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Finding Adventure in The Circumference of Home

Featuring Kurt Hoelting
© Frank Lospalluto View Large

Kurt Hoelting – a writer, wilderness guide, and commercial fisherman – went car-free and jet-free for one year to reduce his carbon footprint. Instead, he traveled by foot, kayak, and bicycle. Drawing a 60-mile radius around his home, Kurt explored the land within the circumference – and developed a new relationship with birds, including Varied Thrushes, like the one pictured here. “I started to really notice the annual cycles of bird migrations,” he says. Kurt has written a book about his experience: The Circumference of Home: One Man’s Yearlong Quest for a Radically Local Life.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

The Circumference of Home 

Featuring Kurt Hoelting

Interview and story by Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote!

[Airplane landing, then mature Pacific Northwest conifer forest]

Wilderness kayak guide, Kurt Hoelting [HOL-ting] who’s also a writer and a commercial fisherman in Alaska, knows that travel by car or jet creates carbon emissions that are helping destabilize the climate.  He wrestled with this dilemma. 

“I asked myself, ‘If I can’t change my own life in relation to this great challenge that all of humanity faces, ‘If I can’t change my own life, then who can? And if I won’t make the effort to try, then why should anyone else?’”

Then he had an idea: 

“What if I didn’t get into a car for a whole year? How I could make it be something that would enhance my life with my family, with my friends, rather than taking me out of the game.”

Kurt went car-free and jet-free for a year.  He turned to his boots, his kayak, and his bike.  Drawing a 60-mile radius around his home, he explored the land within the circumference – and surprised himself at the adventure, the “wild edge” of terrain waiting to be seen…like his new relationship with birds: [call of Varied Thrush]

“I started to really notice the annual cycles of bird migrations, some of the beautiful, more colorful species, looking forward to the time when they would show up.”

You’ll find a link to Kurt Hoelting’s book “The Circumference of Home: One Man’s Yearlong Quest for a Radically Local Life” on our website, birdnote.org.  

###

Airplane landing and coniferous forest morning with Varied Thrush #62 recorded by Gordon Hempton of QuietPlanet.com.

Pacific Northwest ambient recorded by C. Peterson.

BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org    August 2013   Narrator: Mary McCann     Marantz I Tracks 50, 47, 48, 51

ID#  hoeltingk-01-2013-08-04 hoeltingk-01  

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