This week’s #MusicMondays celebration recognizes a Colorado favorite and a group that is near and dear to our hearts — Leftover Salmon! For those of you who haven’t yet heard of Leftover Salmon, this group has been on the scene for 25 years!
Looking back on the legacy of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers took their form of aggressive bluegrass to rock and roll bars at a time when it wasn’t so common, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jamgrass genre. Today, Leftover Salmon consists of Vince Herman (vocals, acoustic guitar, washboard); Drew Emmitt (vocals, acoustic and electric mandolin, electric guitar, fiddle); Andy Thorn (vocals, acoustic and electric banjo); Greg Garrison (vocals, acoustic and electric bass); Alwyn Robinson (drums).
This November they’re celebrating by giving back to their fans with something that will pull at your heartstrings – a new release of their latest album, “High-Country” as well as a limited edition 20 oz. Bomber, The Silver Salmon IPL by Breckenridge Brewery!
“It’s the perfect beer for hanging out at a show and celebrating life, music, and Colorado! There’s no fishy aftertaste, we promise!” according to Greg Garrison, bass player for Leftover Salmon. Not only do you get to enjoy this tasty beverage after a long day outside, when you purchase a Silver Salmon IPL, you will receive a the free album download and celebrate 25 years of Leftover Salmon and Breckenridge Brewery! The album, “25,” will feature twenty five never-before-released live recordings, and will also be available on iTunes and all digital outlets beginning November 27th!
Q: If you could give any advice to yourself at 10 years old, what would you say?
AR: “I would tell my 10 year old self to keep enjoying the countless hours that were spent watching “Power Rangers” and to never stop running around the house pretending to be a ninja! Sure is a great way to frighten your parents when they come home late at night.”
AT: “Get a banjo and learn to play it, it will change you’re life.”
Q: What’s on your current playlist?
AR: My current playlist (albums) for this week:
Erykah Badu – “Mama’s Gun”
Gary Clark Jr. – “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim”
Clifford Brown – “Study In Brown”
Paul Simon – “Graceland”
Ella Fitzgerald – “Ella and Louis”
Bob Marley – “Catch a Fire”
Aretha Franklin – “Amazing Grace”
Ray Charles – “Yes Indeed!”
A Tribe Called Quest – “Low End Theory”
Incubus – “Morning View”
Steely Dan – “Aja”
AT: The new Jon Stickley Trio is amazing! Also really into Hayes Carll at the moment and Hard Working Americans.
Q: What’s your spirit animal and why?
AR: “The owl – Intuitive, the presence of an owl announces change, wisdom… I feel like I’m trying to impress a young lady right now…”
AT: “I would say a bear. They’re all over our new neighborhood in Boulder, CO. and I try to think like a bear to keep them out of our house and trash.”
Q: If there was one musician from the past that you could have dinner with, who would it be? What would you ask them?
AR: “I would love to sit down with Tony Williams (started drumming for Miles Davis at the age of 17). Some of the questions that I’d ask: ‘What sort of pressure did you feel performing with Miles Davis at such a young age? What was the intensity like of the social environment that you were engaged in during that era and how big of a role did that play on your emotional approach to music?'”
AT: “John Hartford. I think I saw him play once but was very young. I’m obsessed with his songs and banjo playing and would love to pick his brain.”
Q: When you aren’t on tour, what is something you like to do in your free time?
AR: “I love walking around and exploring new coffee shops in NYC/whatever city I may be visiting. The different atmospheres at the numerous coffee shops in that city are great and there’s always a good opportunity to meet some great people. What better way to start your day with a kind gesture than by purchasing someone’s coffee! It’s inexpensive, and it is an easy way to spread a positive vibe along with good conversation.”
AT: “I love to cook. If I’m home I like to cook every meal I eat out enough on the road and its healthier and more fun!”
Q: Are you a cat or dog person?
AR: “100% dog person. I own a Boxer, and there’s just something about being able to go outdoors with your dog and hanging out that suits me better.”
AT: “Haha, neither.“
Q: What do you like to do in the outdoors?
AR: “I enjoy kayaking, being in the mountains, biking as much as possible, and going on nice hikes. Always a nice way to enjoy the day whether I’m on tour or off of tour and is a great way to clear the head and press the ‘refresh’ button.”
AT: “Everything! I love to camp and mountain bike in the summer, especially if I can route from festival to festival in CO. in between. But winter is probably my favorite, skiing in CO. is so easy and awesome. You can’t beat ‘ski tour’ where you’re picking at night and skiing all day, meeting all the great people and just having a blast.”
Q: What place inspires you? Why does it inspire you?
AR: “Traveling to any place inspires me, whether it be somewhere that I’ve been numerous times or to a place foreign to me. It’s a great opportunity for me to reconnect with a familiar culture or the option of experiencing something new presents itself, which is always an adventurous, humbling time for me. I used to believe that you had to travel to foreign territories to discover inspiration, but sometimes revisiting a familiar place can bring just as much inspiration.”
AT: “The whole western slope of CO. I love camping near Crested Butte in the summer when the wildflowers are blooming or the fall aspens. That is my best time to get out the banjo or guitar and work on new songs with all the inspiration around.”
Q: What one item do you always have in your pack?
AR: “I always carry my little ‘thought’ book. That notebook allows me to express myself, create, and is essential for my reflecting. I try to go back and read the things jotted down to figure out where I was at that point of time and how I’ve processed that information into my current state of mind.”
AT: “My water purifier. I like to stay very hydrated and you can almost always find some kind of water to pump and drink.”
Q: Which Osprey pack are you using right now? What is your favorite feature about your pack?
AR: “I’m currently using the Osprey Flapjack Pack as well as the Shuttle 36″/130L everywhere that I travel. I’m in love with the backpack for the various compartments within the back followed with a simple, sleek design. It allows me to pack numerous items, such as my Macbook, books, magazines, sticks, and leaves plenty of room for extra accessory items; the comfort of the backpack is very nice, especially if you’re exploring and carrying weight for long periods of time. The Shuttle 36 is perfect for traveling due to the wheels, allowing an easy haul whenever you’re moving from place to place. I also tour quite a bit and carry many things with me and this bag allows a great amount of space/compartments to make this possible.”
AT: “I absolutely love the Shuttle 36″. I can fit my pedal boards and all my other stuff, and sometimes my soft banjo case sticking out to roll long distance. It sure has made travel easy and smooth. We also use the hydration packs all the time when biking. I never used to use one before I had an Osprey and I’ve had much more energy by staying more hydrated with my Raptor 14.”
Enter to win an Osprey FlapJack (or Jill) and a signed copy of the newest Leftover Salmon Album, “High Country”
In celebration of #MusicMondays, we’re going to jump back to one of our favorite moments of the summer — Floydfest 2015. If you haven’t yet had the privilege to attend Floydfest, then we should preface this account by saying that words can only capture a small fragment of the beauty and magic that’s present during this week-long festival in late July. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, this festival is an epicenter of good vibes and great times — the music and passion generated by the Floydfest community seems to reverberate throughout the Appalachian Mountains. For those of you wondering what makes this festival a standout among so many other festivals across the nation, we’ll let you in on the secret.
Osprey Packs Ambassadors, Ms. Tess and the Talkbacks rocked the main stage!
Osprey has attended Floydfest for 4 consecutive years — not only because of a stellar musical line-up that somehow manages to outdo itself year after year, but because of the tangible sense of community created at Floydfest. Although the music may be the initial magnet that draws attendees to the festival, once on the ground in Virginia it’s immediately apparent that this festival offers so many other experiences outside the live performances, each of which focus on and allow for personal growth and the expansion of a community. Beyond the musical performances at multiple stages for responsive and fun audiences, Floydfest expands the festival experience and offers multiple workshops to attendees, including instrumental clinics and outdoor orientated excursions. The festival takes advantage of the beautiful environment of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers mountain bike demos, a 5k and guided nature hikes for anyone interested, taking an incredible natural backdrop and turning it into an experience that is shared. Instead of this festival being about consumption and observation, this blending of music, the outdoors and festival attendee participation lends itself to a uniquely collaborative festival.
We were able to capture all of this (and more!) in this short video, filmed & edited by Osprey’s own Dan Holz.
After fondly remembering this summer’s adventures at Floydfest, we’re even more excited for next year in the Appalachian hills.
I feel the chill in the air this week, watching the leaves turn, and suddenly everyone starts to talk about skiing/snowboarding. We can’t help ourselves — powder is just too addictive. Here at our homestead, Holy Terror Farm, we can ski and bike out our door AND still manage to grow and raise almost 100% of our own food.
At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be “training” as hard here in Paonia as I was living in Crested Butte. Little did I know how hard farming was! We joke daily about starting a new fitness trend – “CROP-fit” – hauling water, food, animals (weights!), weeding (yoga), herding dogs/animals (cardio). Farming like Little House on the Prairie involves using every muscle in the body, in a fantabulously comprehensive way. Ever tried lifting a 400 pound pumpkin?
Worried that you don’t have a farm for your training? Stay with me and I’ll give you my favorite ski/snowboard trick below.
Right now, we are harvesting about 2000 pounds of winter squashes.
I pick about 100 pounds of tomatoes a day, seed and core them, solar-cook them down to paste and then can them.
For winter preservation of zillions of peppers, I ferment them, dry them, or roast them.
Last week, our Scottish Highland cows met their maker and are now in the freezer, along with their much coveted fat which we use everyday – for cooking, chicken/dog feed, candles and soaps.
I’ve learned firsthand how our ancestors kept fit — and it didn’t involve a gym or any fitness gimmicks. Fitness was an inherent part of survival and life. Incredibly, now when I ski, bike or surf, I find myself even more all-over fit than when I was “training” in a less farm-focused manner and with no injuries.
But asked what my favorite quick way to get in shape for ski season, I will always resort to running in the mountains — preferably bounding downhill with a loaded pack (Osprey of course!). That simulates those muscles that contract when you are riding your board/boards and the extra weight make those muscles respond more vigorously.
You will know that you have achieved your plyometric training when you find it difficult to sit down or go downstairs. Voila – your first days of skiing/boarding will be a piece of cake now.
ALISON GANNETT is a self-sufficient farmer, World Champion Extreme FreeSkier, pro mountain biker, award-winning global cooling consultant, and founder of the multiple non-profits. In addition to her busy careers as an athlete, athlete ambassador and keynote speaking, she runs her KEEN Rippin Chix Camps – women’s steep skiing, biking and surf camps around the globe, featuring Osprey Packs. She has starred in many movies, TV shows, and magazines receiving many awards for her work including National Geographic’s Woman Adventurer of the Year, Powder Magazine’s “48 Greatest Skiers of All Time” and Outside Magazine’s “Green All-Star of theYear” next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Always an advocate of walking the talk, she has reduced her carbon footprint in half and has also spent half a lifetime working to make the world a better place. In 2010, she and her husband Jason bought Holy Terror Farm, beginning the next chapter of personal health and self-sustainability.
For everyone at Osprey, our commitment to the environment doesn’t end with the support of various nonprofit partners who dedicate themselves to conservation, sustainability, environmental awareness and continuous efforts to preserve the great outdoors.
This commitment is something that we also work to embody as a group. Each year, Osprey Packs has a tradition of acting on this commitment with our “Adopt-A-Highway” program with CDOT. Come fall, when the leaves in Southwest Colorado begin to change and the warmer temperatures begin to drop, we offer the opportunity to all Osprey employees to join our 3 hour annual cleanup along Highway 145. This particular stretch of road takes you from the Osprey HQ in Cortez, CO to Dolores, CO — which is home to many Osprey employees — and up to our beloved winter playground of Telluride, CO. As Osprey employees, participation in this group effort stems not only from our a commitment to doing our part to take care of Mother Nature, but also because of the sentimental value attached to this annual tradition. This year we had a great turnout with 14 Osprey employees participating! Osprey’s Diane Wren, passionate advocate for the environment (be sure to read her op-ed on Public Lands), co-owner of Osprey Packs and wife of our own Mike Pfotenhauer explains why this program is important to her on a personal level and talks about the 2015 Hwy Cleanup.
How many years has Osprey Packs been doing the Hwy clean-up?
DW: Osprey Packs has been a part of the CDOT “Adopt A Highway” program for almost 15 consecutive years. We adopted a section of highway right outside the small town of Dolores which was home to the original Osprey factory and now home to many of our employees.
What motivated Osprey Packs to take on this community service?
DW: I don’t really remember, but it is a stretch of road we all pass en route to the mountains that needed clean-up support. The mountains are part of our outdoor natural community and so is the road!
How long have you been participating in the Hwy clean-up and why is it so special to you?
DW: For me there is something satisfying about tidying up almost anything! It’s fun to be outside in the beautiful autumn weather with your co-workers (teammates) ambling along looking for interesting and not-so-interesting trash while cleaning up our roads and forests. It really is another form of hiking!
What are some interesting items you have found during the clean-up?
DW: Today Michael H. found a fishing rod, also found were boxers, panties and lots of alcohol bottles! Susan found a box of unused ear plugs. Last year I found an old tape recorder with a tape jammed in it…too bad we couldn’t get it out so we could listen to it. The usual items are beer bottles/cans and of course skoal.
Why would you encourage others to get involved in this type of program?
DW: Team building, fun exercise, clean up our environment and give back to our community.
About Diane Wren – Co-Owner of Osprey Packs
I’ve been with Osprey since 1985 and have been of “Jill of all trades” CS, finance and shipping in the early days.… I have always been and still am involved in Leadership – deciding the course
of the company. I am also a member of the HR Department. I do
support Mike of course but I take my roles seriously in the company. I am still an avid day hiker and love hiking the canyons of CO and Utah as well as exploring urban landscapes.
Andrew Bydlon, Banff, Banff Mountain Film Festival, film, film festival, inspiration, inspire, Jeremy Boggs, luggage, Luke Adams, nature, Osprey Inspire, Osprey Ozone, OspreyInspire, Ozone convertible, Ozone series, travel, video contest
“The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. It reveals the beauty of the desert, unfolds the glaciated expanses of the Sierra Nevada, travels deep forests, and provides commanding vistas of volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range. The trail symbolizes everything there is to love—and protect—in the Western United States.
Untold thousands of hikers and equestrians enjoy this international treasure each year. Some only travel a few miles, while others complete every mile in a single season. Tying the trail together is a community of volunteers and passionate outdoor enthusiasts. Together, we explore, create and support one of the best experiences on earth.” -via the Pacific Crest Trail Association
Don’t miss the 9th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days (an event produced by Outdoor Viewfinder), where you can check out the latest outdoor recreation gear from exhibiting sponsors, participate in free classes & activities, win awesome products at the raffles, enjoy local food and beverages, participate in a trail work party, go for a hike or a bike ride, spend the weekend camping under the stars, and enjoy the beautiful setting in the Marine Park of Cascade Locks, Oregon. PCT DAYS is family-friendly and free to attend, with a small fee for overnight camping on Thunder Island. All raffle proceeds are donated to the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West. Don’t miss out on being a part of a great time for a great cause!
August 28-30th Osprey Packs is returning to the greatest celebration of trail life on the west coast — better known as Pacific Crest Trail Days!
PCT DAYS is an annual three-day event that promotes outdoor recreation and the products of exhibiting sponsors, with a focus on hiking, camping, and backpacking gear. PCT DAYS takes place in the Marine Park of Cascade Locks, Oregon, located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. There are several reasons why PCT Days is one not to miss. It is not only the breathtaking views from Thunder Island of the Columbia River Gorge or the easy access to trails including the PCT itself but also the strength of community is ever so present as PCT days provides a place of recollection for those touched by the trail. Hundreds of PCT “alumni” travel from the near city of Portland, OR and others from across the nation, head to this event for a weekend to reunite connect with those currently hiking and those who had hiked the trail in past years. In essence, it is one giant “class” reunion that celebrates PCT Thru hikers and the trail itself. As a backpacking company, Osprey wouldn’t want to miss this party as we look forward to hearing the stories of those who depended on our gear and share our love for the outdoors and the trail.
For a full list of events, check out the complete schedule.
If you’re coming to PCT Days, here are just a few reasons to come visit us at the Osprey Packs booth:
- The Osprey Anti-Gravity Challenge: Visit the Osprey Booth at any time on Saturday, August 29th. Try on our new Atmos Anti-Gravity or Women’s Aura Anti-Gravity and you will be automatically entered to win one to call your own!
- PCT Days Celebration Sale with Next Adventure: 20% off any Osprey Pack in stock at Next Adventure, Portland through September 13th, don’t delay on this deal!
- Free Pack Sizing, Fittings and Expert Advice: All Day, every day! We will be offering professional pack fitting and advice from the Osprey experts, so if you are in the market for a new pack come consult with our knowledgeable fit gurus!
- Full Display of all that is new from Osprey for 2015: Get the full download of our latest and greatest for 2015! This includes newly designed luggage, hydration packs, and our new line of accessories. We will be showcasing our Atmos/Aura Anti-Gravity and have a team with all the answers to your questions on our product!
- Giveaways Galore: This includes commemorative PCT Days Stickers, Osprey Packs stickers, Lip Balms and more!
Connect with PCT Days on Social to get live updates and photos:
Ouray is famous for ice climbing in the winter months, but during the late summer becomes home to many amazing waterfalls tucked away inside hidden canyons.
Filmed during the 2014 Ouray Canyon Festival, “Ouray” features some of the best Class C (flowing water) canyoneering that Colorado has to offer.
World Falling Away is an outdoor adventure series with a focus on canyoneering and kayaking in the Southwest U.S.
My name is Paul McDaniel, and I have been with Osprey Packs for over 2 years. Currently I am the Business Process Manager, where my focus is on continuous improvement for all of Osprey’s business processes.
I was born and raised in Arkansas, where I was reared on a steady diet of whitewater, climbing, and general outdoor shenanigans. After living in Florida, South Carolina, and Washington state (due to a 6 year stint in the Navy) I ended up in the Southwest US (Arizona & Colorado), where I was introduced to a relatively obscure sport: canyoneering.
Armed with a climbing background and overconfidence, I set out on my newfound passion, where following a couple of close calls and dumb luck, I quickly discovered about the only thing climbing and canyoneering have in common were the helmet and the harness.
Soon after however, I was able to find a training pipeline that allowed me to bring my technical skillset up to my level of ambition. At this point, I was introduced to some rather talented individuals, with amazing canyoneering expertise, and after introducing them to whitewater kayaking, World Falling Away was born.
With the help of my friends, I started World Falling Away as a way to showcase the unique experiences that culminate from mixing a rugged Southwest environment with the most basic of elements — water. Monsoon storms turn canyons that are normally dry into something else entirely once they flash flood, creating canyoneering experiences only for the brave at heart. Spring-filled creeks surrounded by desert provide year-round kayaking where there shouldn’t be any. Late summer alpine lakes become the headwaters for waterfalls so intense they not only test a person’s rope skills, but also how long that individual can hold their breath. World Falling Away is the about experiencing the moment, and letting everything else fade into obscurity.
I currently live in Cortez, Colorado, where I am also an avid mountain biker, trail runner, and ice climber.
Project. Restore. Educate.
Osprey is a proud partner of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative – a collaborative of nonprofit organizations and dedicated individuals who are committed to the development and preservation of our beloved Rocky Mountains in our home-state of Colorado. As great lovers of the mountains and all the experiences that they have given us, we can be so captivated by their presence: the high-country wildflowers in bloom, the sights and sounds of creatures who call the mountains their home, or simply the solitude that these beautiful mountains provide. Of course, it’s important to enjoy the these gifts but is just as important to recognize and support those who make them possible and for Osprey Packs, we realize that without Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, the trail access to Colorado’s 54 14,000 foot peaks wouldn’t be possible.
This coming August 14th, Osprey will support Colorado Fourteeners Initiatives as they announce quite possibly the largest partnership in the program’s history. This partnership would take place with one of Osprey’s long standing retailers, REI, who recognizes the importance of Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and other organizations in trail stewardship across the nation.
More details to follow but we would like to introduce you to this Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, what they do and why you should support them on August 14th, 2015.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative was formed in 1994 as a partnership of nonprofit organizations, concerned individuals, and public agencies to preserve and protect the natural integrity of Colorado’s Fourteeners after a 1993 study noted significant environmental impacts due to rapidly expanding recreational use. Founding organizations included the Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Outward Bound School, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and the US Forest Service.
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative protects and preserves the natural integrity of Colorado’s 54 14,000–foot peaks—the “Fourteeners”—through active stewardship and public education.
Colorado’s Fourteeners contain rare and fragile native tundra ecosystems that are uniquely adapted to living on these high peaks. These tundra plants, however, are ill-adapted to being trampled by the half-million people who are estimated to climb these peaks every year. In many places resource damage is past the point of natural recovery.
CFI partners with the US Forest Service, passionate volunteer partners and donors nationwide to:
- Create a structure for engaging local communities in the protection of Colorado’s highest peaks
- Build and maintain sustainable hiking routes on the Fourteeners to accommodate hiking use while minimizing damage to native alpine ecosystems
- Stabilize and restore trampled and eroded areas to protect sensitive alpine plant and animal communities
- Educate Fourteener hikers about Leave No Trace principles and sustainable recreational practices designed to lessen ecosystem impacts
Through this unique,voluntary partnership, Colorado’s Fourteener ecosystems are protected from harm while continuing to make the peaks accessible to hikers without burdensome restrictions and fees.
Stay connected with Colorado Fourteeneers Initiative, both on the Trail and Social:
We’re back. We pulled into Peterborough, Ontario late one night last week, ending the journey by reversing into the same parking place in which we had loaded up the van one and a half months ago. There was an overwhelming rush of emotion – a strange concoction that never quite revealed what it was, but felt like a bittersweet mixture of relief, accomplishment, emptiness and slight anti-climax. We think they all stemmed from the fact that we never thought we’d actually do it. There were too many variables, too many ways in which something could go wrong. In the end, it all went fine. The things that went wrong had solutions better than the original plan
We last left you on our way to the Grand Canyon. We made it there as planned and cooked ourselves a simple meal whilst watching the shifting light of the sunset slowly leave the canyon floor and then its walls. We returned to Page, Arizona that night but not before seeing the moonrise opposite the setting sun above the eastern side of the canyon. Beautiful symmetry.
As the sun set in the west, the moon rose in the east. Photo by Sam
The setting sun burns up the walls of the Grand Canyon. Photo by Sam
The next morning we drove into Colorado, to Mesa Verde National Park. Robbie, our archaeologist had suggested this stop and we are thankful to him for it. Mesa Verde was one of the first UNESCO World Heritage sites. The park is home to some of the world’s best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites. It was almost as fun to explore the area and listen to the ranger-led talks, as it was to just watch Robbie walk around smiling. Absolutely in his element and so happy about it, his good mood was entirely infectious. We spent two days at Mesa Verde, a stay that unexpectedly became one of our favorites of the entire trip.
Robbie, a happy archaeologist. Photo by Sam
We left Mesa Verde to begin a journey that was ultimately the last homeward leg of the journey. Almost. First, we had one last stop to make – we had been talking about white water rafting for the longest time and our last chance to do that was before we left Colorado. We got out on the Lower Animas River after a period of extended rainfall. The water level had fallen enough for tours to restart just earlier that day. The rapids were insanely fast compared to how we’d imagined they might be and the water still rose to frightening heights at times. We made it though, thanks to the help of an awesome guide, who despite leading us through the most turbulent sections of water, managed to keep us all safely aboard. It was crazy good fun, a great last activity to do together before we got back into prairie country.
A break in the rainclouds, Colorado. Photo by Sam
We zoomed across Nebraska and Iowa to reach Chicago the next evening. It was here that we would be saying goodbye to Dian. She was flying back to Europe ahead of us to take up a great opportunity to work at a Dutch festival that had suddenly presented itself.
Having a quick (long) splash in Lake Michigan the day before Dian’s flight home. Photo by Sam
Saying goodbye hurt. It signaled the end of the road trip and the six weeks of fellowship that the five of us had shared. The journey back to Peterborough that followed was not the same, it was something different – it served no purpose other than getting us home.
The final tally. In a straight line around the equator that’s almost halfway around the world.
We’ve all gone out separate ways now. Robbie home to Scotland for summer, Lara to Indonesia for a research project, Sam to Indiana to visit friends and Ciaran to Washington D.C. to meet up with friends for another month’s worth of North American travels. After so much time together you begin to expect one another’s company forever. Now that we’re all apart it’s comforting to think that the journey we shared and unforgettable experiences that came with it will bind us together strongly enough that ten, twenty or fifty years down the line when we’re all grey and old, we can do it all again.
Of course, we plan the next trip to be much sooner than that – hopefully you can all join us when that time comes. Thanks for reading, and thank you to Osprey for the fantastic gear!
As many of you may have noticed, SW Colorado has been unseasonably wet for the past couple of months. And I’m not talking a nice and gentle Seattle-like drizzle. I mean full on thunder-hail, monsoon, wrath of the gods type of weather. Needless to say, I’ve been chased from the mountains as lightning ripped through savage clouds with my tail between my legs more than a few times this season.
It’s not like I’m not checking the weather reports before heading out on assignment. In fact, I’ve been studying over weather forecasts like it was my job. Well, because it kinda is I suppose. But at the end of the day, you just can’t predict mountain weather. So if they’re calling for 60% chance of thunderstorms, that’s a 40% chance to catch some amazingly dynamic light.
That’s exactly what Ben Clark, Sam Feuerborn and I were facing when we went out to shoot a video of the Osprey Packs Anti-Gravity™ series in the Telluride backcountry last week. As soon as we rolled into town, we found ourselves at the local dive bar, waiting for a glimmer of sunshine to pierce the gray curtain. Hunkered down by the plate glass window of The Buck, we watched our day’s plans wash down Main Street in the daily deluge.
‘Yet, another shutdown brought to you by Mother Nature’, I thought. Feeling obligated to be at least somewhat productive, I suggested that we head up to Imogene Pass and scout a little. We loaded up the truck, put it in four-wheel drive and headed up hill.
It did not take me long to discover that Imogene was not a path for the faint of heart. Imagine a very technical and frighteningly narrow road strewn with melon-sized boulders which occasionally fall from the crumbling San Juan cliff side. On your right is an unguarded 1500 foot drop to oblivion. On your left, cascading waterfalls crashing over your hood. White-knuckled, but grinning ear to ear, we continued on. And so did the rain.
At nearly 11,000 feet, we rolled into the ghost town of Tomboy. And within moments, the storm that had shrouded us in defeat began a hasty retreat. We all looked at one another, shrugged our shoulders and without a word, donned our gear.
We knew our window would be a brief one, so we focused on the task at hand and knocked out six scenes in less than an hour. When the rain clouds rushed back in, we charged back to the truck, loaded the gear and reveled on the fact on how lucky we were to have that window.
Closing the tailgate and about to head home, the clouds decided to part for us one last time. As they did, we found ourselves wrapped in the some of the most incredibly beautiful, golden light we had ever seen. Diving headfirst into the truck, Sam soon emerged with an Atmos AG pack. I grabbed my MKIII, locked on a 70-200mm lens and we sprinted up to an overlook, racing the light with every step. When we reached the top, we had just enough time to snap this frame before the magic was gone forever.
Right place, right people, right time.
Here’s the first video featuring our award-winning, innovative 2015 Anti-Gravity series:
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My name is Dan Holz, and I have the good fortune of being the staff photographer for Osprey Packs. Photography has been a passion of mine since grade school and I’ve used it as a vehicle to take me everywhere from my backyard in Colorado to the lush jungles of Borneo and the glaciated landscapes of Patagonia. People often ask if I have a ‘specialty.’ It’s kind of a tough question, because while I specialize in active lifestyle and mountain sport photography, I find myself chasing the magic light more than anything else. If the face of a Nepali farmer is suddenly cast in the beautiful shadow of contrast, I become a portrait photographer in that moment. Or if a setting sun embraces a rice paddy outside of Chiang Mai, for an instant I’m a landscape photographer. As a photographer, I am always exploring self-expression and pushing the limits of what I – and my camera – can do. It’s a passion, it’s a job, it’s a lifestyle all wrapped up in a single package. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.