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September 16, 2014

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Joe Downtown: Czech’s trek dampened by dose of reality

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Joe Schoenmann

Rae Lathrop and Graham Wimbrow (seated from left), of the Outside Las Vegas Foundation, talk with Czech exchange student Stepan Kucera. In Las Vegas on a break from school, Kucera wanted to walk from Fremont Street to Sunrise Mountain. Lathrop and Wimbrow had detailed maps that demonstrated the length and difficulty of getting to that destination from Fremont Street.

A Czech Republic exchange student asked anyone who would listen Friday morning about his desire to walk from Fremont Street to Sunrise Mountain.

“Vat’s zee best way to get there?” asked Stepan Kucera, on break from a Louisiana university where he spent the semester studying history. Overseas, the 27-year-old is a journalist for the daily newspaper Právo.

By coincidence, Kucera asked two people who know local trails and hikes better than most in Las Vegas.

Rae Lathrop and Graham Wimbrow, typing away on their laptops at The Beat coffeehouse, work for the Outside Las Vegas Foundation. Wimbrow is with the foundation through AmeriCorps, a federally funded program that sends volunteers, with a stipend, to work full time for a year with local nonprofit organizations around the country.

AmeriCorps targets nonprofits organizations that assist low-income populations; part of Outside Las Vegas Foundation’s mission is to help grow community connections between people in those circumstances by encouraging them to get outdoors.

Lathrop and Wimbrow had detailed maps that demonstrated the length and difficulty of getting to Sunrise Mountain from Fremont Street. Bringing up their website, www.outsidelasvegas.org, they showed some of the 45 miles of bike, pedestrian and horse trails throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

Interested more in Las Vegas outdoors than a long walk, Kucera went with their suggestion, waved goodbye and headed to the Springs Preserve.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts complex.

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