I've been missing going for hikes, and wanted to watch something about hiking this week. Kanopy did not disappoint with Walking the Crest, an hourlong documentary about two guys who decide to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail. Before I started watching I didn't realize how much preparation and pain went into this endeavor.
This week I also enjoyed traveling around Britain's coast with Julie Walters in Coastal Railways on Acorn TV. While spending time on a train might not technically be outdoors, we get to see a lot of beautiful scenery on her journeys.
I also wanted to explore some National Parks and enjoyed peeking into A Geology of North America, one of the Great Courses series on Kanopy. Each episode is not very long which makes it easy to dip into whichever National Park you'd like to learn more about.
I really appreciate the band Future Islands. Their brand of synth pop is unique for many reasons, not least of which revolve around lead singer Samuel Herring's vocals and mesmerizing stage presence. Check out their live version of the song "Seasons" from their 2014 album Singles.
Cycling is a great way to travel while keeping your senses open to the outdoors. Travel experts Lonely Planet have put together Epic Bike Rides of the Americas so you can start ticking off your bucket list bike rides!
Kanopy gives you access to 10 episodes of the PBS series Nature, where you can learn about frogs, sloths, elephants, turkeys, tigers and more. The excellent Ken Burn’s series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea can also be found there.
Stream the documentary The Great Barrier Reef to learn about that remarkable and endangered Australian natural wonder. Go back in history to explore early America in the National Geographic special Lewis and Clark: Great Journey West. Both are available to stream from OverDrive.
You can take a deep dive and compare and contrast dozens of versions of Eden Ahbez’s jazz/pop standard Nature Boy through Alexander Street and Nature Boy on Freegal. The song is interpreted by such diverse talents as Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Grace Slick, Rick Astley, Miles Davis, Abbey Lincoln and Claudia Acuna. Then sing along to the song’s refrain, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
I have missed the outdoors. While stuck at home, I found two series on Acorn TV that allowed me to travel from my sofa to places of interest and to once again experience the joy of beautiful scenery, while learning about places I have visited, but never truly explored.
Off the Beaten Track shows us the far reaches of Wales. The unique landscape of Wales is beautifully filmed with aerial shots that will take your breath away. The host, Kate Humble treks the length of the country, accompanied by her Welsh sheep dog, Teg
Islands of America with Martin Clunes in this series we are presented with the coastal wonders of the United States. The cinematography is stunning, with breathtaking views of the volcanoes of Hawaii, and the wild ponies swimming in Virginia. You’ll enjoy watching these sights from the perspective of Martin Clunes who adds to the program, a wonderfully insightful commentary.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude's monumental environmental art pieces transform natural surroundings into something profoundly different. Rather than being visually distracting, they actually bring attention to the landscape itself. Their work is neither permanent nor purchasable.
The Gates chronicles the evolution of their work from concept to installation, ultimately overcoming public disapproval and transforming Central Park into a visual symphony of color, light, joy and beauty. This, and other films of Christo and Jeanne-Claude are streaming on Kanopy.
Landscape Film: Roberto Burle Marx takes you on a journey through the art and life of the Brazilian landscape architect and painter best known for the iconic black-and-white mosaic promenades that line Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach.
Many interpretations of the glory of springtime can be heard on Meditations for Spring: Copland, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, also on Alexander Street.
Rivers and Tides by Andy Goldsworthy - Trailer
The astonishing adventure of the Oscar winning documentary Kon-Tiki follows a small film crew on a simple raft traveling 4,300 nautical miles in the Pacific Ocean and documenting it all with a small 16 mm camera. The expedition took place in 1947 with the crew in authentically perilous situations as they explored a possible ancient sea route between South America and the Polynesian islands..
Green Wine doesn't sound appealing but it turns out it actually is. Happily, the wine is the normal colors of wine and the way it's made is green. As part of keeping the Great Outdoors great, we need to look at a more environmentally friendly way of doing business. Happily Kanopy is featuring Green Economy which looks at many facets of how this is being done.
R&B artist Jhené Aiko describes herself as “a volcano” and her latest album Chilombo “an eruption.” The animated video for “Lotus (Intro)” illustrates how she found inspiration in the wild natural landscape of Hawaii's Big Island, where the album was recorded, to reveal her inner beast.
The classic 1966 surf flick The Endless Summer follows two surfers from California as they travel to beautiful coastal locales around the world in search of the perfect wave. An adventure both surfers and non-surfers can appreciate. Stream it on Kanopy.
Then just for fun, have an adventure with Max as he sails to WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE on Kanopy Kids. It's Maurice Sendak's classic children's book. I once answered a trivia question, "What is the last line in the book?". Do you know the answer? (Hint: it's five words)!
If you want to keep the jamboree going, check out more albums by Red Yarn!
Movies & Music - Question of the Week
This is NOT one of the five movements of the Grand Canyon Suite composed by Ferde Grofé.
On the Trail0
Last week's trivia answer was: The Social Network