The summit trail to the peak of Camelback Mountain is deceiving — it’s only 1.2 miles from the parking lot to the top. But a steady elevation gain (1,300 feet total) on a trail of boulders and loose gravel makes a rather strenuous adventure. It took a little over an hour to summit and a little more than half that to get back down. But my quads still feel as though they’ve both been charlie horsed after absorbing the shock of the descent.
In an eleventh-hour decision, I cashed in some American AAdvantage miles and caught a flight to Austin for spring break — or more specifically, the 25th annual South by Southwest Conference. With all of the networking opportunities, free food, drink, music and friends – some of whom i only see once a year or so – i’m glad i took advantage and visited the great city of Austin. It was a whirlwind four days but the photos and video below provide some flavor.
The trip began with an amazing takeoff directly into the fading sun over the Pacific. This would be the last time the sun set before Daylight Savings time kicked in. Got in to Austin and met up with Jory, provider of a fine crash pad for the duration of my stay. Then began a serious of meetups, events, and parties: All Hat III, which was a priceless opportunity to visit with many of the folks I most admire in the interactive space who happen to share a passion and commitment to do-gooding.
Immediately after graduating from the University of Iowa I hopped a ride out to Seattle with friends who wanted a quick getaway before they began another semester of classes. I took a job for a few weeks with Aramark at one of the hotels in Denali National Park. It was an incredibly cool job — I was essentially the bellman, but all I did was sit in a little room reading Outside magazine all day, writing, and holding and distributing bags for hotel guests. Twice a day I’d walk over to the train station where the train from Anchorage came in and would collect or drop off bags marked for my hotel.
The greatest perk of working in the summer in Alaska is that — even after a 9-hour workday, there are countless hours of sunlight left to play outside, hike, explore, and photograph the natural beauty that surrounds. Which is what I did a good deal of with the Canon Rebel G SLR camera that I got for graduation. Once I took off on a solo hike to Horseshoe Lake after a shift at work — not a long hike, but i knew I had to find camp before it got too dark, which was around 11-midnight by late August. I had my tent, a flashlight, a journal, and some other essentials, including my Martin Backpacker guitar. I wrote a song inspired by what I had seen and experienced in Alaska right then and there – you can hear a version of it below.
Three short videos from our first shoe drop on the One Millionth Pair trip. Andresito School was one of the original sites TOMS visited in 2006 after Blake Mycoskie and Alejo Nitti launched the movement and made the first shoes in Argentina.