July 14 through August 19 is a bit of a blur. A convergence of events laid the groundwork for five weeks of productive travel. 35 days on the road split by 2.5 days at home. It began as a plan to attend a wedding in Puerto Morelos, Mexico (near Cancun). Erika and I decided it would be a good idea to do some additional exploration in the area since we would already be flying to the Yucatan. Thus, we visited Belize and Guatemala after leaving Mexico where we did a fair amount of diving, cave tubing, ruin touring, chicken bus riding, sweating, and swimming. We then returned to Los Angeles. I had been hoping to shoot some canyoneering footage in the Pacific Northwest and had made some loose plans with folks in the area. I also had begun recording several interviews for an outdoor podcast I was developing while simultaneously working on ways to bring more outdoor related video business to Butcher Bird Studios (that’s my business with some other dudes). The fates alerted me to the fact that the Outdoor Retailer Show and Ouray Canyoning Festival were occurring in succession this summer around the time I was hoping to go to Oregon. The idea for chinnyroad2015 was born. Upon returning from Central America, I would head out on a 4600 mile road trip 2 days later. I piled a large amount of gear into my car and left for San Francisco.
Over 21 days, I travelled from Southern California to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. I ran 11 canyons (shooting several), recorded 6 podcast interviews, attended the Outdoor Retailer Show, Attended the Canyoning Festival, learned to line dance from elderly strangers in a park, visited many new places, slept in campgrounds, slept in my car, tried Airbnb for the first time, acquired my first smartphone, flooded my new instagram account with photos, made dozens of cool new friends and business contacts, won some prizes, saw a dog standing on a roof, visited a cool science museum, ate dinner at Twitter, spied a “Bigfoot Research Vehicle,” fought the smell of mildew from wet gear in my car with the urinal rich smell of a “new car scent” air freshener, reunited with many long-distance friends across the West, listened to every type of radio program available, slept in a murder motel, visited the shop in “The Middle of Nowhere,” appreciated my hammock, hoped rain wouldn’t turn into flash floods, watched Alden cut out his own stitches, shot footage of the no longer orange Animas River in Durango, watched fawns nursing at a campsite in Silverton, paid for a straight-razor shave, and never once got to climb any of the awesome rocks I saw.
The aftermath of these two trips will sporadically appear in this journal for some time I imagine. And often at chinnyroad2015flashback.