Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Florida roadtrip and sweet new t-shirts!

After a bit over two weeks without climbing due to a pulled lower back, I'm officially starting to get a bit restless.  The timing seemed especially bad considering I was just on spring break last week, but at least walking still felt okay and I was able to spend a few days doing all of the fun tourist stuff in DC that I don't otherwise make time for.  I also took a roadtrip down to Florida for the first screening of Live the Dream, Seth Warren's new film about my sister Sara learning to hang glide, which I interviewed them about last week.  They really did an incredible job on the film, shown Saturday night at the peaceful Wallaby Ranch to a bbq stuffed crowd before everyone danced the moonlit night away.

Along the way my mom gave Sara our dad's old flight log...

 And I got to take a flight of my own!

                                                                                             Photo: Pennie Close
Still, after a couple days on the road, it was nice to make it back home yesterday.  I was especially excited to see that two t-shirts I was waiting for had arrived in the mail.

The shirt on the left is from Leave No Trace and that on the right from Access Fund, both of which I received for recent membership renewal.  For those who may not be aware, both organizations work hard to support those of us who spend much of our recreational time outdoors.  While most people are familiar with the concept of "leaving no trace," many don't realize that Leave No Trace is also an organization that works to promote responsible outdoor activity, and puts a heavy emphasis on education.  Access Fund, on the other hand, is an organization that is more specifically linked to climbing.  They help to develop policies for climbing management, aid in conservation efforts at climbing areas, and work with land owners to keep climbing access open.  At times they have also been able to buy land previously closed to climbing, and reopen it under a responsible management system.

In addition to the national work that the Access Fund does, it supports the work of local and regional affiliates such as the Mid-Atlantic Climbers.  These are the groups that organize most of our local cleanup and area care events, such as the MAC's upcoming Rockfest.  While the Mid-Atlantic Climbers' events are all free and open to non-members, those who are frequent attendees of the events should definitely consider joining.  By signing up for Access Fund membership through this link, you can simultaneously sign up for membership in the Mid-Atlantic Climbers or other local groups, and the Access Fund will give 40% of your membership fee to the group you specify.  That money then goes directly toward the cost of the events they put on.  Helping two groups with one donation, and getting a free t-shirt out of it?  Now that's money well spent!

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