Live from the OR show in Denver, Colorado, Mathias and Douglas discuss the trade show in great length while trying to stay awake after long trips to get there. Stoked by the environmentally friendly new products, political activism of the Outdoor Industry, talking to new and old favorite companies, and a few quirky contraptions, your heroes might have recorded their most exhausting podcast ever. Short and sweet, they even discuss running a bit before ending this episode. Listeners, try to guess who was the most exhausted!
Sometimes, random encounters with a stranger on a Public Land can become incredible memorable, inspiring a story that gets retold more than you mean to. For this week’s #NatureWritingChallenge, I decided to share one of my frequently told stories about a stranger I encountered in a National Park. Unlike many stories I tell a lot, this has never been put down on paper. Until now. Enjoy.
I was recently asked what my wishlist for Public Lands would be, and since we are just days away from the 2018 mid-term elections, I wanted to give a thought out and carefully crafted response. However, this question was posed as a #NatureWritingChallenge, meaning I only had one hour to write this. This is what I wrote:
After a whirlwind travel week your friendly neighborhood podcasting hosts share stories of fall adventures at castles in Germany, running into friends on Cub Peak above Hoodsport, WA and how much broken fingers hurt. They didn’t talk about cured ham or delicious cakes, which they regret deeply. Mathias also shares his first big race signup for the new year. Exciting!
The entrances to National Parks are like gateways to another world, granting access to breathtaking landscapes that are mostly untouched by human interference. The provide entry to lands full of wondrous wilderness and wildlife, where adventures await all who are fortunate enough to enter. While there are no bad entrances to National Parks, each of us has a favorite, one that speaks directly to our soul. Sparking our sense of adventure and increasing our love for public lands, these entrances are special, and are filled with amazing memories.
I have been called a fair weather hiker by quite a few people. For awhile, I denied this, hoping I could convince myself and others that I would be outdoors in rain, snow, sun, wind, whatever. I have tried, and I often fail to shake this label off of me. For as much as I feel the call of the wild on sunny days, I experience a pull toward comfort on rainy cold days. Wrapped in a blanket, sitting in front of a fire, drinking whiskey and hot chocolate, this is where my brain longs to be during inclement weather. Sure, I have hiked the rainforests in monsoons, trail ran Yellowstone in blizzards and climbed towering peaks in severe winds, but if you ask me if I enjoyed it, my voice may waiver as I respond of course. Bad weather and I usually not friends, but when I hear of a storm raging toward the Olympic Coast, everything changes.
Some stories need to be told. Some are so incredible, inspiring and bigly amazing that to hold them back would be one of the great injustices of the world. This might just be one of those tales. Written in just one hour for this week’s #NatureWritingChallenge, I present the following.
The return of the rain has brought more good news to the region, and not just for the incoming, spawning salmon. On October 10th, 2018, Olympic National Park officials have announced that access to the Hamma Hamma Road has been restored. That means you can now hike to Lena Lake, Upper Lena Lake, and even Lake of the Angels! This weekend, head out to the Hamma Hamma and make up for the missed days exploring one of the most wild and wonderful destinations on the Olympic Peninsula.
To love the Pacific Northwest Coast is to be human. You can love mountains, and forests, revel in the beauty of waterfalls and glaciers, even rejoice in the arches and canyons, but to try to deny the addicting and soul soothing beauty of the wild beaches of Washington and Oregon is as pointless as trying to avoid oxygen. The feelings we get on the coast are hard-lined right into our bloodstream, giving us a dose of awe whether it is the first or hundredth time you have seen it. Breaker after breaker slam down and retreat against the rugged shoreline like a steady drumbeat, providing an unrivaled soundtrack to the sheer power and beauty of the waterfront. The Pacific Northwest Coast is as stunning as you can imagine, and is worthy of a celebration year round.
Get the shirt, support the show, and run some trails. Go!
It is time. SINGLETRACK is getting it’s own shirt.
With a big nod to the past “Go Run a Trail” is a celebration of trail running, podcasting, and the love for the outdoors.
There’s a story here.
The original shirt that inspired us to make this one, equally inspired millions of people to climb rocks, from the granite boulders of Yosemite Valley to the majestic peaks of the Alps. ‘Go run a Trail‘ is a homage to these crazy stone masters who paved a way for many of us in exploring the wild places around us by pushing our limits. The sport might look different, the ethos and vision is the same.
We love to push limits, explore the boundaries of our possibilities and live the best life we can imagine. We go and run trails, and we invite you to join us on this journey. No matter how fast you are, no matter how far you think you can go. Everyday you push yourself beyond yesterday is a day you won. And we’ll be there cheering you on, every step of the way.
This is the Singletrack ethos. This is what guides us everyday.
While drinking too much tea Doug and Mathias discuss the challenges of running on difficult downhill terrain. The team celebrates local parks and owls and highlights the gnarliest trails. Mathias gets a lesson on the history of cross country racing. And Doug learns about an ice skating rink for Olympia.
2003. What a year. Some will recall it as the start of the decline of post-September 11th patriotism. A few will remember it was the year the Florida Marlins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Jersey Devils and San Antonia Spurs won their sporting championships. A handful will relive the explosion of space shuttle Columbia as it reentered earth’s atmosphere. Many will remember this as the year the US invaded Iraq on faulty pretenses. For me, 2003 was the year I knew public lands needed to play a larger role in my life. For the past 15 years, America’s Public Lands have been where I find sanity, serenity and happiness. As George W. Bush said on May 1st of that year, Mission Accomplished.
We interview Joseph Bridges from Stagrack, a brand new roof rack coming to Kickstarter this October. Afterwards a heated discussion ensues about the virtues of building and kicking cairns. Mathias volunteers at an elementary school and Doug shares the latest on the #NatureWritingChallenge.
I have been told that I am very observant, but that isn’t true. I usually don’t notice people’s new haircuts. I rarely pick up on small changes, like new pictures in room. I gloss over details so much that doubt I could describe a family member in detail for a police sketch artist. I forget names easily and tend to space out on meaningful dates. Yet, when it comes to the outdoors, all of this changes. I know names of creeks and waterfalls. I can describe the seat stacks along the Olympic Coast perfectly. I can see the first sign of fall from a mile away. In wilderness I become the Sherlock Holmes of Public Lands, noticing the most minute detail.
I was stuck in a rut. Pun intended. I had been running on city streets for too long and my body was craving new terrain. The constant pounding of pavement had me longing for a long, singletrack trail which would allow me to bask in wilderness for miles at a time. I needed a trail on public lands, and Yellowstone National Park had just the trail for me. Little did I know that my eight mile run would turn into one of the most special moments of my life.