Destination Polaris - From Duluth To The Alps
OutdoorChannel.com interviewed Jared Christie, producer and host of Destination Polaris. Learn how a television news reporter ends up riding ATVs in the French Alps.
OutdoorChannel.com (OUTD) - Hi Jared, how are you doing?
Jared Christie (JC) - I am doing great, we are driving through Arkansas right now.
OUTD - You are originally from California and graduated from San Diego State University. How did you end up in Minnesota working on Destination Polaris?
JC - I was a TV news reporter. I worked for some of the larger stations in San Diego as a photographer and as an editor, and I also worked for this really small local station as a reporter. As a reporter, to end up on the bigger stations, you have to start out working in smaller areas. I took a job in Duluth, Minnesota, and also worked as a snowboard instructor in the winter. Then I went and worked in Madison, Wisconsin, for a couple years and decided that I didn't want to do news reporting anymore. But I did want to stay in the business. And not too long after, I saw a job listed with Ron Schara Productions.
OUTD - Earlier you said you were in Arkansas. Are you there filming for an episode?
JC - We're actually driving right now to do Mena, Arkansas, to the Wolf Pen Gap trail system, located in the Ouachita Moutains. We'll be riding there, it's a really good system they have set up in the mountains. Then we head to Stuttgart, Arkansas, which is the duck hunting capital of the world, to do some filming there as well.
OUTD - Where else have you been in preparation for the 2011 season?
JC - We were in France. Polaris is pretty sizable in Europe, and their European headquarters are just outside of the French Alps in Chamonix, France. We were there for about ten days, filming in the French Alps, central, and south France.
OUTD - Filming in the French Alps has to be a highlight of your experience with Destination Polaris.
JC - It was. We've filmed in Alaska before, which is, of course, beautiful. Anytime you get to go riding in the mountains, it's going to be pretty. Whether it's Colorado, Wyoming, California, the mountains are a highlight.
OUTD - Where else have you been traveling?
JC - Prior to our French trip, we were in Quebec filming for the show. Quebec was awesome because it was the first international trip for Destination Polaris. We were in Quebec for ten days, came home for a week, and then headed to France. We were also in Idaho, New York, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada.
OUTD - Of all that traveling, do you have a favorite trip?
JC - Wow, that's tough. I'd say that our international trips were very cool. Obviously the French Alps were amazing. But also, Quebec was interesting. Everywhere we went, everyone spoke French, so it was like we got a warm up before heading to France. Quebec also has a lot to offer the ATV world. They have a really great organization. They have close to 10,000 miles of connected trails.
OUTD - You both host and produce Destination Polaris. Is one aspect easier for you than the other? Is there more work involved as a producer versus hosting?
JC - 95% of my work is the producing, setting up locations and travel, making sure we have interesting places to ride. We also write our own stories for Destination Polaris. Most of our people that work there came from the TV news business. We're providing information for people for new places to ride and visit there. That's why we call it Destination Polaris.
OUTD - What's it like working at Ron Schara Productions?
JC - It's awesome. Ron's been doing TV for a long time. It's nice because some people may not have heard of Destination Polaris, but they've heard of Ron Schara. Our show has only been on the air for a little over a year now. We're having fun with it.
OUTD - Before you started on this show, did you have any experience with ATVs?
JC - No. Nothing before I had worked on an old ATV show for Ron Schara a few years ago.
OUTD - Do you feel like this perspective helps you reach more viewers that want to get involved in the off-road lifestyle but didn't grow up riding ATVs?
JC - Absolutely. A few years ago, there weren't the side-by-side ATVs or Polaris Razr-type vehicles. Now, you don't have to have years of experience to ride an ATV. These new side-by-sides are set up so someone with very little experience can become involved. We see 16-year olds to 80-year olds out in side-by-sides. It still lets you be involved in the off-road lifestyle. Some places we go, obviously, you need to have a little more experience. When we were in the Alps, one of the riders was joking that when you ride in the Alps "one wrong turn, and it's nothing but air".
OUTD - Since Destination Polaris is such a young show, what do you want viewers to know about your show that sets you apart?
JC - Our show offers people a chance to watch places and get new ideas for places that they'd want to go. It's almost like a travelogue. We'll go to a place and show the trail system, but we also show them what to do when you're not riding. Is there a great trout stream nearby? Is the town an old ghost town? We just try to show ATV enthusiasts some of the great places out there to ride. We go to the places that most other people don't go to. We do visit a lot of the bigger ATV trail systems, but there are so many great places to ride that are less well known. I want to be able to do a show from every state, so that we show people that no matter where you live, there's somewhere great to go riding.
OUTD - Thank you Jared for your time. Destination Polaris airs Mondays at 7:00PM and 9:30PM ET and Tuesdays at 1:30AM ET.