My Truth.

 

After a long debate with myself, I have decided to commit my life to the only truth I know; communication and happiness. Through months of high rent, unease both financially, physically, and spiritually, my health was deteriorating. On a mental plain, all I could see were the dangers ahead, the sinking feeling of debt, the constant chase of possessions, and the nauseating feeling of never being able to satisfy this life. On a physically plain I was fatigued, and sore. The desk that I sat at felt as though my body was literally deteriorating in an upright and conscious position. By the time I got home I wasn’t wanting to exercise, but like all American life, I wanted to blur everything around me. Mindless wandering through a screen that before 50 years ago barely even existed. Spiritually, I was in angst. I never believed anything would ever come the way I attracted things before. My faith in the universe was gone. The bewilderment of youth had quietly slipped away and the passion of life was fading.

Though most people experience this, I had a rapid change of pulse. I was older. Not old, but old enough to know that I was mortal. The seconds were ticking away and I realized, as most do, I was dying. Not on a literal sense as a cancer or a progression of a disease, but a metaphysical feeling deep inside of me knew that biologically my body was changing and the growing of youth had crawled to a pace of a final maturing of the brain. It was at this moment I saw it all. Life would keep accelerating past this point, because I was now aware of my mortality. I would live, breathe, and die as all other living things do.

Past that point, I didn’t know, but I didn’t care to think about it. It was the moment that concerned me, the feeling of slipping, and the anxiety that followed. This was not induced by anything other than my deep sober awareness. My palms became wet, my face flushed, and my vision became bright and blurred. I knew all things around me were moving, like looking at a photo album of long ago, a nostalgia took over. Wanting to hang on to the things, places, and people that were long gone. Wanting to repair all the damages I’ve done to both the people around me and myself, the grief of wanting to stop my family from getting older. However as all feelings do, it passed. I became calm again. I began breathing, and smiling, and like a glass of muddy water placed on a cool granite slab for a long period of time, the dust settled, and the beauty became clear. I was alive again and my resolution was clear.

My life was no longer going to be a series of daydreaming. Like a Walter Mitty type my fantasies and dreams were nothing more than visualizations to escape from what was in front of me, a screen of bills, possessions, political stints, keepsakes, thoughts, and experiences that I had never truly had. I had lied to myself to too many years. I chased the wrong dreams. I read countless novels or growing into a rugged exterior, a wanderer, and an adventurer, yet I was as soft and boring as ever.

From that point, I knew what I needed to change, my goal of not just observing everything around me but absorbing everything. Growing old was no longer seen as an inevitable doom, but a blessing of sorts. I would see the world through my own eyes. I would wander aimlessly. I would love and be loved. I would provide for my loved ones, become the man I knew was hiding. My parents and grandparents would grow old, but my love for them would always be true, and they would know it. My friends would see me as real, not just another stepping stone to find some temporary fun. I would become sustainable, I would only consume what I had earned, I would live well within my means, and I would always remember where I came from. Call it an epiphany, or new age measure of meaning, a buddhist realization, or whatever you may, but the truth became clear from the inside, not its counterpart. To all those that are scared to move forward or by anything that hasn’t left you satisfied. Wake up and live.

Product Feature: Snow Peak Mini Hozuki

A light so bright and comfortable, you have to bring it everywhere. My girlfriend picked one of these baby’s up at REI for half off during their summer sale and they are truly amazing. For such a small compact device they can light up an entire campsite, a trail, and makes your tent on the road feel that much more like home. It’s the small things right? Right now you can find them at just about any outdoor product store of visit them at snowpeak.com right now they are priced at about $40 USD. 

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Monday.

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My biggest way of starting the week is knowing that Monday is going to be important. No matter what you do, where you live, where you are planning to go, make sure Mondays are going to be more than just Mondays. A day to form a new relationship, start a new habit, end an old habit, or maybe its just to get up, smell the coffee, and take a walk before work. Either way do something today you never thought you’d do before, and reminisce on the weekend behind you. Seeing friends, relaxing, or doing something you love. Happy Monday.

Greetings From Colorado: Topo Designs

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After arriving in Denver, one of my first finds was TOPO DESIGNS.  A mountain gear/outdoor company that has found meaning in what it means to build high quality, durable, American-made goods. The owners, Jedd Rose and Mark Hansen, found their inspiration through years of growing up in the Rockies. Fishing, Climbing, Biking, Hiking, Camping, and truly soaking up the beauty of Colorado. When growing up, Mark and Jedd would receive hand-me-downs and after years spent of using the same gear they would ask themselves, how has this gear lasted so long and stayed in such prime condition? The answer was quality, over quantity. American made goods have been long fading, since the rise of cost, and demand in the states. However from what I could tell from the goods, these were well priced, and would last a lifetime. The designs are made by true gear heads with a fun and loving nature. OYO MOUNTAIN is another one of their brands which is more vintage based on gear found in the 80’s and 90’s. When asked about TOPO DESIGNS, it was said that it was based on French Gear in the 70’s and Japanese Mountain Gear in the 80’s, which ironically was made mostly in the US during this period. The material is made out of a high quality nylon named 1000D Cordura. Which basically means it has that many strands of nylon per square inch. In other words, means it is one of the most durable nylons you can by. Some of the hardware is alminium based, but when asked about it they actually claim that the high durable plastic has made the bags tighter. With that, the interiors are a high contrast yellow, so finding goods in less-than-optimal lighting conditions is a lot easier.

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After looking around for a bit I met Josh Deiss, a California Transplant, who took his dream of living closer to nature, and following his passion of climbing by moving to Boulder, Co. Attending University of Colorado – Boulder, he found a city that truly was within and hour’s time of doing just about anything the mountains had to offer. Working in Denver, he seems to have the best of both worlds. After a day of work he likes to meet up with friends at another local brewery, “Our Mutual Friend” and on the weekends heads back to Boulder to tube in the creek, and climb in the mountains. This, of course, is the ultimate summer lifestyle, and was he pleased to announce he had his first Moose encounter in the wild the weekend we met up. Positive and uplifting, Josh brings a spirit to the store front that makes anyone feel at home. His favorite TOPO item is his own briefcase which he says he takes everywhere, and has used for some time.

Sometime after talking to Josh, I met Jules. Creative Director of TOPO. She was born and raised in Colorado, and considers herself a “weekend warrior”, working hard on the weeks so she can find time to explore and hike on the weekends. She says her favorite place to visit in Colorado is Evergreen. It’s 15 miles west of Denver and is a beautiful little place of the main road. As a designer, she says she is always influenced by nature, and she likes hanging out with friends at the “Sputnik Bar” in Denver.

When asked why TOPO was based in Denver, the answer was clear; Better goods from the source. Though markets in both the East and West Coast are completely saturated, goods are meant to be used, and Denver is the heartland of mountain living. A truly charming place, TOPO is located in a series of shipping containers built together to make one of the most sustainable businesses I’ve seen. Why? Easy. An obsession by both of the owners, a shipping container is not only inexpensive, but durable in winter and summer conditions, insulated, and just plain amazing. It is the perfect amount of space to fill a store with high quality goods. Though most of the store is TOPO or OYO products, they do have an arrangement of mugs, patches, accessories, grooming products from other parts of the country, and featured local products such as Zeal Optics. A boulder based sunglass company, that makes sustainable products out of cotton. Camping goods are also seen such as MSR Stoves, and Snow Peak accessories. When asked about the other brands, TOPO says they are all friends of the same dream. Living a nature-inspired, sustainable and good life.  This place is one of a kind and if you are ever in the Denver or surrounding areas, a must see.

 

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Greetings from Colorado: New Belgium Brewing Co.

shiftFort Collins, Co.  About a 45 minute drive outside of Denver, we ventured to Fort Collins for the day and checked out the sites! Located on the continental divide, The township reminds me of an old western stop on the way west. As I quickly learned New Belgium Brewing is located here, and along with a beautiful brewery some of the most appetizing natural beer products I’ve tasted were here. Of my favorites, Shift, a 5% medium hopped beer is mild enough to refresh the 90º weather, and heavy enough for taste. The good news, is New Belgium is not only available in Fort Collins, but across the United States. On top of that they are known for their sustainable practices which include solar power, sourced local ingredients, and compostable packaging, distribution and water conservation. Making for a happy Sunday indeed.

 

Greetings from Colorado: Oyo Mountain Products


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Greetings from Denver, CO! One of the most simple and yet interesting things I have came across on my travels this week is this mug. Seems strange but this mug is made out of 100% corn. Corn Plastic has become a new medium for product design as it is not only inexpensive and non-petroleum based, but biodegradable as well! Instead of a standard plastic piece decomposing somewhere between 1000-2000 years after this mug is “discarded” for whatever reason will take somewhere between 90-100 days in compost. OYO Mountain Products has been leading the fore front on sustainable products for climbing, as well as all mountain activities, and has been one of my finds here in The Centennial State. More to come!

Tales of the North: Surfing in the Arctic Circle

 

It truly amazes me what the development in surfing technology has done for us today. Chris Burkard, a photographer known for his astonishing imagery of some of the most bizarre, and remote waves in the world, has made a trip to the Arctic Circle and released this video. Wetsuit Technology has skyrocketed the last few years. As developments have been made in not only improving the material and production of neoprene, but the strategic placement of wool, as well as other elements of tape and rubber to seal off even the coldest of conditions. Surfers can now cross channels and catch swells that have never been explored by man before. Just as the first men who climbed everest and walked on the moon. These men are truly going where no men have gone before.

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