I’ve been a Stringduster for almost a decade, but I’ve been an outdoorsman since birth. Early on, my father made it a priority to get outdoors. Our property butted up against National Forest and we had a spot, up the creek, where we’d sit, each on our own flat rock, and watch the light fade. At some point, just before the light failed, we’d race back to the house for dinner. Eight years in a row we spent New Years at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and every year at Spring Break we’d pack up the bikes and head to Moab. Now that I’m a father (of one-year old Ruby), I’m beginning to truly realize the value of that early indoctrination. Ruby, just like her father, prefers life outdoors. Nothing matches the contentment she exhibits when I drop her into a backpack and take a long walk through the woods, her soft, incessant humming and the crunching of twigs and leaves under my Targhee II’s the only sounds.
I’m fortunate to live near the Appalachain Trail, the George Washington National Forest and the Priest Wilderness, but many, if not most, people in the US, particularly the eastern US, live far from large, protected open spaces. Preservation for preservation sake can be a tough sell in our capitalist society, so the Conservation Alliance model of engaging business to preserve and protect open space by highlighting the economic as well as aesthetic values is as pragmatic as it is practical. For many, the collision of business and conservation is an uncomfortable space and the Stringdusters can relate; no one likes their art mixed up with profit. However, putting aside preconceptions about conservation ideals and focusing on finding new ways to conserve and protect open space will, I believe, lead to more preservation, and ultimately, result in more protected spaces.
For our Let It Go tour, we saw an opportunity to bring attention to and raise some funds for our first love; the outdoors. Each one of us engages with the outdoors in our own unique way, but universally, the five of us and everyone on our crew and in our office places outdoor experiences at the top of our priority list. We are skiers, cyclists, hikers, fisherman, boaters, climbers, runners, snowboarders, swimmers, and campers but we’re none of these things without places to do them. Fresh air, clean water, and places to enjoy them, if we can help with that in any way, we’re on board and we know our fans are too. Make your way to an Infamous Stringdusters show this spring and help The Conservation Alliance make a better world — all you have to do is buy a ticket. You’ll have an amazing time, dance holes in the soles of your KEENs (probably not actually — I can’t seem to wear mine out no matter how many miles I put into them) and meet some like-minded outdoor-lovers while you’re at it.
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