"A Long Way to Nowhere" documentary goes on tour

03 APRIL 2024 | ASHLAND, OR – Join Siskiyou Mountain Club for a free screening of our documentary “A Long Way to Nowhere,” with seven stops in the next few weeks between Santa Rosa, CA and Coos Bay, OR. All screenings are free and no tickets are required. Check out the full schedule below, watch the trailers, and see our full Club calendar here. 

April 10: 6:30pm at Santa Rosa REI (2715 Santa Rosa Ave)

April 11: 6:30pm at Point Reyes Library (11435 CA-1)

April 15: 7pm at Medford REI (85 Rossanley Drive)

April 16: 6pm at Taylor's Sausage (202 Redwood Hwy, Cave Junction, OR)

April 17: 6pm at Curry Library in Gold Beach (94341 3rd Street)

April 18: 6pm at Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay, sponsored by 7 Devil’s Brewery (229 S Broadway, Coos Bay, OR)

May 3: 6pm at Klamath-Siskiyou Arts Center, Happy Camp, CA (63633 Highway 96, Happy Camp, CA)

Each summer an SMC Wilderness Corps trail crew backpacks into federal wilderness areas where they work to restore backcountry hiking trails across the vast swath of federal lands stretching across northwest California and southwest Oregon. Film director and SMC communications staff member Vince DiFrancesco followed the crew in 2023 to capture the footage. 

The 2023 crew after climbing Johnson Butte in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area


The idea came after DiFrancesco yearned to share his 2022 experience as a Corps intern with others, but it was difficult for friends and relatives to understand what it’s really like to be living and working on remote wilderness. He returned to SMC the summer of 2023, this time as a staff member to support with communications, holding a camera instead of a crosscut saw, capturing footage for the film. 

DiFrancesco films a morning briefing with the 2023 crew.


Capturing a smoky evening at Azalea Lake in the Red Buttes Wilderness Area.

“At first I was worried about the practical side of how I’d capture the footage,” DiFrancesco says. He had to carry not only food and supplies to sustain himself, but also a couple dozen pounds of camera equipment. In all, his pack was around 80 pounds.

As DiFrancesco sifted through the 64 hours of footage, a story began to take shape, and a single 8-day hitch across the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area became the focus. “The mission is very much tied to the place,” DiFrancesco says, adding “the majority of people out there are never going to be on a trail crew. They’re never going to be in the depths of the Kalmiopsis for a week. But they can get a little glimpse into that experience by seeing the film. And maybe they’ll be inspired to go, but that’s not obligatory.” 



Looking forward, Howe and DiFrancesco have plans for another film project for the upcoming season. “The 2024 project is different because we’re relying on a subject that we already know,” says DiFrancesco, who is a 2023 graduate of DePaul University’s Cinematic Arts program. “We have a better sense of where we want to go with it.” 


Both are excited to use the power of film to reach a wider audience and share how Siskiyou Mountain Club’s mission impacts people and communities. “I often think back to who I was before I was an intern, and how the experience changed me for the better,” DiFrancesco says. “My hope is that this documentary can inspire other young people to consider joining our Wilderness Corps or serving public lands in whatever way they can.” 

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