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  • Time for counting and the times that count
  • Filled with gratitude and stoke for all the amazing folks I get to work with in this "industry" of outdoor recreation. Grateful for the creative directors who took chances on me when I was first starting out, mentors who have encouraged and continue to push me, and for the friends and co-conspirators with whom I've been fortunate to dance and dream, climb and crawl, struggle and shuffle in the pursuit of vibrant lives and the preservation of the wild places in which we thrive. Inspired by the number of conversations I had over the past 36 hours with folks who are assionate about trying to make a positive difference in the world, now more than ever. It takes all strokes and all folks, actions big and small, and I'm grateful for a community that supports and energizes one another in the pursuit of lives worth living and the stewardship of a planet worth living on. #tothejourneyahead #orshow
  • "There's a lot of damage that comes from living with damaged people." Elaine told me, holding princess (her dog) close and kissing her. "I learned that the hard way. My husband put a claw hammer through my skull and then gave me HIV. No, it was the other way round. Anyway, I was in a coma for seven and a half months. I don't exist anymore. I don't have a birth certificate. My foster parents told me I'm part Sioux, part Mohawk, part Iroquois. Do you want to come over to my house for dinner? I'll make mac and cheese!" In the rare instances when we suspend judgement long enough to  listen there exists the potential to be, if not "pleasantly" surprised, at least "productively" surprised. Beyond the tunnel-vision of our judgements exists a world of intricate complexity in which the fear lacquered veneer of self satisfied dismissals dissolves, revealing the existence of ideas, people, and lives that are vital - however different from our own. // @collectivequarterly #slabcity
  • I met John Wayne Brown in front of the supermarket in Niland, just down the road from the Slabs. A cigarette balanced over checkered sleeves rolled tight across sinewy scarred arms, his eyes shy but striking. "Since the road moved away everything shut down. Now I work on a fish farm. Tilapia. When you get to be my age, you take what you can." With a strong grip that belied his years he squeezed my hand before turning to walk back down the empty Main Street, past boarded storefronts and tattered scraps of advertisements dangling from sun bleached cork boards. I wondered if that wasn't true of it all. We take what we can. I decided it was. The question then remains: do we give what we can as well? // @collectivequarterly #slabcity
  • "We're all here because we're not all there."
  • "It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people can't be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it." - Cormac McCarthy // @collectivequarterly w/ @howlcollective @gennyallison
  • "Slab City, by its own estimate “the last free place in America,” is part homeless camp, part hippie commune, part anarcho-autonomous group, part artist enclave, and part squatter community. And the descriptors are all true. It’s home to war vets, artists, drifters, stoners, tweakers, “dirty kids,” and lots of self-proclaimed weirdoes. They’re united because they have all dropped out of the striated grid of American society, whether by acts of resistance—reaction to the yoke of bourgeois lifestyles, for instance—or by dire necessity." // Excerpt from @gennyallison's thoughtful essay on Slab City in the latest @collectivequarterly
  • When I first saw Cuervo he was riding his mules down the main street of Niland, checkered kilt hitched high and proud over worn leather riding boots, his portable speaker blaring Springsteen's "I'm on fire" at top volume. I think the term "character" is over used. At least by me. Cuervo however is my definition of a character: someone who has made choices - and continues to make choices on a daily basis - that differ from the norms of society, creating space to explore the uniqueness of their existence, to develop characteristics distinctly their own, and (for better and worse) to live in a way that few people dare to. // Excited to see the latest @collectivequarterly in print with a rich array of stories from the Mojave, including a @howlcollective feature on Slab City weaving the threads of Cuervo's story with that of a host of other slabbers we met along the way #thelastfreeplace #mojave
  • Making the most of what's left #montuckysplitters
  • Waxin skis and stackin' seeds - essential winter preparations. Fun to see this shot of Eli (@nielsen_eli) and an unnamed furry friend on the cover of the fall catalog for Patagonia. I've known Eli since he was a wee whipper snapper and it's been awesome to see him grow into a talented athlete, a kind and keen soul, and nimble mopedist. I snapped this shot of him a few falls ago, cruising with his dad's skis, frothing for his first chance to try out for the Methow valley Nordic team. Apparently his time spent skiing to the one room school in the valley and exploring the mountains around Stehekin paid off as he went on to represent team USA the following winter in the junior's Biathlon event. Congrats Eli and cheers to another great season! #stackinseeds #winteriscoming
  • Left of West VII // In 1972, Ray Courtney (Colter’s grandfather) left the Stehekin valley in search of horses capable of navigating the rugged terrain of the North Cascades. Sure footed, and with strong hooves that would not chip in the rocky granite of the high country, Ray settled on a team of Norwegian Fjord horses - some of the first to be brought to North America. Returning to Stehekin with the horses, he went on to build the packing outfit that his children and grandchildren continue to operate to this day. #leftofwest @filson1897
  • Left of West VI // Isolated by the rugged geography of the North Cascades, Stehekin can only be reached by boat, plane, foot or hoof. It is not an island (though the concept of "island time" has been readily embraced) but rather is a valley, carved deep into the heart of the mountains and guarded by a 50 mile lake whose steep shores resemble those of a fjord at times. Isolation of this sort necessitates a remarkably deep sense of community coupled with a tenacious spirit of self sufficiency. #leftofwest @filson1897