As a kid growing up in the isolated mountains of Southern Idaho, I dreamed of one day traveling across the country, visiting various cities, world-renowned zoological parks, and even siting next to some of the most notable and influential people in broadcast. The past few weeks I’ve seen these “far-fetched” childhood visions become a reality. I decided to sit back, relax and reflect on some of my favorite moments. Hope you enjoy!
I spent the first week of June in Northern Michigan near Traverse City. Ranked #1 out of the 50 states by www.Thrillist.com, Michigan has some of the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen. Complete with turquoise-blue waters, excellent hiking trails, and an abundance of wildlife- not to mention the best pizza I’ve ever had! (If you’re in the area, check out Jet’s.)
It wouldn’t have been a successful trip without checking out some of the local zoos. Luckily, I was close to a few accredited facilities, including the Toledo and Detroit zoos. My favorite highlights include meeting Hazelton the penguin, feeding the cassowaries and touring their barn, seeing Giant Japanese Salamanders up-close and personal, and seeing how the zoo’s conservation programs are helping animals out in the wild.
*Special thanks to the keepers and the curators who took time out of their day for the behind-the-scenes tours. I also have to give thanks to my buddy Matt for arranging all of it!
The second week of June I was back home spending time with my animals in the Snake River Valley region of Idaho. It’s one of my favorite times of year, as all the animals are outside in their outdoor habitats. Fishing is also great, as Soni (above) would agree.
There’s something so incredible and reminiscent about visiting the place you got your start. Nearly 11 years ago, I made my first television appearance on Idaho’s KTVB News Channel 7 with anchor Maggie O’Mara. If you would have told me 11 years ago I’d be back promoting my regular guest spot on The Today Show, I wouldn’t have believed you.
And just like that we were off to New York City! Luckily, we had a few days before the show to explore the city and experience things I’d never done before, including the Highline, exploring Brooklyn, and-of-course trying new pizza joints. (John’s on Bleecker still holds the title for my favorite!)
Appearing with animals on The Today Show is one thing; appearing without them is a whole different ball game! This would mark my second appearance in a row promoting National Zoo and Aquarium month for KLG & Hoda’s popular pop culture segment “Who Knew?”. As always, it’s a thrill being able to work with the talented Hoda Kotb and all the members of The Today Show’s team. It was also a plus meeting the famous “Wrangler”. (He sure has grown!) You can check out the segment below:
I wanted to leave you with the last photo I took in June with the sun setting over our tortoise yard. This month has been quite incredible and I cannot thank you all enough for the support. It’s been a thrill being able to share these adventures and experiences with you. Until next time- Corbin