By Gavin McClurg
I've been really fortunate in the last couple decades to explore many of the farthest corners of the globe – thirteen straight years of sailing, chasing wind and waves on a series of kitesurfing expeditions, which included nearly two full circumnavigations, and the last couple years, paragliding all over the Alps, South America, Central America, Africa and the Himalayas. Just like surfers chasing swell, pilots chase seasons and weather.
Reggie Crist, a former Olympic alpine skier and friend of mine who lives here in Sun Valley is even making a movie about how athletes are like migratory animals, hopping on planes or jumping in cars chasing what they “need” be it adrenaline, or escape, or just pure fun. Animals, of course, are seeking food and shelter, which is all we really need as well. But for some people this other “need” is as urgent as the next hit is for a junky. Without it we find life marginalized, gray and drab.
[Above: Gavin McClurg soars. Photo: Jody MacDonald]
Continue reading "The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get – A Paragliding Journey in the Pioneer Mountains" »
By Dan Malloy
We are so stinking stoked to announce that our book Slow is Fast is finished! Starting on
August 2nd, Kanoa, Kellen and myself will tour our new book (and the moving
pictures DVD that comes with it) from Mill Valley to San Diego. Please join us if
you have time. There will be good music (The John Stewards up north and Todd
Hannigan down south), we will screen the movie, talk about the trip, answer
your questions and drink free beer. The book will also be for sale. We haven’t
figured out a price yet so just bring your whole piggy bank.
A huge thank you to all of the Patagonia folks
in japan who made our recent tour over there so much fun, especially Lisa Iida!
[Above: Slow is Fast book trailer. Video by Woodshed Films. Hit the jump for some DVD outtakes, production photos and the book tour details. All photos courtesy of Dan Malloy. Update 7/29: added new book tour dates and photos from each event at the bottom of this post. Update: 10/21: the book and DVD are now available to order. Details at the bottom of this post.]
Continue reading "Slow is Fast – 2013 Book Tour Dates [Updated with Event Photos and Ordering Info]" »
by Dan Malloy
In the last month I have learned more about the people and places along the California coast than I had in 34 years and a thousand trips by car.
Maybe slow is fast.
We have been on the road for five weeks now and we are thoroughly convinced that we have found the fabled confluence of old California and new California.
The bummer is, it’s not a physical place and the only way we seem to be able to track it down is by bike. I don’t really understand why. Every time we hit the road pedaling good things just start happening, strange coincidences, random happenings, happy accidents and all-around ridiculous stuff. If I tried to explain it you might think I was on something. So, I’ll save the explanation of this epiphany and post a few photos from the most recent leg of our trip, San Francisco to San Luis Obispo. [Editor's note: Get caught up with Slow is Fast, part 1.]
[Above: This one is for the FCD crew, who after the first post asked me to stop
barrel dodging. A warm and friendly day at the great white petting zoo.
Photo: Kanoa Zimmerman]
Continue reading "Slow is Fast, Part 2 – Biking and Surfing down the California Coast" »
by Dan Malloy
After being on the road for a good part of the last 15 years, I have a lot of catching up to do at home. The truth is, for about ten of those years I didn't think twice about California, never felt home sick or that I was missing a thing. Well, that time has passed. I am not sure if I'm just getting older or whether I've figured out that there are a 100 lifetimes worth of adventure here at home.
A while back I had an idea that seemed like a really fun way to see our coastline – like I do the far away coastlines that I have visited over the years. I mentioned it to two friends and they were all in, planning and packing, and all of the sudden the trip was on.
So, three weeks ago, Kanoa Zimmerman, Kellen Keene and myself jumped on a train headed north with bicycles, a surfboard, wetsuits, flippers, a microphone and a couple cameras. The idea was to surf down the coast by bike, staying with friends, family and acquaintances, poaching camps when we had to, doing our best to earn our keep and to learn from folks that are doing good work and getting by along the California coast.
Here are a few photos from the trip so far.
[Above: Dan Malloy and his rig. All photos by Kanoa, Kellen and Dan]
Continue reading "Slow is Fast, Part 1 – An Attempt at Going on a Mini Adventure in My Own Backyard " »
We recently received this email from Ross Curwen, a reader from, as he says, "rainy old England."
Just a letter saying thanks to The Cleanest Line community from rainy old England. About a year ago I injured my shoulder. This meant I had to cut right back on two things pretty huge to me: surfing and climbing. I was a bit mopey for a bit.
I needed to have something to maintain my fitness. Gyms, road running, cycling are all good but they're missing something. That's when I found trail running, through the Patagonia site. I don't have the huge expanse of mountains and national parks but I am spoilt with miles of cliff paths and dartmoor close to hand.
A year later and I am hooked. I love the rhythm of the trails, the temperature changes on your face emerging from dappled tree lines onto exposed cliffs. Like a lot of people in the community it becomes a bit of obsession. I'm at work knowing I've got shoes and a head torch waiting for me and trails to conquer later.
I wouldn't have this drive without reading the submissions on The Cleanest Line. I read the stories of all the different sports, trips and adventures and it inspires me to make my own. So all in all thank you to all of you and keep going as you are.
This short letter got us thinking about how we got started doing the things we love to do. Surely, we thought there are lots of interesting stories out there among our readers and we thought it'd be cool to hear some of them. If you have a story to tell, by all means chime in!
I'll go first...
Continue reading "What Inspired You?" »
Taking the plunge (albeit it a shallow one) into the Ventura River in the spirit of Our Common Waters, Patagonia’s new environmental campaign, Patagonia editor Jim Little and a couple of friends spent the afternoon snorkeling for endangered southern steelhead trout. Along the way they sneak up on a few fish and discuss why the once plentiful animal is having such a rough go of it.
The plan was to take a couple hours out of the workday to grab lunch at a taqueria and go snorkel the Ventura River looking for southern steelhead trout. It was late January, with 80-degree temps, light offshore winds and knowledgeable comrades: fish biologist Matt Stoecker and Ventura watershed watchdog Paul Jenkin.
Burritos (and fish tacos) in bellies, snorkel and camera gear in hand, we hit three pools looking hard for a now-scarce fish that once flashed the river in the thousands. When the steelhead ran back in the 1920s, Ventura’s public schools closed so kids could go fishing. But 90 years later, as we dragged ourselves through mossy waters trying not to swallow a single drop for fear of some gut-bending bug, I learned why the endangered southern steelhead are now so few.
[Above - Into the river in search of steelhead. Photo: Matt Stoecker. Left - Back in the Good Old Days, the Peirano Brothers and others pulled lots of steelhead out of the Ventura River, 1920s.]
Continue reading "Looking for Steelies" »
Back in 1986, Life magazine christened the 250 miles of US Highway 50 between Fallon and Ely, Nevada with the moniker “The Loneliest Road in America.” In a classic example of turning lemons into lemonade the Nevada Department of Tourism seized on the title and began a marketing campaign complete with loneliest road signs, survival guides and passports that could be stamped at various destinations along the route. Whether because of that marketing push, or simply the increased popularity of the American Southwest, Highway 50 isn’t nearly so lonely anymore. I count myself among its more frequent travelers.
To be sure, Highway 50 in central Nevada is still wonderfully desolate and real landmarks are few and far between. One of these was the Shoe Tree. As trees go it wasn’t all that spectacular; a lone cottonwood standing next to a perennially dry creek bed 110 miles east of Reno. What made the Shoe Tree special is that it was festooned with thousands of old shoes either hanging off the branches or just as likely, lying in a massive pile below the tree. As is often the case for such things, the origins of the Shoe Tree are apocryphal. All the stories are similar, starting with a couple, either recently or about to be married, and either traveling to - or maybe from - Reno, and an argument that ended or began with shoes being thrown into the tree, ostensibly so the bride wouldn't be able to run away.
[The Shoe Tree frames central Nevada's Desatoya Range on a chill winter day. Photo: Kirsten Mashinter.]
Continue reading "R.I.P., Shoe Tree" »