By Outdoor Afro friend James Mills, of The Joy Trip Project, a newsgathering and reporting organization that covers outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living. He writes about the time we spent together last weekend to kick off our team’s journey toward both Denali’s Mt. McKinley, and diverse participation in the outdoors.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Chinese philosopher Laozi (c 604 bc – c 531 bc)
Our journey to the highest peak in North America technically began months ago. Over the past several weeks a flurry of emails and text message across the Internet pulled together a cadre of disassociated adventurers to share a common dream. And over a weekend in May we took the first actual steps toward our goal. In a remote lodge on a ridge above Lake Tahoe our team of African-American climbers met to forge the bonds of friendship in preparation for Expedition Denali.
Typically aspiring climbers who take part in one of the many wonderful courses offered by the National Outdoor Leadership School meet for the first time mere days before heading off to base camp. But a full year in advance of our summit attempt set for 2013 the members of our team gathered to build relationships and set goals for the future.
“We want to assure our best opportunity for success,” said expedition organizer Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin.