To Summit or Not to Summit?

“Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.”

Today, I really hit a wall, kids. Mt. Baden Powell threatened to flick me off of its wet, hairy backside, and I relented. It’s rare that I have to turn back after planning an adventure or setting an intention. I’m big on research, train appropriately, and my fearless tenacity is one of the things I pride myself on most. But today, I had to turn back in a big way, and I learned a lot about myself in the process.

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Alan Watts – Wiggliness

“I am simply amazed to find myself living on a ball of rock that swings around an immense spherical fire. I am more amazed that I am a maze—a complex wiggliness, an arabesque of tubes, filaments, cells, fibers, and films that are various kinds of palpitation in this stream of liquid energy.” -Alan Watts

Anarchy and Otter Pops in East Jesus

What do you do when one of your best friends invites you to a debaucherous birthday weekend at an off the grid artist commune deep in the California desert near the Salton Sea? Attend whole-heartedly and experience EVERYTHING you can, of course!

East Jesus is a non-profit, off the grid intentional community founded by the late Charlie Russell in the ass-crack outskirts of Slab City. If you’ve never heard of Slab City, well, it’s known as “the last free place,” and is basically a makeshift town made up of people in RVs and trailers who are, essentially squatting on government land about 4 miles outside of Niland, CA (85 miles southeast of Palm Springs). There’s no water, no power, and no resources, just a bunch of abandoned concrete slabs left over from a WWII base, Camp Dunlap. Oh yeah, and it’s 110 degrees during the daytime in the middle of October.

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How Hiking Might Save Modern Relationships

As much as I’m an adventure nerd, I’m also one to totally geek out on social theory and wax philosophical on the state of modern romance. I’ve proudly shuffled my body onto the front lines of the tenaciously curious, the publicly vulnerable, and the sex positive. On the trail, a few days ago, I had a brief moment of revelation when I thought about how nice it was to consciously hike alone in silence for a while, even though my friend was only 50 feet behind me.

And that’s what got me thinking— why don’t we treat our relationships like long distance hiking? Sure, the comparison might sound like quite a stretch or an ill-fated metaphor at first, but hear me out! I had ten miles to think about this stuff while I hiked, and I think it’s an awesome concept.

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Sorry, Yosemite, Sequoia Has Stolen My Heart!

Hey! …can I tell you something? It’s kind of my dirty little secret… I think I like Sequoia better than Yosemite. I know! I KNOW. Every sunny Californian is supposed to marvel at the wonders of El Capitan and Half Dome and crawl up out of the valley floor year after year on their own epic pilgrimage to find the most breathtaking view imaginable before snapping a few photos and driving back to the city. I feel even more sacrilegious being a rock climber – Yosemite is like church for the climbers! But, hear me out. In the last year, Sequoia has really grown on me, and spending a recent weekend there with a girlfriend who had never been backpacking really solidified my infatuation.

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