Among the things I miss the most since the general demise of the outdoor specialty store are the slide shows. The live presentations of images and stories from some adventurer’s latest travels: a climber, perhaps, or a sailor, kayaker or expedition polar explorer, whatever. The stories and the photos, the whirr of the projector and the occasional gasps and exclamations from the audience… I can remember Reinhold Messner, Nigel Foster, Greg Child and Steph Dutton, the famous and the fleeting, telling their stories in darkened rooms, changing the way we looked at what we do and who we are.
The sad side-effect of so many stores closing down is that these storytellers don’t have the natural podiums they used to have. The stories are still out here; they just don’t get back to us in a live setting anymore. Not that often, anyway.
One of those rare opportunities is coming up on May 2, 2017, at Playback Sports in Puyallup. Susan Conrad is going to be sharing her stories, showing slides and reading from her book about a 1200-mile Alaskan solo sea kayak journey. From Washington to the top of the Inside Passage, all under her own power, the backdrop for the kind of live story-telling that we used to get a little more regularly and that we’ve been missing, whether we’ve realized it or not.
It’s totally free. It starts at 6:30 and all ages are welcome. Playback Sports, 105 E. Stewart Ave. in Puyallup. See you there.