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    « October 2007 | Main | December 2007 »

    Dirtbag Fitness - The Results

     Dirt_2
    Trashbag_2FitnessWelcome to part II of this post. If you haven't already done so, you might check out the first Dirtbag Fitness post for a bit of context. Those of you who read Part I will know part II is about a week late. All I can say is, well, it's a post about dirtbags. What did you expect, something timely?

    If you're just joining the conversation, we were doing a little exploration of the concept of "fitness" as applied to those not actively engaged in the pursuit thereof. Amidst the flurry of "Get Ready for the Season"-style articles showing up in virtually every outdoor magazine since Sept. it seemed a good time to call attention to all the folks out there who do jack squat to "get ready for the season." Usually the same folks who are out there getting first tracks of the season while others are still doing their Swiss Ball training program.

    Outside Magazine provided an online fitness quiz that serves as a good backdrop to explore this dichotomy. So I took their quiz. I tried to answer the questions as faithfully as possible. And it occurred to me in taking it that—whether in jest or no—the quiz measures a distinct type of fitness. Trouble was, I couldn’t figure out which kind. So I took the quiz twice. The first time through, I tried to answer as accurately as possible given my circumstances, the second time, I tried to provide the most gut-honest answer I could come up with.

    Continue reading "Dirtbag Fitness - The Results" »

    Pleasant Revolution's Pedal-Powered Performance

    P1000864_3 The Pleasant Revolution pedaled through Patagonia Ventura's campus on Tuesday and shared their music and good cheer with the employees during lunch. Comprised of Xtracycle co-founder Kipchoge Spencer, his band the Ginger Ninjas, fellow bike musicians SHAKE YOUR PEACE! and an eight-person support crew, the Pleasant Revolution are riding their Xtracycles over 5,000 miles from the Sierra Foothills in Northern California to the ancient pyramids of Chiapas in Southern Mexico.

    The beauty of the Pleasant Revolution is that it's completely human powered. Even their 800-watt PA system runs on leg power. Audience members are encouraged to take a turn pedaling one of two bikes that power the speaker system. It's enough to make you wonder why all health clubs don't generate their own electricity from the exercise equipment.

    Hit the jump to see a short video of SHAKE YOUR PEACE! and the pedal-powered sound system.

    [Shake Your Peace! performs while the person on the bike pedals to power the speakers. Photo: Free]

    Continue reading "Pleasant Revolution's Pedal-Powered Performance" »

    Just Happy to Be Here

    In the spirit of the season, The Cleanest Line asked employees of the Patagonia International Distribution Center (the "DC") here in lovely Reno, Nevada why they're thankful to work here. Thankful to work somewhere?  Since when is that anything but a bunch of corporate B.S.?  Working here is, after all, working.  But the people who show up at the DC every day have something a little different than the typical workaday humdrum.

    So the question was: Why are you happy to work here at Patagonia Reno?

    Play the slideshow below for some of answers we received.

    (To read photo captions, just mouse over the slideshow and then click the small dialog bubble on the bottom left corner. To see where some of the photos were taken, click on the photo. You'll be taken into a web album that's integrated with Google Earth technology).

    Welcome to the Holiday Season from all of us here in Reno.

    [Photos: Courtesy of Jason Snyder, Lloyd Stradley, Ron Hunter, and large smattering of Patagonia Reno Employees]

    Eastern Priest

    by Lynn Hill

    Lynneasternpriest_2 The weather in Boulder this fall has been exceptionally warm. I have been enjoying the warm weather to engage in activities such as a small video shoot on a boulder problem in Eldorado Canyon. Normally I don't allow myself to get sucked into other people's idea of what they want me to climb for their purposes, but on this occasion, I liked the people who were behind the camera and trusted them enough to participate in their project. In keeping with the theme of their project, which is, highball bouldering, they suggested that I climb a notorious highball V4 boulder problem called Eastern Priest.

    [Photo: Lynn Hill Collection]

    Continue reading "Eastern Priest" »

    Online Auction to Benefit 1% For the Planet

    Jack_guitar On a sunny Saturday in Southern California, we bring word from our friends at 1% For the Planet:

    Yuletide Greetings from One Percent for the Planet,

    Our first posting to The Cleanest Line finds us in great spirits but as busy as ever. In efforts to have some more fun, further introduce member companies and the public to each other, fund our growth and get some of that holiday shopping out of the way, all the while giving back to our beautiful planet, we have created an online auction.

    If you are familiar with just a few of our members, you may then have an inkling of an idea as to how killer some of these items or adventures may be. If the contrary be the case and thus you have no clue we highly encourage you to satisfy your curiosity by visiting our auction page. There are some true rarities offered. The auction will be live from November 12th to December 5th.

    [A Jack Johnson signed guitar from Brushfire Records is one of many items up for bid. Hit the jump to see more.]

    Continue reading "Online Auction to Benefit 1% For the Planet" »

    Gratitude

    by Lynn Hill

    [Editor's note: On behalf of all the contributors to The Cleanest Line I'd like thank you for visiting the site and for all the thoughtful comments you've left over the past 10 months. I think Lynn sums up the feelings of many, if not all of us in this post. Have a great day. --Free]

    In honor of Thanksgiving, I reflect on the gratitude I feel for my fortunate situation in life. I'm grateful for the all wonderful people in my life, the opportunities to create and evolve as a person, and for the sense of freedom I enjoy, which is not a given in many places in the world.

    Continue reading "Gratitude" »

    Confession of a Broken-Down Angeles Crest Pacer

    Footsie Continuing with our impromptu theme of employees traversing long distances on foot, today's post comes from Chuck Journey one of Patagonia's I.T. wizards in Ventura:

    Brian looks at me: "You better be ready."

    He isn’t joking. We are at the Shortcut Saddle Aid Station, mile 59 of the annual Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run, an insane trail race from Wrightwood to a recreation area next to NASA’s JPL facility in Pasadena, CA. Brian Polley [Mail Room], one of my long-time running buddies, is currently in third place and has been on fire all day long. At the all-too-soon upcoming mile 75 aid station at Chantry Flat, I am scheduled to begin pacing him through the last 25 miles of the race.

    I am worried. Brian has 15 years on me and a lot of hard training under his belt. The fear of getting dropped a half-mile out of Chantry Flat flashes through my brain. Maybe I should have been doing a few extra laps on my training runs. Oh well, too late now.

    [This little piggy went 100 miles in under 21 hours. Brian's beautiful blisters. Photo: Lisa Polley]

    Continue reading "Confession of a Broken-Down Angeles Crest Pacer" »

    Walking Some Talk

    Adam This post comes to us courtesy of Adam Bradley, who works in Patagonia's Mail Order Customer Service Department. Adam's an accomplished thru-hiker, who's been tallying up the miles over the past few years. If you you're calling us with questions about backpacking, choosing the right gear, or advice for good hike destinations, Adam's the guy you want on the other end of the line.

    In the fall of 2002, I had the good fortune to hike Vermont’s 270-mile Long Trail. It was my first thru-hike, and I was quickly hooked. As a resident of New England, I was very aware the Long Trail’s narrow corridor, and the wilderness experience it afforded was a unique gift. Were it not for the hard work of many volunteers back in the early 1900s, I would not have been able to walk on a continuous trail from Quebec to Massachusetts.Dsc00102

    After my Long Trail thru-hike, I made a commitment to get involved with the Green Mountain Club (a non-profit organization that works to protect and maintain trails in Vermont) and give back to the Long Trail. Fulfilling this promise, I become a “summit steward” and “ridge runner” in the fall of 2003. One of my assignments was to work with students from a local college to clear a "blue blaze trail"--a side trail to or from a long-distance trail, such as the Long Trail--in the Mount Abe area. In this instance, the blue blaze trail led down from the Long Trail, across private land, and to a trailhead with road access. Because the blue-blaze trail had become overgrown, the owner of the private land parcel which it crossed felt that it wasn’t being used. And if the trail wasn’t being used, the landowner could revoke its right-of-way. This is when I first became aware of land acquisition issues affecting America’s long-distance trails.

    [Top: On the PCTA in the heart of Washington’s Goat Rocks Wilderness, August 2006.  Upper right: Selflessly maintaining the products of a self-composting toilet at the Battell Shelter, Mount Abe area, Vermont. Photos: Adam Bradley]

    Continue reading "Walking Some Talk" »

    The Reckoning

    The_reckoning_title_card I reckon there's no better way to start off a holiday week than with a fresh episode of The Dirtbag Diaries podcast with Fitz Cahall. From Fitz:

    Every aspiring photographer dreams of capturing an iconic image. It’s the same kind of motivation that draws young skiers to intimidating lines in foreboding ranges and pulls ambitious climbers to Yosemite. We imagine these moments a thousand times in advance, but when we finally arrive, we are often surprised and humbled. Epiphanies require stumbling.

    In 2005, photographer, writer and avid cyclist Blake Gordon set out to take the trip of a lifetime. With camera in hand, he joined brothers Mike and John Logsdon as part of their Spinning Southward team. The Logsdon brothers were in the midst of pedaling 15,000 miles and raising money for the National Brain Tumor Foundation. Blake would join them to ride the final leg through Patagonia.

    For Blake, it was almost like a math equation. Plug 2,500 miles worth of pedaling through a raw and lonesome landscape, add a couple of close friends and Blake was bound to get an image that flawlessly conveyed the essence of the Logsdon’s journey. Even before his flight touched down in Santiago, Chile, he could visualize the imagine; he thought he knew what this trip would be about.

    Today, we present "The Reckoning" – a story plucked from the pages of a young photographer’s notebook. You can ride your bike to the edge of a continent, but when the road ends it doesn’t always lead to neat resolutions.

    Listen to The Dirtbag Diaries:
    Episode 12 - The Reckoning (mp3)

    Watch the photo-enhanced version:
    Episode 12 - The Reckoning (Quicktime movie)

    Like what you heard? The RSS feed, subscription link to iTunes, and contact information for future story ideas are all available at www.dirtbagdiaries.com.

    My Dad's My Hero

    My_dads_my_hero Plummeting through the air, I am suspended by the feet. Slap! Landing face first, my cheek is pressed hard against a sweaty back. “That’s for lighter weight people. If they are too heavy for ya to pick up find something you can drag em’ on like a chair, and if there is nothing around use the foot as a handle and pull with all your might -- it’s better to be injured than dead.”

    Dad lowers me down with gentle toss onto the couch. He is in the middle of another one of his life lessons; today it’s how to move an unconscious body in an emergency situation. Last week he showed me how to feel my way out of a dark building and the week before, due to my bad cooking, how to put out an oil fire.

    Dad has just retired from over 30 years of service in the NSW Fire department. I am proud of his job and all the people he has saved. He always says, “Anyone would do the same thing in that situation.” But Dad’s different: for the past 30 years he has volunteered to be in these situations.

    [Phil Baggs retrospective. Photo: Belinda Baggs collection]

    Continue reading "My Dad's My Hero" »

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