Thursday, July 24, 2014

Skiing Sympathies

Living in Little Cottonwood Canyon during the winter, I'm lucky to be able to enjoy backcountry skiing in both wilderness and watershed areas, zones that are free (read - prohibited) of snow-machine travel.  If you're reading this, most likely you're a skier or snowboarder, and even if you use an old beat-up sled to get deep into the mountains, once you're there you probably trade it for skins and slog your way up the mountainside to earn your face shots.  Backcountry skiing is about solitude and isolation, a dance with the wilderness.  When not used correctly, snow-machines can create a noisy, hectic, and often dangerous atmosphere.  If you value you value the solitude and serenity of a quiet mountain range dressed in white, then you should know this: on June 18th, the Forest Service issued a long-awaited rule for public comment on designating areas as open or closed to winter motorized vehicles, this is a good first step, but comments from our backcountry community can make it stronger! Your help is both needed and essential to capitalize on this opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry.  By designating specific trails and areas where over-snow vehicle use may occur, winter travel planning is an opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry.  The community of backcountry skiers needs to be heard!  Please consider adding your comment to the voices of support for human-powered winter recreation.  To get a better grasp of the issues at hand, and help you draft a comment worthy of consideration, the Winter Wildlands Alliance has put together a very helpful page to aid you in navigating this beurocratic issue.  Keep reading to see a few links that can help you along, as well as my annotated comment if you're interested.  LET'S DO THIS!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hazed and Confused

Hazed and Confused

If you haven’t heard, wildfires have been taking over eastern Washington, with some half dozen different fires including the incredibly massive Carlton Complex which has torched over 215,000 acres to date.  Coupled with a couple weeks of 100+ degree heat, and as my friend Scott put it best, it’s felt like a smoky oven.  Needless to say, we’ve been laying low and doing our best to adapt to the situation at hand, things seem to be improving but I’m still skeptical for the future.  For now, we’re enjoying a reprieve and I’m reflecting as well as looking forward to how and best balance this reality as it unfolds.  Below you'll find a few pictures from our weekend of clarity, and a few words regarding what it's like living in a pressure cooker.  If you're into pictures or like your dose of crazy diluted as possible, remember to check us out on the Facebook and Instagram, where angry rhetoric is in short supply.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Moving Pictures

If you read our last post, or are friends with us on the Facebook - Instagram, you already know I managed to put together a short video for submission into the Adventure CyclingAssociation’s Bicycle Touring Video contest.  If not, then, well, I did.  While I have a pretty extensive history with some aspects of photography and relatively none with videography, this was my first real attempt at putting together a project that, while I might not consider it professional, it was intended for public consumption, and while the equipment I used was largely amateur, it is hands down the most advanced and highest quality I’ve used to date, and I’d like to think the film’s content and quality reflects that, at least a little.  If you haven’t yet seen the video, or would like to hear a little more about my experience in putting it all together, then read on.

Behind The Scenes


A lot of times I find myself unmotivated to share or write about our lives when I don’t feel like we’re doing anything noteworthy or significant.  This happens to me often in the winter, when work dominates my day to day and I’m lucky to find time to get out on small ski tours and climbs.  I think it’s basically a function of how much I feel like I’m challenging myself.  When I’m out working towards larger goals or attempting them, I’m psyched to share my progress and experiences, but when my life takes a mellower routine, I’m content to go to the crag without a camera, and spend some time in the mountains without writing about it here.  We all need our version of silent reflection, whether it be from our jobs, our partners, ourselves or the whole scene, this time can give us the perspective and inspiration to return invigorated and focused. 

In light of all this, I wanted to share a little bit about our lives for the last few weeks, because while I might not feel like I’ve been challenging myself enough, our days have been full and there’s been a lot going on, in fact, we’ve got pretty big news, but you’ll have to read to the end for that.  After all, if my goal is to advocate for a simpler, quieter lifestyle, one that might not always be as glamorous but continues to deliver satisfaction and adventure, well then what better place to start than here.  With that in mind, here’s a brief look into the last month of our lives through some words and pictures.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ambassadors of Action

 One of my high school teachers once asked, “Without speech, would there still be thought?”  At the time this stoner-esque consideration was profound enough to leave me not only speechless, but thoughtless as well.  I tried to imagine a thought without words and could only vaguely conceive of emotional inspirations that well up deep within us.  Music has a piece of this power, to convey thought and emotion without words, but in a way it borrows so much from speech and sound.

People seem to do a lot of talking, and a lot of thinking.  Unfortunately, they don’t always go hand in hand and at times we seem to say things without thinking about them, and conversely to think of things without talking about them.  Most of the time, this is all fine and well, after all if you’re not hurting someone or something with your pointless drivel then who cares, but words and thoughts have a way of turning into actions, and together these can have a serious impact.

Monday, June 9, 2014

10 Reasons to Adopt the Bike and Go Car-Free.

People love lists and why shouldn’t they.  If we want to make a decision about something we need some concrete facts, plus, when you write stuff down with numbers next to it, it looks orderly and scientific, so it must be reputable!  If you’re already on the fence, here ya go, this should pull you over one way or the other.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Lessons Learned

We each want to progress, to learn and improve.  Each generation is not only lucky enough to build upon the efforts of those before us, but we too act, practice and refine our thoughts, our crafts, and our lives to be more in line with an evolving world view.  As climbers and adventurers we strike off, in an effort to learn more about life by experiencing it in extremes.  As we scratch the surface, the experiences call us back again and again, and soon we become more proficient and comfortable with the logistics, trouble, and physical hardship that often go along with these trips.  We learn from friends and relatives, books and movies, and of course our own personal adventures.  Certain disciplines call us, whether it be bouldering or alpine climbing, creek-boating or surfing, as the specialists we are we devour this lifestyle completely, striving to understand every angle and aspect of it's execution.  Along the way we come to understand more about ourselves and the world, and subsequently the relationship between each.

This concept of bicycle-powered adventure is not new, and there are seemingly more and more resources appearing every day on it's subject.  While I do not claim much experience from my limited adventures, from the meager amount I’ve learned along the way, I do wish to add my voice to the chorus of encouragement.  Truth is this is all still so new to me, and although we’ve been living the bicycle-life for about two and a half years, I constantly find myself exploring new aspects that keep it fresh, challenging, and exciting.  This was the first trip I’ve ever done that involved skis, only the second that involved snow, and the first that involved multiple stages of shipping gear.  In an effort to clear away some of the confusion, and help with the logistics of your own ride, I wanted to share as much of this knowledge as I can, in hopes that you’ll be able to take it one step farther, while doing it easier.  While in no way comprehensive, chronological, or even ordered, what’s below is one part trip report, one part advice, and three parts rambling rhetoric, enjoy.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Sawtooth Scenic Byway

I've been sitting here for too long already.  I want to tell you the story, but this one's not easy, and more to the point, it's not yet over.  The adventure continues to expand, and exceed all expectations. No words are doing justice to the feelings we've had, it seems I'll have to let the photo's do the talking this time.  What is the message?  It is not about the no-car, it is not about the bike.  It isn't even about the mountains or the adventure, although that's getting closer to the source.  You can live any way you choose: dream big, do good, be kind.  Do Epic Shit.  Live with passion and be the force for positive change.  Create the world, the reality you want to inhabit. Live your Dreams.

Riding north from Ketchum. Cold but fast we made our way towards the mountains.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Unfolding on its own.

I can't believe we've made it to the mountains.  Before leaving Alta, this all seemed like such a dream, and indeed it was, but we've been figuring it out and slowly making it a reality.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Front Door Expeditions

It's amazing how much planning and preparation can go into an idea you're not even sure will succeed.  Starting an expedition from your front door, you never really know how far you'll make it.  To sputter to a stop, achieving failure before you even make it out of the neighborhood is always a possibility, and a constant fear. This trip has been in the works for some time: evolving, growing, changing.  First we were riding west, then south, now north, every idea and adventure has been thought through, and what we're left with is what we've got.  Hatched in the mind of Alta, the possibilities and prospects of this trip seemed endless, climbing, skiing, desert, mountains, anything is possible.  Now we've made it out into the world, out of one reality and into another.  Ever so slowly we will separate ourselves from this reality, from friends, family and the rest of society.  It's taken a week but we've made it this far, to a friends house in Ogden ready to start our ride.  Last minute errands for gear, a food drop, and other non essentials and we managed to schlep our junk show onto the train and catch a ride out of SLC.  I'm not above this level of help.  This is not a trip, an adventure, a vacation or a sufferfest, it is my life and it will be all of those things.  Getting JB on this trip will be rewarding but separating him and myself from our previous reality at Alta will be challenging.  We've got over 25 days to get to Boise and enough gear to have some fun along the way.  City of Rocks is our first destination that I'm hoping will take two to three days.  The impressive Sawtooth mountains await along with another 200+ mile ride to Stanley.  Wilderness and solitude call as we stand on the edge of the Utah valley. We're finally hitting the road today and I just wanted to pass it along here, keep in touch if you can, your words of stoke and encouragement mean a lot to us.  FACETAGRAM will be in full effect @natureofmotion.  It's amazing how much planning and preparation can go into an idea you're not even sure will succeed.  Starting an expedition from your front door, you never really know how far you'll make it.  To sputter to a stop, achieving failure before you even make it out of the neighborhood is always a possibility, and a constant fear. This trip has been in the works for some time: evolving, growing, changing.  First we were riding west, then south, now north, every idea and adventure has been thought through, and what we're left with is what we've got.  Hatched in the mind of Alta, the possibilities and prospects of this trip seemed endless, climbing, skiing, desert, mountains, anything is possible.  Now we've made it out into the world, out of one reality and into another.  Ever so slowly we will separate ourselves from this reality, from friends, family and the rest of society.  It's taken a week but we've made it this far, to a friends house in Ogden ready to start our ride.  Last minute errands for gear, a food drop, and other non essentials and we managed to schlep our junk show onto the train and catch a ride out of SLC.  I'm not above this level of help.  This is not a trip, an adventure, a vacation or a sufferfest, it is my life and it will be all of those things.  Getting JB on this trip will be rewarding but separating him and myself from our previous reality at Alta will be challenging.  We've got over 25 days to get to Boise and enough gear to have some fun along the way.  City of Rocks is our first destination that I'm hoping will take two to three days.  The impressive Sawtooth mountains await along with another 200+ mile ride to Stanley.  Wilderness and solitude call as we stand on the edge of the Utah valley. We're finally hitting the road today and I just wanted to pass it along here, keep in touch if you can, your words of stoke and encouragement mean a lot to us.  FACETAGRAM is in full effect @natureofmotion, I'll be throwing pictures up there when we can.  See y'all on the other side. I'll be throwing pictures up there when we can.  See y'all on the other side.