3 Years in...
An Editior's Note
By Michael Waterford
This month the Mountain Folk turns three. And I want to take moment to look back, and then another to look forward. When it started it was the Mountain Folk Adventure Series. It was a direct descendant of those crazy Brits, the Adventurists. I had just come off the Mongol Rally, and had decided this was going to be my path. I’m proud to say that since its founding, the Mountain Folk have had over 20 events; some that took me around the corner, and some that took me around the globe. I’ve been from headwaters to oceans, valleys to volcanoes, and pushed my adventure limits far beyond the extent of my bank account...multiple times. But I’m O.K. with that. This passion project has changed my life significantly, and has expanded my world socially as well as professionally.
The people I've met and continue to meet are constantly inspiring. I now have friends in every corner of this pale blue dot, and most of them (at least) tell me I'm not completely off my rocker for chasing this crazy dream. I'm perpetually excited when I get to meet and chat with my heroes for the Expeditious column. And I'll let you in on a little secret, the next installment we've got National Geographic Adventurers sharing their tales from the road, boat, and wilderness; such an honor. I can't wait to share.
Anyway, I’m nearly 30 now, and I’m feeling the Mountain Folk could be due for a bit of an upgrade. Maybe even a more serious approach (not that I plan on stopping all the shenanigans that our events are known for). But in a way I want to take adventure more seriously. Thus far we’ve been hosting events, and through Expeditious, interviewing the real professionals out there. And it’s been incredible. Taking people out into the woods and letting nature beat them up has been incredibly fun. Talking with professionals like Lonnie Bedwell, Cassie DePecol, and Ash Dykes while they set world records and change the world with their adventures has been humbling, as well as inspiring. And these two things aren’t about to change. But in that effort to take adventure a bit more seriously, I’m introducing a few new series to the blog, and through them you’ll hopefully recognize a new goal for the Mountain Folk; to teach through adventure travel. I could go on and on about why it’s important to us, but I’m just going to move forward onto the content and let it speak for itself.
First off, the multi-part series we’re calling the Adventure Classroom. I’ve said it a million times, “I learned more travelling than I ever learned in college (and spent less).” To answer your question, no, I didn’t take college that seriously. But my point still stands! So through the Adventure Classroom, we’re going share tidbits of knowledge broken down just like they did it in your tween years. There will be topics like Adventure Physics, Adventure Social Studies, Adventure Physical Education and so on. But before I do that, I’ll be splitting you all into gender groups and checking for Scoliosis. Just kidding.
Next up, Green Gear. This segment will highlight the best gear in the Outdoor industry; the gear that is responsibly made. It makes zero sense that those who are filling up your Instagram feed with filtered pictures of their latest and greatest product, should even consider using methods of creating said product that harm the Earth. The Mountain Folk are looking to get you behind the cause of those going to extra green mile and still making good gear.
Also, I’m very excited to introduce Humans That Go. This will be highlighting the everyday adventurer. We will be giving normal folks a platform to tell their story, because most dirtbags and backpackers have a few pretty hilarious tales they keep in their back pocket. Like me having a nude man named Dan, cut my hair into a mullet the night before the Mongol Rally. Yes it happened, and yes it should be shared.
Lastly, it’s my absolute pleasure to introduce two more writers onto the Mountain Folk roster.
Between semesters at Indiana University where she studies Psychology, Carly Jane Casper has been traveling, writing music, and teaching survival skills, music, and astrology to Scouts at Philmont Scout Camp. I know from experience that even after days of cold wind, hard rain, and pathetic fires her perpetual positivity and laughter is perfect fit for the Mountain Folk life.
Jared Posey is a modern day renaissance man. He spends his summers with his wife Katie, in Glacier Bay, Alaska, where he works as a kayak guide and tour guide. He has travelled and volunteered all over the globe. Between his guiding and travelling, he finds time to write poetry, perform with his rap duo (which is purposefully unnamed because he doesn’t want his identity to get out!), as well as grow his own vegetables and then proceed to pickle just about everything. He’s an old college chum of mine, and now he’s the Mountain Folk’s Official Travel Thesaurus.
What I’m trying to say is to expect more from the Mountain Folk. More Adventures, more knowledge, more content, and hopefully just as many shenanigans as we can continue to fit. So keep watch, and if there is ever an adventure topic you need to know more about, shoot us a line.
And on behalf of the team, thanks for reading, supporting, and by all means continue to exploit your freedom to adventure everyday, every way.