Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lost Wages, Nevada

I am far too familiar with Vegas and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.  I have lived here a couple times before.  Once in 2003 for only about a year, then again in 2006.  I worked with my dad cleaning pools and branched off into my own business of pool maintenance.  I eventually left because I was young and having one of those F*ck you dad, I'm an adult moments that never pans out the way you think it will.  I have been back a few times to see him and for birthdays, but have always had a bad taste in my mouth about this place.  I was coming through to help pops out while he recovered form his biopsy and to hopefully make a little cash, so I wasn't worried about hangovers from parties the night before or blowing my money gambling.  Hell I wasn't really to worried about even shooting photos, this was more about spending some much needed time with my dad.  We worked for a few days and he got the results on his biopsy and everything came back clear,  so we could really just enjoy each others company without cancerous thoughts looming over our heads.  We headed out to the lake and holy hell it was hot.  Temps were between 100 and 112 every day I was out there and all I could think about was getting to the coast for some nice R&R on the beach.  I ended up staying of almost two weeks due to some issues with the van and trying to figure out a way to run air conditioning for Hobbes if I needed to work for a day or two.  I purchased a generator and an AC unit, then had to purchase a larger generator, then the AC wouldn't work so I got a new one, only to have the generator dick out on me, just to get it running and purchase another AC unit.  Pain in the ass.  I stayed for Fathers Day and found out my step dad was flying to vegas that night for work, so for the first time in my life I got to spend Fathers Day with both of the men that raised me.  It was one of the best dinners I've ever had and I consider myself super fortunate to have these men in my life.  After 2 weeks in Vegas, I'm finally getting out of this heat and beach bound.  GPS coordinates set to San Diego and I'm off!

Donuts as big as your head. Pre-lake breakfast

El Capitan Faronea.  "Babes are into dad bod"

Hobbes cruising around the lake in style

I knew about this little gem, but had to stop again for some Alien Jerky

Y'all got any rooms available?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Zion and Vegas

Leaving Moab was hard, but the show must go on.  I set sail for Zion National Park with the hopes of hiking and exploring for the next few days, but as I pulled in to town, it was deja vu from Arches Ntl Park.  Full of Cruise America rental campers and herds of tourists.  I stopped at a little gas station outside of the park and talked to the guy behind the counter for about an hour about where to camp outside of the park and my best options.  Again, I was given vague directions (which I'm starting to enjoy) to Bridge Rd. in Rockville and was simply told "stay left".  I find myself staring at another hill that I'm not too thrilled about rallying up, but yet again, I have no place to turn around.  I point it and send it about halfway up to a pull off with two other groups of people camping and pull in.  Murphy is not happy.  I ask the groups if they mind me camping between them that night and offer them some Breckenridge Brew as a thank you, to which nobody declined.  I ended up hanging out with a group of guys from all over the U.S. that meet up every year to reconnect.  After passing multiple bottles of booze around and getting to know each other, I head to bed.

I wake up nice and early and decide to hike up to this ghost town I heard about.  I head up the dirt road and realize that if I had tried to climb it, Murphy would probably still be stuck there today.  After about two hours of hiking, a tour group on 4-wheelers drives by and I flag them down to ask about the ghost town.  Of course I had taken a wrong turn a few miles back, so again I was given very vague directions and headed that way.  I never did find the ghost town, but I did find a dead-end path that looked out over the whole valley.  The views were unreal and I could even see where I parked my van a few miles down.  I had lunch with Hobbes on that perch and we headed back down, sunburnt and tired.  I packed up the van and decided to head towards vegas.  My dad was having a biopsy the following day and needed a little help at work and i definitely needed to make some money.  I'll be back for Zion at the end of my trip, just not on a weekend…

I spend my nights writing in my journal so I don't forget any incredible moments along the way

Hobbes scoping out the scenery.  Huge thanks to Off-Leash k9 Training for helping mold Hobbes into a perfect travel buddy, this trip would't be the same without your help.  I'm forever in debt to you

The view form our little perch.  No ghost town, but amazing nonetheless

Utah Werewolf. Only $900

My buddy

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

And the trip begins….in Moab, baby!

I have spent almost a year to the date figuring this trip out and exactly what I want to accomplish with it and to be completely honest, I still have no idea.  All I know is that I want to drive across the U.S. and document everything along the way.  I have broken out of my comfort zone and am diving into the world of video finally.  I will be posting little video blogs on my youtube page HERE and have just uploaded an introduction of my trip.  For a lengthier description of my first few days, feel free to visit it right meow.

I finally got on the road a month after my expected departure date with a stomach full of butterflies and a head full of ideas.  I have driven through Glenwood Canyon many times before, but never during sunset.  Holy shit Batman, it was stunning!  light bouncing off the canyon walls, the river roaring and sending a mist in the air that reflected insane colors off everything.  I continued on with my first destination in mind and GPS coordinates plugged into my phone.

I arrived at my destination in the dead of night with no idea of my surroundings, just the memory of some photos a buddy showed me of the location.  I traveled down a gnarly dirt road that was a little too much for the van to handle.  After an hour hike down the road just to see if there was a clearing, I headed back when it started to downpour.  By the time Hobbes and I reached the van, we were soaked and the path so muddy you could hardly walk.  How the hell am I getting out of here?  It took way too many tries and way too much concentration to turn around on that tiny muddy road to get turned around, just to face an obstacle course of boulders and tree stumps in front of me.  Screw it, I gunned it and sent stuff flying all over my camper, but I made it.  I built a fire right off the road and drank a luke warm beer that could't have tasted any better.  I wrote in my journal and passed out to the rain leaking inside my van.  On to Arches in a few hours...

Arches National Park is crazy….packed full of asian tourists.  I spent a few days there just sitting in lines in the van and waiting for enough people to move out of the way to get a clear shot of the landscape.  Worth it?  Mehhhh.  I ended up meeting a new friend, Leah, and went searching for the goods.  Holy wow, did we find them!  Dead Horse Canyon was where we ended up camping that night and view was one of the best I'd ever seen.  300' cliff walls leading into a massive valley just a few feet from our camp fire.  We drank, we laughed, and we tore down trees with our bare hands.  It was a great night after the previous and I slept like a baby.  We woke up and said our goodbyes and I headed back to Arches.  I ended up lollygagging around for a few hours and hiked to Delicate Arch for sunset.  It was a photog feeding frenzy, but the views man, the views were something else.  I made a little dinner and waited for the stars to pop out and headed to Devil's Arch and Windows and got lucky with an amazingly clear night.  The Milky Way was firing on all cylinders and made for some crazy photos.  I finally hit a wall and headed for a grocery store parking lot to pass out.

What an amazing start to an amazing trip.  Zion National Park in the morning!
Hike up to Delicate Arch

Two drops of pee came out during this photo

Leah and Hobbes Scoping the edge of the cliff

Leah's dad is a photog and some skills were passed down obviously 

Hobbes at Devils Arch

Trying to escape the massive crowd of photos to the right

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

notexactlyLOST | Episode 1 Lookout Mountain

LOST by definition is the inability to find one's way. Personally, I think it is more of a LACK of desire to find one's way. It's exploring. It's never having a final destination. It's packing your bare essentials, making a series of wrong turns and seeing what you find. It's all just one big mystery anyways so why not follow suit and play along. It's fun.

High res on Vimeo here

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Just a few reasons why getting LOST is a good thing

Last year I traveled to Costa Rica on somewhat of a solo mission.  I knew I had a friend flying in the day after me and that a few friends were already out there, but I didn't want to have too many plans or restrictions.  I spent about a week with friends in Dominical and said my goodbye's and headed back to San Jose, where I got the privilege of meeting John, Anthony and Kathryn.  HUSS!  We formed this little family and headed for a couple volcanoes and a turtle sanctuary.  John and Anthony were buddies from the PNW and Kathryn was out on her own to go to a yoga retreat.  Kathryn is one of the most beautiful girls I've ever laid eyes on.  She's not just a bombshell, but one of the most incredibly genuine human beings I've ever had the opportunity to talk with.  Before disembarking on our separate journeys, we had a little sunrise photo op on the beach.  Had I not gone with what was thrown my way, or been open enough to the idea of getting lost, this would never have happened.   DiviĆ©rtete (enjoy)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Austin is it's own kind of weird

I have never been to a more trendy city.  XGames was in Austin, TX this year and the homie was playing a couple DJ sets at the So-Gnar/Ford Fiesta booth, so I jumped in the car and rallied with him, because why not?  I had just gotten fired a couple days earlier and I just spent a little too much on a new camera, it only seemed appropriate.  Last year I shot XGames in LA on assignment for ESPN, but this year was strictly out for adventure.  We met up with our So-Gnar family and helped them set up their booth and mini skatepark for the event and went out for drinks later that night on the infamous 6th street.  We partied like college freshmen, we ate like backwood, bible-thumping hillbilly dudes named "Biscuit", and played Tinder Suicide.  Cut-off mom jeans, what the fuck???  If you don't know, go to Austin.  Since I wasn't on any assignment or schedule, I just rolled around and enjoyed my time out there.  Much respect to Pat, Griff, Big O, Big O's mom, Mitch, Phil, Red, Spicoli, Zeale, Sara, Nick, Caitlin, Guthrey, and everyone else I met who made the trip what it was.  Utmost thanks and respect to the one, the only, Furbie.  Love ya doggie!