By Joseph T. O’Connor ExploreBigSky Editor
MONTANA, NEW YORK – A new video series on the Men’s Journal website is showcasing some of Montana’s finest digs, and a top talent is hosting the show.
In its first two segments, “Remote and Refined,” a four-part series shot on location across the American West, features Triple Creek Ranch and the Resort at Paws Up, two working Montana guest ranches.
The idea is to “show off these beautiful ranches that you never knew existed,” said Ryan Van Duzer, the show’s host and a nationally acclaimed adventure personality. “Each has their own charm and beauty.”
In the latest video, released on Dec. 3, Van Duzer visited Triple Creek Ranch, tucked into the Bitterroot Mountains in Darby, Mont. One of 475 worldwide members of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux hotel collection, Triple Creek treated Van Duzer to the goods: fly fishing on the Bitterroot River.
He bagged a cutbow trout, and the resort’s chef taught him how to prepare his catch in style.
The first segment in the series, shot at the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Mont., 30 miles east of Missoula along the Blackfoot River, introduced Van Duzer to glamping (glamorous camping).
“Paws Up is nicer than a hotel room in Manhattan,” Van Duzer said.
At this working cattle ranch, which sits on 37,000 acres, glampers are treated to heated slate floors, king-sized beds and a camping butler, while having the opportunity to run cattle drives and dine at barrel-racing event dinners.
What stunned Van Duzer, however, was Montana’s landscape and its sunsets. It was his first visit to Big Sky Country.
“I totally fell in love with Montana,” the Boulder, Colo. native said. “I love small town Americana.”
For Van Duzer, the adventure film segments are nothing new.
The 33-year-old video journalist and filmmaker has hosted and produced more than 70 videos, appearing on the Travel Channel, the History Channel and National Geographic. He is currently found on the Discovery Channel, working on “Out of the Wild,” an adventure reality show shot in Venezuela.
But Van Duzer, who has a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder, had to cut his teeth like any journalist. In 2006, he launched his first show, an adventure program called “Out There,” on Boulder Public Access TV, Channel 54.
“I was living in my mom’s basement and wasn’t making any money,” Van Duzer said. “But all I needed was money for Doritos and a few beers.”
The show, which aired three times a day around the Flatirons, caught the local newspaper’s eye. The Boulder Daily Camera asked Van Duzer to produce a weekly adventure series for the paper’s website, and it set his career in motion.
In 2007, after a two-year stint in the Peace Corps in Honduras, Van Duzer set out on a trip that marked both his sense of adventure and his success: He rode his bicycle from Honduras to Boulder.
Afterward, he sent a short video about the 4,000-mile bike ride to the Travel Channel, which aired on the station’s “What’s Your Trip,” hosted by television personality Andrew Zimmern. The Travel Channel then began showing Van Duzer’s work regularly.
“I want to make people happy,” Van Duzer said. “I don’t do this stuff to show off, it’s so I can inspire people.”
The ‘out there guy,’ as he is affectionately known in Boulder, plans to keep on trucking and get people off their couches and into adventure.
As he’d say at the end of each show on Channel 54, pointing into the camera: “Get out there!”
The third episode of “Remote and Refined” was filmed in Wyoming and will air in January, while the final segment has yet to be shot. Van Duzer said the plan is for Colorado or Utah, and it will hit the website in February. For more on Ryan Van Duzer and to view “Remote and Refined,” visit mensjournal.com/adventure/remote-and-refined.
Mention you saw Triple Creek Ranch on Mensjournal.com and receive a 10% discount off your cabin stay with a reservation for travel in January, February and April. Free half-day dog sledding to guests of Triple Creek Ranch with ten-time Iditarod racer Jessie Royer, Jan. 5 – 20, 2013.