Sunday, December 1, 2019

Vasquez Rocks Revisited

Vasquez Rocks are iconic rock formations in the Antelope Valley that you have probably seen a million times in movies and TV shows. Just because a piece of the outdoors is famous doesn't mean it isn't a killer hiking spot and I recently went back to Vasquez and rediscovered the gem that it is!

Also there was a snow. Snow! Recent winter storms had brought the snowline down to about 3,000 feet and with the park sitting at about 2,800 feet in elevation you better believe I found some snow on my hike.

This time in the park I took the Horse Trail and there are a ton of nooks and crannies off the main trail that you can explore. One of my favorite places in the entire park requires knowing where a particular goat trail is and navigating some boulders but the end result is this view.

In general the Horse Trail is a little rough but plenty of fun (and yes there are reminders that horses take that trail so watch your step!

What I dug most about the park is that while there are plenty of people there enjoying the outdoors, there are plenty of trails to get lost on and enjoy the solitude of nature. What I especially liked was that I wanted to go back. Sure the hikes may last anywhere from 1-4 miles (depending on the loops you take, etc.) but they are FUN trails and putting a little bit of nip in the air with snow covered peaks and I am going back to Vasquez sooner rather than later. Here are a few extra shots for ya:

For more info about Vasquez, be sure to check out this link:

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Outdoor Gift Guide 2019

Another Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday gift giving season is upon us and I am here to cut through all the guff to bring you some gear that you should definitely be lugging on the trails and campsites in 2020. This gear might fall under the radar of the big brands and stores but are well worth you checking out all the same!

1) Revant Optics F1L Sunglasses

As readers of this blog can attest, I am a HUGE fan of Revant Optics. They have been upping their game with their their new sunglass line and I am particularly intrigued by the F1L. The lenses are top notch and the frames look like they can take a pounding. If you are looking for sunglasses to take with you on every type of adventure, these are the ones!

2) Mountaineer Handmade Beanie

The Mountaineer is a fantastic outdoor shop in the Adirondacks that is near and dear to my heart. My dad and I would always stop in the shop on the way to bagging various Adirondack peaks and I definitely try to keep up with them from afar. Over the last little while they have been offering these handmade beanies which capture just an awesome mountain vibe. Whether you buy it in the store or online, you can shop local and look awesome with this lid!

3) Rainier Watch Ranger Tee

Every time I go to Seattle I fall more and more in love with the area. I am especially taken with Mt. Rainier and it is quickly becoming my favorite mountain. Rainier Watch is all about whether the mountain is "out" or not and they have some killer gear to go along with their simple mission. I am a proud owner of this shirt. It is soft, has a killer logo and I can rock my love of the PNW.

4) Feathered Friends EOS Down Jacket

Feathered Friends might be a small Seattle shop but they are mighty! They make top quality down products, none more so than the EOS down jacket. This thing has 900+ down fill and only weighs 10.6 ounces. What that means is you get a tremendous amount of warmth in an incredibly lightweight package. If you are looking for the ultimate down jacket for your backcountry adventures, this is it.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Polar Time Excellent

 So I am at it again. In 2013 Fjallraven offered those on the interwebs a chance to go on a polar expedition. Back then I marshaled my forces to try and win 1 of 2 spots on the expedition team but came up juuuuuuuuust short.

People are often surprised at my quest to go polar because I am such a SoCal guy. However I grew up in Upstate New York (the "East" in EastWestHike) and there is something about the cold that still stays in my blood. After the my failure in the previous Fjallraven contest I also tried to go to Nunavut in a contest sponsored by Leica and I still check in on the town of Iqaluit to see what they are getting up to in the North.

It has been several years since these contests and life and passions have gotten me off the trail. However, nothing reignites my interest like another contest and lo and behold I stumbled across the 2020 version of the contest just as it was starting.

You may not remember from my last time around but I made a ton of terrible collages and you can tell I am stoked since I started making collages again ;).

There is just something in my life that compels me to go tromping around in extreme environments and on a side note, I would love to pet some sled dogs. It is also important to bring the beauty of the North to people via my website and social media and maybe it will help inspire people to work to save these wild, cold places.

If you have a Facebook account, I sure would appreciate your vote. If you want to send me on a dream trip to the North please click on this link and vote!


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