Adventure Magazine //Summer 2017// Issue #14
$4.20 USA $5.63 CANADA ÂŁ3.38 UK ÂĽ443.82 JAPAN
road-tripper art // naked bike riding // packrafting in Patagonia // drowning in Panama // Hawaiian hala Californian Island fox // Surf Canada // and more...
AN UP-FOR-ANYTHING MENTALITY PERMEATES ISLAND CULTURE. Adventure is always a priority: swimming, hiking, exploring, and photographing the ‘aina (land) ultimately leads to a deeper understanding of place – an irreplaceable knowledge that echoes through the rhythms of everyday life. O‘ahu – Hawai‘i
IT's all about Our Contributors Justin “Scrappers” Morrison, Camper Morrison, Ryan Brower, Jeff Luker, Sera Lindsey, Julie Pinzur, Alex Seastrom, Renee Lusano, Evan Schell, Kevin Barthelemy, Laura Goldenberger, Anu Yagi, Greta Rybus, Amalia Boyles, Eatcho, Stephen Vaughn, Carrie Schreck, David Powell, Morna Powell, North, and the bad ass companies who work with us.
COver Photo Christa Renee // christarenee.com // @christarenee
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STAY WILD MAGAZINE
The rain, the soil, the seeds, the trees, the mill, the paper, the printing machines, and the people who physically made this magazine are all hiking distance from each other in and around Portland, Oregon.
HERE’S TO SUMMER.
HERE’S TO LETTING GO OF OURSELVES AND PLUMMETING INTO THE WATER BELOW.
HERE’S TO MOSQUITO BITES. HERE’S TO THE WATER TRAPPED IN OUR EARS.
HERE’S TO LOOKING AT OURSELVES
IN THE WATER’S REFLECTION AND TRULY LEARNING WHO WE ARE.
WORDS BY RYAN BROWER @BEANSRICECHEESE // PHOTO BY JEFF LUKER @JEFF_LUKER
E X PL ORING ONE OF CA L I F O R N I A’S F O R G O T T E N I S L A N D S WIT H T HE STAY WILD A D V E N T U R E C L U B STORY BY JUSTIN “SC RA PPE RS ” MORRIS ON // @S CRA P P E RS PHOTOS BY SER A LINDS E Y // @P ORTA BLE S E RA JULIE PINZ UR // @MOK UY OBITHRE A DS ALEX SEA S TROM // @MOWGLIS URF RENEE LUS A NO // @WRE NE E S
“THE SNACK FOX WAS STANDING ON THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION.”
HEN WE GOT BACK TO SHORE, my colorful new backpack had been unzipped by island foxes, or Urocyon littoralis if you’re scientific. Using their tiny teeth, they pulled towels and water toys out looking for food, sunblock, or anything they could snack on. The joke was on them though — I left all of our food back on the mainland. Back at the grocery store. Back where I forgot to buy food for everyone on this camping trip to eat. Ha-haw! Take that, you cute snacksized foxes. Take that joke and eat it! The island fox, or snack fox if you will, is native to the Channel Islands. Most national parks have big hot geysers, giant waterfalls, thousand-year-old trees, and other majestic things like mountains. The Channel Islands National Park has snack foxes. All day long they roam the beach and campgrounds looking for cute bite-sized trouble to get into. The snack fox was standing on the edge of extinction not long ago when their numbers dropped below 100. Even though they are snack-sized, they are the largest native animal on the islands. The only critters bigger than them were the bald eagles
who prefer to snack on fish, not foxes. When the island’s bald eagle populations died off due to DDT chemical insecticides, the fox-snacking golden eagle moved in. The golden eagle snacked so hard on the foxes that the foxes were added to the endangered species list in 2004. But hey, cheer up! Hard-working biologists and volunteers cleaned up the DDT, relocated the golden eagles, and reintroduced the bald eagles, restoring the ecological balance of things. By 2016 the snack fox numbers rose back up thanks to a captive breeding program. They became the fastest critter to be added and removed from the endangered species list. Today’s snack foxes are just listed as “near threatened,” but I think their legal status should be “damn cute.” Every trail we wandered had a snack fox running along it just teasing you like a sidewalk cat who wants to be picked up. While I got water from the campground spigot, a snack fox licked from the puddle. I could not resist reaching down and petting its soft fur. Sorry, national park rangers. I’m sure it’s illegal to touch them, but I swear we didn’t feed them. We didn’t have any food.
The friends on this trip have all lived in California for most of our lives, but none of us have been to these islands. It’s crazy to think that a national park is so close to Los Angeles. I think most Californians overlook it because you can’t drive to it. We took an hour-long boat ride from Ventura, stopping only to gaze at dolphins and blue whales jumping out of the water. We also stopped to pick up mylar balloons. Our campsite was only $15 and we reserved it a week before pitching our tents. Most Southern Californian car campers have to book campsites months in advance and pay up to $60 a night for a site that’s more of an RV parking lot than a camp. We hiked and explored the dusty trails snaking their way out of camp and up to epic lookouts. We smelled flowers and climbed trees. We had all kinds of dumb fun. Using collapsible ORU kayaks, Renee and Sera towed me, Julie, and Alex around the bay in a fun train of floaties. My floaty was the size of a toilet seat, so
I had to swim along to be the caboose. A sea lion popped up and snarled like a protective dog. I stopped being the caboose and swam the fawk out of the ocean. Water slapped the brown agates on the beach till they were wet and shiny. The rocks reminded me of those root beer bottle gummy candies. I skipped rocks shaped like perfect York peppermint patties. The vivid California poppies reminded me of that orange crunchy stuff inside a Butterfingers candy bar. Everything in nature can be compared to some kind of candy when you’re hungry enough. Later on, the Island Packers ferry boat docked and unloaded fresh faces to the island. I smooth-talked my way to the galley and bought all the food I could carry in my tiny hands. Stumbling back down the beach to my hungry friends, I juggled granola bars, bruised bananas, oranges, and candy bars. We snacked hard like snack foxes.
THIS ADVENTURE WAS MADE WITH HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS AT SANUK @SANUK // SANUK.COM
VA NS HI KE S TO CANADA WIT H TH E J O E L T U D O R D U C T TA P E I N V I TAT I O N AL
ST ORY & P H O TO S BY EVAN SCHELL EVANSCHE LL.COM // @THE S LIP P E RY S A LTWATE RCHRONIC L E S
“OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES TOFINO HAS STEADILY BECOME A POPULAR COLD-WATER SURF DESTINATION.”
WO HUNDRED MILES WEST OF VANCOUVER, Canada is a small, coastal town called Tofino. Situated on the northern region of the Esowista Peninsula, Tofinoâ€™s natural beauty is absolutely mesmerizing. Temperate rainforests made up of spruce, cedar, and hemlock trees line the Pacific Rim Highway that ends in downtown Tofino. Made up of equal parts tourists and friendly locals, downtown Tofino is a surf-centric locale full of great restaurants, shops, and a beautiful view of the neighboring islands to the north that make up the Clayoquot Sound.
“THE LOCALS HAVE A HEIGHTENED UNDERSTANDING OF THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVING AND PROTECTING THE BEAUTIFUL COASTLINE.”
Over the last two decades Tofino has steadily become a popular cold-water surf destination. A handful of local surfers have gained global notoriety in the surfing world, which in turn has helped spotlight this small region of British Columbia. This has led to a number of professional surfing contests taking place at local breaks like Cox Bay. Last year was the first time that Vans held the Joel Tudor Duct Tape Invitational event at Cox Bay, where sixteen surfers from all over the world competed for a cash prize and bragging rights. When Vans and Joel Tudor returned this year, they decided to change up the event format to make it more inclusive and fun for the local surfers of Tofino. Vans team riders Dane Reynolds, Alex Knost, Tanner Gudauskas, and Joel Tudor each shaped two surfboards that anyone at the beach could ride. The Duct Tape Festival was the epitome of a perfect beach day. Sunny skies, fun waves, and great people lined the beach for a full day of good times. Well-known local photographer, Jeremy Koreski, began documenting surfing, skating, and Tofino’s unique natural landscapes as a teenager. Over the years Jeremy and his photography have not only helped local surfers gain more exposure outside of Tofino, but he has also teamed up with environmental NGOs like Central Westcoast Forest Society to help protect and educate people about sustainable forestry management in Tofino and the surrounding islands. Surfers are inherently interconnected with the natural world, whether they realize it or not. In Tofino, it’s obvious that the locals have a heightened understanding of the importance of preserving and protecting the beautiful coastline that they rely on.
“THERE ARE TEN PENGUINS IN MY BACKPACK, AND THEY ARE MY FOOD.”
Packrafting STORY & PHOTOS BY K E V IN BA RTHE LE MY
UANTOS PI N G Ü I N OS E N TU M OCH I LA?” the man asks me at the ship’s luggage check. With my newly-acquired Spanish, I try to crack a joke: “There are ten penguins in my backpack. Please feed them.” Getting a laugh from the crowd, I figure my Spanish is improving. My friends later inform me that I had actually said, “There are ten penguins in my backpack, and they are my food.” Communication is not my strong point.
Most of what I knew about Patagonia was from watching other climbers’ slideshows and that it’s a remote place. This would be my first time out of the States and my passport application needed to be expedited. I had to Google packrafting to see how it worked, but I was already hooked. “Hey, what are you doing?” “Nothing.” “Well, I’ve got three gringos here who need a ride down Valle Exploradores and they will pay.” “I’ll be there in five.” We rumble down the dirt road that traces the top of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. At our planned launching off point in the river, the rapids are way too much for our packrafting abilities. So we walk ten miles down the lonely dirt road with full packs. We are
carrying eight jars of peanut butter that we bought at the local supermercado. Two days of paddling our inflatable boats and the river brings us to the fjords of Bahia Exploradores. The scenery changes slowly at the delta from vegetated mountains to sheer cliff walls with the narrow passages offered by the fjord. The weather is uncharacteristically nice, and around 5 p.m. we see a flat beach to camp on. Naive to how steep the fjord walls are further ahead, we pass on the site. Three hours and one storm later, we are all singing “Amazing Grace” while navigating our inflatable rafts through whitecaps. I’m worked, mentally and physically. My world narrows to a seven-pound inflatable boat, my tired arms, and the horizon I have been staring at for hours. Finally, Adam finds a small rocky ledge on a point. The ledge isn’t big enough for our tent but we can sit. We bust out the peanut butter in need of some comfort food. There is talk of spending the night out in the open. We decide that the cliff around the other side of the point can’t be any worse. Leaving our small ledge, we paddle around the point to find a white sandy beach. After a few more days on the fjord, we find ourselves in a river valley that will take us inland towards the ice field. I attempt to impro-
vise new shoes by duct taping flip flops to my neoprene surf booties. My new shoes don’t work out too well and I fall in the freezing river. We spend the rest of the day bushwhacking up the valley away from the fjord. The glacial lakes at the end of the valley connect us to the Rio Sur, and we paddle down this river back to Rio Exploradores. This creates a loop and we are back in “familiar” territory. We walk down the dirt road back to town trying to thumb a ride. Eventually, a truck full of Chileans stops and they let us ride in the bed. “Keep in the truck bed or you will die,” the driver tells us in broken English. We bundle up for the cold ride and try to get as comfortable as possible for the next few hours. I ride in the truck bed facing backward and watch the mountains disappear with the setting sun. That night we pitch our tent and sleep in the backyard of the driver’s girlfriend. This is what I came here for. I needed to get away from the sprawling, cookie-cutter life of Southern California. When I boarded the plane to fly down here, I thought the second I landed in Santiago I would be in grave danger. I’m starting to learn the comfort in just going with the flow and trusting what happens next. This stop wasn’t planned. There wasn’t a TripAdvisor report for the backyard. It just happened.
Guatemala STORY AND PHOTOG RA P HY BY L AURA GOL DENBERGER
STRALLA AND AURA TOOK US TO THEIR MEDICINAL GARDEN where they grow rosemary, aloe, chamomile, oregano, purple basil, red Texas sage, juanilama, meliza, bretonica, ixbut (motherâ€™s milk), orozus, comfrey, wormwood, echinacea, etc. Ruda/rue, a sacred plant that is good for your heart, also helps with nervousness and aches. The women grow and use natural remedies to help the people of their community.
They also grow plants for natural dyes. They carefully explained the uses of each and every plant. To dye fabric, they first soak it in banana tree stock water. That prepares the fabric to be able to absorb the natural dye without ever washing out. When they demonstrated later, I touched the freshly-dyed fabric and no dye was left on my hands. They use the leaves of coffee plants to make shades of brown. One plant could yield many different colors depending on the method. They used bark, stems, carrots, and even bugs (which make a bright pink color). How the colors set can vary by so many elements and details — if it’s dried in the sun or shade, if it’s cool that day, or if there is a breeze. It can be very difficult to have a consistent result, but that’s what makes each piece so beautiful and unique. The women from the weaving group put their beautiful woven blankets on display and it created an open, airy, colorful space. We sat together and they demonstrated each step from dying the fabric to separating it, balling, threading, and weaving. We tried our hand along the way and it was no easy task! We learned that many of these women have huge families to provide for. Some are widows, some are not able to count or measure — simply going off of memory and practice. They are strong and crafty mamas! The work is impressive and intricate, bringing so much pride, empowerment, income, and art into their town. We each bought a piece and will treasure it always. We said our goodbyes and left feeling grateful. There is no better way to learn than by experience.
LAURAGPHOTOGRAPHS.COM // @LAURAGOLDENBERGER
HALA TREE PAINTED WITH HALA SEED BRUSH
Aloha, Hala STORY BY ANU YAGI
ART BY JUSTIN “SCRAPPERS” MORRISON
AM NOT A HALA EXPERT. I neither cultivate the tree nor weave its lovely leaf. However, hala is entwined broadly with my identity as a Hawaiian, my love of country, and our aesthetic.
SACRED IMPRINT The Hawaiian ‘awa ceremony is uncomfortable. You must sit still on the floor for what feels like forever, everybody politely shifting and squirming to stave off pins and needles. You must speak only when it is your turn — and you have only one turn — and what you say is written on the winds of eternity. While the ‘awa drink is the focus of the ceremony, there are other plant helpers — delineating the boundaries of the ceremony are woven lauhala mats, made from the dried yet supple leaves of the hala tree. These mats are unrolled, used, coiled, and kept with great care — because when done right, they can outlive many owners. With the earthy numb of ‘awa still rich on your tongue, when all is done, you must step carefully back and away from the perimeter of the mats. You then stretch and feel the sum of your years in your bones. When you look at where the bare of your legs bent to meet the earth, you might find your flesh imprinted with the checkered weave of the mats. Red and white ridges that make it look as if your skin itself is woven of lauhala. When I think of hala, I think of this imprint. I think of being branded by it in ceremony, or from lounging on mats in everyday home space. I think of the bracelets made by my mom, my mother-in-law, my aunties, my friends: adornments that, when pushed high on my arm when I’m hard at work, also imbue
that imprint. Using hala fills me with a sense of place and belonging. Some Pacific Islanders even tattoo this pattern as a symbol of family and connectedness. Touching lauhala — or being impressed by it — I feel what my ancestors felt, and I feel what my descendants will feel. It’s a tangible reminder to marvel at every sensation that keeps those crosstime connections.
FORM & FUNCTION Hala trees are shaped like a bunch of big bursts fixed in time. Flora fireworks from all ends, bluff aerial roots splay with rare bend and pierce the earth like a heap of spears. Large foliage clusters spiral out from branch bases into great green flares. Each blade-shaped leaf is about six feet long, armored on each edge and midrib with formidable spines. The hala tree has magic powers. Most parts make fine craft material. Some parts are edible, some aphrodisiac. It can heal our bodies and fully furnish our lives (and deaths). And when wielding its wonders upon the right winds, it can even propel us from our pasts and into our futures.
COMING TO ‘ESOTERICA More than two millennia ago, our ancestors were the astronauts
of the ocean. They voyaged the vast Pacific using a map of stars. They sailed with keen purpose — as evidenced by their having packed potted plants and breeding animals — and became the first Hawaiians in the islands we still call home. Their epic ships were hewn double-hulled canoes, crowned with giant crab claw-shaped sails. They wove these sails from the lau (leaves) of the hala tree, called lauhala, and hooked the sky into their tomorrows, our todays.
BIRDS AND BEES AND FLOWERS AND TREES Male hala flowers look like creamy lily bouquets arranged à la dragon scales. Inside they hide thick pollen that is a powerful aphrodisiac on the aromatic order of love potion. The female hala fruit is globose, sunset-colored, and ridged in a way that tourists often mistake for pineapple. The fruit orb is made up of fibrous segments that break off into wedge-shaped seeds that are buoyant (think distribution) and about the size of your big toe. When left to dry, the wide nub is a woody base for a tapered tip of perfect paintbrush bristles. The growing ends of the aerial roots are sometimes referred to as ule (same word for male genitals), are rich in vitamin B, and used medicinally both internally and externally.
@ANUHEAYAGI // @SCRAPPERS
MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH Weaving is a craft that’s typically passed on generation to generation. And lauhala makes much more than massive canoe sails. Experts slice slender strips with which they create delicate jewelry and other adornments, like pāpale (hats), ties, and belts. Then there are ornate floor mats, baskets, and boxes in addition to infinite variations to make myriad toys and tools like pillows, lamps, kites and coasters. These artisan works are pricey, precious and — if cared for correctly — can last for generations. There is even an old burial practice of rendering the flesh from a loved one’s body, carefully wrapping their sacred bones in kapa cloth (that’s a whole other plant story), and placing them in lauhala baskets. In fact hala, in the Hawaiian language, can be a verb intransitive that means, “to pass, elapse, as time; to pass by; to miss; to pass away, die.”
WOVE TOGETHER From root to fruit, hala is striking in shape and endless in use. When we respect its qualities, we can live, love, die, and ride upon ancient winds into our futures. And by it, may we ever be reminded of what wild wonder grows in our world.
Vanishing Islands of Panama STORY AND PHO TOGRA P HY BY GRETA RYBUS GRETARYBUS.COM // @GRETARYBUS
FF THE CARIBBEAN COAST OF PANAMA lies a constellation of approximately 365 islands known collectively as the Guna Yala Comarca. It is the land where the Guna tribe lives. Some of the islands are owned by locals but uninhabited: sand and palms rising from the sea, places to swim or gather coconuts. Other islands are inhabited by densely-packed communities of Guna families with thatch homes built to the very edges of the islands, sometimes built over and above the water. In Guna communities, decisions are made collectively. Each week, problems are brought to the congress house during a series of meetings overseen by sailas, or tribal elders. They talk about how to manage fish populations, how to grow crops and care for children, and they mediate quarrels between neighbors. These days, there are new, unprecedented problems brought on by changes in the environment. There has been too little rain. It is not enough to fill the water tanks or water the crops. Sometimes, parts of the island are flooded, the seawater rising to the knee and crossing the thresholds of homes. The sea seems too hot for the fish, and the storms seem to get stronger and stronger. The new problems exist alongside a loss of traditional knowledge, increasing influence from the cities, and overpopulation.
The communities must make new decisions: what to do with the unpredictable environment and where to go when the sea begins to swallow the islands. According to a report by Displacement Solutions, it is estimated that 28,000 people in Guna Yala will eventually need to relocate. Gardi Subdub is an island closest to the highway on the mainland that leads to Panama City, an island with a cell phone signal and a small supermarket. Because of the rising sea and the growing population, the island’s congress has decided to relocate. They’ve already begun building a new community on the mainland a short drive into the hills where a new school building is almost completed. Next, they will begin to build homes. Six hours by boat from Gardi Subdub is the island of Coetupu. It is more remote, more traditional. People wait in line to use one of two pay phones to call their families in the city. There, they are drafting plans to relocate to an adjacent island. They worry if the sea and land will continue to sustain their families and community.
“The sea is good. The sea is medicine. If you have mosquito bites, you go inside the sea and then you feel better. Now, the sea can’t heal the way it used to. It is too hot. And in the past they used to catch a lot of fish. Nowadays, there is not much fish. And before, there were a lot of coconuts and bananas. But not now, because of the changes with the sun. And it used to rain like for about a week long. Now, if it rains, it rains only one hour and then it stops.” — Leonidas Perez, Saila (tribal congressman) Coetupu community
“Climate change is happening. And it’s happening in other countries, too. Right now there’s no water. We’re in danger. In the future, our islands are going to disappear. We aren’t safe. We are going to leave our own island because the sea is taking the land.” — Alberto Lopez Gardi Subdub community
“Young people, they are going to suffer the consequences. Governments, politicians, big countries should think about the relationship between people, not only indigenous people but all around the world. The problem is that as long as the social system doesn’t change, we will continue to have problems. The rich countries only work to get more and more money, and they want to dominate. There’s no equality. Poor countries are becoming even poorer. The system has to change. The resources, the wealth that God created, only a few are taking advantage of it and only a few are protecting it.” -Guillermo Archibold, agronomist Gardi Subdub community
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“Parts of the island that normally didn’t flood are often covered in water. When people realized the sea level was rising, they started to destroy and use corals to build a kind of wall, which is very damaging. Our island is mostly made of coral infill now. So, we’re planning to move to a real island, an island made of land. About five years ago, we tried to start a project to relocate to the mainland, but there were disputes within the community. The land on the continent is already distributed; it has owners. And these owners don’t want to give their land to other people. So now we plan to relocate to another nearby island.” — Asterio Ramirez, teacher Coetupu community
What Could GoWrong? S TORY BY AMA LI A B O Y LE S / / @G IN G ER F O X00 A RT BY EATC H O / / @ EAT C H O / / EAT C H O .C O M WHAT COULD GO WRONG? WHAT, INDEED. I eagerly persuaded my partner Eatcho to take a break from beachside relaxation to enjoy a day of ocean kayaking. I promised a quick jaunt out into the bay, and a return soon thereafter. Eatcho was reluctant. His hesitation inspired me to push the idea harder. Our feet made funny swooshing sounds in the sand as we stumbled to rent our kayak. Without instruction (or life jackets), we were presented with a custard yellow two-person kayak. We trusted our desert-colored vessel and suddenly found ourselves paddling out to sea against the rising tide. We reached the edge of the bay and gazed out beyond the jagged rock edges of the shoreline and into a vanishing horizon of ominous dark blue. After moments of serenity and awe at the abyss around us, we decided to head back to the beach. As we turned the kayak on its heels, we became parallel with the waves. With one hefty blow of salty sea, we began to sink.
The beach didn’t seem to be getting any closer, and desperation set in. Eatcho is a poor swimmer, and as time passed, hopelessness got the better of him. Treading water next to me, my dear love began to spit sonnets of our life together, trying to say goodbye. I screamed at him to shut up and save his oxygen. How did we mess up THIS bad? I rolled onto my back, catching enough breath to curse my former self. Go kayaking, I said. It will be fun, I said. What could go wrong, I said. I should have knocked on wood. Or, better yet, we should have asked for life jackets. After three hours and well over a mile of open water, we made it within striking distance of the shore. The closest point to us was the northern tip of the mainland, an austere cliff face surrounded by mollusk-covered rock islands popping up out of the ocean like the shoulders of a great, gray giant. The tide churned around the rocks with a mighty wake, swelling up and down and over.
The tide dropped, and our soft, fatigued bodies grinded down the jagged razor-sharp mollusks.
The ocean rushed into our kayak with rapid fury, swallowing us whole. We were left treading water, our yellow vessel bobbing with increasing depth below our flailing feet. What followed was shock, disbelief, discomfort, paralytic panic, and overwhelming fear, without control. We tried for an instant to revive our sinking kayak and cried out loud sentiments of WHAT THE FUCK, draining our lungs of air. Our cries lost their gusto as the reality of our situation sank heavily into us. We threw out inarticulate gasps at one another, hoping to stop time for long enough to catch our wits (or at least, to catch our breath). Instead, we were greeted with adrenaline — unsophisticated, but with enough aim to clarify our survival strategy. Abandoning our sinking ship, we swam. And we swam. And we swam. We swam against the tremendous pull of the current, contradicting our every stride. We swam, with terror and little choice, through a school of jellyfish. Wrapping around our arms and legs, one jellyfish slapped me in the face, adding stinging insult to injury.
We followed the upward swell of a wave and came crashing down on the nearest rock mound. The tide dropped, and our soft, fatigued bodies ground down the jagged razor-sharp mollusks. It shredded our front sides like cheddar to a cheese grater. Blood poured from our new cuts, wretched deeply across our shins, knees, thighs, stomachs and the tight tendons between our fingers.
Finding our grip, we climbed to the top and clung — shaking, bleeding — to the first bit of land we had felt in hours. Rejoice at our success lasted for a brief but distinct moment, interrupted by exhaustion and the even more sobering task of jumping back into the water once more for a final push to the mainland. It took us a very long time to move — perhaps an hour spent on that mound. Fearful weeping came and went, and eventually we regained our ambition to tepidly step across our sanctuary of mollusk and rock. Laughter, screaming, and sobbing compounded. We walked for another hour through dusty deer trails and cactus-strewn forest peaks. Eatcho paused every so often to politely release his severe diarrhea from ingesting so much seawater. Our bodies became streaked with crimson as our wounds poured out the evidence of our naivety. We stumbled back to the road home.
Woke Up LikeThis
THE NAKED BIKE RIDE IS THE WORLD’S FUNNEST PROTEST STORY BY JUSTIN “SCRAPPERS” MORRISON // @SCRAPPERS PHOTOS BY SERA LINDSEY // @PORTABLESERA
VERY DAY IS A PROTEST, or at least the opportunity for one. We’ve all got reasons to rise up in the morning and we’ve all got reasons to protest the bullshit. We don’t need a big sign. We don’t need a hashtag. All we need is a reason and action. It’s our deeds, not our words, that cause the greatest change. The World Naked Bike Ride is one of those protests that speaks clearly through action. The ride takes place around the world in countries such as Canada, Australia, Belgium, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the U.K., and a small neighborhoody city in the States. Portland, Oregon’s ride attracts about 10,000 people every year. It basically shuts the city down. The cops work overtime to protect the route and the riders from cars and creepers. An army of volunteers take care of everything from first aid to porta potties. Even though the route is kept a secret until the ride begins, the whole city finds the streets we ride down to cheer us along. It’s a storm of body-painted butts, flashy costumes, laser lights, loud thumping music, and miles of bike bells ringing together in protest.
“WE TALKED ABOUT BODY DIVERSITY AND SHE POINTED TO HER THREE NIPPLES.” It’s so much fun that people overlook the point of the protest. There are three main points made when we ride naked through the streets: Freedom From Fossil Fuel, Body Positivity, and Safe Roads. SAFE ROADS: The naked truth about human vulnerability to unsafe roads and reckless driving becomes very clear when you see fragile flesh bumping down a potholed avenue normally dominated by stressed out drivers who pay more attention to their phones than to the people they are sharing the road with. FREEDOM FROM FOSSIL FUEL: Fuck oil wars! Seriously, the self-destructive system of world domination is all about securing the oil supply. Ride a bike and you no longer demand the oil supply. BODY POSITIVITY: Blorpy, buff, saggy, skinny, hairy legs, shaved balls, and goofy smiles are all celebrated in this honored and diverse body parade. We see our outer differences and we see the inner similarities. There is no shame. There is also no pressure to get completely naked. Riders are welcome to go as bare as they dare.
The first time I rode in the protest I did it alone. I mean, sure I was riding with thousands of people, but I left home alone and didn’t make plans to meet up with friends. Going solo helped me feel more anonymous and free from being judged by friends and family. I didn’t wear my glasses, so even if people I knew saw me, I didn’t see them. I was naked rolling through streets I commute on a daily basis, the fresh evening air tickling my short hairs. It was the biggest thrill I’ve ever had in a city. At the end of the hour-long ride, a naked dance party broke out under the Hawthorne bridge. We danced hard and got crazy sweaty. It was packed and slippery bodies of all shapes and sizes bumped and jumped together. It got too crowded, so I stepped away and walked down the dock to find a small party of riders skinny dipping. I found a spot of my own and jumped in. The Willamette River has never felt that refreshing! Drip drying on the ride home I felt really alone. This amazing thing happened, but I didn’t have anyone to share it with. Then a lady screamed super loud, scared for her life, “AAAAAWWWW!!!” I looked up the bike lane and caught a glimpse of her narrowly clearing a car door that was recklessly swung open from a parked car. I asked if she was ok, and she was, but she was very spooked. Getting doored wearing only a helmet would really fuck you up! We rode on together and talked about how cool the ride was. We talked about body diversity and she pointed to her three nipples. I laughed about how those three nipples must never feel alone. They’re always together. We may not all have three nipples, but we have each other. Let’s wake up and see what this protest is really about: togetherness.
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“ S I X LONG M ILES CRUISED BY IN A PLE A S A NT BLUR OF TRE E S A ND A S PHA LT.”
THE LANDYACHTZ CRE W WE NT DE E P INTO THE S A N GA BRIE L M OUNTAINS OF LOS A NGE LE S IN S E A RCH OF AN UNTOUCHE D S WITCHBA CK ROA D STORY & PHOTOS BY S TE PHE N VA UGHN // @S TE P HE N_VA UGHN
oogle Maps is a downhill skater’s best friend. It’s the only way I found a mystical road too good to be true—El Dorado: the Cogswell Dam. We knew this wasn’t going to be an easy task. We loaded ourselves up with hammocks, sleeping bags, tents, and supplies for 2–3 days. What we didn’t account for was the 7-mile skate to camp being consistently uphill, turning our skate into a hike at many points. The only motivation was that certain-to-be-delightful cruise downhill back to the van. We trudged onward. We stumbled across the most inviting fairy pool of a waterfall I’ve ever seen. Not knowing how much farther we would have to go before reaching our campground for the night, we spent a solid chunk of time chilling in the refreshing mist and cool temperatures of the falls. Our campground turned out to be right around the corner, turning the pit stop into a convenient water source that we returned to many times. After setting up camp and unwinding a bit, a group of us decided to continue on the path in search of our final
destination. Very quickly, the road turned into some of the most hairball, ridiculously steep asphalt and concrete I’ve ever seen. After about a mile of that insanity, the road turned into a dirt trail and we still hadn’t spotted the road for which we had embarked. Knowing it would be getting dark soon, we made the decision to turn around and skate back to camp for the night. The next morning was a chilly. We warmed ourselves and our boards by the fire. After getting some food in our stomachs and some sunlight on our faces, we decided to embark on the last leg of our journey. Once more we climbed the steep incline and reached the dirt trail and within one mile we turned a corner to be greeted by the magnificent view of our hill. Six long miles cruised by in a pleasant blur of trees and asphalt. We reached the van and reflected on our journey during the ride back. Another Skate & Explore mission was in the books, and we could say that we were the first skaters to discover and ride this magical stretch of pavement.
LANDYACHTZ.COM // @LANDYACHTZLONGBOARDS.COM
RACING MOPEDS FROM SEATTLE TO SAN DIEGO STORY AND PHOT OS BY CARRIE SCHRE CK
Live Fast Die Slow “O
fficially, it’s not a race,” says James as he yawns. We’re on an all-night drive to Seattle from L.A. in a rental van. It’s just before dawn. We’re on our way to the starting line of the Pinball Run, an epic endurance challenge spanning 1,800 miles of coastline roads from Seattle to the Mexico border. James takes a swig from an enormous energy drink and tries to make himself comfortable behind the steering wheel. He laughs a tired laugh. “But really, who’s spending two hours on the side of the road swapping an engine if it’s not a race?” The Pinball Run is in its third year as James and I drive northbound. Like other endurance challenges, it involves roadside fixes, mechanical know-how, and a chase team. There’s a start line each morning and teams have 24 hours to make it to the day’s finish line. But unlike its big brother, the legendary Gumball, the Pinball is strictly mopeds-only. Slow, noisy, pedal-powered mopeds, 99 ccs and under. The rickety moped strapped in the back seat is James’s hopeful winner, set to compete against 19 others. It’s a Tomos LX, dingy-faded blue and dented. 1,800 miles, eight days, 42 mph. If you think that sounds crazy, it is. “Chances are, you’re going to fail,” he says. He’s right. Mopeds are not known for their reliability, and per the rules of the race, you must repair your bike where it stops. In past races, support teams have brought extra engines, tires, carbs and plenty of tools. The event attracts the weekend wrencher — someone who knows twostroke engines top to bottom. Some teams custom-fabricate parts or do secret mods. Preparation is months in the making and competition is friendly but heated.
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“FOR ALL THE FRIENDS WE’VE LOST, DOING THINGS LIKE THIS KEEPS THEIR MEMORY ALIVE.”
“What’s the difference between your support team this year versus last year?” I ask. “That I don’t have one,” he laughs. This will be James’s second Pinball, but it will be his first race solo. “My team had to back out last minute. I decided I needed to do this one myself.” Mopeds have a sort of loyal following that has created a close network of friends — a family of sorts through which we have gained and lost dear friends. “David got me into mopeds. He loved to ride ...” James muses. He has a boyish face. Small scars web across his lip and chin. “One night we were stopped at an intersection on our bikes,” he continues. “Light turns green, lady runs a red, nails us both. Hit and run.” David died instantly. James was left for dead. After the accident, what was left of James’s and David’s bikes were left in a box. After some time healing, James dusted off the parts and began to build them into a new bike, a tribute to his friend. “I scavenged everything that was sentimental. The tank is all dented. I took some bolts from the shocks. I even went back to the scene of the accident and got little bits of mirror, washers … whatever I could find.” He rebuilt the bike strapped in behind us piece by piece. The remaining spare parts he’ll carry with him for roadside fixes. “The bike’s motor from that accident actually survived. That’s my backup motor. It’ll be my secret weapon.”
In Seattle, we meet the other competitors prepping bikes. Many have mods for comfort or convenience like two gas tanks or sissy bars. Eleven teams have converged from as far away as Boston. Support teams are also arriving with chase vehicles that range from a 2-door hatchback to a ‘90s prom limo. “In the end,” says a racer as he changes the limo’s brakes, “we did the math and renting a camper cost the same as buying this limo. It was an obvious choice.” The limo has style, but the camper may have kept them more comfortable since the eight-day challenge includes several nights of camping. One team outfitted a school bus with bunks and a portable shop. Matt and Mike rented a Penske moving van, Jake and Ashlee are using a Prius. James negotiates space for his extra parts amongst the other teams.“I’d do anything for that guy,” says Jake, another racer. “If I had to turn around and drive 30 miles to bring him gas, I would.” Pinball is informally organized. It’s self-sanctioned and there are no sponsors. There is a daily starting line and finish line, and each team’s time is recorded and added cumulatively. Each team will strategize their best route. Since the bikes are small and slow, every extra mile counts. Racers are also required to run an app which tracks location and speed. There’s a modest purse at the finish line and some trophies, but that’s all. If you’re here, it’s because you love to ride.
The next morning, 19 hopeful bikes gather at the starting line. The race starts with the wave of a flag and the small crowd cheers. Today’s ride will end in Portland. The bikes slowly inch away from each other as navigation strategies are put into play. Of the 19 that started, only 15 make it to Portland that afternoon, removing four from the competition. Along the way, those who receive a DNF (Did Not Finish) pack up their bikes and continue to follow the caravan. Some continue the daily rides as non-competitors. “Even if we don’t win, I just want to say that we went all the way,” says Ashlee, looking defeated next to a bike in pieces. She and teammate Jake accept a DNF on day four. “We’ll replace the transmission tomorrow and keep riding. We’re just out of the race.” Days one and two see James competing strong. He manages to make the top seven each day and his spirits are high. After day three, his chances begin to fade. His position isn’t improving and his speeds are low. On top of this, he finds himself in the middle of a controversy over some interstate travel, earning him a penalty and possible disqualification. “I don’t care, I’m doing this for the memory of my friend.” He musters some determination. “I”m not giving up.” He’s frustrated and trying everything to inch forward in the race, even creating temporary cardboard fairings to cut down on his wind resistance. Day five is the toughest day for James. Engine problems plague him all day. Tensions are riding high with him and
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a team that wants him disqualified. It’s a low point for him. Then outside of San Louis Obispbo just 20 miles from the day’s finish line, James’ moped breaks down. His phone is out of service and he doesn’t have the parts he needs. It’s pitch black. Unwilling to give up, James starts to walk the bike toward town, toward the finish line. After an hour, Jake’s team locates James and lends him the necessary parts. It’s been an exhausting day and an exhausting week. On Day seven in the late afternoon, six of the 19 original mopeds make their way one by one across the Coronado bridge in San Diego and reach the finish line. Jay, another solo rider, takes first place. The other bikes make their way in, including Jake and Ashlee, covered in road dirt and smiling. Coming in very last was James, whose wife and daughter are there to greet him. It’s a happy reunion. “It’s important for me to do things like this race,” he beams. “It’s important for me to show my daughter that life goes on. You should enjoy it while you have it.” There’s a small awards ceremony, trophies, and the grand prize money. The energy is high but exhaustion catches up. One by one we say goodbye. Teams pack up vans and suitcases to head home. No one did this race for money. It could barely be said there’s even bragging rights to be had. But it was a great adventure with great people. For James, winning wasn’t really the goal. “I was inspired to do this for David, for all the friends we’ve lost. Doing things like this keeps their memory alive.”
ARTWORK BY DAV ID POWE LL STORY BY MORNA POWE LL
INDING INSPIRATION IS A JOURNEY. Sometimes the journey takes you on a long toilsome path, twisting and turning, and sometimes it’s as easy as opening your front door and finding it on the porch. When you base your well-being on inspiration, you’re likely to meet both scenarios. For my husband David and I, finding inspiration is getting deep into nature with a good cup of coffee by a fire, warm summer evenings, a few thrills, and a good conversation. David is a self-employed graphic designer and illustrator. I follow behind with our dog, Trout, doing background tasks like keeping the business tidy while David focuses on his clients and staying centered. We spend our days waking up slowly and working late, taking time to laugh, sip our coffee, and move throughout our day consciously looking for inspiration. We travel part time in our van, Moby, and live in a small apartment in St. Paul, Minnesota, where our family and friends reside. Finding inspiration from our moving home feels like a dream. Our backdoor leads to wondrous places and we feel spoiled rotten getting to wear the same clothes daily, smelling like salt water, sweat, and dirt.
As breezy as all that sounds, we’ve waded through some difficult times, too. When we were first married, we both worked jobs that wore us out mentally and physically. David went to school during the day and at night he worked at a machine shop. I worked full time at Starbucks. We questioned daily why we worked those jobs, but we always came to the conclusion: We work hard so we can climb, draw, surf, and dig into our hobbies. And on our weekends, we were free. Free to discover … or just sleep. A couple of years later, we find ourselves in the Mojave desert after dark, strapping on our climbing shoes to climb a crack in the light of the moon. The wind is howling through the massive boulders, but the lingering warmth of the sun still touches our fingertips as we climb. Inspiration found us that night in the dark, and it also found us driving through Portland amidst traffic and heat with the beautiful shiny buildings towering overhead and the smell of food trucks. To feel inspired, you have to allow yourself to be fully immersed in the impermanence of your situation, good and bad.
GOOD PRODUCTS MADE BY GOOD PEOPLE WORDS BY JUSTIN “SCRAPPERS” MORRISON LINEWORK BY KELLY THOMPSON // KTOM.US
BI G AGNE S / / B IG A G N E S .C O M Let’s be honest — we’d rather wake up in a tent. So come on, let’s get this huge eight-person tent and run away from the city. Mint Saloon // $499.95
VA N S // VANS.COM My skateboard loves adventure. It waits silently in the trunk during long road trips. It rubs its dirty wheels on shoulders when I board airplanes. It’s seen some weird shit, but it knows when it’s on an adventure and it’s ready for it! Vans new shoes feel the same way about adventure as my skateboard. They are ready to rumble! UltraRange // $80
MOWGLI SURF // MOWGLISURF.COM Don’t freak out! Be cool. I know the assholes are pooping in your face, but stay chill for now. Let that bullshit slide off your face. Just be cool and watch the sunset and fuck that bullshit. New Beginnings // $42
GREGORY // GREGORYPACKS.COM Get a pack from a brand named after the actual boy scout who invented packs to help you go way far away into the woods where dreams can live on without the fears and fucked-upnesses of the world funneled into your tiny brain nonstop from your pocket phone screen. Maven 55 // $229.95
SHWOOD // SHWOODSHOP.COM Our buddies at Shaper Studio help regular folks just like you create your own surf craft. It’s that DIY surfy creative sauce that keeps us stoked. These shades are made with a special batch of Shaper’s surfy resin sauce. Francis Acetate Surf Resin // $169
JAMES // THEJAMESBRAND.COM A good knife is like a good dog — at your side, protective, and always ready to find some trouble. The Folsom // $99
C AMERON BAL L OONS / / CAMER O N B A L L O O N S .C O M I was just being polite when I asked how your weekend was and now you’re telling me about the famous people you know and how your friend thinks one way and you think another way. I don’t want to be rude, but I don’t fucking care about your people problems. I need a personal hot air balloon to lift me up out of this conversation. I need a graceful escape. The Hopper // $23,000
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100% organic cotton. 100% natural dye. 100% traditional block print made in India by master crafters. 100% thank you for making rad stuff. Batik Flamingo Pocket Crew // $85
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OLUKAI // OLUKAI.COM You know that limbo zone between an awesome deep water cliff jump splash and slippery sharp unforgiving rock that wants to see what your broken bones look like? That limbo zone is way nicer to walk in with shoes like these. Nohea Moku // $95
It’s summer. The water is as warm as it’s going to get. You should always have some rope in the van or in your backpack. Never know when the perfect rope swing opportunity will pop up.
This coffee subscription comes as a care package full of fresh roasted beans from around the world and random surprises. Sometimes the surprise is a rad sticker from Venice, and other times it’s wise words from Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Subscription // $10-30
CHAZ BUNDICK MEETS THE MATTSON 2 // C O MPA N Y R E C O R D L A B EL. C O M If you travel to certain places just because you prefer to breathe fresh air. If you have good taste in air, you probably have good taste in music. If you love the taste of natural inspiration, you’ll love this record. Star Stuff // $14.98 (Clear Vinyl)
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This is not a solo situation. You need an adventure buddy to walk around with in these fluffy knapsacks. That’s why they zip together! Sexy Hotness Sleeping bag // $179
How’s your night vision? Mine’s fading. I’ve seen too much beautiful shit! My eyes are fawking exhausted from all the vivid colors and rich textures of living life to the fullest. It sucks! I hate getting weaker. I’m going to die from living too much! I hereby leave this super awesome lantern to my son, Camper. May it help guide his way through this dark world and charge his phone. Sitka Tabletop Lantern // $49.99
SNOW PEAK // SNOWPEAK.COM When we hugged it felt weird. Then you pulled the collapsable metal camp stove out of your shirt pocket. We hugged again and it felt way better. We boiled water for tea on a windy Californian island and it was ready in about three minutes. I fell in love with this stove. I could see why you keep it in your shirt pocket, closer to your heart. GeoShield Stove // $115.95
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I like to imagine all people are beautiful inside. I like to imagine we look like the purely joyful pattern on this tank top, but people are a thrift store on fire with flames of confusion and horror on the inside. Hover Reef // $32
MOHINDERS // MOHINDERS.COM My princess feet will never be thick-skinned and running through the crowded and flowered streets of India. That’s why I slip my tender toes into these woven leather buddies tough enough for a princess like me. City Slippers // $145
BRILLIANT BIKES // BRILLIANT.CO Bikes are brilliant! We should bike every day! It feels good and biking is gooder than driving a big dumb car. These bikes are super fun to customize online, easy to order, and fast to assemble when they’re mailed to your doorstep. Burn your car and ride a bike! Astor // $300
“We are here on Earthto fart around.” KURT VONNEGUT JR. // A MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY