tv Occupied Minds LINKTV June 30, 2022 6:00am-7:01am PDT
>> how many people are interested in a backpacking trip? we're talking about real adventure. this stuff changes who youre. >> just taking it all in, also mind, power trick i think. >> getting to the top, i felt like ias on top of the world. >> when i get back home, i'm gonna be totally changed. >> real talk, we go! [ambient music] - [announcer]: major funding for reel south was provided by: etv endowment, the national endowment for the arts, center for asian-american media,
south arts, and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. additional funding for "that's wild" was provided by: and others. a complete list is available from pbs. >> no, don't leave me. >> look at that elk. >> he was really close. >> look at the elk. look at the elk. >> shh, shh, shh. >> yo, that's crazy. [music playing] bill: do you want to get out and look at him? >> yeah. [music playing] >> that's crazy. ahmani: i'm finna walk with them.
i'm a elk, too. [music playing] nicholas: [gasp] brother, mountains! >> you never seen something so breathtaking in your life. nicholas: bro, look! do you see the blue rays right there? >> yeah. nicholas: it looks like god coming up. [music playing] [background conversations] bill: right now, we're just getting out of the bus. clifford: wilderness works, when i first heard of it. i thought it was a program where we just go like a, you know, like a boy out-type thing. i, like, skipped over the wilderness parts. nicholas: so where is the entrance going to be at? sean: um.
man! nicholas: i haven't even seen the outdoors. i just heard stories. but i believe that-- i'll admit-- i just wanted to see different places. you busted it. sean: [groan] bill: these are the legs. the little knobby things are the legs, right? ahmani: please help me. i'm about to break this chair. >> do you mind helping me out? ahmani: most of the trips i've beeon, we were in georgia, or probably north carolina, but never really went somewhere where it's just wilderness and wild, like colorado. bill: this is one of our youngest groups to fly on a trip and go into a national forest and do real rugged outdoor living. they're a bit on the young side, but they learn a lot and they grow. what's the name of that movie, dylan, that you told me about, with the people that put on allhe weight. they end up being on, like, these-- dylan: wall-e. bill: is it wall-e? if you've seen that movie, so all they do is watch tv. they've got, like, food that just comes to their mouth.
and they don't have to do any work. and they become softer and softer, to the point where, if you ask me, it'sike they're dead. you understand what i'm saying? and i'm thinking that a lot of us do that for 50 weeks out of the year. and we stop doing this. outdoor living is living. and believe me, when you go home, when it's septembe you will look back at this experience and you will have kind of a pain because you'll be looking back for it. you'll say, wow, that was cool. i really connected. [music playing] >> cliff, you still in? bill: i was very fortunate as a young person. i was in an orphanage as a baby. and i was blessed with being adopted by good parents. and i grew up in miami beach, florida. and my brother and i, we were canoeing in biscayne bay, and boating and sailing and swimming and going
to the beach. we were definitely in the outdoors. when i was in mercer university in macon, georgia, we started to work with disadvantaged kids. and i began to appreciate how powerful outdoor living experiences would be for them. and i realized that taking this to the next level, establishing a nonprofit, is where i needed to head. and that's what i've done. this is our first city camp of the year, so why don't we do this. let's all say what our name is. you want to stand up and say your name? jacob: my name is jacob. bill: ah, i like that name. that's a cool na. where do you go to school? >> parkside. bill: parkside! ahmani: first impression-- he was a stranger, really. but he always was making jokes. bill: we got to do the special handshake, ok? who's that back there? nicholas: i didn't know him at first, so i just called him "weird." bill: what is the name of this organization, victor? victor: wilderness works.
bill: now, look at the forest. the green is the forest, right. can wilderness work if we're working our way towards extinction? no. clifford: when i first seeing him, i thought he was like this old, white, grumpy man. so i didn't know what to expect. bill: outdoor living, it nds toe male-dominated and it tends to be caucasian. so introducing these ideas to the children we serve, which are predominantly black children, it's a tough thing to attempt. ebonie martin: how many people know where we're going next? children: ooh, ah, ah! game room! ebonie martin: i can't hear you. children: game room! ebonie martin: i can't hear you. children: game room! ebonie martin: with me being there, i think it helps, because i am black, i am a female, and i do come from the urban neighborhoods. so i am very informed, very in tune with these kids. y'all just lost your turn. bill: ebonie martin is outstanding.
the two of us work together very effectively. ebonie martin: i don't look at him as the white savior. and i don't think he looks at it as, oh, i'm helping these black kids out. but i'm helping these kids that, in any other situation, couldn't afford the opportunity. [playful yelling] >> let's go. bill: what we do at wilderness works here, we want you to have fun. but my job is to give you ideas. do you understand me? so let me give you an example. how many people here can say i have a lot of absentee father in my life? raise your hand. i know i can. it's a lot of people. [music playing] clifford: i think he can connect with us, because, you know, bill also grew up as an orphan. and he didn't have his real parents in his life, so he couldn't have a real blood-on-blood connectio bill: i met clifford when he was in fifth grade.
his dad was in prison and his mom had a full-time job. he's got two sisters and a brother. he was like the man of the house, right. he's only in fifth grade. ebonie martin: we have parents that work two and three jobs just to struggle. it's a lot of things going on with the child as well as the family as a unit. bill: with nick, for instance, he is grappling with depression. with clifford, he had to grow up with a father who was incarcerated during most of his childhood. constant instability. >> right now, i'm just conntrating on really trying to work and get us somewhere to stay. you need your own room. your sister needs her own room. and three bedrooms are not cheap here. ahmani: yeah >> literally, i've got to work a lot.
ahmani: when i was around four, it's when my dad first got arrested. and i think that's when it actually started with all the chronic homelessne and stuff. sometimes i'd stay in a hotel where it's, like, prostitutes and people selling drugs and smoking weed and stuff like that. i've never really, like, lived on the street. i think it was because my mom, she'd always find a way, really. even if it was just going to another shelter or another hotel. >> do you remember, like, some of those rinky-dink hotels sometimes, like when i wasn't working? and we had to lug all our clothes around. and sometimes i say y'all, we just gonna be here for a couple of days. let mama-- mama gonna figure it out and we're gonna move somewhere else. you know, i always tried to make sure, you know, we got something good to eat, or something like that.
but a lot of hotels, i look back and think, wow, how could i allow us to stay in it, and with y'all. ahmani: i was mad at myself because i felt so ashamed of being homeless and living in shelters and stuff. i was ashamed that i didn't live in a house or an apartment. my mom didn't have a good job. she didn't get good money. [music playing] i was staying at nicholas house, another shelter. and there was a sign-up sheet for something called wilderness works. so my mom had just put my name on the list. >> and they was like, oh, we think your son would be a good candidate for it. and i met bill. we sat down and talked. and the next weekend, i let you go. this was your first time ever going away from me, you know. and you've been going every weekend since. and that was, what, six years ago. ahmani: i remember how you used to pick me up. >> you've been gone every weekend since.
ahmani: y'all used to pick me up. and i'd get mad because i was leaving. and i started crying. >> you didn't want to leave the camp. ahmani: mm-hmm. >> so he was just having that much fun. [indistinct conversations] >> i used to always say, bill your-- your new white daddy. ahni: you did say that. >> you don't remember that? ahmani: yeah, i do, i do. >> ol' bill, ha ha. bill: i believe that ahmani is in a period of processing. by careful repetitive experiences and reassurance, we do think we may be countering this negative energy and that he is worthy, and that he can overcome this neglect that he's faced as a child. [birds chirping] [music playing]
ahmani: kind of reminde of a red nda and a squirrel if they had a baby, but that would be kind of weird, both of them at the same time. [whispers] nicholas: i bet you won't stick your hand on it. ahmani: i bet you i won't. nicholas: i bet you will. >> what if it just charge out the hole, like just-- ahmani: [vibrating vocalization] >> it's gonna catch nohea. i got two bags of mashed potatoes. nicholas: well, let me get a bag. i made a bet with nohea. because nohea said, if you stick your hand in there, he would give me half of his dinner. so i stick my whole entire hand in there. i hear something, like, sniffling on my hand. and i pull it back. i was like, dang. he let me have his mashed potatoes-- with the chicken.
that's a combo. you know how good that was? [music playing] bill: in this particular trip, initially we're acclimatizing for some high altitude backpacking. so we spent about four days in rocky mountain national park, as we anticipate going on to the snowmass wilderness outside of aspen, where we are going to be climbing over 12,000 foot peaks repeatedly. [music playing] >> bro, we in jurassic park right now. >> whoa! >> oh, they getting on the trail. >> now, that's gonna scare the ---- out of somebody. >> they finna have a heart attack and a stroke. [music playing] >> how ya doin'? >> all you gotta do is jt start with your feet. nicholas: the fit time i ever saw snow was, like, probably that one time it snowed in atlanta.
but that w my second time seeing snow. well, what the heck, ---- so cold? dumb ass. dumb ass. [indistinct chatter] bill: are you feeling some altitude, maybe? what happened? are you not sleeping as good? let me ask you a question. do you seem very energized right now? nicholas: kind of. bill: no, you don't. you seem tired. even sad. clifford: i don't know what be wrong with nick. i don't know. but all of a sudden, like, he'll just distance himself. you know, like, just get down, like he's thinking about something. nicholas: it's weird. i'll just be in my own world.
i mean, i try to fit in sometimes. like, i try to change my personality. but a part of me saying no, like, just be yourself. so i be self sometimes ahmani: i think nick, he likes being surrounded by people, except for when he's in his moods. i know he likes to be alone. nicholas: i separate myself from the group just to, like, connect with nature. because i've never seen nothing like this in my life. [music playing] >> knock those balls out. there you go. nicholas: one moment i'll be happy. but then i think about one thing and my whole mood just change. like, i'll get depressed. and then, people will be walking up to me. and i'll just, like, isolate myself. i'll be, like, i have, like, my own space. i'll be, like, leave me alone. when you was in the city, it don't stop.
like, school, school, school, school, school, weekend, weekends, work, work. and, like, extracurricular, like, basketball, after school program. and babysit my niece and nephews. it's like you're trapped in a bubble. i'm tired. bill: i'm concerned about you because we want you to grow into someone that is excited to be who you are. you have to learn who you are. what do i like? what do i not like? and it's challenging to develop your own identity. but i see that you're under pressure. how often do you feel like you're deang with dness? nichas: not ery day, but it's like, majority of times. bill: what do you think you're sad about? nicholas: i don't even know. it can be about multiple things. it can be about family related, anything. bill: you're not sure where they're coming from, but you do feel them. nichol: yeah.
bill: and other times you feel really good. nicholas: yeah. bill: and we all go through this. you're not the only one. and you know that you have us to talk to, right? miss ebonie is always there. you kn i'm always here. any time you want to talk, e to talk to, correct? nicholas: yeah. [music playing] nicholas: home sweet home. yes. bill: we have got work to do. we're going to have to get our backpacks out. we've got to think five nights, six days. nicholas: oatmeal. bill: why did i buy this? nicholas: i got too much dry food, bruh.
clifford: i don't know why you put it in order if you gonna stuff it back in the stuff sack. nicholas: just checking. clifford: it's going to go back out of order. [music playing] bill: open the door, please. >> that's how you do it. >> you're welcome, you're welcome. nicholas: you're welcome. you're welcome. bill: now, let's go to an interesting conversation. tomorrow is father's day. and part of my job, actually, at wilderness works is to combat fatherlessness. you know, when i was a kid, i was very lucky because i had pat and ed mickler. when they wereaving trouble having children, they went to an orphanage and adopted me in 1958. but they are not my parents. and i never knew my father or my mother, right.
ahmani, eighyears without a father, ok. you go and visit him at prison. and then he calls you on the phone. he calls me. and he sends letrs, right? what does that mean to you? ahmani: like, because he does all that stuff, and i get to see him, it's almost like he has been there even though he hasn't. it's like he's trying to his best as a father even though he's incarcerated. >> my dad is on parole, but he has a really strict officer. and it's weird because they treat him like he's still a prisoner. like, he can't see me or anything. he has to have someone supervising him, like he can't be trusted at all, like he still is kind of in jail. bill: where is your dad? my dad got shot at a hotel when i was x. bill: so he was murdered. >> mm-hmm. bill: six years old. wow. so here you are, a guy who's trying to become a man.
and you got nobody to show you the way. let's talk about clifford. clifford is going back to be at a party to celebrate the release of his father from prison. for how many years? clifford: eight. bill: so eight years of his life has had no dad. his mother struggled to raise four children. are you excited to see your dad? clifford: yeah. bill: you probably miss him. clifford: yeah. bill: do you look like him? clifford: people say i do. bill: is it difficult? clifford: watching my mother tryi to raise us is, without a father. >> what time is it? y'all better hurry up. it stink in this room. when y'all gonna clean the room up? like, when? clean this stuff up. you're not going to clean this mess up. clifford: i didn't see a good neighborhood till i was, maybe,
seventh grade, eighth grade. and it was just like a lot fighting, gun violence, robbery, drug trafficking. and you know you don't want to be there. but that's all you ever seen. my dad, he would go to jail for like a year or two. get out. he might stay out for, like, six, seven months, and go back. and this time he might do a longer sentence and then get out. do another sentence. so it's, like, repetitive. so i don't really have that connection with my dad like that. >> clifford, as a child, he was just kind of like quiet. but i really don't see any traits from his father. i just see all of me, pretty much. y'all want some cereal? clifford: i don't drink milk. >> so why are you not drinking milk? clifford: it's not good for you. >> milk not good for you? pizza not good for you. you still eat it. after cliff's dad and i broke up,
i met my three youngest kids' dad. but he's passed away now. clifford: he had a heart attack in the car. we were like this. and i, like, when he passed away, it was just like, i really ain't got nobody now, for real. now we're really at rock bottom. >> so what did you buy for them to eat saturday? clifford: i got everybody a 6-piece and fries and some rice. >> individual? clifford: yeah. >> how much was it? clifford: it was $28something, total. >> you should have just got a-- next time, you just get a family meal. don't try to buy everybody individual meals. it's just me. it's just me. it's me all day long, nonstop. when anything happens i have to be the one there to do everything. [music playing] cliffo: i was at parkside elementary. i was in fifth grade. and bill came to my school. i was like, hmm, maybe i should give it a try.
so i gave bill my mother's number. >> i did feel skeptical at first. i'm not going to even say i didn't, because it was like, who is this man that wants to just get these kids and take them out of town or teach them things. who-- what is his motive? u know. clifford: my first trip, when we went to tybee island, i was just like, yeah, i love this program. you know, you're in a three-story house on a beach with positive people around you. you can talk to them. and you're playing and stuff. it was fun. >> clifford wanted to go. he was happy. and all the quietness that are i seen kind of like stopped. clifford: wild nature, it's like a drug. i don't smoke, so, basically, i call it my high. it just-- it just feels some type of way. i can't explain it.
there's freedom and you don't feel none of the threats and the pressure that comes in the city, particularly in the hood. you don't feel none of that because you're out there, basically by yourself with the water and the mountains and things like that. and it's just a stress relief. bill: clifford has been on many, ma trips in remote wilderness across the united states. and the younger kids are looking up to him. so i'm very excited to see cliff and his development, and the direction he's heading in. [music playing] we've got four passes to do. west maroon pass, frigid air pass, trail rider pass, and buckskin pass. this one is icy. we'll just be very careful here. and you climb up this mountain and you
go through it, through the u. and then you go down. nicholas: our four pass loop is basically four mountains. it's going in a loop is basically what it means like. bill: pack your trash. bury all human waste. if we have to go to the number two, we have to dig a hole six inches deep. and make sure you fill up the hole, or whatever, when you're done. and cover it up, et cetera. any questions? all right. let go. clifford: let go. [music playing] bill: i love your socks, by the way. your socks are spectacular. >> say no gaf. bill: i mean, no gaf, ok. [music playing]
the water to help them cross. and basically i was just like, if i fall in the water, i just fall in the water. i got to make sure they get across. >> come on, bruh. >> ready, set, go. clifford: because, you know, i'm a mentor, right. their safety matters more because they're younger. bill: keep going, keep going, move, move. clifford: everybody got across safe. but when i got out of the water, i couldn't feel my legs. and they sting, like i got stung by a bee. bill: you all did a good job. by the way, if i were you, i would wipe off my face. that whole side of you is just-- you like somebody who just got out of war. ahmani: yo, bro, low-key, it was fun though. that was fun. bill: so this is where we are. so really, tomorrow we will probably do two and a half times what we did today. we'll have to get up early and make it happen. [music playing]
sean: hold up, hold this, hold this. >> they all over the place. all over this campsite. it's crazy. >> so they can't get me now? >> yep. our faces are safe. >> turn that ---- down, bro. all right, all right. >> ok. >> i watched a long vid. >> what the world? >> i know it was something on the bottom of that. >> no, buddy. turn that junk off and then take it off. >> we gonna blow up. real talk. bill: this is black bear country. absolutely no food in your tent, ever. >> i'll trade you some cheez-its for some flackers. >> nah, i don't like cheez-its. >> show him, man! >> all right, let me jump in. it's funny. it's banging, bro. >> is that even fair?
see. >> i don't know. you the one who traded with me. >> ohh. >> it's called take backs. >> just try this. >> no take backs. bill: remember, we've got to be able to untie it too. so don't go too crazy. [music playing] [birds chirping] clifford: i feltike i just zed out. and, like, you're just taking it all in. and you're connecting with the animals, like on some mind power trick, like, thing. [music playing] ahmani: i feel like the pass is going to go up to where those rocks are. bill was talking about, if it was a day that we were going up
a pass, that we needed to move fast because if it was raining, you were up so high that you could actually be struck by lightning. clifford: the climbing was the hardest. and you'd look, and you see bill, like, a thousand feet away, up in the air. he like a dot. and you're like, oh my god. crazy. nicholas: i can't breathe for nothing. the air is too thin. i can't breathe. i'm gonna faint. when we going to-- bill: we all think it's food that fuels us. and it does, of course. but oxygen fuels us. it's amazing. i feel like i'm going to faint. i feel dizzy, right? and then i just breathe slowly. i take about, maybe, 20 breaths. and slowly, i just come back to life. it's amazi. and i get like-- it's like fuel.
ahmani: getting to the top, it was a lot to take in. just seeing these high mountains and these trees, these valleys, and all this other stuff. i felt like i was on top of the world. bill: right up until that time, i didn't know whether our group could actually successfully cross these passes that are close to 13,000 feet. but i saw, once we did our first pass, that we were able to do so. and i was more confident about coming passes. >> y'all want to do the trail? it's probably going to be a little bit longer. or do y'all want to go down the snow, where we could just meet bill most of the way? clifford: bro, i'm trying to slide. real talk. >> y'all trying to slide? ahmani: because if we-- >> we have no other choice. >> y'all try to slide. ahmani: let's do it. >> let's go, brah. >> down the snow. clifford: real talk. we goin'. oh, oh, we goin'. oh, we goin'. [playful yelling and laughing]
nicholas: oh nah, i was not doing that. i was not going for that because, first of all, that's stupid. second of all, it's not intelligent. and third of all, you're getting your clothes wet and it's cold outside. come on now. i was the smartest out of the whole group. >> when i get home, my mom finna cook me some white rice, some tofu, and some black beans. nicholas: shut up, brah. >> i'm gonna get-- nah, i'm gonna make some pancakes. nicholas: chill out. i don't want to talk about food right now. >> i'm gonna get-- i'm gonna really make it too. m gonna put that ---- on the pan. nicholas: because if i start thinking about food, bro, i'm going to start thinking about trail mix. and that's all i have. now i want pancakes. >> what the-- nicholas: huh? >> what? >> a bee tried to sting me. nicholas: what? >> what he do? >> a bee tried to sting me. nicholas: he says bee was - [laughing] >> no it did not. >> yes it did. >> bees do not just go out of their way to sting people.
when they sting people-- nicholas: you must have aggravated him in some way. >> yeah, you have to aggravate it. >> all i heard was this buzzing sound, right. then i looked to my right. i see, like, this thing, and its stinger is pointing towards me. i see his legs drop down. then it's, like, freaking pointed towards me. then it's coming. >> you must have aggravated it or something. >> y'all never believe me. nicholas: boy, you're smoking too much crack, boy. [music playing] nicholas: oh, my legs are burning. i cannot feel my legs. it was cold. my socks was wet.
i didn't have the right food. i had a whole bunch of clif bars. >> let me get some snickers, man. nicholas: it was tough. [music playing] bill: we have to go over that pass. you see that-- >> oh. bill: it looks like a golf course up there. clifford: passing one pass is tough already. so when you got to go over two of them-- no. ahmani: dang, we got to do two passes today. know what i mean, right? >> oh, this is tough. >> no. bill: is backpacking easy? >> no. bill: this is a whole different kind of world.
this is a hard world, right? and i think most of the people i know are too soft. this is not their element. this is my element. i guess one question is, is this your element? nick, what is your element? nicholas: to be honest, i don't know. bill: you might be too young to know, right? and too inexperienced. what do you think, ahmani? ahmani: honestly, i don't really know if this is my element. i mean, i do like being outside and all. but i don't really kno- bill: if you had an alternative, would you pick the alternative or would you try to come to a place like this? ahmani: i would probably pick the alternative. bill: so you probably would not come here? i don't wa you to come back unless you want to. and with ahmani, i think ahmani is hinting that he really doesn't want to.
so it's not for everybody. it's something to think about. but i do hope somebody here would like to come back, either here or wherever we go. but you know you'll have to be tough. all right, let's go. [music playing] clifford: i've never seen nothing like this before. >> yeah. you can't get it all in one view. clifford: it's like the snake. >> yeah, snake river. [music pying]
bill: listen, you gotta be sure you're ready to go, correct? >> yes. bill: good. >> if i sl, i'm just gonna slide down. sean: bruh. >> oh it's, like, it's so much snow overhere. sean: eh. i can't do this. [grunt] oh, i know my trick again. >> hell naw. >> if that works, yo, do it. ahmani: once we had got down the pass and were almost at the campsite, the trail had went covered by snow. and i remember i was right behind bill. and it was, like, scary. clifford: it's like a steep hill of snow, almosttraight.
ahmani: one wrong step d you could just go tumbling down the hill or straight in the lake. [indistinct chatter] >> hey bro, i'm going down. >> who was you telling? nicholas: bull----. what? >> walk this way. walk this way. nicholas: i'm gonna die. i'm gonna die. >> chill out. sean: i don't know how i'm going to do this. >> i mean, you're not going to die. [slow music] clifford: we're crossing it one-by-one. so you have to put one foot in front of the other, stay low, and don't look down. and everybody's safety in hand. >> go to your right a little bit. go to your right. ahmani: i think sean realized that his life was at stake.
nicholas: i think he looked down and he was like, i'm not going no further. bill: sean, can you come down a little bit, and go over that way? >> the snow looks easier. clifford: then he got so scared that, like, he couldn't move no more. and he just stopped. >> the snow is better. bill: all right, listen. you were hesitant about crossing, correct? sean: mm-hmm. bill: ok. if i'm with you, can you follow me? sean: yeah. bill: now this has to be an absolute yes. sean: yes. bill: ok. ok, what you want to do is lean into the mountain, the snow side, right. sean: mm-hmm. bill: do you understand? and you put your foot in the foot steps that are there, already made. and you just look at the footsteps only. and you look this way.
ok? sean: mm-hmm. bill: sometimes you have to take a big step. i want you behind me. are you behind me? sean: no. bill: keep going, keep going. good job, good job, good job. good, good, good, good, good. good, good, good. [inaudible talking] bill: i got to hold your hand, didn't i? all right. let's go set up camp. >> come get your sleeping bag.
sean: when you first arrived at that snow, how did you feel nicholas: i thought i was finna die. sean: you was, like, scared? nicholas: i was scared. sean: i had to go step-by-step. it took me at least, like, 20 seconds to do each step. when i got there, i was relieved. i was like, it's over. i'm straight now. [sigh] [music playing] >> i'll give you my mashed potatoes. [playful yelling] >> it's dud. >> you lost it. you lost it. nicholas: hey, we won. >> man, i'm going to give each of y'all one third of a penny. [music playing]
bill: this is not an easy place to get to. there's a pass on that side. there's a pass on that side. ahmani: that one was probably the hardest. it wasn't as high as the other ones, but the trail was sort of a zigzag and it took a long time. [breathing heavily] nohea: my stomach hurt. clifford: with the high altitude thing, i would look and see nohea, like, breathing hard, basically. [music playing]
nicholas: i cannot walk no more. >> ----! nicholas: i have altitude problems. i have so many emotions right now. i'm getting aggravated at the most tiniest things. it's like, if my shoes get stuck in mud, i'll get so mad. nohea: my stomach is just-- nicholas: i thought i was trying to go slow, but i couldn't stop. and then i slipped on a rock. i almost died. ahmani: come on, bro. we got to get out of this pass.
i know it's hard, but we've got to get out of this pass. come on, bruh. yoneed to get up. nohea: wait two minutes. ahmani: two minutes. two minutes then you're going up. nohea: (whispers) ok. ahmani: gonna wall all the way up that pass. nohea: (whispers) ok. ahmani: no matter how slow you do it, we walking up that pass withoustopping. nohea: i'm getting up. [music playing] ahmani: nice. let's get it. nicholas: ----! i'm just tired. ----!
one, because he was my tentmate. and two, really because he's a dear friend. so, like, doing that, it motivated him and it motivated me. clifford: i like seeing that. somebody basically the same age or, like, a leader, stepping up to the plate, realizing things have to get done. we haveo help each other to gethroughhis trip. and, basically, ahmani took a lot of leadership, things he usually don't do. it's, like, he's on the right track. [music playing] bill: think about it. we did west maroon pass. we did frigid air pass. we did trail rider pass. and today we did-- clifford: buckskin. bill: --buckskin pass. and here we are at the end of the circle. and you've completed this circle. you crossed four passes. you went up to 12,500 feet four times-- very, very challenging.
like i said, when you get home your friends won't even know what you're talking about. [music playing] >> why your hands got bigger, bro? >> my hands-- i feel like they really did. bill: what can we tell younger people as we introduce them to wilderness works? nicholas: you're going to have your ups and downs. like, you're going to have hard times. but you're going to have easy times. either way, like, it's worth it. ahmani: i felt pretty good, i guess. it was hard, but at least i got through it. bill: i really am proud of you. i was worried there. ahmani: at the time, i thought, because i was so unsure, that i didn't like it. but now i realize how big that was and, like, what i did. just going over four passes, seeing these wild animals. there's a huge world out there. and there's so much to discover.
so it took me a while to realize, like, if it was my element or not. clifford: when you first go out into nature, you're not used to having everything for seven days in one bag. when you do it time after time after time after time, like, that button just turns on, like, dang, this is actually a world i never seen before. and you realize the freedom of it. basically, it opens, like, plugs in your brain. when they were like, this is a once in a lifetime moment, and bill corrects us, he's basically telling us, like, you can continue doing this. and you can help other people get out here and keep coming back. nicholas: it felt like i was playing a game, but it was like real life. once you reach one pass, you got, like, level 1, level 2, level 3. and you passed the game. and it just made me feel proud, because i just went and did4 miles. imma get mine's bill: and by the way, ahmani, i want you to know.
you're right for wilderness. you may not know it, but you are. kids are so used to virtual reality. by having a real experience, really being at 13,000 feet, the real experience is far superior. and they discover that on the trail. that's very gratifying. nicholas: check me out. >> this is make-up. nicholas: no it's not. nicholas: it removes dirts, right? >> no. nicholas: did i get a mustache? [music playing] clifford: it's like snow. >> yeah, it's actually called snow sugar. clifford: oh, that's funny. >> what do you plan on being when you grow up? clifford: a personal fitness trainer. >> ok, that's cool. clifford: but that might change. >> true. things have changed. clifford: work from here. >> yep.
clifford: what a masterpiece. [music playing] clifford: just right. clock out. >> oh my god. clifford: that job was fine. we was in there baking these pies, almost. and i was designing them. >> i've never traveled in the mountains or nothing like that, but it brought cliff a ton of energy. take the hairnet off. he was like, mom, it's something other th just atlanta, other than just georgia, outside of just these four walls. matthew's trying to get a job too now. he's trying to step up and keep his grades up because i'm like, look at your brother. he's doing good. even the other kids, they respect him now. i thank hi like, i really thank him for being a good child.
now i feel like i can brag a little bit. yeah. nichas: oh yeah, that snow was no joke. nicholas: that's me right there. i was the first one to join wilderness works out of my family. they was like, nick, can i come with you because i've been missing you. i'll be like, all right. nohea: sonny, stand up. are you related to brandon? nicholas: i'm happy for them. i just want to see their reaction when they get inside, like, wilderness, like, i just want to see how they react. no! i'm not going to say i fully matured, because i know i didn't. not going to say a pure lie. but i'm not finna let depression take over my life. bill: so some of the kids that come here are living in shelters. and ahmani knows what it's like to be homeless. and i'm very proud of ahmani because he
has stood tough all this time. lo at him. ahmani: there was onin particular at city camp, i did see myself in. he was in the same stuff that i into when i was that age. >> well, yeah, i felt the same thing. it was all unpredictable. and i don't know where i would go or anytng. and nothing-- i don't know what would happen. or who would be here or anything. it was really stressful, like ahmani said. oh yeah. ebonie martin: ahmani can let these kids know that it doesn't stop here. that they call it transitional housing because you're not meant to stay there, but transition into something better. red rover, red rover, send lucas over. if you expose yourself to more than just what the system offers you, there's no limit to what you can become. >> when you were out there in the mountains, when you guys reached the top, did
it feel like you guys were in an atlanta building, all the way up there? clifford: first, climbing the pass is hard. i mean, this is tough. so once your get up there and you get to the top, and you see where you came from, and you point, and you feel the wind, you're, likeon top of the world. you feel like you accomplished something. bill: these guys have done major, major, major stuff. and there's even more you can do. there's no limit. people who thinkig do big. the question is, how many feel like this is something you would like to do? i do believe that the group of people that have experienced wilderness could make this go way beyond what i've done. can you and cliff take the first group upstairs? there's a series of chain reactions. and that's exciting. clifford: cut the other light on. >> i got you. >> we've still got, like, 10 more minutes. clifford: yeah. but you can talk, but talk quietly because you're going to bed.
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- this is such a special pleasure to have paul stamets rejoin us for the 2020 maiden voyage of the bioneers virtual conference. (kenny and nina chuckle) paul first spoke at bioneers in 1996, when he was unknown. he showed up with this wild proposition that mushrooms can save the world and he turned out to be right. (kenny and nina chuckle) it was clear from the outset that he's the rare genius and visionary citizen scientist who can actually manifest his vision in the most practical terms. since that time, paul has earned richly deserved,
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