Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Free Fishing and Family Fun, June 9th

In an effort to promote a healthy outdoor lifestyle, ranger districts within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest will be hosting a day (June, 9th) when families can enjoy free fishing and other outdoor activities. But what’s the “catch?” (all puns intended)

Not only does the Gifford Pinchot National Forest play host to the legend of D.B. Cooper, it plays host to wildlife, streams, rivers, lakes and volcanoes that have landscaped the Pacific Northwest since the dawn of time. One way to ensure the preservation of this National Forest is to help raise our children’s awareness to its existence, benefits and what it offers us and the globe via a healthy ecosystem.

Let’s face it, the developing world is encroaching on the well being of ecosystems worldwide and without the help of local advocacy, from those who know our environments best, we can be sure to witness the further destruction of what has made the northwest and the earth as a whole so beautiful! I applaud the representatives of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for hosting fun and exciting events like this that also serve as a conduit of prosperity for our national forests.

Click here for information on Free Fishing and Family Fun and other Gifford Pinchot National Forest events.

Mt. Hood Summer Sanctuaries and Family Vacation Destinations

“I need a vacation!” We have all said these words. In fact, I said them yesterday. In this day and age we live to work instead of working to live and most of our routines are mapped out: wake up, brush teeth, endure traffic, punch in, work, punch out, endure more traffic, get home, eat dinner, talk about work, watch television, go to bed… Repeat. It’s a vicious cycle that engulfs us all and when we can endure no more we “head to the hills” in search of a relaxing reboot of the mind, body and soul. Is it simplicity we seek to balance out the complications of employment, or are we just reverting back to a primal instinct? Whatever it is, I went in search of it… online. Oh the irony.

Mt. Hood Vacation Destinations

A quick search lead me to and an article on the Villages Of Mt. Hood. The article lists a handful of vacation destinations that are family friendly, romantic, and luxurious ways to beat the summer heat. Read the list of destinations here at

Keeps Mill Campground

Now, if you’re heart desires more solitude I suggest you take a trip down to Keeps Mill Campground. A few friends and I stumbled upon this great landscape whilst exploring Mt. Hood National Forest. Located on the White River, this neck of the woods is secluded enough to get your bearings back and also is not so far removed that you lose a sense of reality, although sometimes that seems the best route. Visit Keeps Mill Campground

Anywho, those are two of my cents that I can throw into the fountain. Being a resident of the Pacific Northwest and having Mt. Hood in your backyard is an obvious perk. Mt. Hood offers an array of outdoor activities and if I were to list them all I would end up with a ZZ Top beard and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. But to make your search a little easier you can start by researching more Mt. Hood vacation destinations here at


Pain McShlonkey Classic: No Pain, No Gain

The Pain McShlonkey Classic honors the great Shane McConkey in a competition that sums up the man’s creativeness and gut busting sense of humor. With Sled Dogs secure and a congregation of free-willing powder hounds dressed in their “Sunday best,” the Pain McShlonkey Classic got underway atop Squaw Valley Resort to raise money for the new Shane McConkey Foundation; a foundation based upon the inspiration and kindness of Shane McConkey and dedicated “to carry on this legacy through random acts of kindness and charitable giving and to inspire others to make a difference in the world at large.”

Saguaro National Park: Banning the (disposable) Bottle

Saguaro National Park, home of the native Saguaro Cactus and summoner of beautiful sun sets draped over magnificent Sonoran Desert landscapes has banned the sale of disposable water bottles and soda within the park.

Why? After all, we humans need water to survive. It is in our biological makeup and scientifically proven necessary for sustaining life. Soda on the other hand is not, it just tastes delicious, tantalizes our taste buds and gives us a boost of synthetic energy when we need it. But anyway you look at it, the decision to ban disposable water and soda bottles inside Saguaro National Park is one that is relatively easy to grasp on many levels.

Think about it. The expanse of human life has outstretched its hands into the far reaches of this world, domesticating its terrains and making its beauty relatively accessible to everyone. Unfortunately, though, those outstretched hands tend to leave their waste behind via waste basket or wayside. Of course not everyone litters, and some littering happens without us knowing, but the environmental effects and tainting of the landscape is one in the same, voluntary or not. “Saguaro officials have long been committed to recycling plastic and aluminum saving 61,500 pounds of recyclable waste from landfills in 2010 alone. However, transporting disposable bottles to be recycled also costs money, time, and gasoline. The park could eliminate up to 40 percent of what is currently recycled — about 15 percent of the park’s total waste stream, park officials say.” This newly seeded ban on disposable bottles helps alleviate a great portion of OUR impact within Saguaro National Park.

Of course there are always fiscal reasons behind decisions such as this. Seeing that the park only generates approximately $10,000 of revenue from just 4 vending machines across the park, maintenance and overhead costs outweigh the benefits. Instead their plan is to install water taps or “water-bottle refilling stations” for refilling RE-USABLE bottles that won’t be left to the way side, and the cost to patrons, as park officials put it, “is a bargain!”

In the end, nobody needs to be drinking soda in the middle of the Sonoran Desert and studies have found the plastics from disposable water bottles can leach carcinogens into the water they contain. Help yourself out by purchasing a stainless steel water bottle; they’re more durable, better for your health than plastic and help keep your water cold. The investment will save you money in the long run and better protect the overall health of not just yourself but Saguaro National Park as well!

Other parks that have partaken in similar disposable bottle bans include: Grand Canyon National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Zion National Park.


Smith Optics and Friends Raise $20K for C.R. Johnson Healing Center

We often times fail to fully recognize (beyond the star stuck affect) the roles that professional athletes play in the shaping of their sport, and sometimes lost in translation are the means to show that appreciation. Though the death of C.R. Johnson is both a sad and tragic end to a very young life that would have undoubtedly prospered, his heroic story of coma recovery and return to the sport before his untimely passing is one that shows the profound affect that athletes could and do have in their communities.

Smith Optics in partnership with The High Five Foundation and Porters set out to continue C.R. Johnson’s role by raising $20,000.00 for the C.R. Johnson Healing Center in Truckee, CA. The proceeds from a limited edition C.R. Johnson Smith I/O Goggle and Maze Helmet commemorate his life and help seriously injured athletes recover so that they can (like C.R.) return to doing what they love.




Valentine’s Day Backcountry Awareness Clinic

Nothing says “I Love You” like keeping your sweetheart safe in the back country. Join pro snowboarder, Bryan Iguchi, at US Outdoor for some casual shop talk, designed to bring basic awareness to riders and skiers who are new to the back country and want to learn how to do it safely.

“Riding the line is the easy part, knowing when it’s good and safe to ride is the hard part,” says Bryan Iguchi. If you’re ready to get into backcountry skiing or snowboarding, this clinic is a great opportunity to gain some knowledge about backcountry safety. It will be a lot of fun and alcoholic beverages will be available for 21+ (please bring ID).

If you plan to attend, please RSVP with US Outdoor via phone 503-223-5937, email Jeremy at:, or RSVP on US Outdoor’s Event Page. Hope to see you there!

A Backcountry Awareness Tour-Presented by Volcom Stone