Outtakes and Off-the-Record Reality: Outdoor Retailer

It’s a Monday in Salt Lake City when we arrive and we’re sweaty and pressing Hydro Flasks into bathroom sinks, pens full of ink for the pages in our palm-sized notebooks and stacks of freshly-printed business cards. Locals always know when to cross the streets before we do. Exhibitors in the Salt Palace are in a mad dash to finish their booths and large crates of gear line the streets. We pick up our badges and wander around an outdoor mall. In true dirtbag fashion, we raid the free-samples of iced-tea at a boutique, make multiple rounds. Ingredients for one of the samples reads: black tea, citrus, and “golden monkey?” … More Outtakes and Off-the-Record Reality: Outdoor Retailer

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Boundary Waters, Part 3: Memory of Sounds

All our shoulders are sore. My feet incite anxiety when they get wet. Tired legs. Today is more or less a do-nothing day but my body is in a funk. I’m quiet. Almost somber. Energy low. Raging headache. I ask Hatie for some of her Advil. I’m in an endurance hangover, it seems. I don’t even want to expend the energy talking so I daydream about napping. … More Boundary Waters, Part 3: Memory of Sounds

Boundary Waters, Part 2: Lost

I can’t explain everything, honestly. We got lost. We might have been in Canada for a few hours, who knows. The water levels this year are high, Hatie says, and the islands don’t look the same – nothing really was matching the map anymore. So we paddled and paddled. Sonya brought an Oru Kayak and her paddling was even more exhausting I’m sure. We also decided to wear stick-on mustaches today; I have my silver leggings, Hatie has gold, and Sonya is decked out in champagne leggings and a matching tutu. We could most certainly be the lost girls of Peter Pan. … More Boundary Waters, Part 2: Lost

Dither Me This #9: Control

I caught myself pondering what aspects of my life I controlled. Are they small things? Big things? Strange things? How do I even define control? I started jotting down a list and eventually categorized them into three groups of things I feel I control, have trouble controlling, have no control. Then I made it look pretty, because that’s how my brain works best (a fine example of control): … More Dither Me This #9: Control

Who Do You Write For?

My husband has a point, despite his phallic humor. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure many are simply curious. Maybe they’re aware of how difficult writing can be going solo and that successful writers often do write for an entity. And in relation to the outdoors, I admit, that exposure tends to come on behalf of a company or magazine promoting your work, hiring you on, or sponsoring further content. But more often than not, I get the feeling that I’m about to be judged when people ask me. … More Who Do You Write For?

My 5Point Journey, Part 1: Rising Bird of Night

by Sara Aranda 4.19.17 I flip on the high beams, hunch over the steering wheel glass-eyed and still squinting to read the layout of yet another unknown place. Pavement ends and my Jeep bounces deeper into the hills of Prince Creek Road. Residents in town had described dirt and cattle gates and then voilà, campsites … More My 5Point Journey, Part 1: Rising Bird of Night