Longtime Bendites Sue Fox and Kristian Jamieson met many moons ago, while adventure sporting in Oregon. Recently, they've rolled their adventure onto the stage, appearing once a month at Deschutes Brewery's Community Night where they co-present "Trail Tales: conversations with inspiring community members."
Jamieson (known widely as Jaymo) is co-owner of EVO Gimbals, co-owner of Backyard Bend and a free agent broadcast journalist. Fox has been lead paddleboard instructor for Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe for seven years (disclosure: I also work there), an international paddle adventure retreats owner and guide and the brain behind the paddle-inspired blog, Frisky Ripples.
During Fox and Jaymo's annual emcee sessions at the Bend Paddleboard Challenge in Riverbend Park—where Fox is also race director—the pair unknowingly practiced their future routine. A fun-loving banter and charismatic chatter naturally gave way to the duo hosting a project like Trail Tales.
"Community Night—where Deschutes presents proceeds from the evening's revenues toward a rotating local nonprofit—is the perfect fit for hosting Trail Tales," said Fox. She explains the intention of the entertainment project is to, "have a discussion with noteworthy individuals in the outdoor recreation industry who, more importantly, are exceptional humans in our community. They are using their privilege to inspire.
"My reason for doing this is based on seeing a change in Bend and the greater Oregon area, and, rather than complaining about the change, being a part of shaping it in some small way. Whether you were born here, moved here 10 years ago or 10 days ago, we all have a responsibility to live mindfully in our community, stewardship and giving back to those environments we impact."
During the inaugural Trail Tales, the hosts interviewed Meg Chun, owner and co-founder of Kialoa Paddles and pro biker and paramedic Alex Maclaren. Fox describes the evening as, "conversational, organic—and we have giveaways for participants who correctly answer fun industry related questions."
Fox says feedback has been great and there were lots of standout moments from the first show. "Alex's story in general is amazing. To be top of your game in the pro-biking world, witness a car accident and feel so helpless you want to go back to school to become a paramedic. It wasn't like that decision didn't take work, he stuck with it for 10 years and I get goosebumps even talking about it," explained Fox.
Post-show, an Olympic hopeful snowboarder talked about missing the Olympic Games by a few points—but said seeing Trail Tales spoke to her and made her realize there's more to life.
Fox recounted an "aha" moment in the close of the first session, when Chun shared, "We are all paddling in this canoe together."
Jaymo exclaimed, "That pretty much sums it up."
Future audiences can look forward to an occasionally rotating co-host to complement Fox.