Monument Valley at 2 AM

Getting high. 

Doing my best Tarzan/Captain Caveman

No Logos

Too much of my life is spent surrounded and consumed by logos and trademarks. The key is in finding a balance in the modern world. The wood I chopped and burned this weekend had no logo. The rope I swung off had no trademark. The rocks I climbed likewise. Granted, some things are inescapable. My tent did have a trademark, as did my pack, but in seeking to return to the wild I tuned my soul to the key of the wind in the trees. That was enough. 

My friend Kevin.

Born to be wild.
That’s me on the far left.

By Zachary Smith

By Brian Miller

Coax from Comfortable Routine

My father always encouraged me to investigate maps and cultivate curiosity. He pushed me to make up my own mind, gain experience, and be inspired. I see life in snapshots – slight turns of the head and glimpses of romance, magic moments immortalized in the shoebox of my mind.

When I see the throbbing crowd I go the other direction. I find simple magic beautifully compelling and even more so when I open my eyes and heart to it. It’s in a child’s laugh or the celebration of a goal or a simple toast to friends. I’m charmed by unfamiliar spaces and that’s where my pulse quickens the most. I never intended to be an intrepid traveler or seafaring gypsy, only to push the scope of my own experience and existence. The things I have, and they are cool things, are mementos from adventures.  

Yes, I have paid prices along the way. Cuts, broken bones, dislocations, stitches, chipped teeth, but I’m still standing. Most folks don’t want to get uncomfortable, but I do. I want to have blisters and scars, to do something worth remembering. If I die then I die, but my soul, my spirit will venture on and will glow brightly when my friends begin a story about me with something lyrical along the lines of “So Jason was on the roof when…” If I only scrap out a living at least it’s a living worth scraping.

It starts when I coax myself from comfortable routine. When I throw off concerns of the next television marathon and I seek for something bolder, more tangible, infinite and invariably I find myself closer to a new adventure. I make it a point to call it adventure because it comes with setback, with adversity and struggle. In that I find just how strong I really am. 

Antelope Canyon, Arizona