Supporting Local Climbers - Rocktoberfest and Muir Valley in the Red River Gorge Kentucky
Part of JOOB's mission is in giving back to support and help protect pristine environments. We do this in a number of ways, like our work with 1% For the Planet, being Climate Neutral Certified, and through our collaborations with like-minded organizations.
Early on when JOOB was looking for photographers to collaborate with, we found a few individuals who climbed, took amazing pictures, and loved our Everywhere Pants and Shorts. Climbers share a lot of JOOB's values in terms of leaving no trace, protecting our planet and keeping spaces open and accessible, and living sustainably. So we have looked to support this group in various ways.
Planet Rock in Ann Arbor was our first venture into supporting climbers, and where we had our first PopUp store last November at the SquashFest climbing event. Local Ann Arbor JOOB fan and climber Dan Emory was there, and told us of the Red River Gorge area, so we worked on how best to get out there as it sounded like a great place to support.
Rocktoberfest, the annual fundraising event held by the Red River Gorge Climbers' Coalition, was a perfect event for JOOB to support. Held every year in October, with clinics, films, demos, and interviews - the 2020 event made the best of the virtual setting and offered something for everyone. And the donations help keep climbing accessible and sustainable for everyone.
Even though the Rocktoberfest was virtual, we wanted to visit the area to explore and support the local shops and stores, and introduce JOOB to the climbers in the area. So we loaded up, rented a tear drop camper, and made our way to the Red.
Muir Valley, an area in the Red River Gorge that was land once privately held but opened up to the public, was another group JOOB supported via our PopUp Event. It's really cool that the land owners, husband and wife Liz and Rick Weber, open up such amazing trails and climbing routes for everyone to use, protect, and preserve.
JOOB collaborator/photographer/climber Lauren Loria joined me to manage our PopUp gig and took some great shots during our hike into the Red. As a first-timer heading in, the place feels like some ancient temple you come upon as you round a corner and see these amazing Corbin Sandstone cliffs towering above you.
The camping sites all around the Red are good, and there are some cabins and hotels in the area. We camped at Natural Bridge Campground, which had spacious sites for our trailer and tent. Of course Miguel's is the epicenter for camping and climbing, and their pizza/beer at the end of a long day is perfect. Their climbing store is really good and stocked with everything - and such nice people.
Daniel Boone Coffee Shop is another must stop to get your caffeine boost and more. The shop has full meals for breakfast and lunch along with snacks to buy for the day's climb.
We also found a cool stop, Hop's, that has poutine and great local beers, built with shipping containers.
Red River Gorge is a really amazing spot, for it's climbing and laid back vibe to the super friendly people that welcome you into their stores. And they really get the idea of preserving environments, making them accessible and sustainable for all to enjoy. Can't wait to go back to explore more.
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