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Filtering by Tag: adventure

Life Begins Outside Your Comfort Zone — Mike Kelley

Ben Ashby

Below is a preview of my conversation with Boston based photographer Mike Kelley.

READ THE FULL CONVERSATION IN FOLK’S SUMMER ISSUE | ORDER HERE

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Mike Kelley is a Maine native, Boston resident, and wanderlust at heart that stole our hearts with his calm landscapes, cloudy skies, and images of coastal New England culture.


Why do you explore? I explore for one simple reason, fear of missing out. There are so many places in this world, without exploring and putting myself out there I am scared that I will miss out on truly incredible experiences. 

Why take risks in life? Life begins outside your comfort zone.

 Where are you from? Manchester, Maine.

When you were growing up what or who did you want to be? Growing up...well as a kid...I wanted more than anything to be a paleontologist. I was very much obsessed with dinosaurs and fossils so it was my dream to search for them as a career. Coincidentally I also loved managing money...this is what lead me to the finance field.

Give us a story: 17,000 ft. That’s how high I was in the Bolivian Andes when I blacked out. No memory of the last 1,300 ft of hiking. If you know anything about me, I sometimes make spontaneous, questionable decisions, this was one of those…I arrived in La Paz Bolivia the night before, a city that sits at 11,000ft above sea level. Most people have a hard time breathing the first couple days in the city and many get sick from the lack of oxygen. For some reason, I was fine. I noticed some pressure in my lungs, but nothing I wasn’t already used to. I arrived to my hostel at 10pm on a Monday night, knowing full well that I had Tuesday free (I had planned to do the death road on Wednesday) I called up a local travel agency that was still open and booked a hike for the following morning. 7am I met up with my guide, Choco who didn’t speak a lick of English and we headed into the mountains. A two hour drive and we arrived at the mountain base. A hike with just over 4,000 ft of elevation gain. I can do this easy peasy I thought. We headed up. Within an hour my head ache was becoming unbearable, my vision began to blur, my stomach felt like it was being stabbed constantly by a knife. I had NEVER in my life felt so unbelievably uncomfortable. Symptoms I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. As stubborn as I was, I pushed forward, higher and higher. The symptoms got worse. Little did I know I was entering the early stages of a very serious condition, HAPE, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. I pushed onward, until I couldn’t anymore. Choco braced me as I lay on the rocks and forced our trip back down the mountain. 17,113ft…I made it just 100 ft. from the summit he later told me in his broken English. This day changed my life, I realized the overwhelming power of nature, something I will never, ever doubt again. So let it be known, take risks in life, but make sure they are calculated or else you may never have the opportunity again.


READ THE FULL CONVERSATION IN FOLK’S SUMMER ISSUE | ORDER HERE

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Romance Your Wild — Jay McDonald

Ben Ashby

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A PREVIEW FROM FOLK’S SUMMER 2019 ISSUE. CLICH HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY.

Jay McDonald brings a quality to adventure and photography that is met with equal amounts of humble humor and top notch skills. Known for his portraits in nature and his crystal clear landscapes he has stolen our hearts with his love of the wild.



Why do you adventure? Well, to be honest I have severe ADHD and I can’t stand being in one place for a long period of time. I wish I had a more poetic and whimsical answer for you but that’s the real life truth right there haha.

Why do you explore? I think deep down inside of every one of us there is always  that little curious spark. We were built to get up, go further, run faster, etc.. And simply because it’s 2018, a lot of people have settled. I just can’t be one of those people. The nomadic life is long gone, but there’s still a little bit of nomad left in each one of us.

Why take risks in life? Life is too short not to. My older brother Kylan killed himself when I was 16 years old. That same summer, my life long very best friend’s Dad did the same. Prior to that, my Uncle (and more.. the list goes on but I think you get the point). It feels like I have been surrounded by sudden death from mental health and other things my whole life. I value fulfillment, happiness, joy, adventure and love over anything else. The statistics that you and I should both not be alive right now are too high not to do something crazy and live a little. As cliche as it is for me to say this, you have to “Romance Your Wild”, because today might be your last chance. 

What is your 9-5? I am a full time commercial photographer (yes not everything I shoot looks like my Instagram)... I had pursued a promising career in exotic dancing but apparently “Chip and Whales” wasn’t very marketable and I wasn’t willing decrease my carbs or fat load. If I am going to bring home the bacon, I am gonna eat it too.

READ THE FULL STORY IN OUR SUMMER 2019 ISSUE. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

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Photographer of the Day // Mike Kelley

Zachary Kilgas

From the first glance, each of his photos are extremely inviting. So inviting, that I almost felt like a firsthand witness. My brain invented sounds, smells, and sensations immediately-- the bears' snarls, the salty sea air hitting my nose, bare toes on a wooden dock. 

Click through for an adventure. 

Adventurer Q&A // Giulia Woergartner

Zachary Kilgas

The color yellow is bright, full of life, and undefinable. Many adults cower away from wearing yellow though, offering the excuse that yellow is "childish." Yellow is a color that requires a boldness to wear. It's not a color for the faint of heart. 

Giulia Woergartner calls herself, "the girl with the yellow jacket." Her yellow jacket she explained, is her trademark, a stamp that marks her adventures and photography as distinctly hers. 

[Q] Why do you adventure & Why do you explore? 

[A] Exploring means discovering new things, having fresh eyes for every new day and being inspired by little moments. I want to keep my eyes, ears and heart wide open. I want to create my own vision of the world and share it with others to inspire them to go on their own little adventures. I have a desire to see the most beautiful corners of this world. I have traveled and experienced quite a lot over the last few years, but the curiosity to see more keeps me going. My goal is not just to come home different, but better.

[Q] Why take risks in life?    

[A] Because life is short and it can be over at any given moment.

[Q] Where are you from?

[A] I am from the Dolomites, Italy.

[Q] What is your 9-5?

[A] I am a full time travel photographer, still sounds crazy to me if I say it!

[Q] When you were growing up what or who did you want to be?  

[A] I have always been a creative child, I always dreamed about being a painter or musician. Well any kind of artist really!

[Q] Favorite place you've visited?    

[A] The Faroe Islands and New Zealand still are my favourite destinations to this date!

[Q] Place you most desperately want to visit?

[A] Patagonia and a lot of places in the US.

[Q] What  has  changed  about  you  because  of  your  travels    

[A] I have become a more confident, open and loving individual

[Q] Who  is  the  most  dynamic  and  thought  provoking  person  you've  ever  met    

[A] Good question, I think that person is still out there!

[Q] If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why?  

[A] I would like to go back in time and travel with some of the real explorers 

[Q] Must haves for travel?

[A] My camera and a yellow jacket! 

[Q] Travel tips?  

[A] Sleep in cars, cook for yourself, save your money for more travels.

[Q] When  did  you  feel  you  were  most  out  of  your  comfort  zone? What  did  you  learn  from  that  lesson?

[A] I did a 7 months solo trip to New Zealand after graduating high school. I flew from Italy all the way to the other side of the world to explore ad capture every corner of New Zealand. I bought a van and lived in it for about 6 months. The first few weeks were tough as I had to adapt to this lifestyle and to the new environment. After a few weeks I realised that I was free to do whatever I want and I could simply enjoy life and see all these stunning places. The few things that I was really worried about at first ended up being the greatest benefits and lessons of this adventure: when you have a dream or a vision, you just have to go for it. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it, no matter how silly or ridiculous your dream might appear to others. Following your passion is the only thing that will bring you happiness.

[Q] What would you say to someone who has never travelled before? 

[A] I would show them my pictures and let them speak for me.

[Q] What would you say to your former self?  

[A] Love more, hug more. Be bold. Don't let fear run your life. Have confidence in yourself. Don't be self-conscious. Don't be so hard on yourself and have more patience.

[Q] Where to next?

[A] Canada!

[Q] Is flannel always in season? 

[A] Of course!

Photographer Update // Joshua Fuller

Zachary Kilgas

I have always loved idioms. If you're unfamiliar with them, idioms are seemingly nonsensical phrases that by usage became loaded with meaning-- kill two birds with one stone, once in a blue moon, pot calling the kettle black. 

There's an Icelandic idiom, "Það eru margar undur í höfuðkúpu," which translates roughly to "there are many wonders in a cow's head." To my understanding, it's a way to say that the world is crazy. 

These landscape photos from Joshua Fuller's trip to Iceland had me pondering the wonders in a cow's head. 

Do What You Dream

Zachary Kilgas

The melodic words of Ingrid Michealson’s song “You and I” bounced around in my head as I read a long email from Christian Bendel. Truthfully, I felt silly about it. As I continued to read Christian’s candid recollection of his adventure through Provence, I broke down and got reacquainted with the song.

“Let’s get rich and buy our parent’s homes in the south of France,” Ingrid says whimsically. 

The rhythmic song dared me to dream, but Christian’s words pushed me further. The goal of the adventure was, in his words, “to do what he dreamed, instead of simply talking about it.”

Much like the song, Christian’s adventure was a love story, and his photo series captures their relationship intimately. Together, they traveled through canyons, cities, and around mountains. They cooked their meals on a fire, and slept in their car.

Christian said he aspires to do things differently. He explained that living this dream was not a straightforward path, but one that required spontaneity, and flexibility. He called this adventure, and his past ones, “Crossroads” for that reason.

America The Great: A Roadtrip with Alexander Miles

Christophe Chaisson

These last few days have been incredible stressful and emotional for many Americans, so to hear what Alexander Miles, an Australian, had to say about this country was balm to my soul. To see the beauty of the land that this nation was built on and to hear the affirming insights from a foreign traveler was a refresher for the love and hope I hold for America. 

Enjoy a glimpse of Alexander and Lana's Great American Roadtrip where these two  traveled, explored, and photographed the grand natural landscapes of the West.


Where are you from:

I was born in Sydney, Australia.

I've spent just as much time in Melbourne, Australia.

Age:

Depressing

Where do you live:

I live in East London.


From someone on the outside what is the appeal of visiting America? 

 As a kid, I always thought the USA was like the wild-west. Fame, fortune, wild people and wild nature. Most of the media we consumed in Australia - especially growing up - has been centred on America. We are spoon-fed doses of Americana all our lives. As an adult, and having spent a lot of time in the USA, I realise that its part true and part fallacy. America is stunningly beautiful, complex and surprising. Anyone i've ever spoken to that've taken a trip in the states comes out of it enlightened and humbled by the people and the beauty of the nature. 

What are the most iconic ideas/places/landmarks/narratives of "America" to the foreigner?

The great American Road Trip is something that almost every person I ever speak to states as the thing that they want to do. A rolling landscape of the road, dotted with weird and wonderful Americana. A lashing of the kitsch and miles of tired, weather-beaten signs advertising cheap gas or rooms. 

I keep going back to the desert. There is a bleakness, a tiredness which I find really compelling. You can drive for days and at the end of your journey you can end up somewhere like Zion and you feel like you've landed on another planet. Incredibly rewarding as a foreigner to have the interplay of bleakness and the grand scale of the natural sights.

Also, not to be discounted are the people and places - those roadside truck stops with funny 'attractions' and museums. Diners always about the diners.

@lanadelporto

@lanadelporto

 

Where did you go on this trip?

We flew from NYC straight to Vegas. Picked up a convertible Mustang and hit the road - it is totally cliched, but we're from Australia, so we figured we had to do it. From there we drove through the deserts to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Moab, finishing in the refreshingly green Colorado Rockies for a week.  

Where all have you visited in the past?

Lots of California, highlights being Yosemite, Death Valley. Nevada, Utah, Colorado. A little bit of the east coast, NYC and Boston, basically. For me it seems like the bigger attractions are always more in the west. 

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@lanadelporto

@lanadelporto

What are some tips for navigating America if you aren't American?

Hire a car. There is no other way to see the USA other than by using a car. We were intimidated by the idea of driving on the 'wrong side' of the road, but it's a cinch and having the mobility meant we saw so much more.
Get out of the cities. For me the charm of the USA is in the nature, the small towns and the people who live out there.
Plan your trip and give yourself more time than you think you need. The place is damn big, and most great landmarks, national parks etc would need more than a single night to do it justice. We didn't do that last time. Lesson learned.
Try pretty much everything you can get your hands on - the variety of food you've got is staggering. S'mores! What a thing!

@lanadelporto

@lanadelporto


Biggest pet peeve about America: 

Honestly? There isn't much. I'm trying to think of something? 

Oh! Ah! I've got it! Outside of NYC more often than not you'll find the worst coffee in the universe. It's totally butchered. For the record, to be fair, any coffee is better than no coffee, but for an Australian it's always a bit of an adjustment to get used to the heavily filtered coffee. Or, worse yet, Starbucks! 

Let's just chalk that down to cultural differences. 

Biggest thrill of America:

The feeling of anticipation when arriving somewhere extremely grand like Yosemite, Death Valley or Monument Valley knowing that it's going to be good and then it's so much better (and bigger) than you expected. When you sit there, looking at these amazing sights, jaw hanging, quietly just taking it in. It's probably not the thrill you'd expect, but it is the one that sticks with you.


What makes America, America? 

America has had a bad wrap for a long time and a lot of people still judge it harshly and unfairly today. It's a beautiful country, full of great people who are just finding their place in the world. It's far from perfect, but nowhere is. 

I always think about a very sarcastic quote from a good friend of mine in LA who said when I mocked him and the USA prior to ever having visited: "You only hate us because we're number one!" I never really had much of a comeback for that and after having travelled through much of the USA, it was really apparent to me what he meant. 

It's a damn good country. 

To me, America being a country of 'more'. You want something? Well you can have more of whatever that thing is. You want a canyon? Well here's the biggest damn canyon in the world. You like steak? Well how about a huge, table sized t-bone? You want to buy absolutely everything organic shop in a vegan-friendly packaging with a soy latte and a kale salad? Welcome to WholeFoods! 

You guys live large in pretty much every way, and it's pretty hard to fault the pleasure and charm of that way of life.

I'm inclined to agree with Alexander. America is a damn good country. Let's continue to uphold, appreciate, and fight for the beauty & values of America the Great.

You can catch more of Alexander and Lana's travels on Instagram.

Alexander: @bethebravest                 Lana: @lanadelporto

Sit in awe as you watch their breathtaking timelapse of their journey through the desert.

Muir Woods

Ben Ashby

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I create these stories and never remember to publish them. This is a set we took last year at Muir Woods outside San Fransisco. The woods is the most insane pocket of giant red wood trees, and is only about thirty minutes outside SF. 

You'll want to reserve tickets online as the wait to get in the park is otherwise rather strange and intense. 

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A Moment at La Push, Washington

Ben Ashby

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Last fall Brandon and I made our way from Seattle out to the Pacific coast for a night at La Push, Washington. If you've never made the leap and visited the Pacific Northwest, your visit is long past due. The nature is just insane. From the forests, to the rocky coasts everything is pure magic. These images were shot with a Canon 5D IV. 

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Authentic Lives | Andrea Tamburrini

Ben Ashby

Known for his delicious European moments, here are some images from our archives by Andrea.  

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Authentic Lives | Scott Bakkin

Ben Ashby

Canadian photographer Scott Bakkin is known for his landscapes of the Canadian Rockies and the western regions of Canada. Over the years we’ve collected a few of our favorite images by him.... 

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"Shortly, It Will All be Memories" || Meet Patrice Plouffe

Ben Ashby

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Photographer Patrice Plouffe has enchanted us with his dark and moody landscapes from across the globe. We wanted to learn more about his photography and his adventures so we sat down for a chat. 

 


Why do you adventure?  When I’m on an adventure, I am by myself. Being far away from others and big cities makes me feel alive and helps me manage my stress. 
 


 

Why do you explore? I love to take pictures of wild animals. I explore to be able to find their most hidden dens and capture pictures of them in their natural state. 
 

 

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Why take risks in life? I used to never take risks I was comfortable with the stability. But things happened in my life and that’s forces me to push myself and my limits. Sometimes even if you don’t want to, you have to. Personally, my best memories are from when I took risks. 


 

Where are you from? I am from Québec, Canada. I was born and raised the very small town of Saint-Sulpice (population of about 2,000). My backyard was fields and forests. I think that’s why I’ve always loved wildlife and why I’ve always had a special connection with nature. Presently, for work, I live in the much bigger city of Montreal, unfortunately. I do however on weekends get out of town as much as I can! 

 
 

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What is your 9-5? I am the project manager for a downtown Montréal artist/designer company. 


 

When you were growing up what or who did you want to be? When I was very young I wanted to invent things, like an industrial designer. After, a little older, I started to play guitar and was in a band. So at that point I wanted to be a rockstar (haha). I’ve always be a very creative person: I play music, I draw, I take pictures. My big goal is to live off my art.

 

 

 

 

Favorite place you've visited? Everywhere in Iceland, but Jökulsárlón blue lagoon was magical. 


 

Place you most desperately want to visit? Indonesia


 

What is the single greatest moment of human humanity you've experienced while traveling? I will always be amazed how generous people are towards strangers. 

When I was younger I played music in a band. We used to do a lot of shows and tours away from home. For weeks we had little money and no place to sleep. 

People were always ready to invite us in to their homes, let us take showers and made us food even though they didn’t know us personally. There was also one family in Iceland that will always be in my heart. They were so generous with my friend and myself. They invited us, complete strangers, into their home. They made us dinner, gave us a place to sleep, shared their knowledge of Iceland with us and even lent us their car. 


What has changed about you because of your travels? I'm much more grateful for what I have in life. I enjoy the simple things that surround me.


 

If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why? I am used to traveling alone but if I had to choose it would be with my good friend Micheal. He’s not complicated, he’s as easy going as I am and we’re often on the same wave length. He pushes me to take more risks and be more adventurous. 


 

 

Must haves for travel? Toilet paper.


 

Travel tips: If you’re short on time and cannot take a long term vacation be sure to rent a car. By relying on public transportation you loose a lot of time. You’ll be so much less stressed and another perk, you can always sleep in the car if necessary. 


 

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Give us a story: I traveled alone in Costa rica and everyone told me that it was a very safe place, but in the city of Tamarindo I ran into trouble. I was out at a club with a lot of Costaricans, it was the only night of my trip that I decided to go out to party. A Costarican was bothering me the whole night, trying to sell me cocaine. A little later in the night, a couple of drinks in, I had made friends with another traveler who was staying at the same hostel as I. I was honestly a bit tipsy and had to use the washroom, but it was very far in a dark corner behind the club. When I got out of the washroom the same guy who was harassing me to buy cocaine came at me with a knife in his hands telling me I have to buy his cocaine or I would be in a lot of trouble. Not knowing how to react I told him I had no money on me, but I would be back quickly with some. He obviously followed me back into the club. This is where I saw the one friend I had made at the beginning of the night. I told him I was in a lot of trouble and needed his help to get back safely to the hostel. He took a moment and tried to talk to the Costarican, without success. He couldn’t do anything for me because the Costarican had pulled a gun on him. At this point I must admit I was pretty scared, not to mention the club was closing in less than an hour. I didn’t know what to do. I told the Costarican that I needed to get to the bank and at that point I just bolted. I must have ran 6KM in 2minutes (haha) to get back to the hostel. Luckily I met a security guard who calmed me down and reassured me. Apparently in the drug “low seasons” in Tamarindo it happens a lot. I don’t have to tell you I didn’t sleep one wink that night. I would have to say, be extra vigilant and careful, you never know what can happen when you’re alone! Words of advice when you’re alone: don’t drink too much and keep your head straight. 


 

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Based on your travels what is the single most needed improvement for humanity to be stronger: Humanity has lost its way, If I could remove one thing on earth to help the world it would be all the hatred, terrorists and religions. Every single human needs to accept everyone as they are. When defining religions, we create differences, thus separating us all instead of drawing us all together.

 

What would you say to someone who has never travelled before? Take time to enjoy and relax, don't be hurried. It’s over way too soon. Shortly, it will all be memories. You will regret if you don’t enjoy the moment.

 

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When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone? What did you learn from that lesson? Every time I travel I'm out of my comfort zone. I travel with only a backpack and a limited budget. That's what I love and I learn every time to be more grateful of what I have back home. The time I’ve felt the most out of my comfort zone was the Costa Rica incident previously mentioned. I felt very alone and powerless. I’ve learned to be more careful and not go to crazy partying alone in a club so far  away from home ;)


What would you say to your former self? Time changes everything, stop stressing, be patient, everything will fall into place.


 

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What gives you hope? Photography, nature, landscapes, wildlife


 

Where to next? I would love to visit my country.  The Rockies, British Columbia. Also for my next big trip I would visit Norway. 
 


 

Is flannel always in season? No :/ I'm always hot. 

 

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Estival Survey + Alaska

Ben Ashby

About two seconds.

That’s what you have between being asked and your response; before you let on.

It’s important first, to acknowledge we’ve reached the era of total geographical and technological accessibility. Our generation has become comfortable, in such a way that we can begin to treat a trip to say— Vik with as much insouciance as some may have once— and do, their honeymoon to The Bahamas. So with this accessibility, it’s become less uncommon to cross paths with those whom venture frequently. I believe it’s the sheer magnitude of some variables that revolve around certain destinations; kilometers driven, meters climbed, batteries exhausted, that continue to garner an audience eager to follow along, and possibly take part in the journey through your response. Your response, however, is what you control. Following the great distances and scenes catalogued, you have a brief opportunity to contort history to serve the limelight into which you’re asked to share it.

About two seconds: to say the trip was perfect, or to tell the truth.

We’d gone in, a band of misfit storytellers, documentarians, broken hearts and transcontinental navigators. We’d agreed to drive our friends’ [@floatballoontours] hot air balloon from Phoenix, some four thousand long miles, to Anchorage. Upon our arrival, the Cloth & Flame (@clothandflame) and Royal & Design (@royalanddesign) teams would rendezvous and fly the balloon over the great Alaskan frontier. We’d camp, cook and share in campfire tomfoolery along the way. We’d collect our cast as the journey unfolded, and exchange it as the screenplay called. We’d gather the endorsement of our favorite like-minded brands, and set course into the true unknown, unruly and untamed wilderness of the far, far north. We’d no idea what we were getting into, but as the self-proclaimed crew of the first Survey; Estival Survey, we had done the best we damn could to prepare.

Our initial trajectory took us across Joshua Tree National Park, Los Angeles, the mighty Redwood Forest, San Francisco, the dunes of Oregon, and up to Seattle, Washington, over the course of roughly seven days. It was seldom a matter of beauty, where our attention strayed, as it was a matter of cognitive survival. This was meant to be the mild stretch— the familiar territory where we’d have ample time and resource to recuperate and charge our souls before moving onward.

The reality, and the response we wish to share is that behind the glamor, there lies a greater truth. Fevers, flies, poisonous vines, damp earth and sleeplessness all laid the groundwork to a remarkably taxing expedition. The nauseatingly vast stretch across Canada had begin to set in several hours after crossing the border. The decision had been made to trek through until our final destination. We made several day camps— of course given the extensive amount of daylight the further north we ventured, allowed for some flexibility with this. Kathleen Lake, Yukon was arguably one of the most beautiful places we could have ever hoped to lay our heads, hammocks, and sip a beer in freshwater at. We knew, however, our time was limited, as we wished to make schedule to Alaska. We drove, and drove, and drove into some great towering blackness; bear dotted gravel ways and tree lines set to stun. We drove, and drove.

 

Our time in Alaska felt short. It felt longer than the days we occupied it, and somehow still brief. I think it’s the madness of going that causes this. The brands we had partnered with allowed for several remarkable campsites and experiences; unparalleled landscapes of blue, and soft etchings of green. Not to say we weren’t in some ways sick, smoke tainted and tattered. Several of us had developed sever reactions and wounds. It was rough. Tempers were fickle. We pressed on, to admire and notice the Earth we escaped to find, and connect with one another in ways we left home to conquer...

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When the brazen adventure seemed to be nearing its end, I received an unexpected opportunity to plunge myself one more time into the throws of the unknown. On my last day in Alaska, one of our hot air balloon pilots, Jeff, a slow-talking, wispy outdoorsman with a salt and pepper mustache and a sweat-stained baseball cap, offered to fly one member of the Estival Survey crew over the Knik Glacier in his plane to snap photos since weather would not permit us to charter a helicopter and fulfill our ultimate dream of flying the hot air balloon over the glacier. Knowing it was my last day, my beloved crew of cohorts voted unanimously that I should be the one with the privilege of taking this flight. We went to the local airport and walked up to a 1958 super-cub single-prop plane. At first I was a little nervous about getting in that rickety old thing, but true to the spirit of our journey, I went for it.

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

We flew over Anchorage and roughly another fifty miles over gorgeous Alaskan frontier to the edge of Inner Lake Gorge which connects to the mouth of Knik Glacier. That’s when old Jeff announced to me over the intercom headsets that we were going to be landing there. We hiked to the edge of the lake to take in the view of the massive icebergs floating in the water. After a little while, old Jeff, inadvertently stumbled upon an old, overturned canoe that was hiding in the brush. We flipped it over to reveal two sun-bleached life preservers and two oars. The canoe frame was bent crooked in several places and there was a large crack in the green frame which is almost certainly why it had been left behind. There are no roads to take you to this lake so the canoe must've been flown in  by helicopter at some point. Jeff duct-taped the crack in the canoe and we tested it's ability to float in the shallow water. Once we were confident that the boat wasn't going to sink, we decided to get in and take it through the maze of icebergs; the majesty and grandness of which I will never be able to fully describe. The crackling, squeaking, breathing noise of the ancient ice and how each jagged tower was as beautiful as any sculpture. The blues were comically over-saturated and the whites were blinding. We grabbed a couple chunks of ice that had broken off and fallen into the lake. I don't know fully how to describe it, but this ice was somehow colder than normal ice. We wrapped a couple chunks in a jacket and flew it back to Anchorage with us.

Later that night, when my time on the adventure came to an end, the remaining crew ofEstival Survey poured a glass of whiskey over top of the ice and cheers’d to what had genuinely been, the trip of a lifetime.

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

This isn’t about running away from your problems or grandstanding or crusade. It’s about connecting with the natural world that is so easy to overlook in the times we live in. It’s about rectifying the blisters on your feet with the sunset from the mountaintop. It’s cleaning your hands and face in the cool waters of the river. I believe that the answers we seek reside within us, always. We are born of truth, but the unbridled beauty of this planet can help bring that truth out of us. Sometimes it’s simple; like how rain on the canvas tent can enhance the reading of a book. Sometimes it’s profound; like the twilight nights around the fire when the sun never fully set; when you question god and yourself. It’s when you realize once and for all that you ain’t no wilting twig damned to a cracked pot. You are a wildflower, born of the sun and the dirt. It’s when you agree to give it hell and see where you end up. It’s when you get up and get going. It’s when you let the compass point you forward and the stars compel you onward. It’s my sincerest hope that we may all meet with vigor the challenges of our destinies.

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I aligned with an idea that life could be compared to attempting to lift the stool you're sitting on. I'm now more inclined to think it best described as adrift in a hot air balloon. Silence until noise. Still until caught. It all seems simple, and then you look around beyond the comfort of your woven chariot. You are at the mercy of variables beyond control, with your only powers to react or not. You notice places slip by below, and wonder whether they too had stories; whether they too have chosen a response, or one day will. Regardless, they pass. Regardless, the horizon will never repeat itself, for by the time you circle the sphere, the landscape has changed again.

Estival Survey, 2016 (#EstivalSurvey)

Words by Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell) & S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Film by Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell, @royalanddesign)

Photos by Constance Higley (@constancehigley)

Team:

Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell)

S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Dylan Brabec (@dylanbrabec)

Constance Higley (@constancehigley)

Michelle Johnson (@meeshalrj)

Brendan McCaskey (@jarofbuttons)

Cheyanne Paredes (cheyp)

Royal & Design (@royalanddesign)

Cloth & Flame (@clothandflame)

Mount Tamalpais

Ben Ashby

We'd seen the view in so many photos. A golden hill high above the fog and clouds. Paths cut through the dried grasses and fading into the clouds below. We knew we had to visit while we were in San Fransisco. Mount Tamalpais is just a very short drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The perfect sunset spot and a very easy hike. 

The following are images I shot at sunset near the peak of Mount Tamalpais with the Canon 5d Mark IV

"Just north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Tamalpais State Park rises majestically from the heart of Marin County. Its deep canyons and sweeping hillsides are cloaked with cool redwood forests, oak woodlands, open grasslands, and sturdy chaparral. 

The breathtaking panorama from Mount Tamalpais’s 2,571-foot peak includes the Farallon Islands 25 miles out to sea, the Marin County hills, San Francisco Bay, the East Bay, and Mount Diablo. On rare occasions, the snow-covered Sierra Nevada can be seen 150 miles away.

The park offers superlative hikingpicnickingwildlife watching, and mountain and road bicycling." — ca.gov

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Wales on Film

Ben Ashby

 

WALES ON FILM

A PHOTO ESSAY BY CHRIS BUXTON

 


 

Wales is the mountainous western cousin of England, a Celtic link to the past with over 1,180 km or 730 mi for us using the imperial system of coastline, and 50 islands decorating it. Boasting three national parks and the Heritage Coast, Wales is an untapped land of adventure. Chris Buxton, a lifestyle photographer based in Wales in the United Kingdom, uses 35mm film for most of his practice. He relies on film to achieve a feeling that digital cameras can't capture naturally.

 

 

 

Living in Wales, he'd never really travelled around the Welsh landscape and finally decided to explore it with his second set of eyes, his camera. "I was very shocked by how beautiful this country truly is," says Chris, "it has shown me that everyone needs to explore their own homes to see where they're truly from." Chris tries to capture the natural and inner beauty of the landscape of his homeland and put it on the maps of like-minded soul-searchers and explorers hoping to find a new destination and a new adventure.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Fog Lay Low

Ben Ashby

 

THE FOG LAY LOW

A JOURNEY THROUGH ISLAND

 


 

Iceland is a beautiful country of long roads and waterfalls. The fog lay low on the mountains during our visit, making it feel exactly how I hoped it would feel. The atmosphere was contagious.  I'll never forget the awe that I felt surrounding each landscape.

PHOTOGRAPHY ESSAY BY: NATHAN O'MALLY

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Iceland is a beautiful country of long roads and waterfalls. The fog lay low on the mountains during our visit , making it feel exactly how I hoped it would feel. The atmosphere was contagious.  I'll never forget the awe that I felt surrounding each landscape.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

PHOTOGRAPHY ESSAY BY: NATHAN O'MALLY

A PNW Moment

Ben Ashby

 

Nothing beats the PNW. Sure, you see those 3 letters all over social media, but you really can't grasp the intrigue of this region unless your feet are in the dewy morning grass of Seattle. Waking up to breaking clouds and perfectly roasted coffee will you put you in a zen like state you've never felt before. Prior to a sunset fire on the beach, we worked our way out of the city and into the trees... In a Subaru of course :) Petite coffee shops, old railroads, and running creeks line the windy roads that lead you to a nature like you have never seen. So, grab a ticket, pack a bag, and take your friends to the PNW for the perfect weekend getaway.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADAM SWARTZ

 
 
 

Shenandoah Skyline Road Trip

Christophe Chaisson

As the Summer of '16 winded down, one thing from my to-do list had yet to be fulfilled - a road trip. To where, though? I had been north to Canada; I had been west to the mountains. However, one segment of America I had not yet explored - the South. I have family down in Atlanta and with some free time on my hands, the perfect opportunity lay before me to take a road trip.

I devised a plan to spend about four days and three nights along one of America's most scenic byways - The Shenandoah Skyline drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which connect in central Virginia. The first day I spent driving about five hours to stay with a friend near Washington D.C., which was close enough to the real starting point of the journey that I could simply wake up the next morning and begin.

At dawn, I hopped on I-66 West, which was a quick hour ride to Front Royal, VA - the gateway to Shenandoah National Park's north entrance. After receiving a tip from someone familiar with the area, I grabbed a juicy burger at local sensation, Spelunker's. Finally, I was ready to begin.

The Skyline Drive is one of the most amazing roads one can experience. It gently winds back and forth through 105 miles of stunning Virginia wilderness with 75 pull-offs to take in the view (about 65 of which I stopped at.) The 35 MPH speed limit ensures that you're here to take it slow and be in the present. There's simply no rushing through such a beautiful place.

I spent the first day riding along, taking in the pull-out views and photographing the curves and stretches of road. It was pleasantly quiet in the park so I took my time soaking in everything. While there are plenty of hikes and outdoor activities to do in Shenandoah, the Skyline Drive is more or less the park itself. Many national parks are reserved spaces of land that have plenty of loops for circling and exploring. Shenandoah is unique in that the park is linear - only a few state routes intersect the park with options to exit. Otherwise, you're entering on one end and you're coming out on the other end, which encourages one to see its entirety.

I'm generally all for roughing it, but it was a particularly humid week and I desperately needed a shower after driving for so many hours. I made my way to Big Meadows campground, which is a beautiful campground and one of the few I've experienced that have a full range of facilities. The ranger at the registration booth gave me a short list of her favorite campsites at the Big Meadows loop and I took her up on the spacious, yet secluded, A103.

The weather was expected to deteriorate in the coming days, so I wanted to take advantage of what might be the last clear night on my trip. I made my way over to the Lodge to watch a spectacular Virginia sunset and converse with the travelers staying overnight.

When they sky finished its show, I went back to A103 to cook a ravioli dinner on the camp stove. Solo camping can get a bit lonely at times but a meal by a campfire was incredibly calming. Night fell and as the surrounding campers ended their day, mine was just getting started. I grabbed my camera and headed down to the entrance of the campgrounds where its namesake lies - literally a big meadow. I set up my tripod under a moonlit sky and just started shooting. Per usual, the end product was far beyond my initial intentions or expectations...

The next morning, the fog rolled in and I wouldn't see sunlight for days to come. However, that wasn't gonna stop me from continuing my journey and taking advantage of the photo op. I packed up camp, said goodbye to A103 and meandered my way down the rest of the Skyline Drive. I had many days to go and 500 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway to experience. The road trip was just beginning...

To see the rest of Jack Tumen's roadtrip of a life time, check out @jacktumen on Instagram.

Look at Eldin in Iceland | Day Two

Ben Ashby

Today can be best described as a glimpse into monochromatic Iceland. We started early from Reykjavik and headed south, hitting two waterfalls, Skógafoss the most famous of the two. It is a 200 foot waterfall with a tiny, windy stairway to the top and seagulls nesting within the cliffs. From there, we trekked 4 KM by foot to reach the famous DC3 plane crash site. This site has a really cool really cool story: In 1973 a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, in the South coast of Iceland. Everyone survived, and it turns out that the pilot packed the wrong fuel packet. Following that, we went to the black sand beach to see the basalt columns and caves. I was nearly swallowed by an unsuspecting wave, but managed to dig my boots into the ground and rode the course. After a quick change of clothes, we settled into a tiny log cabin cottage with the view of the mountains and the black sand beach through our front door.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ELDIN JASAREVIC

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Look at Eldin in Iceland | Day One

Ben Ashby

"We got in Iceland this morning, rented a car, and plan on driving around the entire island along Route 1. Our first stop was Hellnar and Snæfellsjökull, and staying at the KEX Hostel in Reykjavik. Tomorrow we are heading south, hoping to hit Vik and many other spots along the way." —

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ELDIN JASAREVIC