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a d v e n t u r e m a g a z i n e // W I N T E R 2 018 // I s s u e #16

we w i l l s u r v i v e

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Urban Snowboarding // doomsday camping // making fire Surfing with Salmon // John Muir’s Hot Spring // biking beyond your bullshit // sustainabile Goods // and more...


IT's all about Our Contributors Justin “Scrappers” Morrison, Camper Morrison, Sera Lindsey, Ayla Gilbert, Megan Freshley, John Muir, Randy P. Martin, Marlies Plank, Charlotte Austin, Kathleen Carney, Brooke Jackson, Darrell Mathes, Clea Partridge, Niles Armstrong, Ginger Boyd, Tracy L Chandler, Laura Goldenberger, Dylan Christopher, Andy Dicker, Katrina Emery, Kelly Thompson, North, and the bad ass companies who work with us.

COver Photo William Mark Sommer // williammarksommer.com // @williammarksommer

HELLO // Aloha // Hola WebSITE: staywildmagazine.com Instagram: @staywildmagazine Twitter: @staywildmag Facebook: @staywildmagazine Get a subscription: staywildmagazine.com/shop

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Studio104 2127 North Albina Ave Portland, Oregon 97227 ©2018 STAY WILD MAGAZINE LLC Content may not be reprinted in part or in whole without written consent from the publisher.

MADE

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staywildmagazine.com

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STAY WILD MAGAZINE

LOCAL

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.


JOHN MUIR’S FIRS T-HAND ACCOUNT OF SURVIVING A SNOWSTORM ON TOP OF MOUNT SHASTA BY SOAKING IN A HOT SPRING WITH A BUDDY IN 1875 PHOTOS OF REYKJADALUR HOT SPRINGS IN ICELAND BY RANDY P. MARTIN // RANDYPMARTIN.COM


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HE WEATHER of the springtime and summer throughout the Sierra in general is usually varied by slight local rains and dustings of snow, most of which are obviously far too joyous and life-giving to be regarded as storms — single clouds growing in the sunny sky, ripening in an hour, showering the heated landscape, and passing away like a thought, leaving no visible bodily remains to stain the sky. Snowstorms of the same gentle kind abound among the high peaks, but in spring they not infrequently attain larger proportions, assuming a violence and energy of expression scarcely surpassed by those bred in the depths of winter. Such was the storm now gathering about us. It began to declare itself shortly after noon, suggesting to us the idea of at once seeking our safe camp in the timber and abandoning the purpose of making an observation of the barometer at 3 p.m. — two having already been made, at 9 a.m. and 12 a.m., while simultaneous observations were made at Strawberry Valley. Jerome peered at short intervals over the ridge, contemplating the rising clouds with anxious gestures in the rough wind, and at length declared that if we did not make a speedy escape we should be compelled to pass the rest of the day and night on the summit. But anxiety to complete

my observations stifled my own instinctive promptings to retreat and held me to my work. No inexperienced person was depending on me, and I told Jerome that we two mountaineers should be able to make our way down through any storm likely to fall. Presently thin, fibrous films of cloud began to blow directly over the summit from north to south, drawn out in long fairy webs like carded wool, forming and dissolving as if by magic. The wind twisted them into ringlets and whirled them in a succession of graceful convolutions like the outside sprays of Yosemite Falls in flood time; then, sailing out into the thin azure over the precipitous brink of the ridge, they drifted together like wreaths of foam on a river. These higher and finer cloud fabrics were evidently produced by the chilling of the air from its own expansion caused by the upward deflection of the wind against the slopes of the mountain. They steadily increased on the north rim of the cone, forming at length a thick, opaque, ill-defined embankment from the icy meshes of which snow-flowers began to fall, alternating with hail. The sky speedily darkened, and just as I had completed my last observation and boxed my instruments ready for the descent, the storm began in earnest. At first the cliffs were beaten with hail — every stone of

which, as far as I could see, was regular in form — six-sided pyramids with a rounded base, rich and sumptuous-looking, and fashioned with loving care, yet seemingly thrown away on those desolate crags down which they went rolling, falling, sliding in a network of curious streams. After we forced our way down the ridge and past the group of hissing fumaroles, the storm became inconceivably violent. The thermometer fell 22 degrees in a few minutes, and soon dropped below zero. The hail gave way to snow, and darkness came on like night. The wind, rising to the highest pitch of violence, boomed and surged amid the desolate crags. Lightning flashes in quick succession cut the gloomy darkness, and the thunders, the most tremendously loud and appalling I ever heard, made an almost continuous roar, stroke following stroke in quick, passionate succession, as though the mountain were being rent to its foundations and the fires of the old volcano were breaking forth again. Could we at once have begun to descend the snow slopes leading to the timber, we might have made good our escape, however dark and wild the storm. As it was, we had first to make our way along a dangerous ridge nearly a mile and a half long, flanked in


many places by steep ice-slopes at the head of the Whitney Glacier on one side and by shattered precipices on the other. Apprehensive of this coming darkness, I had taken the precaution, when the storm began, to make the most dangerous points clear to my mind, and to mark their relations with reference to the direction of the wind. When, therefore, the darkness came on, and the bewildering drift, I felt confident that we could force our way through it with no other guidance. After passing the “hot springs,” I halted in the lee of a lava-block to let Jerome, who had fallen a little behind, come up. Here he opened a council in which, under circumstances sufficiently exciting but without evincing any bewilderment, he maintained, in opposition to my views, that it was impossible to proceed. He firmly refused to make the venture to find the camp, while I, aware of the dangers that would necessarily attend our efforts, and conscious of being the cause of his present peril, decided not to leave him. Our discussions ended. Jerome made a dash from the shelter of the lava-block and began forcing his way back against the wind to the “hot springs,” wavering and struggling to resist being carried away as if he were fording a rapid stream. After waiting and watching in vain for some flaw in the storm

that might be urged as a new argument in favor of attempting the descent, I was compelled to follow. “Here,” said Jerome, as we shivered in the midst of the hissing, sputtering fumaroles, “We shall be safe from frost.” “Yes,” said I, “We can lie in this mud and steam and sludge, warm at least on one side. But how can we protect our lungs from the acid gases? And how, after our clothing is saturated, shall we be able to reach camp without freezing, even after the storm is over? We shall have to wait for sunshine, and when will it come?” The tempered area to which we had committed ourselves extended over about one fourth of an acre. But it was only about an eighth of an inch in thickness, for the scalding gas jets were shorn off close to the ground by the over-sweeping flood of frosty wind. And

how lavishly the snow fell only mountaineers may know. The crisp crystal flowers seemed to touch one another and fairly to thicken the tremendous blast that carried them. This was the bloom-time, the summer of the cloud, and never before have I seen even a mountain cloud flowering so profusely. When the bloom of the Shasta chaparral is falling, the ground is sometimes covered for hundreds of square miles to a depth of half an inch. But the bloom of this fertile snow cloud grew and matured and fell to a depth of two feet in a few hours. Some crystals landed with their rays almost perfect, but most of them were worn and broken by striking against one another, or by rolling on the ground. The touch of these snow-flowers in calm weather is infinitely gentle — glinting, swaying, settling silently in the dry mountain air, or massed in flakes soft and downy. To lie

“ W E CA N LI E I N THI S M UD A ND S TEAM A N D S LUDGE , WA RM AT LE A S T ON ONE S ID E . BUT HOW CA N WE PROTE CT OUR L U N GS F ROM THE A CI D GA S E S ?”


out alone in the mountains of a still night and be touched by the first of these small silent messengers from the sky is a memorable experience, and the fineness of that touch none will forget. But the storm-blast laden with crisp, sharp snow seems to crush and bruise and stupefy with its multitude of stings, and compels the bravest to turn and flee. The snow fell without abatement until an hour or two after what seemed to be the natural darkness of the night. Up to the time the storm first broke on the summit, its development was remarkably gentle. There was a deliberate growth of clouds, a weaving of translucent tissue above, then the roar of the wind and the thunder, and the darkening flight of snow. Its subsidence was not less sudden. The clouds broke and vanished. Not a crystal was left in the sky, and the stars shone out with pure and tranquil radiance. During the storm, we lay on our backs so as to present as little surface as possible to the wind and to let the drift pass over us. The mealy snow sifted into the folds of our clothing and in many places reached the skin. We were glad at first to see the snow packing about us, hoping it would deaden the force of the wind, but it soon froze into a stiff, crusty heap as the temperature fell rather augmenting our novel misery. When the heat became unendurable, on some spot where steam was escaping through the sludge, we tried to stop it with snow and mud, or shifted a little at a time by shoving with our heels. For to stand in blank exposure to the fearful wind in our frozen-and-broiled condition seemed certain death. The acrid incrustations sublimed from the escaping gases frequently gave way, opening new vents to scald us. And, fearing that if at any time the wind should fall, carbonic acid, which often formed a considerable portion of the gaseous exhalations of volcanoes, might collect in sufficient quantities to cause sleep and death, I warned Jerome against forgetting himself for a single moment, even should his sufferings admit of such a thing. Accordingly, when during the long, dreary watches of the night we roused from a state of half-consciousness, we called each other by name in a frightened, startled way, each fearing the other might be benumbed or dead. The ordinary sensations of cold give but a faint conception of that which comes on after hard climbing with want of food and sleep in such exposure as this. Life is then seen to be a fire, that now smolders, now brightens, and may be easily quenched. The weary hours wore away like dim half-forgotten years, so long and eventful they seemed, though we did nothing but suffer. Still the pain was not always of that bitter, intense kind that precludes thought and takes away all capacity for enjoyment. A sort of dreamy stupor came on at times in which we fancied we saw dry, resinous logs suitable for campfires, just as after going days without food men fancy they see bread. Frozen, blistered, famished, benumbed,

“THE DULLER AND FAINTER WE BECAME THE CLEARER WAS OUR VISION... WE G AZED AT THE STARS, BLESSED IMMORTALS OF LIGHT, SHINING WITH MARV ELOUS BRIGHTNESS WITH LONG LANC E RAYS, NEAR-LOOKING AND NEW- LOOKING, AS IF NEVER SEEN BEFO R E . ” our bodies seemed lost to us at times — all dead but the eyes. For the duller and fainter we became the clearer was our vision, though only in momentary glimpses. Then, after the sky cleared, we gazed at the stars, blessed immortals of light, shining with marvelous brightness with long lance rays, near-looking and new-looking, as if never seen before. Again they would look familiar and remind us of stargazing at home. Oftentimes imagination coming into play would present charming pictures of the warm zone below, mingled with others near and far. Then the bitter wind and the drift would break the blissful vision and dreary pains cover us like clouds. “Are you suffering much?” Jerome would inquire with pitiful faintness. “Yes,” I would say, striving to keep my voice brave, “Frozen and burned. But never mind, Jerome — the night will wear away at last, and tomorrow we go a-maying, and what campfires we will make, and what sunbaths we will take!” The frost grew more and more intense, and we became icy and covered over with a crust of frozen snow as if we had lain cast away in the drift all winter. In about 13 hours — every hour like a year — day began to dawn, but it was long ere the summit’s rocks were touched by the sun. No clouds were visible from where we lay, yet the morning was dull and blue, and bitterly frosty. Hour after hour passed by while we eagerly watched the pale light stealing down the ridge to the hollow where we lay. But there was not a trace of that warm, flushing sunrise splendor we so long had hoped for. As the time drew near to make an effort to reach camp, we became concerned to know what strength was left us and whether or not we could walk. For we had lain flat all this time without once rising to our feet. Mountaineers, however, always find in themselves a reserve of power after great exhaustion. It is a kind of second life, available only in emergencies like this; and, having proved its existence, I had no great fear that either of us would fail, though one of my arms was already benumbed and hung powerless. At length, after the temperature was somewhat mitigated on this memorable first of May, we arose and began to struggle homeward. Our frozen trousers could scarcely be made to bend at the knee, and we waded through the snow with difficulty. The sum-

mit ridge was fortunately wind-swept and nearly bare, so we were not compelled to lift our feet high. And on reaching the long home slopes laden with loose snow, we made rapid progress, sliding and shuffling and pitching headlong, our feebleness accelerating rather than diminishing our speed. When we had descended some 3,000 feet, the sunshine warmed our backs and we began to revive. At 10 a.m. we reached the timber and were safe. Half an hour later we heard Sisson shouting down among the firs, coming with horses to take us to the hotel. After breaking a trail through the snow as far as possible, he had tied his animals and walked up. We had been so long without food that we cared for little but eating, but we eagerly drank the coffee he prepared for us. Our feet were frozen and thawing them was painful, and had to be done very slowly by keeping them buried in soft snow for several hours, which avoided permanent damage. Five-thousand feet below the summit, we found only three inches of new snow. And at the base of the mountain, only a slight shower of rain had fallen, showing how local our storm had been, notwithstanding its terrific fury. Our feet were wrapped in sacking, and we were soon mounted and on our way down into the thick sunshine — “God’s Country,” as Sisson calls the Chaparral Zone. In two hours’ ride, the last snowbank was left behind. Violets appeared along the edges of the trail, and the chaparral was coming into bloom with young lilies and larkspurs about the open places in rich profusion. How beautiful seemed the golden sunbeams streaming through the woods between the warm brown boles of the cedars and pines! All my friends among the birds and plants seemed like OLD friends, and we felt like speaking to every one of them as we passed as if we had been a long time away in some far, strange country. In the afternoon, we reached Strawberry Valley and fell asleep. Next morning we seemed to have risen from the dead. My bedroom was flooded with sunshine, and from the window I saw the great white Shasta cone clad in forests and clouds and bearing them loftily in the sky. Everything seemed full and radiant with the freshness and beauty and enthusiasm of youth. Sisson’s children came in with flowers and covered my bed, and the storm on the mountaintop banished like a dream.

EXCEPT FROM STEEP TRAILS , EDITED BY WILLIAM FREDRIC BADE. BOSTON AND NEW YORK: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN CO., 1918.


“SOAP BUBBLES ARE A METAPHOR FOR THE IMPERMANENCE AND FRAGILITY OF LIFE. NO TWO ARE IDENTICAL, BUT ALL COME FROM THE SAME SOURCE.” –MARLIES PLANK // @MARLIESPLANK


D A ILY L IF E S TY LE S URV I VA L TI PS BY JUSTIN “SCRAPPERS” MORRISON // @SCRAPPERS

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HEN MY SON CAMPER AND I MOVED into our first apartment, we didn’t have any furniture, so we set up our dome tent in the living room, rolled out our sleeping bags, and dreamt of how our new life would look. The next day, we began gathering driftwood from the beach, salvaging scrap wood from neighborhood dumpsters and logs from yard debris piles. We made book shelves and tables out of logs and planks. We stood four driftwood branches up on end to reach the ceiling. From those driftwood legs, we built a two-story tree fort in the living room; the first story was a couch that folded out into our bed, and the top story was a kid-sized playroom full of vintage Japanese monster toys and comic books. Then we filled the room with plants, colorful buoys, surfboards, skateboards, and a crazy cat that sharpens his claws on the logs all day long. Right now, as I type, blood is drying from the latest sharp clawed attack.

Camper and I filled our apartment with the natural resources we could reach out and touch. We didn’t buy any new furniture. When we’re done with this furniture, we can take it back to the beach or have a nice campfire. This is what sustainability looks like for us. This is what survival looks like for us. This is what loving our home looks like. This planet is our home and I’ve tried to create a lifestyle that will help us survive here. I know Camper wants the same thing, too. I’ve seen it in the way he cringes when we drive by a road-killed squirrel. He knows that squirrel would be alive, barking, and flicking its tail at us from a tall tree if people didn’t drive everywhere. So we don’t drive everywhere. Daily lifestyle choices can help us stay afloat without causing harm while we’re here.

TI PS RIDE A BIKE OR SKATEBOARD. It’s good for your body and it’s good for the environment. If your job or school is too far to ride, if it’s a drive you make everyday, then move closer and ride. Leave the machines that run on oil wars and death behind. Camper wants me to drive him to school sometimes when it’s raining, but we walk together instead and it’s way more fun. SHOP LOCAL. Transporting goods from far away causes more pollution than transporting goods from across town. Go to the farmer’s market, join a CSA, or just try to buy food made close to home. We apply this local-mindedness to clothing, books, art, bikes, sunglasses, bathroom fart spray, and all the other things we shop for. This magazine you’re holding was made using locally grown paper in Portland, Oregon. MORE QUALITY, LESS QUANTITY. Invest in quality goods that last longer and are made sustainably. Support companies that are socially, ethically, and environmentally friendly. WASH AND REUSE BAGS. We all have canvas tote bags, but sometimes you forget it and end up with a plastic bag full of kale. Sure you can recycle the plastic bag, but if you washed and reused it a couple times before recycling it that would be better. The PB&J I put in Camper’s lunch box goes into a ziplock bag that’s

been washed like 60 times and it still looks new. DON’T MAKE TRASH. The plastic chip bag, the paper towel, the bottle cap, and the paper coffee cup thrown away are still here. There is no away, but there is a way to avoid making trash. Buy things that have less packaging; fill reused bags in the bulk food section with snacks instead of buying a bag of chips, use a washable cloth towel instead of a paper towel, bring your own coffee cup to the coffee shop, and refill a growler instead of buying a bottle. When Camper was two years old, we moved to Maui and I told him there were no diapers on the island. He hasn’t made a dirty diaper since! PICK UP TRASH. We are the people of this planet, and therefore all the trash here is ours to pick up. That granola bar wrapper on the trail, the plastic cup washing up on the beach, that wad of fishing line on the riverbank — it’s all ours to pick up. Camper and I even pick up trash on our neighborhood walk to the market. REUSE TOILET PAPER. Just kidding. That would be gross. But seriously, try to use less shit tickets! DON’T ABUSE ELECTRICITY. Camper recently learned at school that the hydroelectric dam that powers our apartment killed 95

percent of the salmon population when it was built. Now he tells me to turn the light off when I leave a room because of the salmon. Our appetite for energy is the greatest cause of global warming, so let’s stop it already! Turn the lights off and use natural sunlight and candles. Turn the air conditioner and heater off. Take responsibility for your body temperature. If it’s hot, take clothes off. If it’s cold, put more on. Turn your computer and phone off. Use solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources. You can charge your phone with a small solar panel aimed at the kitchen window. Let’s unplug from this pollution-causing system. VALUE TIME OVER MONEY. Money makes us do things we know are wrong. Time gives us the freedom to see that. REPAIR YOUR GOODS. Let’s pretend we’re all out of new things and have to reuse everything. My bike tube needs a patch, not a whole new tube. The cobbler repairs my shoes — I don’t throw them away. Camper’s new shorts are his old pants. TEND THE GARDEN. We are the only animals on the planet who can restore natural places after destroying them. So it’s kind of our natural talent to remove invasive plants like ivy and blackberry that crowd out and kill native plants that feed native

bugs and birds. BE KIND TO ANIMALS. Don’t eat them. Industrialized meat production is the sickest example of how we have removed our lifestyles from real natural systems. I’ve taken Camper fishing and crawdad hunting at the lake for years. The more we go, the clearer he understands that making meat involves killing another living creature. The last time he caught a trout, he cried and wanted it to live. So we set it free. Now when we catch crawdads we just play with them and set them free. DON’T MAKE MORE MOUTHS TO FEED. As a daddy, I totally get why we want to have kids, but kids become people and overpopulation is killing the planet. PROTEST & VOTE. It’s a good way to tell the rich bastards that they suck and we fucking hate being treated as cash crops for their greed. Broken political systems don’t fix themselves. We the people have to fix them if we truly hope to survive. BE NICE. It doesn’t take much effort to care about people beyond yourself. Kindness will help us survive each other. When you pass me and Camper on the sidewalk, we’re going to say, “Hi.” Please say “Hi” back. I’m trying to teach this kid that it’s a normal thing to care about others.


“WHEN MY SHIT IS CLEAN, THERE’S ROOM FOR FRESH THOUGHTS, NOT REACTIONS TO THE THINGS AROUND ME.”


HOW TO TELL THE TRUTH STORY BY CHARLOTTE AUSTIN // @CHARLOTTEAUSTIN PHOTOS BY KATHLEEN CARNEY // @KATCARNEY

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PON RECENTLY CLEANING THE INSIDE OF MY TOYOTA, I found one crampon, eight kinds of lip balm, three empty cans of wine, one (unused) tampon, one (unused but expired) condom, three ice axes, one ice tool, nine cubic inches of dog fur, 11 topo maps printed on 8.5 x 11” paper, two sleeping pads, one Cheeto, and twelve different kinds of currency. Shit was jammed between seats, wedged under floor mats, hidden in crevices I hadn’t known existed. A uniformed man stood watching me, and I palmed an unopened sample-size packet of Astroglide into a black plastic trash bag. He tapped his pen against a clipboard, and I realized why I was ashamed: I had turned my car into a HazMat zone on purpose. The truth, frankly, is that I’m not a slob. I prefer living in spaces that are clean, with room to spread-eagle on the floor and cook things and have ideas. My apartment has white walls. I zero-out my inbox at least once a week. When my shit is clean, there’s room for fresh thoughts, not reactions to the things around me.

I’m not immediately funneled into a perfunctory activity (cleaning dog hair from the passenger’s seat at a stop light) (collecting little scraps of trash into a plastic bag) (doing anything, dear god sweet motherfucking anything but thinking about that recent breakup). I bet you’ve been there. You know, that strangely balanced mental state where you’re okay, sort of — you can buy groceries and answer emails and get out of bed — until you’re alone, and then something breaks in your chest. It’s the time I cried in a yoga class, sobbing face down on my mat through a 60-minute child’s pose for a reason I didn’t understand. It’s the six months I spent trying not to remember the

cruel and true things my ex-boyfriend said to me on the day we broke up. It’s that time we had three or seven extra drinks on a weeknight, then tried to forget it the next day. It’s pot, or cell phones, or sex, or Instagram, or [insert your drug here]. It’s all those things helping you avoid that idea of some forever emptiness, the realization that no matter who you marry or what you earn or do or make, it’ll always just be you, alone in your own head. And sooner or later, you’ll have to learn how to sit with that vast, quiet, terrifying mirror. You have to learn to walk alone. So I cleaned out my car. I called a girlfriend, hooked my trailer to a borrowed truck, and drove south for a thousand miles. I wanted a place with wide open spaces, no cell reception, unsympathetic rocks to climb. “I’m going to the desert,” I told my family. “I need to remember how to tell myself the truth.”


“ I F Y OU’RE S OM E ONE W HO WA NTS TO S TAY I N THE CIT Y, BE PRE PA RE D F OR WHAT M I GHT HA PPE N HE RE. ”


A N A F T E R N O O N WI TH THE A F ROV I VA LI S T STORY BY MEGAN FRESHLEY // MEGANFRESH.COM PHOTO BY SERA LINDSEY // @PORTABLESERA

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E MET THE AFROVIVALIST on a cold, bright November morning at Forest Park’s archery range, where she practiced a few shots in her “Black and Prepared” t-shirt. “You cannot take this thing on TriMet,” she laughs, as she shows me how to ground my energy and focus on my breath while taking aim. She’s got serious prowess as an archer and sees hunting as a core survival skill. But it’s not all bows and arrows. If you spend any time on her website afrovivalist.com, you’ll quickly notice that she is a gun enthusiast. “I go into guys’ houses and see these ridiculous guns all over the living room walls. It’s like toys to them,” she says. “All you need is a pistol and a shotgun.” Seeing as gun culture in the PNW isn’t very diverse, she’s used to blazing her own trail. “Every time I’m at the shooting range, I look around and I’m the only African-American there.” I believe in gun control, but it seems clear that If anyone should be able to arm themselves in American society, it’s black women. I wonder if there are other female African-American survivalists in the PNW she’s met over her decades at it? “No. I’m an original, sorry! I haven’t met anyone yet out on the field, out on the trails. It’s kind of sad. I started out going to Meetups. I was always the only person of color, and it was just so sad because I wanted to see more POC who are preparing.” Sharon, as she’s called by friends and family, is warm, funny, and generous with her time and knowledge. Sure, she could take all her expertise on wilderness and urban survival, hunting, and off-the-grid living and keep it to herself. But instead she’s created a web presence to share what she knows with others. “I don’t just want people of color to be ready—I want everyone to be able to be ready,” she says. “Once I knew this was part of me, I knew I had to share it. My higher power calls me to be an educator. I didn’t know this would become a business

venture. It was just a hobby, y’all!” The Afrovivalist is not here to save you, but she will teach you how to save yourself. “I need to tell other people because this stuff is a big deal. When shit does hit the fan and I’m the only one sitting on top of that hill, it’s gonna be pretty lonely. At the same time, I don’t want a whole bunch of people coming to me then and saying, ‘I know you’ve got food.’ My thing is: If you’re not going to take care of yourself, what makes you think I should take care of you? Don’t come to my house.” So as Sharon sees it, we’re all responsible for our own survival and it’s on us to be ready for whatever natural or man-made disasters the future may hold. Like all-theway ready. It’s not just about stocking up on water, snacks, and a first aid kit—important as those things are. “Start going out and buying some water. Water is your number one thing,” she says. She sets an example by being a walking arsenal even on a simple trip to the park to hang out with Stay Wild. Our photographer Sera said she’s the closest thing to a real superhero she’s ever met, and I can’t disagree. Like a post-apocalyptic segment of US Weekly’s “What’s in My Bag?”, Sharon turns out her very normal looking handbag during our meeting to reveal a pretty amazing kit: water, toiletries, a knife, binoculars, snacks, a flashlight, a light-up armband, a first aid kit, and a multitool. This is what she calls her everyday “bug-out bag,” of which she has a few. There’s also a “bugout” vehicle (BOV) equipped with more of the same—a 1970s model because an EMS (electromagnetic shock) caused by a bomb LEARN MORE // AFROVIVALIST.COM

in the atmosphere could disable modern cars with catalytic converters. The BOV, of course, would head straight to Sharon’s BOL (bug-out location) of choice. In Afrovivalist terms, survivalism isn’t just about getting off the grid and building yourself an earthship. It’s also about working with what’s around you in an urban environment. “I want everyone to gain some knowledge on being prepared. Because if you’re someone who wants to stay in the city, be prepared for what might happen here. We’re sitting in Forest Park right now. You can take your skills outside. You can track for prints. You can do a lot without leaving the city.” I ask her what I could eat if I got lost in Forest Park. “Morels. Chantrelles. They’re yummy. It’s just about knowing where they are. But harvesting for vegetation isn’t my thing. I would rather hunt.” And without missing a beat, she shows me how to squeeze water out of moss through a bandana. During her day job at the Radiation Protection Services for the state of Oregon, Sharon serves on the radiological emergency response team. She’s also a member of the leadership community for the NET (neighborhood emergency response team) with the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management. So how does she manage to carve out time for self-care while putting so much into keeping Portlanders safe? “I have no idea how I do it all. I just do it.” But everyone needs some me time—especially real-life superheros: “Sometimes I leave my computer and go to a space like this with a hammock and lunch in tow, and I’ll find the perfect two trees. I put my headset on, and my dog is beneath me so if anybody comes up on me, they can’t sneak up. I just lay in the trees and have my lunch and drink my coffee and just let it all go. I just take that time for me. I have to.”


PHOTOS OF THE THINKER BEING MADE BY JESSE DAWSON

PHOTO OF DANNY DAVIS BY GABE L’HEUREUX

PHOTO OF DONNA CARPENTER BY WINNIE AU


BURTON GOES BEYOND THE BOARD STORY BY BROOKE JACKSON // @WANDERING_TRAILS

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NCE THE RAGING PARTY OF YOUTH fades away, we look into the horizon for what’s next. Our lives roll through various cycles or stages until inevitably, the end hits. What happens after death? Although the answer to human existence isn’t totally clear, Burton has begun to resolve this next phase of life for their snowboards. Upcycling is the end of a snowboard’s life, or the beginning of a new one, depending on which angle you choose to look at. To understand the whole story, we must go back to the beginning of how the board came to life and follow along its youthful journeys. For about half of Burton’s snowboards, the adventure begins in Austria. For over 30 years Keil, the snowboard-producing factory, has been striving for sustainability in its operations. Functioning like a real-life Santa’s workshop, the Austrian factory runs on 100% renewable energy with most materials being sourced within a 250-mile radius. Additionally, the factory has a closed-loop process in which water used in production is recycled, resulting in a 50% reduction in water usage. The icing on this toogood-to-be-true cookie? The Austrian factory collects snowboard core scraps and uses these to heat the factory and all the presses while also recycling sidewall and base scrap materials. And that’s just the beginning. A Burton board is no ordinary plank of wood. In fact, nowadays all the boards produced by Burton have 100% FSC™ Certified wood cores. What does FSC Certified mean? FSC Certified wood has been sourced from responsibly managed forests and is verified to “not be harvested: illegally; in violation of traditional and civil rights; in forests where high conservation values are threatened; in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use; and in forests where genetically modified trees are planted.” In addition to having a solid source for the boards’ cores, Burton has been producing their entire line-up with Super Sap® Epoxy, a board resin using bio-based materials that reduces the carbon footprint by 50%. Burton has a goal of a 20% total carbon footprint reduction for all of their hard goods by 2020. Burton’s Spirit Animal & Professional Rider, Danny Davis, explains that “Burton is learning every year how to make a board that will have as minimal of an impact as possible.”

When shredding on a Burton snowboard, you can almost feel Mother Nature giving you a high-five. Legendary skater & urban folk artist, Mark Gonzales created art for these new boards called The Thinkers. Danny worked with Mark on the Thinkers Series. The Free Thinker is “for that softer twin tipped park feel” and the Deep Thinker is “for the freeride, turning, carving, pow-riding approach.” They’re awesome, and since it’s more fun to ride all sorts of shapes it’s a good call to have both in your quiver. What makes Burton care so deeply about its sustainable board practices? “It’s really a moral imperative to take action” says CEO Donna Carpenter. “Burton’s on a mission to become a sustainable company because that’s really who we are and what we believe in.” According to Donna, Burton considers sustainability in three categories; their people, their playground, and their products. The company has been aiming high and achieving goals quickly over the last few years. In 2011, Burton partnered with Bluesign, the leading environmental standard for textiles that guarantees approved products use only safe chemicals and materials. 85% of Burton’s outerwear, 50% of base layer, and 38% of Burton’s bags are currently Bluesign approved. Burton is committed to 100% by 2020. “The lifestyle we work so hard for is dependent on cooperation with Mother Nature. That’s why it’s so important for us to hold up our end of the bargain and reduce our footprint so that people can enjoy the mountains for generations to come.” Which brings back the topic of when one life ends, another begins. Burton has a lifetime warranty on a large portion of their softgoods and a 3-year warranty on all of their snowboards. Burton offers repair services to keep their products going for as long as possible. Last year, Burton repaired 19% of all warranty claims and has a goal to double that in three years. Burton also has a recycling program in place that converts all unusable snowboards into various other creative options, from sample holders for local breweries, to shelving units, coasters, and employee name tags. Last year alone, the company saved 60-85% of every board from reaching the landfill. So while every rider mourns the end of a board’s life, find peace knowing that there is life after shred.

“T HE L I FEST YL E WE WORK SO HARD FOR I S DEPENDENT ON COOPERAT ION WIT H MOT HER NAT URE.”

LEARN MORE // BURTON.COM


JAKE KUZYK

MIKE RAV

JAKE KUZYK

DANIMALS


ADAPT TO SURVIVE THE CHANGING G L O B A L W E AT H E R P AT T E R N S

DILLON OJO

STORY AND PHOTOS BY DARRELL MATHES // @DARRELL_MATHES


MIKE RAV


DILLON OJO

Seeing one of us in the streets snowboarding, you’ll probably think we’re a bit nutty. But we’re having the time of our lives. Growing up riding ski resorts, my creativity was confined. Outside of the resort we’re always on the hunt to find new and exciting locations to showcase a whole different side to snowboarding. Seeing and riding unique spots in a snowy city is the best. These are photos I recorded through my travels over the last year, and I think everyone can agree, half the fun is traveling and seeing new places. Perhaps these will inspire you to strap in during the next snowstorm in your city and see what you get!

PAT MOORE

COLE NAVIN


A T Y P IC A L PORTLA ND S URF TRI P O U T T O S E A A ND BA CK A GA I N STORY BY JUSTIN “SCRAPPERS” MORRISON // @SCRAPPERS PHOTOS BY SERA LINDSEY // @PORTABLESERA


“ S U R V IV IN G O U TS ID E TH E S O C IA L N O R MC O O LN E S S O F PO R TLA N D ’S U R B AN G R O WTH B O U N D A RY.”

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HE REVEREND BENNY BOB thinks like a wild salmon. He imagines their life at sea feasting on fatty colorful seafood until they return to the freshwater rivers they hatched from to have weird fish sex and die to start the life cycle all over again. The reverend imagines they probably crave one more fatty piece of seafood before their sexy heroic deaths that ensure the survival of their species. He digs up live ghost shrimp from the bay to bait his hook and the ripened salmon eat it up. Then he eats them up. It’s the circle of life. Survive another day. Hakuna Matata!

I try to visit the reverend and eat his smoked salmon when I go surfing on the Oregon coast. He’s a truly inspiring outsider: thinking like wild salmon, making art out of scrap wood, pig farming with scrap food, and surviving outside the social norm-coolness of Portland’s urban growth boundary. Portland is the hometown of many salmon. Sockeye, chinook, and steelhead are well respected neighbors of hipsters, hippies, and heroin addicts. The fish hatch in our watershed from tiny river pools and hard-working hatcheries. Then they swim out to the Pacific Ocean for 5 - 10 years of living it up. We welcome them home when they return from sea to spawn and die. It’s like a happy funeral with lots of food made out of the deceased. It’s kind of messed up. Portland is not a beach city, but we are connected to the sea. We have a surf community. We’ve got a Portland chapter of the Surfrider foundation, local surfboard shapers, and a handful of surf shops. COSUBE is one of Portland’s favorite surf shops. In addition to selling really cool surfy goods, they serve wild caught salmon on bagels with coffee. They also rent boards and fancy new wetsuits. My wetsuit smells like fish piss and is ripped so cold water flows right into my arm pits. Mine is not the kind of suit I’d offer a new friend like Darrell Mathes. Darrell is a legendary urban snowboarder. He’s an actual professional. He’s even sponsored by Vans! He’s not a professional surfer though. He’s kind of a kook (in the best way possible). He’s totally down to splash around in the frothy sea. Darrell, his wife Margaret, and their happydog-like-friend Spencer Schubert all met up at COSUBE for coffee, surf gear, and beer growler filling. Coffee + Surf + Beer = COSUBE. Get it? We got it. Let’s go!


“WASHI NG T HE BRAI N FREE FROM AL L T HAT CI T Y SHI T.”

The waves are on the other side of the huge and lush Tillamook forest. It takes more than two hours to get to the water sometimes. That’s too long to be trapped in the car, so swinging by the Drift Creek trail on the way there is a good way to get the blood back in your buns. This trail feels like a spa day for the senses: bathing eyes with vivid rainbows of green, messaging ears with the soothing sounds of a flowing creek, and washing the brain free from all that city shit. The suspension bridge swinging over the waterfall is cool too, but the hike there and back is the full treatment. If hiking is too booshy for your painted princess toes then hit up the Lincoln City Skate Park. It’s a fucking monument to gnar-gnarlyness. It was built in 1999 by Dreamland Skateparks and has been blowing minds ever since. Both Darrell and Spencer are known for their urban snowboarding. Unlike other snowfolks, they look at cement and see opportunity. So they didn’t miss the opportunity to drop in and face the park’s deep bowls, long steep snake run, rails, or the little scrap concrete and brick pool off in the woods.


The sound of skateboards goes silent south of Lincoln City where the sidewalk ends. The forest grows right up to the cliffs eroding into the Pacific Ocean and trees cling on with their roots trying desperately not to fall in. But they do fall in as the ground beneath them is sculpted by wind, water, and time. Otter Rock is one of Oregon’s most beautiful sculptures. It really does look like a giant otter floating on it’s back while surfers roll like kelp in the waves around it. Otter Rock is one of the most consistent, safe, and lazy breaks in the PNW. It’s totally kook-friendly. You can tell by the beginner’s class stretching and air padding on the shore. Out in the water Darrell, Margaret, and Spencer paddle to catch 5 - 8 foot mellow peeling longboard waves. Spencer caught a super nice ride on a wave that peeled in slo-mo. He found it so appealing that he went bananas. It was all very punny.

“ TH E Y ’ VE BEEN ON THE ADVENT URE O F TH E IR LIVES, YET THEY REMEMBER WHERE THEIR HOME I S.”

The beach has a hardy pile of logs to chill on or build forts with. The log pile stretches down about a mile to Beverly Beach Campground. They have hot showers and yurts to call home after a long day of flopping around in the white water before heading back to the city. Home is where you lay your head, and when the salmon come back to Portland, they lay their heads down and die. It’s not tragic. It’s heroic. They’ve been on the adventure of their lives, yet they remember where their home is. A typical Portland surf trip, out to sea and back again, is a way to survive like a salmon.


“OUR CO NSCIOUS NE S S COULD EXT E ND OUT F URT HER THAN N OR M A L , UNHINDE RED BY O BST RU CT IONS OR DIST RACTIONS . ”


A L V O R D D E S E R T, O R E G O N STORY BY CLEA PARTRIDGE // @CLEAPARTRIDGE PHOTOS BY NILES ARMSTRONG // @WORNPATHSTORE

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T’S A SURPRISINGLY QUICK EVOLUTION from the grid of the city, to dense and dark fir forests, to sun-dappled pine forests, to wide open high desert when you travel from northwestern to southeastern Oregon. Reaching the Alvord Desert felt like shedding the dead skin of civilization. It was meaningful to forge ahead into a never-ending expanse of open sagebrush bound by distant mountains. It felt like embarking on a journey based only on trust. Trust that the car wouldn’t break down. Trust that we had enough water. Trust that the desert was dry enough to drive on and that we wouldn’t get stuck in mud. Our trust paid off. The absence of amenities (aside from the milkshakes at Fields Station), made the world feel bigger — like our consciousness could extend out further than normal, unhindered by obstructions or distractions. The trip was only a few days but we packed it in: We soaked in hot springs, we watched the full moon rise over the iris and bluebell colored desert, we took photos of ourselves jumping-poised in midair over the hard, flat earth of the playa, we trekked up the Steens Mountains where a creek created a fragrant and lush oasis, we watched hawks and vultures circle overhead, we brewed coffee with hot water begged from gas stations, and we chatted with novel-like characters. In the car, we listened to Slowdive, Derrick Harriott, Kendrick Lamar, and Elizabeth Cotton. We

flipped off a drone. We ate ice cream from a town with a population of less than 50. The drive was long and pleasant. Open stretches allow the mind to wander. What happens in the high desert where no one trespasses? Are there places where the ground squirrels and rattlesnakes have never had to hide from a human? But even on the most remote stretches of the road, there were signs of the carelessness and irreverence of man. After driving without seeing another car for an eternity, we pulled over to stretch our legs. There, caught in the gnarled branches of a sage bush, was a Lays chip bag. Half buried in the sandy ground, a dark beer bottle sat forgotten. These signs of ingratitude beg some deeper questioning about selfishness. The person who tosses the bottle out of the window is acting selfishly: “I’m done with this and I don’t want it near me anymore.” And further: “I don’t care to consider what happens to this item after it passes from my hand.” An inability to see beyond one’s body and one’s moment is a sad and pervasive trend amongst humans. Stewarding the land is something we should act on more. I take inspiration from the memory of a gray-haired man off highway 30 — no car, driveway, or bus stop in sight, ripping invasive ivy off of a hillside to make space for native ferns and sedum. Such a simple idea, a selfless act, an ongoing movement.


R I S I NG A BOV E THE V OI D ON A BI CY CLE STORY BY GINGER BOYD // @SLEEPYATFUNERALS PHOTOGRAPHY BY TRACY L CHANDLER // @TRACYLCHANDLER


BUT TO BE PART OF THE TREETOPS AND THE BLUENESS, INVISIBLE, THE IRIDESCENT DARKNESSES BEYOND, SILENT, LISTENING TO            THE AIR BECOMING NO AIR BECOMING AIR AGAIN -F RA NK O’ HA RA , THREE AIRS

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O MY RIGHT, a sheer white rock face stretched upwards and out of sight. To my left, a wall of a different kind: thick white fog that hid the long drop below, just barely visible in the not-quite-dawn hour. I was snaking along a road strewn with fallen rocks and cracked pavement, constantly scanning the ground and changing course to avoid puncturing the skinny tires of my bicycle. The few riders who accompanied me had surged ahead, picking up the pace to ward off the quickly dropping temperature, and I was alone, my legs beginning to acknowledge the 20,000 feet they had climbed so far. Suddenly, I was ripped from the line I was following and into some gravel on the uneven road; a blast of wind whipped my face raw and I hunched over, trying to continue my pedal strokes. The wind wailed, carrying with it my yelp of surprise, and off it went down the mountain so quickly I wasn’t sure I had made a sound at all. The curtain of mist that had floated harmlessly began to billow and eddy, spiraling into a fast-moving cloud. I was surrounded, absorbed by a cloud — my breath, gone. My body, forgotten. I waded through millions of water droplets suspended in mid-air like pearls, skin pricked by each tiny fleck, until the cloud cloak unraveled around my shoulders, continued on towards the peak, and left me exposed again, witness once more to the jagged rocks that make this section of road impossible for cars to pass. Back to the task at hand; I’m not done climbing yet. This closed stretch of road connects Route 39 to Highway 2 in the Angeles Crest National Forest, a national monument just North of Los Angeles comprised mostly of the San Gabriel Mountains. In Los Angeles and the sprawling suburbs that surround it, vestiges of dead rivers haunt the neighborhoods they define; flat ranch homes spread out ever further along flat land, until the massive range crests abruptly from the valley, walling off the basin on the North side. Hulking, blue, and hazy, the mountains watch. Disinterested monoliths, they stand high and seem to mock miniature freeway traffic, your conference call, your personal brand. They occupy (literally) a different plane, a separate atmosphere. They hold storms in their bosom, casting entire cities in the uneasy glare of bated breath, waiting for a drop of rain that never comes. Formed by a massive uplifted fault block,

the San Gabriel range vaults up from sea level to 10,000-foot peaks in a matter of miles, making the climbs steep and the presence of the mountains ominous. The fault that ripped upward and drew these mountains out of nothingness does not exist on the eastern side, making the decline from the peaks to the dry, red Mojave Desert beyond a gentle slope, like an inverted check mark. Those steep canyons on the south side of the range are short but dramatic in their transformation. As the foothills begin to climb the mountains appear as from a desert: warm, golden, and sandy they rise, dotted with cacti and yucca. But as the elevation leaps to 4,000 feet, the unforgiving landscape is replaced almost shockingly with the hospitable presence of evergreens. So radical is the change you might forget you began the day in Los Angeles, as the trees begin to rise around you and the sounds of creeks and waterfalls trickle in from just out of sight. Here, where the seasons visit Southern California and the world feels transformed, is where we found ourselves one weekend in October, riding bikes for 22 hours and just trying to survive. It’s funny to think of survival in this way: self-imposed, even melodramatic. And sure, logically I knew that this was not a fight for life and death. At any point, I could return to warmth and shelter and just stop riding. I could call an Uber. The point, though, is that when you take on a challenge that’s incredibly hard and that you are not sure you can finish, you decide not to crawl back to safety. No, I was not fighting for my life in a literal sense. But I was standing on the edge, straddling some precipice of what I can do and what I can’t, and trying desperately to simply stand there, without fear. So why does one decide to try to ride their bike for 22 hours? To climb upwards of 20,000 feet when there is no real goal, no glory, no finish line? Besides the guarantee of misery, there is always that faint gleam of possibility. A flickering light that cannot be ignored, of learning something about yourself when you approach that dark place, enter it, wallow in it and eat it up and surround it and cradle it … Of what happens when you find yourself creeping up on the edge of some place you’ve often tiptoed around for fear of falling in. This particular void is not new to me. I’ve been toeing that line for as long as I can remember, as a woman at constant odds with


“ T H IS IS W H AT I’ M H E RE F OR. T H AT IN T EN SITY OF E X PE RI E NCE , T H AT IN VIG O R AT ING BRE ATH OF LI F E THAT COM ES F R O M TO EIN G T H E ED GE ...”


the urge to self-destruct. That delicious, satisfying temptation to pull the plug on it all, watch the world burn as they say, that blasé, that commonplace, that constant pull towards nothingness — to make people hate you, to hurt those you love, to make the world around you and the people you love and the feelings in your own body as disgusting and painful as you can. For many years I found myself operating most often at some boundary between what I was supposed to do, the everyday goings on with which everyone seemed content, and the visceral desire for nothingness, that black void that seemed to live inside my gut — a constant and sometimes painful pulling inward. The awareness of the absurdity of the every day (falling prey to that inevitable if cliché obsession with existentialism so common to adolescence) coupled with the inability to get past the deep pit of sadness that started within my body and seemed to bleed outward ever further until it covered every surface I could see or touch, created a mode of living which seemed impossible to continue. The oft-used metaphor that depression feels like you are operating under deep water, moving in slow motion and working harder than necessary to complete even the most mundane tasks, is not wrong. Though I didn’t feel I was the only one dragging my way through waist-deep water (on some days) or water far above my head (on others) while those around me moved quickly and easily through thin air. It seemed that everyone I encountered (and would ever encounter) was too moving through thick molasses, was too battling each day the insatiable hunger for vacuity: the impulse to slide deeper, to drown. When I turned inward, I saw darkness … like an empty parking lot of cracked pavement with bits of trash drifting through, floating, just there. The charade I had been signed up to play (without ever having been asked) just seemed too much and too badly put on. I could see the boom hanging just off screen. This game, too big even to wrap my brain around, is what creates the temptation to run the opposite direction. It’s what makes living (untreated by whatever self-medication you choose) so fucking hard. It makes you itchy, makes your skin crawl, your hair hurt, your eyelids burn. So you drink. Or you have sex with the most repulsive

creep you can find. Or you snort shards of glass from a broken vial in a public toilet stall. When what’s inside you seems worse than anything you could put in, there are no limits. See your own blood and you might look down, surprised, because you thought it would be thick black tar. But in the face of a massive, larger than life, magnificent heft of rock, formed by the painful wrench of a tectonic plate from its brother millions of years ago, you are infinitesimally small. So I climb. In that calming, sublime range that looks down like a god on Los Angeles, I climb and I scream and I cry into a hailstorm and no one can hear me. I push on towards survival and it is an intense personal glory, though a quiet one. This is what I’m here for. That intensity of experience, that invigorating breath of life that comes from toeing the edge, from bringing your body to the brink of what it’s capable of, shouting into the howling wind on the side of a mountain and savoring every sweet drop of that sheer potency like honey. Like the inside of a bag of cocaine. That welling up of despair when you are shivering so violently you cannot pedal and the simultaneous welling up of joy when your partner places a hand on your back, a silent I am here when those teary, sobby breaths catch in your throat like a punch to the gut. I ride a bike because if I did anything else it would kill me. I climb mountains to be reminded of the big earth and the hardness of rock and the insignificance of my worries. To combine pain with overwhelming beauty, wild freedom with tender intensity. To find myself looking down a cliff to a sprawling city below and the ocean beyond that and not feel tempted to jump. To wake up tomorrow and do it again, to go further, and feel everything from hopelessness to joy.


A TASTE OF COMMUNAL LIVING STORY BY JUSTIN “SCRAPPERS” MORRISON // @SCRAPPERS PHOTOS BY SERA LINDSEY // @PORTABLESERA

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EAL TALK: I feel locked into a system of living that is killing the planet and me. I might as well be handcuffed to this computer. I spend most of my waking life attached to this screen chasing down money so I can afford fresh bread wrapped in two layers of plastic. My headphones are always on while my fingers are pounding away at the keys. The headphones cover my ears completely and help me stay focused. A lot of the time they aren’t even playing music, they’re just silencing the room and making it visibly clear to other people that I can’t hear them. I feel so disconnected from real life that I want to flip the desk over and run away into the forest. I want the “Whoosh, Whoosh” sound of crows quietly flying through the woods with a gentle ocean breeze in their tail feathers. My fingers want the citrus-scented stick of pine sap as I plop another log on the fire. I want to hear real stories that an algorithm has not target marketed to me. I’m reaching out for the dirty hands of unbranded people without numbers next to their names representing the amount of strangers who cyber-stalk them. I want to drop out,

unplug, and reconnect with real life. I want to live in a small vintage trailer park on the Washington coast. A couple days at the Sou’wester magically made all my dropout dreams come true. I found peace somewhere between the sauna’s outdoor driftwood living room, listening to African love songs on vinyl records, talking to a lady about her dog’s traumatic history, riding a rusty tandem bicycle, watching Stargate on VHS, and grabbing a midnight snack of canned oysters and York peppermint patties from the Honor System Store. There is a very real peace and quiet among the guests here. I think it’s related to the thin trailer walls. Like “Hey, stop fighting about what movie you want to watch, we can hear you over here. Plus, we want to watch that movie too, can we come over?” One night I was woken up by the smell and sound of a crackling campfire. Seemed like it was in the trailer with me, but it was from the tent campers on the other side of the ferns. If you want thicker walls you can stay in one of the private cabins, or in the grand lodge. LEARN MORE // SOUWESTERLODGE.COM

The lodge is a big red and white house. It’s also the heart of this place. On the first floor they serve coffee at 9 a.m.(ish) daily, have records, VHS tapes, board games, books, kids’ toys, sauna towels, clam digging gear, and cozy seating. The Honor System Store is also on the first floor. You can self-serve yourself toiletries, snacks, fresh local produce, drinks, and other essential goodies you’ll pay for when you check out. The second floor is a wonder-filled maze of rooms for rent. Each doorway opens to another world full of homemade art and mix-matched furniture that makes you feel like you’re crashing at your smart and fun lesbian aunt’s house. The raging NW Pacific Ocean is a 10 minute walk away. Surfing, fishing, clamming, driving on the beach, building epic driftwood forts, beach combing, or love making in the dunes is at your toe tips. There is also plenty of forest and tall grass to wander though if sand isn’t your thing. After a couple days of dropping out at the Sou’wester, I felt reconnected with real life and inspired to survive. I’m still tempted to flip this desk and smash this computer though.


FA R M T O TA B L E T O M O U T H STORY AND PHOTOS BY LAURA GOLDENBERGER // @LAURAGOLDENBERGER

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OCALLY-GROWN GRAPES hung by their stems, and there were piles of brilliant green herbs and vegetables, baskets of multicolored peppers, jars of raw thyme honey, fresh fish, olives, cheeses, live rabbits, eggs, fragrant citrus and Cretan raki (a popular distilled spirit made from grape skins). Walking through the market, you could smell the fresh herbs and sample the produce. Eating in Crete gives you a sense of well-being, and you suddenly understand how your relationship to food should be. Slow, long meals with plates full of fresh vegetables, olive oil to drizzle, a bit of freshly-baked bread on the side, some feta or whipped goat cheese, a protein, a little bite of something sweet at the end, and raki to help you digest and feel warm inside. 
 The whole experience of going to a market, exploring with your senses, smelling and tasting, hunting down the best tomato, learning about the farm that grows that delicious eggplant, or speaking with the woman who is selling jars of honey from her own bees is very romantic and builds our respect for food, the people who grow it, and the land that nourishes it. Cooking becomes much more of an exciting adventure when we utilize what is seasonal and most flavorful. You begin to connect to the earth and your community in a way that you just miss all together when you fill your shopping cart at the grocery store. 


STEALING FROM THE GODS STORY & PHOTO BY DYLAN CHRISTOPHER // @DIELAN ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANDY DICKER // @YAWNSNARLOS

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IRE IS THE CORNERSTONE OF HUMAN EXISTENCE. It’s what sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom, and without it who knows where we’d be.

Even Darwin believed that fire was one of the most important technological advancements in our evolutionary history, and may have significantly contributed to our genealogical advancement into modern humans. In Greek mythology Prometheus stole fire from the gods and shared it with the mortals, taking them out of darkness. He was celebrated by all of humanity but was punished by the gods, who chained him to a rock where his organs were eaten out by eagles every day for all of eternity. In ancient times, before humans were able to create fire on their own, we would wait for fire to occur naturally (a strike of lightening or spontaneous combustion) and then keep that fire going 24/7. In many cases it would be someone’s sole responsibility to keep the fire stoked at all times, and if it were to go out, oftentimes that person would pay with their life. Needless to say, fire is—and has been—pivotal in human existence. So how did we go from stealing fire from the gods to the flick of a match? From waiting for lightning to strike to the turn of a car key? The stepping stone is fire by friction. Yes, rubbing sticks together. I assure you that no matter where you come from, your ancestors created fire by friction. There are many different types

of friction fire: bow drill, hand drill, pump drill, fire-saw, fire-thong, and fire plow (you may have seen Tom Hanks use this method in “Cast Away”). Although each vary in technique and components used, they all use the same basic concept of rubbing combustible materials together to create heat, similar to rubbing your hands together to keep warm. Rubbing two pieces of wood together rapidly creates hot sawdust which, if hot enough, will eventually turn into a coal. This coal is then transported into a bundle of tinder and blown on, introducing oxygen until it ignites into flames. The flaming tinder bundle is then put inside of a tipi structure and food is cooked and good times are had. The first time I made fire by friction was in the southern sequoias of California at Element Skate Camp. I was a camper, 14 or 15, and was taking a wilderness survival course with The Elemental Awareness Foundation. I remember being frustrated and feeling like it was impossible for me. I was a late bloomer, my arms were tiny, and I didn’t think I was physically capable. I tried for days and days, and finally—with the help of many people yelling and screaming for me to not give up—I was successful. It was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced; I felt like I had stolen fire from the gods.


C O N N E C T I N G K I D S W I T H N AT U R E . ELEMENTALAWARENESS.ORG

PHOTO: GARRETT REMY


HOW TO MAKE A HAND DRILL FIRE BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO MAKE FIRE be sure that you have two things set up, a tinder bundle, and a tipi structure. Friction fire can be exhausting, so you want to work smarter, not harder. THE TINDER BUNDLE is a nest-like pile of dried material; grass, leaves, bark etc. You want the interior of the bundle to be very fine material, like cat tail down. A common mistake is to not spend adequate time preparing the tinder bundle, so take your time, and be sure that you have enough material: about the size of a softball. THE TIPI is the most efficient fire structure. Much like the tinder bundle, the interior of the tipi structure should be finer material and get thicker as you work your way out. Leave a door, or passageway open to the center of your tipi, this will allow your tinder bundle to start the center of the structure. Be sure to leave enough room between sticks so that air can get through. Fire needs air to survive. THE HAND DRILL consists of two pieces of wood: the stalk, and the fireboard.   THE STALK is a long and slender piece of wood, about the diameter of your pinky, two to three feet long, usually mullein, horseweed, willow, or mule fat. My personal favorite is mullein because it involves minimal prep and can be found in most parts of the country, oftentimes growing along a riverbed or even a freeway. THE FIRE BOARD is made of a medium-hard wood, about a half inch thick and long enough to hold with your foot as you kneel over it. I have found that incense cedar and sotol work very well as fireboards. MAKE A SMALL PILOT HOLE in your fireboard about ¾” from the edge with a knife, a small indentation will do. WITH ONE KNEE ON THE GROUND and one foot stabilizing the fireboard, place the stalk into your pilot hole and begin to spin it by rubbing your hands together, as if you were trying to keep your hands warm. MOVE YOUR HANDS back and forth as you work your way down the stalk to the base of the fireboard. Once at the base move one hand at a time back to the top of the stalk, making sure the stalk and fireboard do not lose contact -You need to retain as much heat as possible. This is “one pass.” REPEAT the previous step until you see smoke and dust, one or two passes should do. YOU WILL HAVE BURNED a shallow hole into your fireboard after a couple passes the diameter of your stalk. Now you must carve a notch out of your fireboard. THINK OF THE HOLE you just burned into your fireboard as a pizza pie, now you want to cut out 1/8th, or one slice. Make sure that the crust of your imaginary piece of pizza would be off the edge of your fireboard. With your knife, make two pilot cuts that meet in the center of your burn

hole, and carefully cut out your notch. ONCE YOUR NOTCH IS CUT, your tinder bundle is assembled, and your tipi structure is built, you are ready to make fire. PUT A LEAF, or something dry underneath your notch before you begin. Hot saw dust will collect here when you begin to make passes. This is called the “Coal Catch.” JUST AS YOU BURNED in your pilot hole before you cut your notch, place the stalk in the hole in your fireboard and begin to make passes. Concentrate on speed and downward pressure, the combination of these two elements will bring success. You may need to make several passes. Once your notch has filled up with saw dust pause and see if the dust continues to smoke on its own. If it does, you have made a coal. THIS IS THE INFANCY STAGE OF FIRE. It is a baby that must be taken care of and nurtured to strength. Chances are you have exerted yourself physically to get this far, take a breath. This coal will burn on its own for several minutes, so there is no need to rush the next steps. Rushing increases the chance of failure.   ONCE YOU HAVE GATHERED YOURSELF, carefully tap the fireboard so that the coal releases from the walls of your notch. Pick up the leaf, or whatever you used as your coal catch and gently transfer the coal into the center of your tinder bundle.   FOLD YOUR TINDER BUNDLE, as if it were a very delicate taco, so that the coal is surrounded by the by the bundle but not smashed.   HOLD THE BUNDLE about 10 inches away from your face, take in large breaths through your nose filling your lungs to their capacity, and gently blow on the tinder bundle long and steady. Your breath has moisture in it, be sure to not spit on your coal by getting too close.   YOU WILL SEE THE COAL begin to grow, and react to your breath. It will respond when you are doing the correct thing, glowing hotter and billowing out smoke. You must be receptive and give the coal what it wants. The smoke will be extremely dense right before the tinder bundle ignites into flame, be careful to not inhale lung-fulls of smoke, this could lead to failure.   YOUR TINDER BUNDLE will ignite into flame. Do not get too excited and drop the bundle, or pose with it for too long to take the perfect photo. This fire must be given more fuel; put it inside of your tipi structure, then close the door to your tipi with some sticks. You may have to blow on the flames to ignite your structure.    YOU HAVE DONE IT. You have just made fire with your hands. Humanity depended on making fire just like this for thousands and thousands of years, before we took fire for granted. Congratulations.


A BEGINNER’S MANIFESTO STORY BY KATRINA EMERY // @KATRINAEMERY

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HERE’S A SPOON IN THERE SOMEWHERE, I thought as I held the blank piece of boxy wood, almost like a lego version of a spoon. Big and bulky. Waiting to be carved. The first few cuts were a bit clumsy, but strangely addicting. A few more cuts, and suddenly I was carving a spoon. I brought it camping with me and discovered it’s a beautiful thing to whittle away the afternoon by a river or in front of the evening fire. Soon, my chunk of wood was looking distinctly spoon-like. I worked on it off and on all summer, feeling like a pioneer woman minus the butter churn. It took a long time. I needed tips.


To find out more, I met up with Russell Clarke, a Portland spoon carver who works by day as an arborist. He started Portland Spoon Company after seeing so much raw material go through the chippers. Now he makes and sells spoons from local trees: “People bring me stuff at work, piles of plum from Eastmoreland, pine from Tigard, apple from Sellwood. There’s an infinite source of wood.” With so much passion for his craft, Clarke wants to inspire others. He teaches spoon carving at Wildcraft Studios in Portland, hoping to pass the skills along. “I wish there were more people carving. If no one ever bought my stuff again, I’d still carve.” When we met, he was leaning against the wall outside the bar, carving a spoon outside while he waited. Russell Clarke doesn’t mess around with his free time. He showed me the almost-finished spoon and some other examples, all smoothed with short knife strokes, as we went inside and chatted about his practice. Beginners, he says, tend to finish their first spoons in 3-4 hours. By the end of his classes, most people go home with useable spoons. It takes him about 30-45 minutes per spoon. (I don’t mention that I’ve been working on mine literally all summer, on and off, and barely finished recently.) For the spoon, you need wood. “Follow the sound of chainsaws and chippers,” Clarke jokes, emphasizing the abundance of material around any city. If you don’t get in the way of arborists and ask nicely, they’ll often give you wood for free. Out in nature you can look for fallen branches, but don’t cut green wood from trees. Good woods to use are ash, juniper, black walnut, maple, and fruit trees like apple, pear,

and plum. Birch, being soft and easy to find, is especially great for beginners. You need nothing more than a 3” diameter branch (about the size of a bar coaster, he neatly shows me), split in half, with the soft pith in the middle taken out. Square it off, and that’s your spoon blank! If you’re just getting started, you can also purchase blanks that are ready to go. Now to carving: The best advice is to learn how to hold a knife and how to move with it. Look it up, watch a video, or take a class. “Learn how you make the cuts. Don’t get stitches,” Clarke advises. “If you cut yourself, you’ll probably not want to come back to carving again. Take it slow. Pay attention.” As someone who just sliced through three fingers in one move, I concur. Don’t be like me. The end goal is to make something functional and pleasing. Your spoon should feel good in your hand. Perhaps that’s the most important part of this hobby. This thing I’m making feels good—I want to use it. It’s pleasant to hold, with a nice shape and weight. And, as Clarke says, don’t be afraid to give your spoon some personality. Every carver he comes across is different, and every spoon is, too. “People used to want uniformity. Nowadays, a lot of people want the wonky spoon.” I’ve got big plans for my new hobby after my three Band-Aids come off. I’m imagining a kitchen full of butter knives, spatulas, coffee scoops, and stirring sticks. Gifts for everyone! A never-ending dose of that sense of hipster self-sufficiency! In the meantime, I enjoy the process. The meditative swoop of each cut, the feel of the grain, the way the wood takes shape. I can see why Clarke keeps carving.


Ditch Life

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JOHN MUIR, STEEP TRAILS , 1918

Stay Wild // Winter 2018  

Adventure Magazine

Stay Wild // Winter 2018  

Adventure Magazine

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