Next Stop: Austin's Alamo Drafthouse & the Friends of Enchanted Rock

After a tri-county Southern California run with great turnouts, we couldn't be more excited to take Brave New Wild to the great Lone Star state of Texas! We've packed our sleeping bags and cowboy boots, and are heading to the screening in Austin this Monday, May 2nd at the Alamo Drafthouse Village. (If you've had the chance to see a film at an Alamo Drafthouse, you know how cool it is! You can order food and drinks with tiny pieces of paper, without disturbing anyone during the movie! It's a real treat.) We're very excited because this screening is being hosted by Bill Horton and the Friends of Enchanted Rock. If you haven't got tickets yet, get them here! There's only 17 left before the screening is SOLD OUT!

We asked Bill to share a little info about himself, FOER, and the screening. He first touched rock in 1975 on a trip to Enchanted Rock, and never was the same since!

BNW: Tell us about Enchanted Rock, and the mission of the Friends of Enchanted Rock.

Bill Horton: Enchanted Rock is one of many granite domes that are part of a large batholith. The area was used for cattle ranching for over 100 years until it was bought by the Nature Conservancy in 1978 and then by the State of Texas a few months later. The Friends of Enchanted Rock (FOER) began in the late 1990’s by several climbers who enjoyed Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and wanted to give something back. The FOER is the first and only official support group dedicated to the conservation and protection of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area.

BNW: Are you a climber? How long have you been in Austin -- and how did you get there?

Bill: I came to Austin in 1975 to attend graduate school at UT. Within a few months I signed up for a beginners' rock climbing class through UT Recreational Sports. The class included a weekend of camping at Enchanted Rock and hooked me on climbing.

BNW: What kinds of events and activities does Friends of Enchanted Rock do?

Bill: The FOER raises money through grants and fundraisers for park projects that have included:

  • improved hiking trails

  • park-wide recycling program

  • park-wide water conserving plumbing fixtures

  • a rainwater collection system for area firefighting

  • enhanced interpretive exhibits and facilities

  • educational programs for visitors of all ages

  • rescue equipment for park staff

  • dozens of new trees

One of the major fundraisers is the Granite Gripper, the longest continuously running trad climbing competition in the USA. 2016 will be our 25th year, on November 12.

BNW: How did you first hear about the film, and why did you decide to host this screening?

Bill: One of my climbing buddies sent an email with the Brave New Wild film link and he was excited that it is finally being released but wondered how we could bring it to Austin. I clicked on the site and got to a page to request a screening date through Tugg. I expected my request to just go into a black hole but was surprised to get a response the next day! After a couple more emails a date was set to show the film in Austin. It could not have been any easier. I didn't want to make money from promoting the film so I am donating the 5% promoter's fee to FOER.

BNW: What can we look forward to at the screening?

Bill: I'm expecting almost all who are attending the screening will be a climbers. Lots will be in their 20s and 30s so they were born after the time period of this film. The older climbers like me know some of the names and stories but this will be a new history lesson for the younger crowd.

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