It’s often said, “When it rains, it pours.” Well, on Tuesday, we were able to put on a positive spin on that old adage because when it REALLY rains, people POUR in to hear about the things they can do when the weather is nice! Of course, I’m talking about the amazing turnout we had for Tuesday’s Wild Ideas for Getting Outside when over 200 people flocked to The Frontier for the 2nd event in TLC’s Wild Ideas series.
Despite a few inevitable technical difficulties, we started off the night following host Joe Miller of GetGoingNC.com on his journey from the bowels of Texas (Dallas) to the seemingly limitless grounds for adventure here in the Triangle. Following Joe, paddler-extraordinaire Banks Dixon of Frog Hollow Outdoors inspired us to get out on the water any time of year by assuaging our fears of hypothermia and showing us the proper to gear to wear. Beky Branagan dispelled other myths about diversity and outdoor activities in her presentation on Outdoor Afro. Adeptly, the group leverages popular social media challenges to connect with people of color who share outdoor interests and starts building opportunities based on places and activities those people already enjoy.
(Joe Miller, Banks Dixon, and Beky Branagan – Photos by Marjorie Light)
Though softer-spoken than the other presenters, Wendy Banning’s profound message about children learning in nature made quite the impact. We all want the best for our children and our communities and Wendy presented a wonderful argument that children receive many positive benefits from spending time outside through unstructured play and programs like Learning Outside. Vanessa Roth of Triangle Off-Road Cyclists, whose own youth brimmed with memories of time spent outside, described the joys and possibilities associated with mountain biking in the Triangle. Who knew you could join a women’s only bike one day, hone your skills the next day at a clinic, bike that night, and enter a race that weekend????
(Left – Wendy Banning, Photo by Melanie Allen; Middle – Vanessa Roth, Photo by Marjorie Light; Right – an audience member, Photo by Melanie Allen)
We felt extremely lucky to have an opportunity to cap off the night with a tribute to North Carolina’s state parks system by its Director Mike Murphy. Mike engaged the audience by asking them different factoids about the parks and inviting them to join in the park system’s centennial celebrations beginning this summer. When asked about the presentations, participants raved about the energetic pace and diversity of voices heard throughout the evening.
(Mike Murphy – photo by Marjorie Light)
Ready for a good stretch and another beer, participants headed to The Frontier’s “home base” where over 20 outdoor-focused organizations were ready to inform and inspire their next outdoor adventures at our Outdoor Expo. The campfire-inspired food by Parizade, including pigs in a blanket and gourmet trail mix, was gobbled up quickly and washed down by hefeweizens and pale ales from Lonerider Brewing Company. Hopefully between beers, participants remembered to sign up for one of the many outdoor activities scheduled for tomorrow Saturday March 7th when Wild Ideas Goes Outside.
(Top left photo by Marjorie Light; Top right and bottom photos by Melanie Allen)
If you were there and forgot to sign up, or couldn’t make it to Tuesday’s event, there’s still time to plan an adventure for tomorrow. It’s going to be sunny and relatively warm so I really urge you to get outside and shake off those winter doldrums! Full for full listing of events check out our Wild Ideas Goes Outside page. And for more photos of Tuesday's Wild Ideas event, check out our Facebook page!
Thanks again to our host Joe Miller, featured speakers, Outdoor Expo organizations, participants, and sponors, including Platinum Series Sponsor Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Bronze Sponsor Great Outdoor Provision Company.