MASON CITY, Iowa - Imagine exploring nature with your friend, and getting it all on TV. It's reality for two North Iowans.
Mark Holt of Clear Lake has been a life-long adventure seeker and offroad traveler, and was at an air show in Texas a couple of years ago where he met a British film producer.
"We met, we talked about veterans airlift command. He decided to do a documentary, I decided to provide him some footage of it."
The producer noticed Holt's Jeep, and Holt told him the stories of his travels, with the producer being immediately hooked on producing a new show dedicated to Holt's adventures.
Over the course of 3 years, "Rubber Foot Buffalo Adventures", as the show would be called, was filmed on location around the Mojave Desert in Southern California, and features Mark and his friend Terrance's discovery of features like caves, mines, ghost towns, and geoanamolies like a mud geyser, as well as documenting stories from the locals.
Holt wanted to make it a compelling experience for viewers, not just a show strictly dedicated to four-wheeling.
"I wanted something that use the Jeeps to get to places to explore. I wanted to a historical element to it. We tried to do research, we had a couple of authors in a few of the episodes to join us. I wanted enough historical, enough excitement, some crazy stuff like a piece of gold got lost. There's a lot of behind the scenes stuff you don't get to see."
While filming for the show was a thrill, Holt says dealing with ever-changing elements from extreme heat to rain and snow, as well as getting their Jeep damaged while traveling off-road and stuck in mud during their scouting mission, was not pleasant.
"Because they have this protective skid plate in the front that's like a scoop shovel, when we drug it backwards, it forced all of that mud out and into the frame. And I'm still washing mud out of a gladiator that 600 miles on it when it occurred."
The show, which has 6 episodes this season, will air at 6 p.m. on Friday nights on the Outdoor Channel. Holt says plans for a second season are underway; this past spring was their scouting trip, while a film crew will arrive later to shoot, depending on audience reception.