NYE – OUTDOOR EDITION

I know, I know, New Year’s resolutions are cheesy. We all make them, at least in our heads, and hardly ever live up to them. But this year is different because I’m talking outdoor resolutions. My New Year’s outdoor resolution is inspired by, or rather in spite of Kenny. Kenny works in the board shop. He’s a snowboarder and surfer, but his true gift is fly fishing, and thus he is my arch nemesis. Now if you know Kenny you would say how can he be anybody’s arch nemesis, he’s no Darth Vader or Lex Luthor, but you see Kenny has caught three Steelhead on a fly rod, and I have caught exactly zero. So my New Year’s outdoor resolution is to catch a steelhead on a fly.

Kenny on the Clackamas River

I spoke with three of U.S. Outdoor’s most intrepid outdoor explorers and these are their hopes for the New Year.

Kareen is a 27 year old native Oregonian that works in the camping and climbing department. This year she has three goals. She is planning a trip to Glacier Park in the spring with a good friend. She also picked up a used whitewater kayak last year and is planning on taking classes to learn the basics before she takes the plunge on going down a real river. But the thing she is most looking forward to doing is ski jouring with her dogs Gucci and Floyd. Gucci is a Husky German Shepard mix, and Floyd is a Black Lab and Rottweiler mix. These dogs were made for the snow.

GUCCI AND FLOYD

Ski jouring is where you harness up your dogs and they pull you in the snow. Ruffwear even makes a harness specifically for ski jouring. She plans on going to some of the mountain lakes around Mount Hood like Timothy Lake and Frog Lake. I asked her if she has anymore goals for the new year, she said, “Not get broken.” She broke her ribs last year snowboarding and it took her five months of rehab to get better. Not get broken. Good advice. Have fun this year Gucci and Floyd.

KAREEN AND GUCCI

KAREEN AND GUCCI ON THE TRAIL

Jen is another 27 year native Oregonian that works at U.S Outdoor. She works in the board department. Her main goal is to come back stronger than she has been in the past five years. She has had a full knee replacement and ACL reconstructive surgery in that time. Two summers ago she was skateboarding a bowl in Alaska when she went up to the top of the bowl and did a feeble, a skateboarding term for all you squares out there, as she came back down she landed wrong and heard a loud pop. A blown ACL. Since her surgery last year she has been on the road to recovery to accomplish her main goal this year. Splitboard Mount Shasta.

JEN SKATING A BOWL

JEN AFTER ACL SURGERY

She has been biking, walking and even doing a little running in her preparation for Mount Shasta. She is planning her trip for October of this year. I asked her what the hardest part of recovery was for her. It was not being able to do the things she loves the most, skateboarding and snowboarding. But she gave some great advice, “Surround yourself with positive things”, she said. She told me she has other things she loves to do, watching movies, doing her artwork, and just hanging out with friends. She also said that loving where you work helps. She may not be able to do the things she loves right now, but she gets to help people get into one of the activities she loves the most. Snowboarding. Surround yourself with positive things. More sage advice from another young lady at U.S. Outdoor. Good luck this year Jen.

JEN AT THOMPSON PASS IN ALASKA

Daniel is another U.S. Outdoor employee with an adventurous spirit. I’ll let him tell you in his own words.

DANIEL AT THE SOUTHERN TERMINUS

Plans for Summer 2018, The Pacific Crest Trail

This summer, Starting on May 18th, I will be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through California, Oregon and Washington.

My first encounters with “Thru-Hiking” came in the summer of 2000 when my science teacher, Mr. Ryan sponsored a backpacking trip through the Three Sisters Wilderness Area in Central Oregon. The route was a simple one, heading south on the PCT from Lava Lake to Devils Lake 26 miles away. When we were unloading our gear and checking our equipment, two ragtag bearded men came to the parking lot looking for a ride into town. My Father, who was shaperoning the trip had been reading the Oregonians articles covering the journey that the two men were on, ironically. We gave them Snickers bars. They talked about their life for the three months the had been on trail. We said our goodbyes and on the final day of the trip in Wickiup Plains near South Sister I had decided that the seed had been firmly planted, and that I should probably hike the trail someday.

Fast forward to 2013. I had recruited the help of my dear friend M. Charlie Garros of Toulouse. I had met him in Turkey and whilst I was in Peru during the new year I had made the goal to shoot out around May 1st of that year. He flew in after reading my Facebook post. We hiked from Campo, where the the southern terminus is located, to Bishop Pass together, 846 miles in. I distinctly remember the Joshua Trees of the Mojave and the Western Junipers that grew ancient in the High Sierra, along with the many beautiful and dynamic individuals who shaped my ideas of friendship along the way. A combination of physical, mental, and financial stress had gotten me off the trail as Charlie continued to nearly the border at Manning Park, British Columbia, until an early winter storm cut off the final stretch in early October for him and many others.

Now, in 2018, I have felt a debt to the dream of hiking the trail. Spending not weeks but months in the wild is such a demanding goal that it has changed my reality in the city. Saving every penny, quitting smoking and drinking, and getting into a physical condition that would warrant hiking 30 miles a day for months are not only goals but necessities if success is possible. The gear that I’ve accumulated from a life suited to outdoor living will carry me to the southern terminus, but food resupplies, budgeting, and discipline will hopefully carry me to Manning Park. I look forward to the desert section of 700 miles with great anticipation. Crossing through 25 National Forests and seven National Parks, I look forward to long days and quiet nights in the backcountry. With some light mountaineering I can climb several non-technical peaks along the way for views, and the trail passes by Portland, my hometown, for inevitable beers with pals. When or if I finish will determine future plans to possibly accomplish the Triple Crown of hiking, which combines the PCT, the Continental Divide Trail (3100 miles) and the Appalachian Trail (2180 miles).

Wish me luck!

DANIEL AND CHARLIE ON THE TRAIL

Daniel asked us to wish him luck. I wish everyone luck in all their endeavours this year.

Even you Kenny.

Sunset Skateboard Co.

“… They hit the streets glued to a four-wheeled, California Dream; their wheels lit up like cosmic rays that cut through the dark of night. It’s a good thing that I wasn’t frying on acid because those lights would have sent me into deep space, although deep space is a good place to be, given the right circumstance. I couldn’t help but watch as this roving band of miscreants terrorized the patrons as they cruised by, weaving in and out of traffic as though they were knitting a blanket that would eventually swaddle everyone but them. Freedom; they were the very embodiment of the word. I wanted to yell it out for them, but why beat the dead horse they just feasted on? They were bound by nothing more than a wild desire. Maybe I wanted to yell it for myself? I dove back into my beer and pondered that pack of cosmic wolves: what carnage would they descend into next? What weird, alternate universe would they rip into and explore?” – Jasper Petigrew

Sunset Skateboard Co. Cruiser

With the power of kinetic energy harnessed, the Sunset Skateboard Co. designed a wheel that lights up once the wheels are in motion. Oh, science. The translucent polycarbonate deck and flair LED, polyurethane wheels waste no time getting the party started. Once the sun sets, the wheels really start to pop; lighting up the clear colored, old school inspired deck in an array of colors. Pretty cool. These vintage, throw-back cruisers are prepped and ready for the midnight ride. Pick one up today and paint the town red… or green or blue.

Volcom ‘True To This’ Episodes One & Two

There is no sense in biting the hand of Volcom, as they have continually fed us a genuine brand experience packed with skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding that is both rich in style and loaded with an intense, figurative flavor for over two decades now. Bon appetit! Their approach seduces the palette as if it were somehow laced with MSG. Obviously that is impossible. Nevertheless, Volcom as a brand continues to impress on all levels and lure us into their world… And oh what a wonderful world it is.

‘True To This’ chronicals Volcom and the rise of a brand that has become a household name that has yet to be stripped of its integrity. Bravo! But rather than explain all of this to you, it would be more fun for you to just watch True To This, take it in, and cradle it to your bosom (figuratively speaking). Enjoy.

Intermission…

Brixton: Fall 2012 Collection and Video

We here in the Pacific Northwest covet the summer sun and most of us pray for an Indian Summer to roll through fall. Though it is a popular practice to do some sort of “dance” to conjure a desired atmospheric affect, lets hope this new Fall 2012 Collection video from Brixton will help set the mood and persuade the sun to stick around a while longer. After all, Brixton is based out of So-Cal and knows how to seduce the sun.

Find the new fall collection of Brixton hats and clothing online here, at US Outdoor: http://www.usoutdoor.com/search/brixton/

US Outdoor Surf Party!

Alright you salty dogs, US OUTDOOR is throwing a surf party and you all are invited! Head on down to the Triple Nickel (3646 SE Belmont) Sunday, August 12th, and get pitted in classic Hollywood surf cinema and live music while your favorite brands like: Volcom, Vans, Lib Tech, Xcel and more set up shop and host games with prize rewards. Grand Prize winner receives a Murdey Surfboard. You won’t want to miss this! The grill will be hot and the booze will be flowing like the mighty Mississippi. Don’t forget to dress appropriately!

Live music will be provide by: Don & The Quixotes and The Lonesome Billies. Together this lineup boasts an impressive resume of original 60’s surf and outlaw country tunes. The saloon doors will be swinging as the ocean breeze comes howling in. Check out Don & The Quixotes and The Lonesome Billies

US OUTDOOR Surf Party at Triple Nickel

Core Lens: Magnetic Fisheye Lens for Smart Phones

Like it or not, the ‘Smartphone’ continues to have a profound effect on modern society; acting as Ambassadors of Communication in our newfound Age of Information. Smartphones not only provide us a Wi-Fi connection to the outside world at large, their cameras have become a tool for documenting our daily lives through the lens; the combination of the two are a potent social media blend that generate instantaneous results. That brings us to the topic at hand: the Core Lens Magnetic Fisheye Lens for your smartphone.

Core Lens Magnetic Fisheye Lens Accessories for Smartphone

This fisheye lens is designed by Core Lens and attaches magnetically over the lens of a smartphone; the result expands the capabilities of the camera’s lens by providing a wide, 180 degree angle shot that adds new dimension to the pics you snap off each and every day. Furthermore, the Core Fisheye Lens is so small it clips to a keychain and clasps to the smartphone instantly once the flat magnetic washer is attached. It’s mobile, easy to use, and relatively inconspicuous. And it’s versatile. Capture the whole party in one shot! With a 180 degree wide angle you can snap one off at close range, there is no more clearing space in crowded bars. Switch to video and film a skate line through the city at the drop of a hat without carrying the extra camera bulk.

There will always be purists that condemn the camera phone on the grounds that “everyone now thinks they’re a photographer”, I recognize the argument but, it’s not like the Core Fisheye Lens is going to replace the professional set-up; there are differences between snapping pictures and taking photos. And if your creative eye is keen you should have nothing to worry about.

I for one love the fact that this new smartphone accessory promotes creativity in us all. Who knows? It might just help an unsuspecting someone to unlock a talent they never knew they had or inspire a developed photographer to explore a new creative process. But enough with theoretical scenarios. Check out The Core Lens Magnetic Fisheye Lens here at US Outdoor. It’s pretty awesome.