When Angel Mathis finished hiking the Pacific Coast Trail in 2015, she was inspired to contribute more to the outdoor community. She loved hearing stories from fellow backcountry enthusiasts, but she noticed that many presentations she attended featured professionals and skilled athletes who represented just one segment of the outdoor adventure spectrum.
Basically, Mathis observed, climbers stick with climbers, hikers stick with hikers, bikers stick with bikers and so on.
She also noticed that not all demographics were accurately represented.
“I started thinking, ‘Wouldn't it be nice if there was a place where the entire outdoor community came together and everyone in the room had equal access to sharing the adventure story that's been inspiring, intriguing and impactful to them?’”
In January 2017, Mathis decided to take the leap: she held her first outdoor adventure-related event in Seattle. It sold out.
“We heard stories told by men, women, people of color and athletes with differences about international travel, hitchhiking, skiing, sailing, thru-hiking and wildlife encounters,” Mathis said. “It was an important moment to me because I realized that people are exploring the world and having adventure experiences far beyond what I had even imagined. And the only way to discover this was by creating a place with equal access to sharing stories and not restricting the narrative at all.”
With that event in Seattle, Boldly Went — an outdoor adventure storytelling podcast show that travels throughout the U.S. and Canada — officially began. Boldly Went podcasts are recorded live in select cities where the public is invited and local outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to apply in order to tell their own adventure stories.
Applicants are chosen at random; those selected are given 10 minutes in front of a live audience. At the end of the evening, the audience is offered the opportunity to vote for their favorite storyteller. The recordings are available later via podcast on Boldly Went’s website.
Boldly Went will hold a live recording at the Telluride Distillery in Mountain Village Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. The get-together will be hosted by Marika Carradine, who lives in Telluride and works with Boldly Went.
“There's something so magical that happens when a group of like-minded people come together and 'sit around the campfire' to share and listen to each other's stories,” Carradine said. “It taps into our tribal nature and fulfills such a profound need in all of us when we can connect with one another through the deeply rooted human tradition of storytelling.”
Telluride is home to a plethora of outdoor adventurists, from beginners to experts and professionals. Given its mountainous landscape and endless opportunities for outdoor activities, Telluride’s edition of Boldly Went is expected to stand apart from other locations.
“We're a community of hardcore outdoorists,” Carradine said. “Telluride is a place with an extremely high concentration of outdoor enthusiasts. Everyone who lives here is here because of some kind of passion for the outdoors, as well as a passion for our town and community. Telluride attracts a special kind of person. We all have our ‘Telluride’ story.”
New episodes for Boldly Went are released every Monday at 6 a.m. with the intention of easing the listener into their workweek and helping them recover from their adventure “hangover.”
“We highly encourage people to pre-purchase tickets to the show through the Boldly Went website to make check-in the night of the event a lot quicker,” Mathis said.
Admission is $15 for the general public, $7 or whatever can be paid at the door for those who have no income, and $5 for kids up to age 16.
Boldly Went has hosted more than 50 live shows. Upcoming locations include Tacoma, Washington; North Vancouver, British Columbia; and Bellingham, Washington.
Carradine said attendees should expect to be inspired, to laugh and cry a little, but mostly feel amped to get back outside.
“It inspires me every time. It's definitely a ‘feel-good’ experience and we all need a little more of that in life, right?” she said.
For more information, visit boldlywentadventures.com.