Photo by Dakota Gale
It is a difficult time to be a US citizen concerned with climate change. The new President has shown nothing but disdain for the the EPA, has cut funding for climate science and has – I can’t believe that this is a way to describe the President of the United States – engaged in Twitter warfare with the National Parks. The pathways for the oil and natural gas industry to acquire and abuse public lands for personal profits have been opened wider. The forces at play here are so large and so powerful that it is easy to feel helpless.
Nearly two years ago, I arrived at the Arctic Ocean by bike with four of my closest friends having pedaled 8,500 miles from the Florida Keys to Deadhorse, Alaska. During the course of our trip, we raised over $10,000 for the National Parks Conservation Association and hopefully convinced at least a handful of people to actively protect America’s public lands. We also produced five videos and several articles for the online publication Narratively.
The videos were never brought onto one page (thanks for always reminding me how hard they are for you to find Dad) and now seemed like as good a time as any to pull them all together. In their own way, all of the videos tell a story of how we humans interact with the natural world around us. Be it with fear or reverence or aggression, we are all leaving a footprint on the earth and should think a little bit more about what that looks like. If you’re looking for a way to get active, donating or volunteering with the National Parks Conservation Association is certainly a good place to start!
If you’ve already seen all of the Keys to Freeze videos, scroll down to the end for a silly one that I never deemed fit for the internet until now.
Northern Alaska: The Dalton Highway
For the last 450 miles of our trip, we rode up a glorified dirt road known as the Dalton Highway that follows the Alyeska pipeline through what would be a pristine wilderness. As the dramatic end of our trip, it was a time for excitement and reflection. However, it was impossible to ignore the fact that the only reason we were able to ride bikes so far north was the pipeline itself.
Zion National Park, Utah: Angel’s Landing
If you’ve never been to Zion National Park you are missing out. Find a way to go, get off the beaten path, get super inspired and then donate to the NPCA.
Wiseman, Alaska: Life in a Town Where the Sun Don’t Shine
Jack Reakoff is a true outdoorsman and steward of wild places. If you think that your carbon footprint is small, you should realign your scale to Jack.
Death Valley National Park, California: The Rock Pile
Eventually no matter what we do to it, the massive rock that is the Earth is going to come out on top. There are some places – many in fact (Bangladesh, the Maldives, etc.) – that due to human abuse of resources, other humans are being forced from their homes and livelihoods by their environments.
Amarillo, Texas: The Big Texan Steak Challenge
If you made it this far you get to see a bonus never-before-released video where Reese Wells eats a 72 oz. steak in under an hour on Easter in Amarillo, Texas.
Thanks for reading!
Shout out to Reese, Meredith, Rachel, Tyler, Patrick, Paul and Narratively for making these videos a reality!