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Getting Ready

new site

By Alan Murray,
Uncharted Staff

Starting a new venture is an amazing experience. It’s exciting, challenging, educational and fun. On occasion it can be discouraging.  Taking an idea and transforming it into reality is a rigorous, but very rewarding undertaking. Sometimes ideas turn into what you least expect. When we founded Uncharted several years ago, we were really just thinking of publishing a magazine for travel and the outdoors focused on the Intermountain West. Back then, we were just a group of colleagues from different areas of the country who shared a passion for exploring our world. There was no Uncharted. It was just an idea without a name. Our search for a name led us through over 40 possible candidates. After many long discussions, Uncharted took its rightful place at the top of the list and a new venture was born.

Through Uncharted’s history, most of us have worked full-time jobs in industries such as journalism, engineering, graphic arts, and the sciences. As we have worked to transform our ideas into reality after work and on the weekends, we’ve seen some great successes and some setbacks. Each experience has helped us learn and grow. Each day, we can see we’ve come closer to reaching our goals.

Since our founding in 2005, we’ve released two or three versions of Uncharted. Each time our idea evolved into something unexpected. Each iteration was successful in its own way and provided valuable learning opportunities that have helped bring Uncharted to where it is today. Our followers have been very supportive. They have stayed with us through each of those iterations, giving us feedback, sharing their adventures, and motivating us to keep moving ahead.

We’re very excited to announce that we are now testing the latest iteration of Uncharted. For the past two weeks, we’ve opened the new site up for a select group of volunteers to try it out and give us feedback. Not only have these volunteers given us a fresh perspective, but they’ve also shared their adventures from around the world. Some of them have been with us since the very first release of Uncharted’s online exploration community back in 2008. In just a few short days we’ve seen experiences from Malaysia, Australia, Ghana, India, Canada, and various parts of the United States, to name a few. We’re extremely grateful for their support and enthusiasm and we’ve already begun to implement some of their suggestions.

We would like to invite you to help us get Uncharted ready for launch. We’re excited to hear your feedback and see what you think of what we’ve come up with so far. Sign up today and our team will get you set up for a behind-the-scenes view.

Alan Murray is a co-founder and the President of Uncharted.  He loves snowshoeing, scuba diving, hiking, learning new languages, and meeting new people. 

 


Escape the Philly Airport to Tinicum

By Alan M. Murray,
Uncharted Staff

A Great Blue Heron hunts for its next meal in marshland at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, in Tinicum, Pa. (© 2014 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

A Great Blue Heron hunts for its next meal in marshland at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, in Tinicum, Pa. (© 2014 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

I feel for anyone who has ever been stuck in an airport. Few things are worse than coming off an already long flight to find you aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Scrunched for several hours in the coach section, my legs wobbly as half-melted rubber and my joints stiff as rusted hinges, the last thing I want to hear when I finally get off that plane is that my connection is delayed.

The thought of staying another minute in the airport, when a tropical storm is being waged in my stomach, the combination of eating too many airline pretzels and the aftereffects of turbulence, is just unbearable.

And there’s always the fear of becoming part of the terminal. Once I was stranded in the Columbus International Airport at a ridiculously early hour in the morning. I’m pretty sure I was mistaken for a modern art sculpture as I slept near the baggage claim while cleaning staff waxed and buffed the floor around me, no doubt leaving behind a chalk line of my body stretched out on the frigid floor.

Since I live in the Philadelphia, Pa. area, I can’t count how many times I’ve missed flights or have had friends visiting get stuck at the Philadelphia International Airport, infamous for long lines and frequent delays.

So, for anyone out there who one day gets stuck in the Philly Airport, I recently found a new place that may make your stay at the airport a little more enjoyable, and it’s only a 10-minute drive from the airport.

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, Pa. is a great place for hiking and is home to a variety of wildlife. Volunteers at the visitor center are extremely friendly. I only went in to look around for a few minutes and thought maybe I’d pick up a map. I was surprised when Lynn Roman and Karyl Weber, both volunteers at the refuge, offered to take me on a hiking tour of the area.

We had only hiked for a few minutes when we saw a Great Blue Heron perched atop a birdhouse overlooking the pond. Then Karyl spotted something else with her binoculars. Some distance from the path, a raccoon slept in the upper part of a tree. Even with the aid of binoculars, it was almost invisible as it rested comfortably camouflaged in a clump of branches.

A jet is seen from taking off from the Philadelphia International Airport as it flies over the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, only a ten-minute drive from the airport.

A jet is seen taking off from the Philadelphia International Airport as it flies over the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, in Tinicum, Pa. The refuge is only a ten-minute drive from the airport. 

Karyl then turned to another group of trees close to where we were standing.  She raised her binoculars and spotted a Great Horned Owl, its brown feathers blending so well into the tree’s trunk and hidden by an array of branches and leaves, that Lynn had to set up a spotting scope, provided by the refuge, so we could get a better look. It twisted its head and peeked around the trunk and disappeared again, leaving only a few feathers sticking out from behind the tree that could easily have been mistaken for twigs. As hikers passed by, Lynn invited them to take a look through the scope.

We continued hiking, this time along some paths leading into marshland where we saw another Great Blue Heron stalking its prey under the setting sun. In the distance, some American Bald Eagles soar above their nesting spot near Interstate Highway 95. We see sparrows, seagulls, woodpeckers and ducks. There is so much wildlife in just a short walk that it’s easy to forget just how close we are to the airport. Only the occasional jet taking off or landing in the distant horizon with occasional glimpses of the Philadelphia skyline peeking over the trees, reminds us of how close we are to urban life.

Alan Murray is Uncharted’s President and one of its co-founders. To learn more about Uncharted and the new online exploration community we are building, sign up and we’ll let you know when it’s ready. Photos of Alan’s work can be purchased at our shop


Hiking Instead of Driving

By Alan M. Murray,
Uncharted Staff

An American Bald Eagle perches atop a tree near the shore of the Delaware River in Delaware City, De. (© 2013 Alan Murray/Uncharted)

An American Bald Eagle perches atop a tree near the shore of the Delaware River in Delaware City, De. (© 2013 Alan Murray/Uncharted)

I recently walked across an entire state.

There is something intriguing about walking across a state that you usually drive through on your way to somewhere else. Other than the usual welcome sign at the state line, it’s hard to see anything from the view of my car window as I drive on Interstate Highway 95, that clearly distinguishes Delaware from nearby Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. The drive is so quick that you can pass right through without even realizing it.

Over the past few weeks I have traveled through 19 different states looking for interesting places, people and events to write about and photograph in preparation for the completion of Uncharted’s new online exploration community. So when I heard about the Wilmington Trail Club’s annual Hike Across Delaware, I thought it would be a great chance to explore a state much closer to home.

The event, held each year in November, begins at Battery Park in Delaware City near the Delaware River, just across from New Jersey, where hikers board buses for a short ride to the Maryland-Delaware state line near Chesapeake City, Md. They then walk 14 miles (22.4 kilometers) all the way back to Battery Park.

I do a lot of hiking for Uncharted. Once I hiked for several hours at night in sub-zero temperatures on snow-covered trails in the Rocky Mountains for a story. I have spent considerable time exploring all kinds of trails, caves and forests, each time lugging camera equipment and other supplies most hikers don’t ordinarily have to deal with. It’s always tempting to leave some of it behind.

Uncharted's Alan Murray hikes under along the C&D Canal as he walks across Delaware. (© 2013 Uncharted)

Uncharted’s Alan Murray hikes along the C&D Canal as he walks across Delaware. (© 2013 Uncharted)

On my way to Delaware City at a ridiculously early hour of the morning, I keep telling myself that carrying my equipment across a mostly flat state wouldn’t be so bad. It’s usually in those early hours that I’m at my weakest, when the idea of leaving some equipment behind or taking a shortcut is most tempting. But by the time I reach Delaware City I’m ready to hike across the state carrying two cameras, three lenses, battery packs, a flash, lunch and some other supplies.

As the buses drive away, 250 hikers begin the journey from the Maryland-Delaware state line all the way back to Battery Park. At first, everyone is packed together with hardly any room to move, but soon the group splinters into smaller pieces moving at varied paces until they are so far apart that you almost feel as though you have the whole trail to yourself.

I don’t get very far before I’m reminded of the rewards for hauling my gear and making the complete journey on foot. Most of the trail follows the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal which is not only a unique setting for a hike, but is also a great place for boating, fishing and viewing waterfowl. I hike for several miles passing under the occasional highway bridge some several hundred feet above, where travelers drive unaware of the trail below.

They’re missing out. Autumn foliage, the transformation from green to hues of yellow, orange and red reflects in the canal as Wooly Bear Caterpillars, with matching orange and black coats, inch across the trail, the shadows of hikers’s feet threatening to squash them into the ground.

By the time I reach the halfway point, I’m feeling the weight of those cameras, their straps digging into my shoulders. My shoes feel like they’re filled with cement and each step seems heavier than the one before.

But it’s all worth it. A formation of more than a dozen hawks appear overhead soaring in circular patterns in search of their next meal. That extra lens suddenly seems lighter as I raise it upward to capture the moment.

Eventually, our course takes us away from the canal into wetland trails for the final stretch of the hike, passing through some residential backyards into Delaware City and finally back to Battery Park. As I walk toward the finish at the shore of the Delaware River, a hiker notices my cameras and tells me that there is an American Bald Eagle on a tree not far from where I stand. I hurry onto a nearby dock just in time to catch it proudly perched on a branch moments before it flies away.

I’ve been to Delaware many times, hurriedly driving from one side to the other on my way to somewhere else. I could drive back and forth all day and never really see anything, but in five hours I walked across it and discovered Delaware for the very first time.

Alan Murray is Uncharted’s President and one of its co-founders. To learn more about Uncharted, sign up today and we’ll let you know when our new online exploration community is ready. 

 


Uncharted 2014 Calendar

coverrevisedA new year is coming soon and we just finished making our first-ever Uncharted calendar!  Our team talked about how it would be great to have something we could hang on our wall or give to our family and friends that would be a great conversation starter and visually remind us each day of how great it is to go out and explore the world.

A calendar seemed like a great option, so we ran with the idea and now we’re excited to start taking orders and sending these out.  It features previews of future Uncharted stories and some of our favorite scenes from memorable journeys, as well as a photo of one of Uncharted’s explorers, Lisa Dickson, exploring a waterfall in a canyon near her home. You can easily order your copy online and get it in time for the holidays. Place your order on or before November 21 and have it in time for Christmas.


National Park Alternatives During Government Shutdown

By Alan Murray,
Uncharted Staff

A coyote follows a bison as it walks on the shores of the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island State Park near Syracuse, Utah. (© 2013 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

A coyote follows a bison as it walks on the shores of the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island State Park near Syracuse, Utah. (© 2013 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

One of the things I wanted to do on my month-long trek across the United States was visit some national parks. Top on my list was Arches National Park in southern Utah.

While I lived and worked in Utah for over ten years, somehow I never managed to visit this picturesque national park with its iconic 65-foot tall freestanding natural arch near Moab.

I naturally found plenty of lesser known places to explore throughout the state, but before I knew it I had moved away without ever having experienced life at this spectacular place featured on Utah’s license plates and visited by travelers from around the world.

It’s ironic that I would now venture over 2000 miles from home to visit a place that was once only a four-hour drive from where I lived.

I planned to be at Arches for two days of camping by Sept. 30.

A car breakdown in Wyoming (another story for another time) delayed my arrival and the next day the United States closed its national parks in response to a government shutdown.

It’s important to mention that while the closure of national parks is an inconvenience to travelers like myself, that there are far more serious consequences from the government shutdown that have affected people’s health care, income and employment, including some of Uncharted’s own. Our thoughts go with all those who are affected adversely by this difficult situation. We hope it will soon be resolved.

But, if you find yourself in a situation where the closure of a national park is affecting your travel plans and you’re not brave enough to sneak in, you might consider some really cool state parks. Utah’s governor recently requested that its state parks honor National Park Service passes during the federal government shutdown. The passes are valid for day-use only. Utah has also published a very helpful travel advisory with plenty of state-run alternatives to closed national parks.

Since I was in Utah during the first part of the shutdown, I decided to visit a place I once frequented while working as a newspaper photographer but had never really had time to thoroughly explore.

Antelope Island State Park on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake is open year-round and offers camping, biking, boating and mountain biking. It’s also a great place to view wildlife including a herd of over 500 bison, some Pronghorn antelope, coyotes, badgers, bobcats, hawks and falcons.

After several hours exploring the island, I saw a bison walking slowly across a dry patch of the Great Salt Lake normally covered by water. A few moments later, a scrawny coyote creeps out from behind some brush and stealthily trails the bison. Something else startles it and it runs back into hiding.

It’s not a national park, but Antelope Island State Park is open and it’s a great alternative to the many national parks now closed.

 Alan Murray is Uncharted’s President and one of it’s co-founders who still hasn’t been to Arches National Park. To learn more about Uncharted and the new online exploration community we are building, sign up and we’ll let you know when it’s ready so you can share about your own adventures. 


Road Trip

By Alan M. Murray,
Uncharted Staff

Alan Murray, Uncharted's President and co-founder prepares for an evening photo shoot while camping along the shores of Lake Erie on the Pennsylvania side. (© Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

Alan Murray, Uncharted’s President and co-founder, prepares for an evening photo shoot while camping along the shores of the Pennsylvania side of Lake Erie.  (© 2013 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

I’m living in my car. The trunk is full. The back seats are packed with supplies and there’s no room for a hitchhiker. I’ll be on the road for an entire month, looking for new places and in search of stories to share when Uncharted’s new online community of explorers is ready.

Photo and video equipment, extra batteries, lanterns, flashlights, a camp stove, a tent, warm and cold weather clothing (I have seen snow in some parts of the United States in July, and it’s September), firewood, a first aid kit and a compass are just a few of the things I’m taking with me as I travel from my home in the Philadelphia, Pa. area to the western United States.

I’m now camping on one of the the largest fresh water beaches in the United States near the border of Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pa. It’s just a six-hour drive into my trip, small in comparison with the rest of my journey.  While the park doesn’t offer camping, there are plenty of privately owned sites nearby that have an excellent view of the lake and easy access to the park. I have a good one too. My tent is just 50 feet from the water and for 75 cents you can cheat and get a hot shower. I went snorkeling in the lake but didn’t see anything other than stones, algae and one kayak. Later I continued working on a long-term project photographing night skies and enjoyed the warmth of my campfire. My next stop is Michigan.

Alan Murray is Uncharted’s President. He’s on the road now and admits that even though he brought chocolate bars and graham crackers, he somehow forgot jumbo sized marshmallows and will not be able to make s’mores on this part of his trip. To learn more about progress on Uncharted’s online community for explorers sign up to be notified when it’s ready. 


Stalking Egrets and Kayaking Canals

By Alan M. Murray,
Uncharted Staff

A Great Egret holds a small fish along the Delaware Canal at Delaware Canal State Park in Yardley, Pa. (© 2013 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

A Great Egret holds a small fish along the Delaware Canal at Delaware Canal State Park in Yardley, Pa. (© 2013 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

I have always wanted to try kayaking. As an experienced canoeist, I often cross paths with kayakers while exploring wetlands, marshes and lakes, each time secretly wishing I could trade my clunkier canoe for their much swifter, more maneuverable kayak. Almost every time I go canoeing, I think, “I should rent a kayak next time,” but I just never got around to it – until now.

Last weekend I found a kayaking activity at Delaware Canal State Park in Yardley, Pa., just one hour from my home near Philadelphia. The activity, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), provides brief instruction for beginners and takes them on a guided trip along the Delaware Canal. For a $10 donation, the department provides kayaks, life vests and paddles. It’s a great opportunity to try out a kayak and at the same time explore a place full of wildlife and beautiful scenery.

The park follows the canal, a manmade navigation channel constructed in the 1800s that parallels the Delaware River on the Pennsylvania side. This gives the park an odd shape as it is about 60 miles long, but only 10 feet wide in some places.

Most of our group had never kayaked. Sarah Berg, an environmental education specialist with the department, teaches us how to get in and out of our kayaks without tipping them and shows us how to use the double-bladed paddle.

Uncharted's President and co-founder kayaks on the Delaware Canal in Yardley, Pa. (© 2013 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

Alan Murray, Uncharted’s President and co-founder kayaks on the Delaware Canal in Yardley, Pa. (© 2013 Alan M. Murray/Uncharted)

A few minutes later we’re floating down the canal, weaving in and out of aquatic plant life, trees and narrow streams. A Great Blue Heron, camouflaged in the upper branches of a tree, peers quietly down as we pass. Another stands behind some brush nearby. Further down the canal, a fox patiently waits in a statue-like stance for us to pass.

Two miles later we’re back where we started. While loading kayaks onto the trailer, someone turns around to see a Great Egret walking along the shore. I grab my camera and hurriedly switch to my longest lens, a 300mm. I tiptoe toward it thinking I’ll probably be lucky if I get even one shot off before it flies away.

I slowly raise my camera, focus, and snap the first photo. To my surprise, it doesn’t even seem to notice me and continues walking toward me along the shore, intently focused on catching its next meal. I keep shooting.

The egret is now less than ten feet away. I’m starting to feel cramped and wondering if I chose the wrong lens since I keep having to walk backwards to fit the bird in the frame.

It stretches its long neck down just above the water and pauses. I hold my breath and wait. In one swift motion, it snatches a small fish and in an instant gobbles it up. It ruffles its feathers in satisfaction and fearlessly continues walking towards me as I walk backwards taking photos and trying not to trip over myself. One would wonder who is afraid of whom.

Ironically, it was a small leashed dog out for an evening walk – you know, the kind with the annoying squeaky bark – that finally scared it away.  The owner apologized for scaring the bird, but I’d already gotten some great shots.

For me, Delaware Canal State Park is not some far off place. I made the drive in an hour and the kayak trip in just under two with plenty of time to spare for dinner. While I love venturing to distant remote locations, it’s nice to know that with a little exploration we can find cool things to see and experience in our own backyards.

Alan Murray is Uncharted’s President and one of its co-founders. He likes snowshoes and scuba diving, and despite making fun of small dogs in this post, he likes them too. If you would like to learn more about Uncharted, sign up and we’ll notify you when our new online club for explorers is ready and keep you posted on our latest adventures, workshops and other cool products. If you would like Alan to apologize to your small dog, feel free to comment below.


Cannon Beach Bliss-Out

By Brian Davidson
Uncharted Staff 

To think I used to be a homebody.

As a kid, we never went on vacations. Oh, the occasional trip to Salt Lake City for the day, but rarely anything beyond that. We did do the camping thing in Yellowstone National Park. We did fly to San Francisco. But that was it.

Then I got married to a globetrotter. Within a year, she dragged me to Washington, D.C. Within five years we’d visited England and France, not to forget to mention a cross-country road trip in the USA and many, many other smaller, yet still grandiose, vacations, including a cruise to Alaska.

Read here about our latest adventure: A trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon, where we stayed for days under the cloudy — but never rainy — Oregon sky and enjoyed playing on the beach with our kids.

Cannon Beach is a wonderful place, and not only because its famous Haystack Rock was featured in The Goonies, one of my favorite films. We visited in the off-season, which I highly recommend. The beaches weren’t crowded. The hotels were less expensive. There were fewer people about, so we were able to enjoy the solitude and beauty without having anybody else’s laundry flapping in our faces. Go during the off-season, before mid-June and after August ends. That’s when Cannon Beach is a wonderful place.


Finally: Proof that I work

By Alan Murray
Uncharted Staff

I don’t have too many photos of myself working. That’s what happens when you’re most often behind the camera. But this one, taken by Uncharted photo assistant John Milligan, is definitely my favorite.

Covering the Holi Festival of Color last weekend at the Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork, Utah, was one of the more unusual assignments I’ve photographed and written about. Over 15,000 people packed the hillside just below the temple waiting to throw bags of powdered dust into the air and all over each other.

Most of the battle for good photojournalism is simply placing yourself in the right place and waiting for the right moment. Whenever I cover a story, I’m always looking to position myself in such a way as to ensure that I’m ready when the climax of the event goes down.

I positioned myself at what seemed to be the focal point, a pile of dry wood with a plastic witch-like figurine sitting on the top, ready to be burned. As it turns out, the figurine was an effigy of the demoness Holika, for whom the Holi Festival of Color derives its name. I figured everyone’s attention would be on the fire, at least for the first few seconds. After that, you just need to run with what happens.

So when the bonfire was lit and people began throwing colored flour all over the place, you could barely see a thing. The plastic bags covering my cameras started falling off and for moments, here and there, it was hard to breathe. The fire was so hot that it started to burn even though I was almost 15 feet away. Before I knew it, I was sandwiched in the middle of thousands of people with barely any room to move, wishing I had a wider angle lens.

But there was something exhilarating about being in the middle of it all, even covered head to toe in colored powder. At Uncharted ,we try to promote a philosophy of “Explore. Live. Feel.” That means when we cover a story, we immerse ourselves in it. We want to show you what it was like to be there. I hope I achieved that with this story. In any case, events like these make me excited to get out there and do more stories and photos for Uncharted.

Alan Murray is executive director of Uncharted.
He likes sea horses and snowshoes, and frequently
has the urge to leave the country. To contact Alan,
feel free to write to alan@uncharted.net.


Summer Retreat 2008

By Geojoe
Uncharted Staff

One thing you might not know about Uncharted is that we are a small team spread all over the U.S., and sometimes even all over the world. Not only do we have team members in Michigan, Idaho, Texas, and Utah, but there have even been times when some of our team members were in Mexico, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Yet somehow we’ve been able to make it through all the crackled audio during our web video conferences. Somehow we’ve made it through flurries of e-mails. Somehow we’ve pressed on through online chat sessions full of miscommunicated meanings. And somehow, on June 14th, 2008, we managed to scrape up some funding from who knows where to come back to Logan, UT, where the idea of Uncharted was born. Our purpose? Simple: to see and help each other through a retreat and practical workshops. Oh yes – and to make plans for the new Uncharted site which is about to be released.

We had a blast. It seems like everyone’s favorite parts were: 1) seeing the new designs our Design guru Andrew has crafted and 2) being surprised with our first business cards and t-shirts, thanks to the Communications & Marketing team. Heck, it was just great to see everyone, which was probably the most important part. It’s such a rare occasion to have everyone together.

So what? So we got together. What now? Well, one of the best parts about this retreat is that we all came away with better journalism, photo, web, leadership, and communication skills. Plus, we have a very clear plan of attack for implementing the new Uncharted site. In fact, we’ve been so busy implementing, I haven’t even had time to post this until now. This new site will make several improvements in functionality based on the feedback we may have received from you, as well as our own vision for what Uncharted can offer the world.

Here’s a run down on what to expect with the new site:

  • New content, including areas such as Seattle, Arizona, Michigan, Utah, and Canada – with plans to keep on rolling from there.
  • Easy content submission process.
  • More professional appearance and more frequent content updates.
  • Easy ways to share your adventures with your friends.

And that’s just a brief summary. The new site looks so cool it nearly made me jerk some tears of joy when we were looking at Andrew’s presentation. Our vision is quickly turning into reality. Even though our website and first printed magazine were great starts back in late 2007 and early 2008, it’s looking more and more like 2008 is going to end with a bang. The whole team is energized and going strong.

Keep checking back here for updates as we get closer to our new release.


Call for Content. . . and How We’re Learning to Love Pink Bunnies

By Geojoe
Uncharted Staff

We’re busy now planning out the next few month’s progress at Uncharted, working to bring in more interactive features, easier site navigation and a beefier invitation to all of you to share your stories. We’re getting the word out that we’re looking for additional stories, photos, audio and video – your stuff, if you can’t take the hint – topost. There’s a lot of talented people we know who are excited about Uncharted, so instead of just hiding behind our glowing computer screens while we plug away at the programming and other chores, we really should help anyone out there that might want to share their adventures. If that sounds like you or someone you know, here’s the kind of content that matches up with Uncharted:

Stories, poems, features, essays, little chiseled pyramids about unexplored, undiscovered, uncharted places, culture, issues, and marvels (anywhere in the world)
Quality media (photos, video, audio, etc)

The editorial gurus will help whoever has something neat to offer with getting it posted. Contact them – brian@uncharted.net, or jason@uncharted.net.

Big Picture Update: The work presses on. I was able to meet one of our interns, Fei, one of our programmers, Dave, and a PR & Marketing rep, Heather, in person when I visited Logan Utah last week. Incredible people! I spent half of my vacation just sitting around working on Uncharted. Yes, its a bit of an addiction now, but I was able to get out and hit the ski slopes once. Sickness & fatigue made for a failed attempt to hit Jackson Hole, Wyoming for some Uncharted work. Maybe next time.

Beyond that, a few of us spent countless time during ridiculuous hours of the night pondering, pontificating, and yes even debatingUncharted’s future. Sometimes this project can seem to be quite the bear, but the momentum is really picking up and we’re feeling it.Design is preparing files to send to our programmers while everyone on the team is submitting their feedback on the features, look, feel and interactivity. Oh yes, and its that time of year where our business manager Erin is saving our company from ruin by tackling our taxes. Meanwhile, our leader & computer gurus are telling us the key to our success rests with pink bunnies. That, my friends, is a story for another time.


1st Edition Printed Mag Available

By Geojoe
Uncharted Staff

We successfully started printing magazines in addition to publishing online. Our first shot at it looks great! I can’t wait to get my hands on later editions. We figured it would be cool to offer this first edition to the public on a limited basis to make owning this 1st issue more special to those that hop on the Uncharted bandwagon early. Not only will you be able to immerse yourself in the Uncharted while you’re on the computer, but now you can have stories and visuals in the palm of your hand! Here’s what the Feb 08 edition cover looks like:


This is a real basic, short, barebones start, but the longer we keep hacking at it the better it will get.

If you’d like to purchase a special 1st edition Uncharted magazine, send a blank e-mail to firstprint@uncharted.net and we’ll respond with ordering instructions.

Update on the bigger picture: We have some great interns helping us design the core functionality of the future site. We had a greatmeeting last week to discuss how we want to make it easier for the users to navigate our site’s future content. Our designer, Andrew, created an awesome site map for us. Everything is chugging along.


Let the Adventure Begin

By Geojoe
Uncharted Staff

…or, let it begin again. Over a year ago someone talked me into helping build a website for people that like the outdoors, active lifestyle, and the likes. That person was my friend who is an award-winning journalist. This same friend talks me into doing a lot of stuff I probably shouldn’t do, like going on trips to Nicaragua. Yes. I was hesitant despite his professional background. Interestingly, the idea actually started up as a printed publication, and here we are one year later paying a programmer to build an innovative website.

So now its time to start a new adventure… to share the Uncharted adventure with everyone. Everything about the site was designed to help people like us explore new places and experiences, share those experiences with others, and highlight the magnificence of some of the greatest places in the world. We first published Uncharted back in 2006, and have since then been working on more improvements. Uncharted’s 2007 revision will be awesome and I’m amazed how incredible this team is.

I’ll keep you posted on this adventure every step of the way. As a brief intro, I’m the Communications Director and a founding member of Great Divide Media, LLC, and I work full time in an International Affairs career. I graduated from Utah State University in Logan UT with a BA in Communications and minors in International Studies and Chinese… and yes, I do speak Chinese. I’ve traveled to over 30 nations on 4 continents. I worked as a Media Relations Rep for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. I am a licensed pilot, and way too many hobbies to list. Name one and I bet I do it or at least am willing to try! That’s me.

Going back to Nicaragua… in the end it turned out to be a blast. We took the risk of going to a crazy place, discovered places that hardly anyone knows about, and now the experiences are priceless. That’s exactly why I’m spending countless hours helping to build Uncharted. I hope I can help other people find great friends and info like I’ve been able to which make life an adventure. Stay plugged in here and I’ll keep you posted on our happenings. Come back and visit this blog and share it with any of your friends who might be interested. I look forward to meeting all of you!