Our adventure-seeking friends from The Longest Hello, Nick and Laura Ocean, recently returned home from months on the road. Even though their adventures have become more local, they are still finding amazing places to connect with like the one they documented in their July journal.
This weekend, you'll find us in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Rain or shine, we'll be imbibing alongside Portlanders at the second annual Collabofest, sponsored by Base Camp Brewing. The spirit of the event is in its name; collaboration among some of the best craft breweries is what it's all about, which is why the event will feature 16 breweries, as well as two cideries, as they collaborate to create new innovative brews and ciders. The event organizers wanted to provide a high-quality, sustainable solution for their VIP participants while they sample all of these collaboration brews, so we were happy to add some Klean Kanteen class to the occasion! All VIP attendees will receive a stainless steel pint to sip (or chug) their tasty samples from while they take in this one-of-a-kind event.
This year, Collabofest is also supporting two local Oregon non-profits, including the Oregon Natural Desert Association and Oregon Brewshed Alliance. The focus will be on sending funds and support to help protect the Oywhee Canyonlands and Oregon watersheds in an effort to keep local lands protected and Oregon beer clean!
We'll be there this weekend, not only to support the sustainability of the event, but to celebrate the brewing community of Portland and the creativity that can come from collaborations like this. Join us, and get your tickets here! See you in Portland.
The film here, Walt, is perhaps as much an homage to a beautiful human as it is to the San Joaquin. This serves as a steadying reminder that we're inextricably connected to the natural world around us. As 85-year-old organic raisin farmer and lifelong river advocate Walt Shubin simply states, "You can't live with out water. Our land is worthless without water. You have to have water to grow crops; you have to have water to drink." Take a few minutes today to watch the film and listen to a man who's been fighting to save this local wonder and national treasure for 65 years. Learn more about the San Joaquin river here.
The last time Ken Brower traveled down the Yampa River in Northwest Colorado was with his father, David Brower, in 1952. This was the year his father became the first executive director of the Sierra Club and joined the fight against a pair of proposed dams on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. The dams—a big one at Echo Park and a smaller one at Split Mountain—would have flooded the canyons of the Green and its tributary, the Yampa, inundating the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. David Brower and the Sierra Club ultimately won the fight—ushering in a period many consider the dawn of modern environmentalism. Sixty-two years later, Ken revisited the Yampa and Green Rivers to reflect on his father's work, their 1952 river trip and how we will confront the looming water crisis in the American West.
“Words cannot adequately describe the Yampa Canyon through Dinosaur National Monument, nor can pictures capture its grandeur,” said Amy Kober, Senior Communications Director for American Rivers. “We need rivers like the Yampa — to remind us how rivers are supposed to function, to demonstrate that it is possible to sustain agriculture while protecting endangered fish and recreation, and to help us improve the management of other rivers in the Colorado Basin.”
We encourage you to watch the film, share the message and do your part to raise awareness about an issue that affects us all.
Today, we invite you to get away in the powder of these mountains. Take a look at the trailer for the film: "Set against a backdrop of incredible backcountry ski and snowboard footage, Jumbo Wild documents all sides of a divisive issue bringing the passionate local fight to protect the Jumbo Valley to life for the first time." Want to do more to protect this pristine natural landscape? Sign the Jumbo Wild petition today: here.
The world is full of artists and conservationists, business owners and adventure-seekers, people like us who desire something different in life. We are Nick and Laura Ocean, a couple of artist-adventure seekers driving our truck and pop-up camper off the beaten path, down those forest service roads that lead into the woods, up the mountains and next to rivers.
In May, we left our life in the city of Los Angeles in search of a new path. Our day to day had become the grind and as much as we love our community we felt a call to drive out and seek a new place to put down roots and to follow a dormant career path. As a photographer, Nick has a desire to show life through the lens of adventure and story telling. So it made sense to use our savings, pile our things into a small storage unit and move our life into a camper in order to drive throughout the Northwest taking pictures and telling stories along the way. What we hope to portray in our photography and online journal is inspiration and authenticity, how taking chances in life is sometimes messy and full of unknowns and to talk about our journey that is full of lessons and the often humorous path to learning them.
On the road we have been met with hardships and fun, things breaking and things working themselves out and we have found ourselves constantly surrounded by beauty. It can be distracting on driving days or when pulling a bee's stinger out of the mouth of your dog instead of focusing on that life question that drew us out of our comfort zone all those months ago.
We started the trek with a question in mind and it took some time to boil it down into a single run-on sentence that we are working to answer: How do we live with purpose, and choose what to do with our lives, while simultaneously giving the most back to the world? Often, the people that we meet while traveling are asking a similar question of themselves. It's a natural and easy conversation to have around camp meals and next to tents, scaring one another with road stories and encouraging each other with moments of hope.
Though the looming question of where we may find ourselves in a few months hangs unanswered, the knowledge that we are so privileged to be out in the shadow of mountains morning after morning is helping change our perspective of where we belong. In the city, we were saving our shower water in buckets instead of using sprinklers for the grass, changed our lightbulbs to long lasting LED and put low-flow heads on our faucets. We did our best to conserve and re-use everything we could. We hugged our trees and had an urban garden. Out here we use as little as possible, conserve water, use solar power and leave no trace.
Who we are is the same no matter where we are located. Where we belong is the same as well – in a place of conservation and care, aware that we can have a positive impact on the earth and the people that we meet in life. And they, just as much in turn, leave an impact on us.
Nick and Laura Ocean, are a couple of artist-adventure seekers driving their truck and pop-up camper off the beaten path, down those forest service roads that lead into the woods, up the mountains and next to rivers. You can read their blog, The Longest Hello, here.
We believe that buying long-lasting, high-quality stuff, repairing what you have and seeking out only what you truly need matters. And just like practicing yoga or committing to a fitness program, reducing waste and your footprint on the whole is definitely easier with a little practice and routine.