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Filtering by Category: adventure

The San Francisco Guide to Nature

Ben Ashby

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When I travel I really want the best of all possible worlds to be right around me. I want nature, I want the city, and I want it to mix perfectly together. This was my first trip to San Francisco and I had no idea that this city would provide both worlds with great ease. The idea behind this trip was to spend three days in San Francisco. Our goal was to spend as much time as possible photographing the area. Before we arrived Paige had already made a list of all the places and spaces she wanted to visit. We broke those into three areas and decided to tackle one area a day. The following is our guide for three days in San Francisco. 

 

For the trip our home base was the Marker Hotel. It is just a few blocks from Union Square and has much of the city within walking distance. Their onsite parking made frequent in and out trips super easy.

 

 

Day One: The Golden Gate Bridge and North

 

We’ve all seen that opening to Full House. We’ve seen the car and the family going across the bridge, and as kids we all dreamt of the day we too would go across. That nostalgia is most certainly why the northern area had to be our first location.

 

This guide can really be done in any order,

we typically plan things around the position of the sun. 

 

Stops:

Golden Gate Bridge (Fort Point) — this Civil War era fort sits under the south side of the bridge. The area around it provides a perfect spot to get that under the bridge photo or a shot of Alcatraz in the distance.

 

Muir Woods — we were really surprised at the sheer beauty of this park. The redwoods, while only 2/3 the size of those found further inland are still massive and truly a sight to see. The wooden footbridges throughout the park create a wonderful aesthetic and harken back to days gone by. Do this park during the day as light is on short supply below the tree canopy.

 

Mount Tamalpais — go at sunset. This mount is one of the highest peaks in the bay area. Known for its golden hills and its views above the clouds and fog this is the best photo moment of your trip. While there we were surrounded by grazing deer and other wildlife. 

 

Fort Baker — is on the northern side of the bridge. It gives glorious shots from above the bridge looking into the bay. This spot is usually crowded. Plan enough time to hunt for parking. The view is worth the wait or hike. 

 

Kirby Cove — there is a swing that hangs over the water. It is the perfect photograph, but it requires a rather long and steep hike. We did not venture to this spot, but have heard it is worth the hike.

 

Point Bonita Lighthouse — the hours at this lighthouse are odd. Check the hours before you go. Once you’re there follow the audio walking tour to learn about the park and the lighthouse. It was a highlight of the short trip to the lighthouse. From here you get a really wide shot of the entire city, bridge, and bay. Hike up above the lighthouse for amazing views of the Pacific. 

 

 

Sadly we didn’t take any time for food stops while north of the city. We ended our day at the Cheesecake Factory. 

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Day Two: Inside San Fransisco

 

Sutro Bath Ruins — we started our day well before sunrise. Paige’s favorite spot of the trip was our sunrise at the ruins of the Sutro Baths. When built in the late 1800s it was the largest indoor pool complex in the world. The entire property burned in the 1960s and the ruins have since become iconic for their weathered concrete pools and amazing glassy reflections. The waves of the Pacific crash along the shoreline behind the ruins. Before you go educate yourself on the ruins. It was a fascinating story. If you go in the afternoon or evening eat at the historic Cliff House on the cliffs above the ruins.

 

Lands End — this park and area of the city is heavily wooded and sits along the coast. We stopped at two beaches to get views of the bridge in the distance. We also spotted cute sea life along the shore. Locals say Baker Beach is a great stop for views of the bridge.

 

Ferry Building — the perfect stop for breakfast or lunch. Vendor and food stalls line the hallways of this historic building. From here you can take a ferry across the bay for wonderful shots of the city. 

 

The Painted Ladies — the iconic park scene from the Full House opening comes to life high on a hill in the city. If you’re looking from the house with the red door that the Tanner’s lived in…you’ll find it three short blocks away.

 

 

Day Three: South of San Francisco 

 

For our final day we wanted to see the area south of the city so we would be closer to the airport. 

 

If time allows go to Big Sur. Before you go check on road conditions. If the weather and roads are good this is a must do drive while in central California. 

 

Bixby Canyon Bridge — a classic on Highway 1. Wide turn offs allow for sweeping views of the bridge as it crosses the cliffs of this historic highway.

 

Shark Fin Cove – sunrise at Shark Fin Cove is a must do. Rock formations out in the water look identical to a shark fin. The sand covered cove has a cave with crashing waves surrounding it. This is the spot to get your coastal pacific cliffs image. Stop for breakfast in the town of Davenport after you leave the beach.

 

Big Basin Redwoods State Park — surround yourself with hundreds of ancient redwoods as you take leisurely hikes. The roads into the park also allow for high vistas above the tree lines. 

 

 

Sadly we know we missed many other spots are the city and around Central California. When planning your trip to the region keep in mind that many of the roads are winding and steep. Speeds are slow, but with nature all around you, surely you’ll want to drive slow and take it all in. Cell service is rather spotty in most of the areas, even those just a short distance from the city. 

 

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Our Tips for Your Trip

 

1) Our biggest tip for visiting this area is pack plenty of water. While the city and the bay area typically has a cooler wetter climate, you’ll notice as soon as you leave the bay that the temperatures rise. Pack water and plenty of snacks. 

 

2) When renting a car keep in mind that you’ll most likely be staying within the city. Think compact. The majority of the roads to the parks are easily doable in a compact car. Small cars also allow for easier maneuvering around the tight switchbacks. 

 

3) Plan ahead. If Paige hadn’t been as well prepared with a list of all the places she wanted to see we wouldn’t have been able to plan as strategically to fit in as many stops as we did.

 

4) Slow down. After years of doing these overly fast photography trips I can assure you nothing is worse than rushing. While you may think you’re only in these places for the photographs, you want to enjoy your time there. Slow down and step away from the camera. Create an experience and a memory to go along with your photos. 

 

5) Make friends with locals. While looking at a map in a coffee shop a local beside us offered her recommendations for local restaurants and shoppings spots. Take their advice. Nothing is worse than a bad food experience. 

 

6) Leave the selfie stick at home. When you’re traveling please be aware that you aren’t alone. Don’t ruin others memories by parading around selfie sticks, live streaming, or droning your entire experience. Ask someone to snap a photo of you, or stick to images of nature. 

 


SPECIAL THANKS TO:  JDV HOTELS (THE MARKER) || BH PHOTO (WE USED A CANON 5D MARK IV) || MAKERS MARKET, AVIATE, STOCK MFG CO, AND BUCK MASON FOR CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES)

Additional thanks to: National Car Rental and Delta Airlines

 

"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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Why Must We Protect Our Public Lands?

Ben Ashby

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WHY MUST WE PROTECT OUR PUBLIC LANDS

ESSAY BY AMY HAYDEN || PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAIGE DENKIN

 

The question was asked...why must we protect our public lands and parks... Amy Hayden responded with a beautiful essay

Here is a simple history lesson for you. You do realize that's how these places became national parks. Someone wandered onto the land and saw the beauty and decided it needed to be known that it was a beautiful, majestic wonder the earth created, and it needed to be known that there were many people that came before us and they put their mark on it and called it home. And when decades later it was discovered people went to great lengths to protect it, and to teach others about it, to help preserve such a wonder, a rare beauty. Beauties that every state in our country once had tons of and now everyday we are losing more of them from natural disasters and political disasters. If no one stepped foot into these areas there would be no beauty to admire. No one would know or care about such places. We'd be suffocating with cities filled to the brim with people.

 

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These places are our history, my history, Native American runs through my blood and I would love to know what my ancestors experienced before I die, so I too can find a way to leave my mark on this earth for future generations to see and experience when I'm long gone. To remember who came before them as we are now remembering who came before us. That's what national parks/monuments are all about. To teach us to be grateful, to show us that we were not just handed all this. It's to teach us that one day this world will no longer exist in the beauty we see it today. Stepping foot into such a place is not killing it, it's making it a beautiful memory. But drilling and mining miles down underneath it, Say goodbye resources this beautiful land survives on. Say hello to a wasteland caused by greedy, power hungry humans. Open your eyes and see the answers are in these places.

@REBELLIOUSWALLFLOWER

Happy Birthday, National Parks!

Christophe Chaisson

"The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel." — Theodore Roosevelt

PHOTO + ESSAY: PAIGE DENKIN

I was asked to write a quick piece about the National Parks and why they’re important. I spent a long time debating the rich and deep rhetoric I could create about our beautiful lands and how inviting and scared they are. But I couldn’t bring myself to write these words. At least not seriously, not whole-heartedly. After questioning why writers blocks would strike me on a topic I’m so fixated and passionate about, I realized the shallow facade of a piece I’d be creating if all I did was sugar coat our country and the way we treat our National Parks. So this isn’t a fluffy feel good piece about America, it’s a PSA in honor of our endangered land. A birthday wish that in another 100 years, we find the confidence and commitment to take a stand for the protection of our only planet and our beautiful country.

Do I need to include an quick explanation of how magnificent our country’s terrain is? Perhaps. As someone who wasn’t afforded the luxury of travel while growing up, I’m still humbled by the smallest of foothills and the biggest of skies. Now as I near 30 years old, I’m happy to say I’ve at least driven from one coast to the other and had the opportunity to see the differing atmospheres and topography. This country is massive, my friends. It is hearty, it is as diverse as the people who live here and it is drop dead gorgeous. And 100 years ago, Woodrow Wilson made the National Park Service a federally managed and funded bureau, allowing them to preserve and honor the magnificent sights and locations that make our country what it is.

Though encouraged for personal and cultural gain, please travel vast corners of the globe as much as this life affords you to. Many of us cannot. But I know you have a weekend coming up that’s completely free. Maybe some of you have travel points saved up or a car sitting in the drive way that only knows the route to work and a few pokestops along the way. You need to do yourself a favor and make an honest attempt to visit as many of our National Parks as you possibly can. Now. With nearly 60 national parks, ranging from the deserts of Arizona and the mountain peaks in Alaska to the sands of Hawaii and the caves of Kentucky… they’re out there. They’re begging to be loved, viewed and respected. The lands give way to more than 18,000 miles of trails and is home to multiple endangered species. I can’t stress to you enough the beauty that can be found in our own backyard. It doesn’t have to be a trip to Iceland or Australia, it can just be a road trip with your friends or a long weekend with your significant other. Or maybe just an over night camping trip with the dog and your fishing pole. It’s there. It’s accessible. And no excuse is worth missing these moments.

Now I can sit here all day and type out facts and show pretty photos of Yosemite and Yellowstone, but the unfortunate truths are never as pretty as we hope. Lately the ongoing trend of doing anything daring or risky for a photo, has literally begun the collapse of fragile ecosystems, preserved for centuries within the parks. The lack of respect for our own home land is concerning to say the least. Not only is it becoming more frequent for tourists to carve graffiti into trees and rock faces (and then post it through their social outlets) but visitors proudly take home fauna, debris and even living creatures as a collected prize, leaving the land a little more vacant and resulting in a less fulfilling experience for future generations. And if destruction and theft isn’t enough, the unnecessary death toll continues to rise. From falling off cliffs, to breaking through acidic springs.. The stories are abundant and more come out all the time. I mean, can we talk about the insanity that is dying in a national park from lack of respect for the land? My friends, it’s an old tried-and-true concept.. respect the land and the land will respect you. Before visiting one our truly sacred and gorgeous parks, understand that we are simply guests on mother earth and you will never win an argument with her so don’t even bother, darling.

It has been 100 years of preserving our land. 100 years of fighting and battling to keep Earth’s legacy alive and today, on the centennial of such a great accomplishment, I ask you to evaluate your relationship with the outdoors. Maybe you don’t see it enough, maybe you see it too often and take it for granted. Whatever the case may be, today is the day to pay your respects and toast a drink to our diverse, rich and magnificent country that is The United States and thank our stars there are people willing to continuously fight to protect those locations that make us all go “ooh” on Instagram. These places wouldn’t be around anymore if it wasn’t for them and wasn’t for the National Park Service. This entire country could easily have been fracked for resources and turned into a super mall by now, but for the time being.. we’re lucky enough to have soaring mountain peaks, seemingly infinite canyons and crystal blue waters. Please, never take it for granted. Offer your donations to help continue their efforts, take time to visit and appreciate the parks or just have a conversation with a friend about the importance of protecting the sights and locations our forefathers wrote about, traveled through and discovered. This ground is the exact same ground history was written on, and it’s our duty to continue the efforts of preservation.

Happy birthday, National Parks. You’ve always made America great.

Paul Tellefsen | Adventure Lessons

Ben Ashby

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We've known Texas based photographer Paul Tellefsen for years. We are always inspired by his spirit of community and for adventure. We sat down with him to learn more about what he has learned from years of criss crossing the globe as a full time photographer. 

Why do you adventure? To push myself into uncomfortable, out of rhythm experiences to see what I’m really made of.

Why do you explore? Because I believe we were made to.

 

 

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Why take risks in life? What is life without risks? Boring.

Where are you from: Born and raised in Dallas, TX

What is your 9-5: I quit the 9-5 and am a full time commercial photographer and work with @socality.

 

 

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When you were growing up what or who did you want to be? I wanted to be a doctor for a long time because my mom said I had a good bed side manner. Then for a short time a chef and an architect. But I knew early on I was gifted at creative mediums like design and photography. It came naturally. So that’s what I ended up pursuing.

Favorite place you've visited? 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road in Australia. It was a lifelong dream to visit Australia. And this place took my breath away.

 

 

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Place you most desperately want to visit? Northern Norway. My dad is the first generation in America from Norway. So our family still lives in Southern Norway. We went back this Summer after 18 years and I was in awe. Flights from there are super cheap up North too.

 

 

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What is the single greatest moment of human humanity you've experienced while traveling?

New York City with Cubby Graham. I was flying to NYC for my first big photo gig with Cadillac and didn’t know who I was going to stay with or what I was gonna do. At the last minute, while I was at baggage claim, Cubby’s house opened up. Then the airline lost my bag. I spent two full days with no clothes or toiletries.

But Cubby showed one of the greatest moments of hospitality and care in my life. He offered to buy me clothes, borrow clothes, go back and wait on the baggage truck, by the way which never showed up), he gave up his bed. The list goes on. I’ve never felt so loved, but basically then a stranger. It changed my life.

 

 

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What has changed about you because of your travels? My capacity to love. I’ve grown to love more and judge less.

Who is the most dynamic and thought provoking person you've ever met? Scott Bakken. Hands down probably. He’s one of the most dynamic people I’ve ever met and now have the chance to work with. His ideas on topics inspire and challenge me relentlessly. I’m forever marked by the time I’ve spent serving underneath his leadership.

 

 

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If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why? I would pick Tanner Wendell Stewart (@tannerwendellstewart). I travelled with him a lot this year and just really enjoy seeing the world through his eyes. Highly respect his creative gift and his passion for nature. If you ever get the chance, travel with him and his wife!

 

 

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Must Haves for Travel:

  • Away Luggage
  • My weird looking, but awesome neck pillow
  • Mobile charger
  • Good book
  • Journal
  • Camera with one variable lens
  • Bathing Suit cause you never know

 

Give us Some Travel Tips:

  • Always take the window seat. The view is worth it. I’m 6’4” and I always scrunch to do it.
  • Travel Solo at least once.
  • It’s not about the city you travel to, it’s about who you experience it with. 
  • As part of your journaling while you travel, pick a flower or piece of a plant and put it into the journal to remember the trip.
  • On long flights take NyQuil. Make a game of trying to sleep the entire flight.
  • Wear your heaviest shoes onto the plane to save weight

 

 

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Give us a story any kind of story from one of your trips: This summer I travelled to Norway to see my family and part of me expected to get these epic, crazy photos that you see from there. Now we did take one day of the two weeks we were there to drive to an amazing fjord, but most of the time was with family on our farm.

What I learned on this trip is to embrace the purpose of the trip you are on. If it’s to travel and drive all day to get the shot then enjoy it, but if it’s to be with family then be with family and enjoy that too. 

 

 

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Based on your travels what is the single most needed improvement for humanity to be stronger: A desire to gain understanding of people different than us.

What would you say to someone who has never travelled before? GO! Save up. Getting outside of your normal bubble is the best thing I ever did.

The location doesn’t make the trip, the people do. I’ve travelled to some incredible places, but no matter how beautiful or EPIC the place is, if you are with the wrong people it will ruin the trip. Be thoughtful on who you bring with you.

 

 

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What is the single greatest lesson you've learned from someone that is different than you? To not seek to prove someone right or wrong, but seek to understand. I use the phrase “Help me understand” a lot these days.

When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone? What did you learn from that lesson? It’s honestly more of the same for me. We can’t judge someone regardless of their background or beliefs or what not. All we can do is have a heart of compassion towards all people. Seeking to care and not fix people different than us.

 

 

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What would you say to your former self? Calm down. Take a deep breath. You don’t need to be perfect.

What gives you hope? Jesus. period. I know that’s super Sunday school. But in my life it’s truth.

 

 

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Where to next? I’m actually writing this right now on a plane to Nashville to work with Tennessee Tourism.

Is flannel always in season? Yep. I have some packed away in my suitcase.

 

— @technopaul

 

 

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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.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A Southwest Love Affair

Ben Ashby

 

 

Today's photo gallery comes to us from Jordan Ison from Salt Lake City. You may know him better as @jordan_is on Instagram. 

I asked Jordan to share a bit about himself: 

I'm Jordan. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Born and raised. I have a love affair with the Southwest Desert. Spent most my life exploring different areas, and learning the history before taking up the camera to photograph it. I love the National Parks, but I love being off the beaten path more. 

I shoot medium format film, iPhone, and digital, in that order. I mostly shoot landscapes and portraiture with some lifestyle photography mixed in. 

Other things; I read a lot. I travel a lot. I eat a lot. I drink a lot of coffee. I lift heavy things. 

These photos are from Lake Powell and Lower Antelope Canyon.

 


PHOTOGRAPHY: JORDAN ISON

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

SHOT USING AN IPHONE


 

 

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

Adventure Because You Can | Meet Blake Pack

Ben Ashby

— There is something innate in mankind to look to the horizon, a beach, or a mountain top and say, "I wanna go see what things look like over there."

 

MEET BLAKE PACK....

I've known Blake Pack for years. He is one of those guys I've followed on Instagram 2011 and have lusted after his western life daily. To be surrounded by the mountains and the salt flats of Salt Lake City just seemed to be such a magical place to be. Blake, along with his group of friends have been documenting their adventures through photographer for years now. I thought it was well past time to learn more about Mr. Pack and why he adventures. 

 
 

Why do you adventure - Adventure because you can. Because you have a privilege the majority of the world does not: to travel with means and comfort to understand and come to better know the world we live in, and for the most part the small state of that I live in.

Why do you explore - It's pretty much on par with why I adventure: there is something innate in mankind to look to the horizon, a beach, or a mountain top and say, "I wanna go see what things look like over there." It's crucial to our development and well-being. Most of my explorations comes takes place in nature. I believe at some point in time we forgot that we are a part of nature, just as the trees, beavers, and bears. I'm not talking in a hippy-dippy kinda way; I mean in a literal cognitive reset. We evolved from the wilderness and at our core, we are all animals. I think it's important to keep that animal alive and wild and exploring does that for me. 

 
 

Why take risks in life  -  Because lines are meant to be crossed and boundaries pushed. You will never know how far you can stretch and reach if you don't not try. 

Where are you from  - Idaho Falls, Idaho, baby!

What is your 9-5 -I run marketing for a tech company called Needle, where I do most of the content creation, copy writing, and design - I also have a person shirt company called badastronot.com, and help another guy with his website and content creation... and suddenly I am realizing why I don't have as much travel time as I'd like.

 

 

When you were growing up what or who did you want to be - I still wanna be what I wanted to be as a kid: and astronaut. Clearly that path veered, but at the rate we're going, I totally plan on one of my last adventures and explorations to be in a rocket to space where I can see earth as a whole; I want to see the full, big picture. Till then, I am going to pause my "growing up" and stay a kid who is viewing the world on a more micro level.

Favorite place you've visited - Big Sur - not so much because it was gorgeous (I mean, duh, it is) but more so because of the company I was with, the conversations that accompanied us, and mishaps that shaped our trip, and the amazing food we shared.

Place you most desperately want to visit - Hmmmm. Probably New Zealand, Antartica, or Cuba. 

 
 

What has changed about you because of your travels - I find focus when I travel. Unfortunately that focus blurs as time from that travel wears off, but the longer the trip I take away from it all, the clearer I see the world, my problems, etc. 

Who is the most dynamic and thought provoking person you've ever met - Dallas Hartwig. 

If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why - I wanna do a 50 State Journey with Sufjan Stevens. He can continue his 50-State Album project while I interview him, hear him play diddies on the banjo, and make amazing images of the country and the people we encounter. We'd definitely be traveling by pick-up truck with an in-bed camper - very Travels with Charley (Steinbeck). So it'd be cozy, too.

 

 

Must haves for travel - Camera, food, and underwear. But, underwear is rather optional.

Travel tips - Don't plan it too much. Be informed enough that you don't miss the must-sees, but don't get caught up or pass up moments and memories because of schedules. When it comes to traveling, I view the first chapter of Steinbeck's book to be my bible for travel planning:

"A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us." John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley. I think every traveler should read the first chapter of that book before they take a trip.

 

 

Based on your travels what is the single most needed improvement for humanity to be stronger - It's easy to get caught up in capturing that image that will blow peoples' minds. There is nothing wrong with wanting that. There is nothing wrong with wanting people to "like" your work. But if you only view the world and places you explore by looking at the back of a digital screen or through a viewfinder, you're missing the point. Remember to put the camera down, or better, away entirely. And always make a point to look at the stars in whatever place you're visiting when possible. 

What would you say to someone who has never travelled before - Don't worry about going BIG. You don't need to go to Iceland or Norway or wherever to travel. The vast majority of people don't even explore their own backyard (i.e. state, national parks, or even their own downtown). I find it hilarious, for example, that so many people from PNW are headed to the red rocks of Utah and how many Utahans (myself included) who are so set on getting to PNW but neither have really spent much time traveling through their own state.

What is the single greatest lesson you've learned from someone that is different than you - You have to do what makes YOU happy. I learned after decades of trying to live up to peoples expectations for me was actually holding me back. What I learned from people different from me is that 

 

 

When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone. What did you learn from that lesson - I feel like I am repeating myself, so sorry, haha. But I believe in crossing lines in a positive way. Certain lines are not crossed because they cause unnecessary pain for others and thats never acceptable. But every other line should be crossed. I, of all people, am guilty of staying in my comfort zone. But the moments and images that stick out in my mind as cherished memories came when I was in a place of physical discomfort (like heights) or the posting of some images that are more intimate and personal (such as some of my dark and revealing portraits). Those put me in a place of emotional/mental discomfort because I feared the judgment people would make about me for sharing a picture of a rather naked man and his body, but there is nothing more exhilarating as an artist to be accepted, loved, and praised for work that put you in an uncomfortable place, and forming friendships with people who love the real work you do, not just the "safe" work that nearly everyone (like your grandma) will like. 

 

What would you say to your former self - You can't be happy trying to make someone else happy. If the people around you aren't happy when you truly are happy, then they aren't people worth having around.  

 

 

What gives you hope - Obi Wan Kenobi

Where to next - Somewhere tropic this winter, or possibly Australia.

Is flannel always in season - In doses. Not daily. Unless you're in Nirvana, an actual Lumber Jack, or Maple Syrup Farmer.

 

Victor of Valencia

Christophe Chaisson

My name is Luke Gottlieb and I'm a portrait and travel photographer. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado where I spent most of my time running around the woods and peaks. As i've grown older my love for capturing the beauty of the natural world has also translated into capturing human form. Both bring me tremendous passion, which is why I couldn't have imagined pursuing anything else as a profession other than photography. 

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Forrest Mankins: A Life Alive

Christophe Chaisson

To me, to live A Life Alive is to pursue your greatest dream. Pursing a dream has nothing to do with age or time, though it is often blamed. Many of us read the inspirational stickers stuck on the back of car windows, we watch the inspirational films projected on the big screens and we have listened to the inspiring speeches given by the greatest leaders of our world, but how many have acted? Few. I want to live A Life Alive by doing what I started months ago. I am sixteen, and a published writer. I go to school. I deal with the common difficulties all teens face. Some of my days consist of school, and school alone, but I make time to do what I love. I have been told that my writing is good, and with that I will use it to make a difference. The difference now is sharing the inspiring stories of people like Forrest Mankins, all who decided life is not something of the future, but life is now. Do with it something you want.

“There is great freedom that comes with a full tank of gas,
an open road, and an open mind, and I chose that
freedom.”
-Forrest Mankins

After five months on the road, traveling from Oklahoma to the Artic Circle of Alaska, Forrest Mankins and travel companion Garrett Danz will release their trip documentary: A Life Alive.

"A Life Alive is a 'call to action,' says Forest, “Everyone has a dream; you have a dream, and I think it’s worth pursuing. It’s easy to postpone our dreams until ‘Someday,’ but the reality is that we aren’t guaranteed any time in this life, and we deserve to pursue happiness. This is about overcoming and realizing the power that we all hold to take control of our lives. We can accomplish anything if we put our mind and our hands together.”

It started with Forrest asking Garrett, "Hey man, what's up? I just sent you a photo of a weird looking vehicle. Want to go live in it with me for a couple weeks? Oh yeah.. I'm leaving in four days, do you have a passport?" Four days later, after a restless night, and a morning spent with his father, Forrest picked up Garett, and the two were off. They would spend their days and nights in Forrest’s blue 84’ Toyota Land Cruiser. One that Forrest spent weeks on preparing it for the five month journey.

Forrest and Garrett are both from Oklahoma. Garrett is a creative producer and director, he has created and directed many music videos that have appeared on CMT, MTV and Billboard. But after years of doing this, Garrett wanted something new. A phone call from Forrest later, and he was on the road creating the new that he had been searching for. The two spent the five months in twelve places. It started in Oklahoma and continued to Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon Territory and finally Alaska. It was Alaska that Forrest experienced his favorite memory of the trip, and took his favorite photograph still to this day.

Forrest's father had dreamt of seeing Alaska for 55 years. He had wanted to see his own father, Forrest’s grandpa, who was a guide there. He wanted to see what is considered the Last Frontier. But as a father himself, he dedicated his days to his children and family. ”As children we can never repay our parents for what they do for us, but this was one thing that the ALA project was able to,” Forrest says on subject of his father. While in Alaska, Forrest was able to fly his father there. Upon his father's arrival Forrest snapped what is now his favorite photo.“I see the wild eyes of a child in this photo, the happiness and excitement, and the lifetime of waiting mixed with memories of his father.”

Another memorable moment on the trip was the night of the blizzard. Forrest, Garrett and two other friends Dewey and Mikey loaded Dewey’s $900 FWD Mazda Van, and headed for the Arctic Circle. It was hearing about Dewey and Mikey's past trips there that sparked Forrest’s desire to see it too. Two hours and sixty miles from the Arctic Ocean the sky developed a haze, and the temperatures plummeted. Forrest does not recall the exact temperature, but he claims it was cold enough to make you wish you had not already been wearing your heaviest coat. The road that they travelled was lined with delineators that allowed drivers to see when visibility was low, but even they were disappearing by the miles in. By this time the four had no choice but to keep north, for the only gas station was at their destination- and their gas was nearing empty. The four quickly progressed from phase 1 to phase 3, phase three being the worse conditions. These conditions brought two options, stop and risk the chance of being hit by the incoming semi-trucks, or continue into the storm.

They went forward. Twenty miles short of Prudhoe Bay, they hit a snow drift, turned sideways on the highway, but miraculously recovered. As they recovered a light generator was seen to their left. They sat there in hopes to wait out the storm. Dewey made the point that a Phase can last an hour, two hours, or even two weeks. This spurred the question, “We had plenty of food and warm gear, but in reality, how long could we 3 stay here until we became the bottom of a snow drift, or until a semi came by and sideswiped us?”

Help then came. Two snow plows came and notified the group that they were only a mile from a Disaster Area. The Sag River was washing away the entire road north. Forest and the group were then directed back to the workers camp. They spent the night freezing in the Mazda, and were awoken at 5:33 am by the wind shaking the van, and a man telling them to come inside. After breakfast, hours of waiting in the TV Room and lunch, they were told that the road south was “OK”. With a full tank of gas they headed South.

It was events like this and the people that they met that made this a once in a lifetime experience. One that allowed Forrest to meet new friends, find new places, and fill his camera. Forrest hopes that A Life Alive will go beyond the footage. He hopes to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and chase a dream. To live a life alive.

Written by : Lillian Green. 

To experience A Life Alive for yourself visit http://www.forrestmankins.com/alifealiveproject/

All photos belong to Forrest Mankins.

Ol' Frank & Mary Kate

Christophe Chaisson

My name is Mary Kate Teske. I'm a twenty-two year old photographer from Billings, MT. I grew up in Terry, MT and was influenced early on in the realm of photography by the local wonder, Evelyn Cameron. Her work portrays the natural elements of everyday life, and with my work, I try to do the same.

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That being said, a lot of perspective from my life can be found in the view behind the steering wheel of a classic car. When I was fifteen, I rebuilt a 1961 Dodge Lancer by the name of Ol' Frank with my family. The car actually came from my grandfathers farm in Terry, MT. My siblings and I growing up would spend summers on the farm working and one year my grandpa proposed the idea of restoring Ol' Frank. I jumped right in. Since then, he, and the rest of my family for that matter, has restored and given a classic car to each one of his grandchildren. 

  During the past seven years of driving it, I dreamt of taking it on a road trip and always thought of the places I would go. Recently, the season in my life allowed me to fulfill that dream. I spent June and half of July of 2016 driving along the west coast. In total, I think I averaged more than 7,000 miles. I left from Billings, MT and traveled through Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming and back and took photos along the way. While on the road, I slept in my car and stayed with friends. I met a ton of inspiring people and hope to take another trip sometime soon. Hopefully to the east coast!

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On a side note, I do NOT recommend driving through the hottest parts of the country without any AC. Most of the trip I spent driving while holding a huge bag of gas station ice in my lap.

Mary Kate's Instagram : @marykateteske

Frank's Instagram : @olfrankteske 

#FOLLOWFRANK  

Yosemite | The Live Authentic Tour

Ben Ashby

 

A couple months ago @rseabve and I grabbed a new Cadillac CTS and headed from LA to NYC. Our goal along the way was to see as many National Parks as we could in three weeks. Today we begin sharing that journey with you! Our first stop was Yosemite National Park…

 

Once @rseabve and I arrived at Yosemite in the Cadillac CTS we were immediately hit with some of the best and most scenic views of any of the 59 national parks here in the U.S. This view is of Half Dome. Yosemite was the nations second nation park, but has been a protected area since Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant during his presidency and the OG hipster John Muir lobbied for the area outside of the valley to be added to the protected area as well. After the OG American badass Teddy Roosevelt created the National Parks Service in 1916 the Yosemite area was added shortly after Yellowstone became the first national park.

So the secret….this view is literally a pull off on the side of the highway. If you’re looking for a national park to visit, but don’t have the ability or desire to spend hours hiking for views…go to Yosemite. @rseabve and I only had a day to spend in Yosemite, and sadly none of that included time for hikes. 

 

The history of Yosemite begins 10,000 years ago when people first visited the valley. By 3000 years ago the Ahwahneechee tribe had settled in the valley. They would remain here until the American government would force them out in the mid 19th century. Their villages were burned, their people were slaughtered, and the first tourists arrived in 1855 as four New Yorkers came to the valley to document the nature for an exhibit in the city. Today you can stay in a variety of lodging at the park. @rseabve and I are especially fond of the tents!