1870s, this amazing show, inspired by the writings of Bruce Lee, is an action packed period drama that depicts the realities of anti-Asian racial oppression along with the furious fists of Kung Fu fight scenes. One of the main characters in this exciting series is Father Jun, the leader of the City's most powerful gang or tong, played by the New York-based actor Perry Yung. His portrayal of this hard-edged and often violent leader is so captivating I began an instant fan. By an odd coincidence Yung and I just happen to have a mutual friend on Facebook. After getting acquainted online I also discovered that he is a passionate advocate for the resistance to the rise of hostility toward Asian people and the climate of hatred being perpetuated by white supremacists nationwide. As a master of the performing arts Yung uses his talents to personify prototypical roles of Asian men to give them Both depth and texture far beyond the cliched stereotypes so often presented by Hollywood. In his latest film “Boogie”, Yung plays the father of the title character, a young man who struggles with his identity as an Chinese-American basketball player with NBA aspirations at the intersection of the Black and Asian communities of the modern era. Yung and I spoke over Zoom not long before the mass murder of 6 Asian women in Atlanta. In addition to the parallels between the current state of anti-Asian sentiment of today and the violence and oppression of the past, Yung and I discussed his long career as both an actor and the maker of the traditional Japanese flute called the Shakuhachi. You can learn more about Perry Yung on his website at PerryYung.wordpress.com. In light current climate of racism and bigotry across America, I want to encourage everyone to seek out and experience cultures of every variety. Buy their art, learn their language, eat their food watch their media and demand of all those around you to stop the hate. Music this week comes courtesy of Artlist featuring the work of Ian Post and the group Kodo. The opening was the theme music of the Cinemax series Warrior, by Reza Safinia and H. Scott Salinas. The Joy Trip Project is possible thanks to support of Patagonia, Yeti, Seirus Innovations, Outdoor Research and a grant from the National Geographic Society. Thanks for listening, but you know I want to hear from you. So please write a note in the comments or via email at email@example.com. If you enjoyed this conversation write a review on Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher. There you’ll find past episodes going back more than a decade. Let me know what you think. For now, go be joyful. And Until next time. Take care!
48 minutes | Mar 5, 2021
Gloryland: An Interview with National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson
Even though we might be seeing the back end of the global Covid-19 Pandemic many of us are still stuck at home wading through endless meetings over Zoom and other teleconferencing platforms. With the hopes of creating a little community spirit and to encourage folks out there to step away from their screens and maybe crack open a book instead, I started a little group called the Joy Trip Reading Project. Each month we’re taking a deep dive into stories of primarily Black authors whose work centers around nature and the identity many of us share in common as people who love the great outdoors. In February, for Black History Month, the title we read was Gloryland, by National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson. This novel is the story of a Black American sergeant in the United States Army at the turn of the last century. As a member of the Buffalo Soldiers, the principle character, Elijah Yancy, reveals to us the life and times of the men who were among the world’s original protectors of public land at the National Parks of Yosemite and Sequoia. Not enough people know that in 1903 the first superintendent of Sequoia was a Black American U.S. Cavalry officer by the name of Captain Charles Young. Despite the national climate of Jim Crow segregation these men were among our first National Park Rangers During a time when race relation in this country were at their most abysmal, the Buffalo Soldiers fought to preserve the best idea America ever had. Unfortunately, because of some technical difficulties connecting with Ranger Johnson over Zoom I literally had to hold my cellphone up to my computer microphone to conduct this interview. Sorry in advance for the marginal sound quality, but under the circumstances, really can you do? I’m James Edward Mills and you're listening to the Joy Trip Project. Music courtesy of Artlist featuring the band Muted, Steve Poloni and Ty Simon. The Joy Trip Project is made possible thanks to support of Seirus Innovation and Outdoor Research. This recording of the Joy Trip Reading Project was created in partnership with University of Wisconsin Madison Nelson Institute For Environmental Studies. Here we acknowledge the ancestral homeland of the Ho-Chunk People on the sacred land known for time and memorial as DeJope. Wherever you are in North American please recognize the native people of the place you now call home. Thanks for listening, but as always, I want to hear from you so please drop me in note in the comments with your questions, comments or criticisms or write to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you liked this episode please write me a review on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you download your favorite podcasts. For now, go be joyful and until next time. Take care.
22 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
From The Barbershop To The Backcountry
38 minutes | Jan 13, 2020
Greening Youth ~ A Conversation With DEI Subject Matter Experts
Hey everybody it’s January 2020 Happy New Year! In fact happy new decade for the 21st century. It’s kind of cool to be living in the future, a time I tried to imagine as a kid growing up in the 80s. But here we are. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come. And still what a long way yet to go. If you’ve been following my work on this podcast or in a few magazine articles I’ve written over last few years you know that I put...
12 minutes | Nov 9, 2019
One Tough Mother ~ Remembering Columbia’s Gert Boyle
Early in November Columbia Sportswear matriarch and outdoor industry icon Gert Boyle passed away. She was 95. Having fled Nazi Germany with her family in advance of World War II Gert’s father started the Portland, Oregon-based company that today is worth billions. Throughout her long career Gert cultivated an image as a fierce business woman, but that tough persona was belied by a delightful personality and a generous spirit. Way back in 2006 I had the great pleasure chatting Gert at the Outdoor Retailer Show in an interview...
30 minutes | Oct 4, 2019
A Conversation with Author Eddy Harris
Very early in my career, way back in the 90’s I received the gift of a book, South of Haunted Dreams by Eddy Harris. As a young Black man venture out into a professional environment that was mostly white I took great comfort in this remarkable story of a person with a background similar to my own who was successfully leading a life of travel and adventure. In his book, Harris recounts his experiences of making his way through the Southern United States on motorcycle while enjoying occasional...
24 minutes | Sep 26, 2019
Hike It Baby! ~ A Conversation With Founder Shanti Hodges
Wherever you are in the world I hope you had an amazing summer. I know I did. Over the last several months I’ve been on the road collecting stories for a broad new initiative to explore how people find their way into the outdoors. With grant funding from my partners at the nonprofits American Rivers and the National Forest Foundation along with Patagonia I made stops in the states of Georgia and Oregon to trace the routes of the great rivers that run through their biggest cities. From...
28 minutes | Feb 13, 2019
Pattie Gonia ~ Queen of the Great Outdoors
Just a few days before the 2019 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver I got my reporting assignments. Among the various topics I was tasked to report on was a human interest profile on a young man attending OR for the first time. Wyn Wiley is a professional photographer from Lincoln, Nebraska. He’s also known as the drag queen Pattie Gonia. I’ll be honest I’ve never interviewed a drag queen before and I have to say that I was a little nervous. I was more than a bit...
7 minutes | Jan 28, 2019
The Pledge ~ A promise of DE&I in the Outdoor Industry
On Friday the Trump administration signed legislation to reopen the federal government. For many of us, an end to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history couldn’t have come soon enough. The announcement arrived just in time for the 2019 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show that’s starting this week in Denver Colorado. Tens of thousands of federal employees in service of environmental protection can now get back to doing their very important work. And those of us in the business of outdoor recreation can continue our efforts to make...
29 minutes | Jan 25, 2019
The Shutdown Trickle Down ~ Impacts On Our National Park Gateway Communities
For 34 days The United States Federal Government has been in a partial shutdown. Pretty much since the beginning, the natural environment has been feeling the effects. Big Cities and small towns from coast to coast that serve as gateway communities near our national parks are on the frontlines of a political conflict that has put at risk the conscientious management of public land. About 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed from their jobs or are required to work without pay. Among them are more than 27,000 National...
28 minutes | Jan 14, 2019
The Four Footed Shadow ~ An Interview with hunter Jessi Johnson
Being an environmentalist doesn’t necessarily limit your outdoor recreation pastimes to hiking, mountain biking, skiing or rock climbing. Those of us who indulge these so-called action sports should remember that we share the natural world with folks whose connection to the outdoors also includes activities like hunting and fishing. Personally I took up fly fishing a few years ago and pardon the pun I’m hooked. And on a trip to Wyoming in 2017 I met a young woman who has a passion for hunting. Jessi Johnson is an...
15 minutes | Jan 7, 2019
Blood On The Crack ~ A Conversation with Adventure Film Maker Heather Mosher
From the opening frames, a recent movie by Canadian adventure film maker Heather Mosher lets viewers know exactly what they’re in for. World class rock climber Kevin Jorgeson mugs at the camera and chuckles while his partner Jacob Cook holds up a bloody finger. This particular pitch on the Tom Egan Memorial Route in the Bugaboos of British Columbia was first climbed by Will Stanhope and Matt Segal back in 2015. Blood On The Crack is a pencil-thin fissure on a sheer vertical slab of granite. It’s the...
30 minutes | Jan 1, 2019
Jon Jarvis ~ an interview with the 18th Director of the National Park Service
Hey everybody! It’s January first, 2019. Happy New Year! If you’re anything like me you’re excited to make this year better than the last and if you’re listener to this podcast that means getting into the outdoors. But at the moment of this posting, the United States of America is in the second week of a partial government shutdown that’s expected to last for at least a few weeks longer. In addition to the federal employees who will go throughout this period without a paycheck every national park...
30 minutes | Apr 16, 2018
Girl Trek ~ Morgan Dixon Aspires to Get One Million Black Women Walking
Hey everybody! Yeah I know it’s been way too long since the last edition of the Joy Trip Project podcast. As it happens I’ve been crazy busy traveling, writing and yes conducting interviews. But most of the audio I’ve been recording over the last several months has been going toward a series of profiles for Outside Magazine. Check out the May 2018 cover story, which I wrote, called “The New Faces of Adventure”. This wonderful spread edited by Michael Roberts with photographs by Joao Canziani features 12...
14 minutes | Oct 20, 2017
It was the summer of 2017 and I was just coming off a major reporting project. I’d spent the better part of a year working on series of stories about the private land owners, farmers and ranchers and their relationship with the natural world. Modern agriculture is such a big deal, because things like soil health and water quality directly impact the nutrition, physical health and wellbeing of people all over the world. But farms no matter how big or small also have a profound effect on the...
22 minutes | Jul 12, 2017
The Upward Spiral of Chaos~ an interview with Ranger Betty Reid Soskin
At 95 years young National Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin is a national treasure. Stationed at the Rosie The Riveter/World War II Homefront National Historic Park in Richmond, California she interprets the cultural narrative of life in America during one of the most turbulent periods in time. Drawing on her personal experience through the 1940s she offers a compelling look into the past that helps us to understand who we are today and chart a course toward a brighter tomorrow. As an African-American woman who endured and survived...
29 minutes | Jun 22, 2017
The Delicious Wind – An Interview with Rahawa Haile
Outside Magazine recently featured a wonderful essay by the writer Rahawa Haile. This young woman from Miami, Florida had successfully through-hiked the Appalachian Trail. Walking solo, she made the journey of 2,179 miles from Georgia to Maine under the power of her own two feet over several months in 2016. In her fascinating story, one passage in particular stood out. “Throughout my youth, my grandmother and I took walks in Miami, where I’d hear her say the words tuum nifas,” Haile wrote. “It meant a delicious wind, a...
14 minutes | Mar 17, 2017
To Be Brave ~ An interview with Royal Robbins – The Joy Trip Project
On Tuesday March 14, 2017 climbing pioneer Royal Robbins died of natural causes at his home in Modesto California. He was 82 years old. A leader in the world of mountaineering he completed the first class VI climb in America on the Northwest Face of Yosemite’s Half Dome and in 1961 he completed an ascent of the Salathé Wall on El Capitan. In a long career that included the founding of a global sports apparel brand that bears his name Royal Robbins was a leader in the...
30 minutes | Jan 23, 2017
Campfire Stories ~ An interview with authors Dave & Ilyssa Kyu – The Joy Trip Project
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n 2016 the National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary. Throughout the year millions of people from around the world traveled across the United States to visit our historic parks and monuments. I know I personally made stops at Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. It was during this centennial summer that I had the chance to meet two truly amazing people. Dave and Ilyssa Kyu are graphic artists based in Philadelphia. Through the magic of social media I connected with them in a series of Facebook posts and a...
25 minutes | Aug 8, 2016
This Moment ~ A conversation with Dr. Carolyn Finney
In March 2016 a group of environmental activists came together to share a vision. Gathered from across the country this eclectic mix of men and women came to Washington D.C. in order to collaborate on the creation of a plan to protect and preserve the natural spaces of the United States for future generations. As our National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary the group aims to make it possible for those in our society least likely to spend time in the outdoors to become passionate stewards of...
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