I was just informed I won the Grand Prize in a National Geographic ADVENTURE magazine contest to receive two all-access passes to the third annual Adventurer of the Year Celebration. I was chosen after submitting a short statement describing a favorite adventure destination in 150 words or less. This means I will travel to Washington, D.C. to coincide with the Adventurer of the Year Celebration in November.
It is really an amazing coincidence. The contest was open to the general public (this was not a photography contest) – and they unknowingly selected a nature photographer. I’ve admired the stories and images featured in National Geographic since I was a kid. There were a pile of very old ones in the farmhouse where I grew up – dating back around 1910 or so. There were just as interesting then as the new ones published today. Apparently, folks back then couldn’t bear to part with their back issues either…
What could be more exciting for a photographer than being at the National Geographic Headquarters? I’ll have chance to meet with people who have big dreams, huge ambitions – and actually go on to achieve them. I’m certain the entire experience will be fascinating and inspirational.
I admit that when I first received an email stating I had won the prize, I was skeptical. I found the email in my inbox in the evening, so I was awake most of the night. I had to wait until the National Geographic offices opened – the next morning – to call and confirm it was real!
This will be my first trip to Washington, D.C., so I’m looking forward to the photographic opportunities the area will offer. My trip includes four-day, three-night accommodations at the Madison Hotel and entrance for two to the event, courtesy of the National Geographic Society.
National Geographic ADVENTURE’s Adventurer of the Year Celebration is an annual event that honors those in the world of adventure whose extraordinary achievements have expanded our sense of what is humanly possible, and also salutes the best new products on the market that have made adventure sports safer and more fulfilling. The honorees are selected by National Geographic ADVENTURE’s editors and their Retail Advisory Board.
The event will be held at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. on November 20, 2008. Russ and I will meet explorers from around the globe and ADVENTURE editors at the high-profile event honoring the extraordinary people, landmark achievements, and innovative gear featured in the “Best of Adventure” year-end issue. Presented by National Geographic Adventure magazine and South African Tourism, the Adventurer of the Year celebration includes video clips from the winners’ adventures in the field, as well as music, food and entertainment. Raffle prizes include a trip for two to South Africa, courtesy of South African Airways and Mountain Travel Sobek, and many items from the best gear of the year. Additional sponsors of the event include Crown Imports, GU, Headsweats, Intrepid Travel, KHS Bicycles, Nature Valley, Oakley, Petzl, Redwood Creek, Salomon, Silver Joe’s Coffee, Smartwool, South African Airways, Yaktrax.
Special appearances at the event will include previous Adventurer of the Year honoree Andrew Skurka. In 2007, Skurka hiked the Great Western Loop in 208 days—a 6,875-mile journey.
Stay tuned! Of COURSE I’m going to have some stories from my “adventures” to DC posted here on the blog upon our return!