Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Learning to Hike the Trail Less Taken

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Learning to Hike the Trail Less Taken

Article excerpt

ANNIE Getchell, co-host of the PBS outdoor series "Anyplace Wild," takes viewers with her on rugged adventures - up Washington state's Mount Olympus, down subterranean caves in Arkansas's Ozarks and over California's Golden Trout Wilderness.

"These are the last places where we really integrate with other species," said 34-year-old Getchell. "Everywhere you go, someone has been there before. We've covered the planet - and we can take a phone there. Next, it's Mars."

Getchell is a registered Maine Guide who canoes, backcountry skis and climbs mountains in summer and winter, both in her spare time and for the show. "Anyplace Wild" (8 tonight on Channel 9) helps spread her philosophy of treading lightly upon the Earth. She encourages low-impact living by recycling outdoor gear, repairing trails, avoiding too much food packaging and using fuel frugally. "You wouldn't think twice about turning on the stove at home," she said, "but you painstakingly calculate how much fuel you'd carry on a trip to cook with." The trips on "Anyplace Wild" are not for the casual exerciser - many require a lot of athletic skill and strength - but Getchell more than qualifies. A native of Wisconsin and a former competitive ski racer and bicyclist, she lives in Camden, Maine, with her husband, Dave, who edits the series. "He's the creative, nuts-and-bolts guy," she said. An hourlong premiere on June 4 took Getchell and co-host John Viehman to the Boundary Waters between Ontario and Minnesota. While Viehman and his brother Tom retraced the canoe route of Canadian pioneers, Getchell helped build a traditional birch-bark canoe. Outdoor junkies will recognize the prematurely gray Viehman from PBS's "Trailside," which he hosted for three years. Although he still edits Bac kpacker magazine, Viehman and the magazine-sponsored "Trailside" have gone their separate ways. "Backpacker wanted to do their own show," was all Getchell would say. There's no word on whether "Trailside" will return, but Viehman didn't waste any time starting another series. Crucial to translating the experiences of the two "Anyplace Wild" hosts is their crew, the cameramen and sound technicians who accompany Viehman and Getchell everywhere. …

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