It’s not going to be easy to leave Durango. This little town in the Colorado Rockies is a veritable life love-fest, brimming with bicycles, rafts, local craft beer and a vibrant young community.
I moved here on a whim after I graduated from college in Northern Idaho, seduced by stories of happy, open-minded people, easy access to the mountains, and the brightest stars I’d ever see. It wasn’t love at first sight, but somewhere in the past two years, Durango won me over. This is my home.
So when filmmaker and friend Allie Bombach suggested I leave my beautiful mountain town, sell all my possessions and hit the road to make an adventure film, I was unconvinced to say the least. But the thing about Allie is that when she talks, you listen. And when she says that she is going to buy a vintage Airstream, fix it up and live in it, one month later she’ll be knocking at your door with an itinerary for the road trip of a lifetime, and a proposal to film the whole thing.
On July 4th, 2010, I will load into a revitalized 23-foot 1970 Airstream with Allie and Greer Glasser, and head into the thick of the American West to find a new community – bound not by shared space, but by shared passion. We’re giving up steady paychecks and personal space to make “23 feet,” a Red Reel Video Media production about the worth of wild spaces and the ever-roaming community that depends on them. We’ll travel 2,600 miles, combing the most beautiful areas of Colorado, Utah, California and Oregon for “full-timers,” people living out of tents or cars in order to do what they love – whether it’s scaling cracks in Moab or protecting ancient Redwood trees in Sequoia.
It is this community of dirtbag adventurers that inspired “23 feet.” These vagabonds are thriving in the lonely corners of our wild lands, sacrificing comfort and convention, sleeping alone in battered vans and tents, pushing themselves to their physical limits every day. We’ll explore the connection they have to one another, the loose but important ties that bond them. We’re hoping to push ourselves, too, and try our hands at climbing, surfing, mountain biking and skydiving, tasting some of the thrill that can possess entire lives. We are not professional climbers or alpinists- we will be trying many of these activities for the first time. No matter how daunting or uncomfortable a situation may be, we’ve committed ourselves to say “Yes,” and try our hardest. We’re hoping to inspire others to take risks – if we can do it, so can you.
“23 feet” is also a story of conservation. We’ll be filming the most arresting landscapes of the West, places that foster both epic adventure and peaceful escape. Exposing our young generation to the power of our outdoor land is essential to it’s preservation. We plan to advocate activism and awareness of conservation through promoting organizations that dedicate themselves to preserving these wild lands, and encourage people to get outside and see these places for themselves. Also, our Airstream is currently being remodeled by Santa Fe local Certified Green Builder K.M. Skelly, who will use recycled and reclaimed materials and solar power to make our silver bullet green.
We’re striving to make our travels as accessible as possible and we want interaction. Keep in touch with us via the 23 feet blog at www.23feet.org or our facebook page at www.facebook.com/23feet. And if you’ll be on the road pursuing your passion, let us know! We’d love to track you down and hear your story.
– Lisa Montierth