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May 21: Motivational Monday: Wim Hof

Look into the eyes of Wim Hof and tell me you don’t feel primal intensity and deep-rooted potency. Wim was born in the Netherlands and began developing his techniques after his wife committed suicide. A father of five children (four of them being born to his late wife), Wim found peace in nature; more specifically in the freezing cold. He found refuge in understanding the most archaic systems in the human body. Twenty-six world records later, the Dutchman is revered for his breathing technique, a methodology that allegedly helps with physical and mental ailments alike. Even in hearing him speak you can feel his agency. Wim Hof is an incredible person, of that there is no doubt. Check out the video below to hear him discuss the struggles he’s been through. Enjoy!

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May 8th: Back From a Weekend of Hunting

As I’ve been taught, the river bottom of eastern Colorado is a place to reenergize, to reconnect with the world in a natural way. There, beneath large cotton trees and tall, dancing grasses, one can clear their mind and contemplate the world and everything in it. When it comes to hunting, the last thing on a person’s mind is killing. Respect for wildlife is paramount. Its why we spend our money and time obsessing over animals and ecosystems; its because we seek to preserve nature in a world that would push all life into extinction. Harvesting an animal is about maintaining the fragile balance that governs nature.

My father is a big hunter, and, admittedly, I’ve been slow to catch on to the lifestyle. My young life was dominated by sports, and it didn’t allow me to spend a whole of time developing a respect for outdoorsmanship. Now that I’m a bit older and free from the bondage of athletics, I’ve been able to commit to understanding the world of hunting.

This last Saturday I harvested a turkey. The act of taking a life, no matter how complex, is strange and something I struggled with for a long time. It’s a flooring experience, really, one that you never really get used to. In reality, a hunter allows an animal a quicker death than they may experience otherwise, which is dispassionately good. I’ve learned to be present during the moment of an animal’s passing, aware of what it means in the bigger picture. In these time, silence and attention are very important.

This is what it means: the ecosystem will not be overrun by turkey, which would adversely affect other species that share the same space; I’ll be able to respect the animal’s body and not let any part of it go to waste, eating it’s meat, holding onto the parts that are beautiful, and returning the rest to reconsumed by the wild; the money I spent on the opportunity will go back into wildlife preservation, allowing the right people—individuals and organizations that care about nature and the experiences it allows us—to keep it alive, thriving and continuing on.

– Logan –

 

Bagan, Myanmar

Now that I know they have hot air balloon trips here, there’s not I way I CANNOT go. Of the many great sites across the globe, that harbor architectural relics of ancient cultures, Bagan, Myanmar has always been near the top of my want-to-travel-to list. The intricacy of the temples, pagodas, and monasteries that remain are indicative of high-level architects and craftsmen in an age where technology was fairly restrained. Check out the video below to see some beautiful shots of the region. Enjoy!

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Amelia Earhart Bones Confirmed: World News Wednesday

This is insane. I was certain that aliens had abducted her, but alas, that is not the case. I wasn’t aware of any previous study on a body found in the South Pacific, but there was one. A skeletonized body was found on an island called Nikumaroro with items like a Benedictine bottle and a woman’s shoe, which people logically assumed belonged to Amelia. However, another researcher claimed the body belonged to a man, fanning the flames of Miss Earhart’s controversial disappearance. But now, a recent study claims that the body found on Nikumaroro was, in fact, the great Amelia Earhart’s’.  Below is a brief video biography of the well-known pilot and a link to an article on the recent study that was conducted. Enjoy!

Bones found on South Pacific island belonged to Amelia Earhart, study concludes

White Sands National Monument: Travel Tuesday

In Colorado, we have the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and I’ve never been, to my shameful admittance of course.  But I want to go. However, there is another place in the US that grabs my attention a bit more and that place is White Sand National Monument in New Mexico. I mean, sand dunes in the US sort of weird me out, but white sand? That sounds like something out of a fantasy novel. This is definitely a place I want to travel to at some point in my life. Check out the fantastic video below and be amazed at the insane beauty of this place.

Mountains and Ice Castles: New YouTube Vid

There’s nothing like getting drone and GoPro footage in snowy mountain towns. If you like frozen lakes, white-capped mountains, and ice castles lit by vibrant lights, check this video out. If you enjoy the video and want to see more, feel free to like, subscribe, and leave a comment. Thanks, and enjoy!

New YouTube Vid: Early Bird 1

People, this post is coming a few days late seeing as I posted it YouTube on Saturday. In the process of discovering exactly what I want to talk about on my channel—trying to widdle down the millions of subjects in my mind at the moment—I’ve finally decided on one particular series that I want to create and share: the Early Bird Gets the Worm.

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Now this series, simply put, will be an overall adventurous experience where I wake up early and go for a bit of an adventurous, typically by way of running. Mixing drone, stabilized, handheld GoPro, and sometimes phone video, I’ll capture some footage just as the sun is coming up. My goal is to hit some cool locations where I can maximize the potential of what I’m capturing. I hope you guys enjoy this first one; it was fun to create and gave me a reason to go on a morning run. Lastly, I filmed the whole thing with a pulled hamstring so any love you’re willing to push my way (like, comments, follows) would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!

 

New YouTube Vid: Paint Mines Interpretive Park!

So, there is this place outside of Colorado Springs called the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. It’s an odd place, well hidden in a shallow canyon between small grassy hills. You would never guess that anything so majestic could be hidden in a such a colorless landscape. The park itself isn’t very large, but once you’re in the thick of it you feel like you’re on Mars! The weather has eroded out sandy formations the color of strawberry and sorbet ice cream.

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The moment I got down into the lower paths around the place, I walked up to a white, bubbly wall and ran my hand across it. “I wonder if there is any wildlife around here,” I said aloud, and not a second later a little white ferret-like animal stuck it’s head out and studied me with curious black eyes. Then it disappeared back into its hole. That alone made the entire trip worth it.

Enjoy!

Where the Sun and Earth Collide

High altitude is hard on the body and mind, and before you take the first step toward the summit that looms so ominously in the distance, you may notice that your breathing is strained, each lung full of cold air more forced than the last. If you’re timing it right, your trip is starting before the sun has broken across the horizon, and the alpine environment is still and icy. For a moment, you wonder why on earth you decided to get out of your warm bed to do THIS, of all the fun, relaxing things to do on a Saturday morning. Other hikers are either arriving or already crawling up the mountain, and as you observe each of their solemn faces you feel something click within your chest. You ventured forth from a secure place to accomplish something, to utilize your body in the most arduous of ways, to conquer nature. Once there, it becomes obvious that you must take your first step forward, and you do, every single time.

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Ascending through the sub alpine forest is, simply put, jaw-droppingly beautiful. In the summer months, water trickles down the middle of the dirt trail between the dark green, thin spruce and fir trees scattered around the neighboring slopes. Occasionally, wetlands will riddle the landscape, offering up shimmering auras of blue and green while the soft sound of water running past smooth rocks hangs in the air. If you’re lucky, you might be able to observe a family of moose lumbering across a shallow pond. The bull moose, with his impressive antlers, will be observing the environment for threats while the cow and calf sip at the glass-like surface on which they stand.

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Eventually, all trees and large shrubs disappear, and the world opens up. The alpine tundra is characterized by endless stretches of moss covered boulders and fragile mountain flowers. Toward the heavens, the azure sky embraces the Earth in all directions, clear, pristine, and warm.

Then, in the east, the sun explodes above the horizon, its body emerging slowly, yet powerfully as it washes the world with life and energy. As it crawls ever higher, moisture hidden in highly elevated crags, couloirs, and marshes rises into the air en masse, congregating into the puffy white clouds that eventually turn into the ferocious, ravaging thunderheads of the plains.


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The awe of being in the midst of such an inspiring, pure environment never leaves the heart of a mountaineer, however, as time goes on, your eyes go from a state of observation to one of focus. The higher you get, the less oxygen you receive with each breath, and you notice the differences. At 13,000 ft, your muscles cry out for respite every few minutes, or seconds, depending on your level of experience, and the sun beats down with unrivaled brutality. Sunscreen is just as important as water on the top of a mountain. That lesson needs to be learned only once. I’d suggest not having to learn it at all.

The final stretch of any ascent is painful and protracted. The air is hot and dry, the landscape barren, and the progress slow. It is during this stage where minds return to the warmth of their beds. This makes movement even slower. But just like the beginning of the hike, the mind says, “you made it all this way, might as well go for it.” And again, you do go for it, every time.

When the summit comes into view—an elevated sweep of rocks filled with sweaty hikers quietly taking in the view—you want to run the rest of the way, despite the fact that your muscles might give out beneath the weight of your body and daypack. You resist the urge to take in the view. You want to be comfortable when you do give your respects, so you find a nice smooth rock, peel away the sweaty outer layer of clothing that’s covering your hot body, and you sit down with a plop, moaning with satisfaction.

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The summit of a mountain is the first place the sun touches when it’s at its zenith. It is the exact location where the sun and earth collide. With that consideration in mind, looking out from the top of a mountain is a deeply moving experience. The feeling is a combination of both resounding insignificance and absolute personal importance. From on high, the world looks massive. You can see lakes, rivers, roads, houses, tiny hikers crawling like ants, atmospheric movements, airplanes, and so on. The contours and wrinkles in the face of Mother Earth seem infinite and ever changing. Being one part of the immeasurable planet on which we stand is humbling, to say the least.

Once the feeling of complete irrelevance passes, you reflect on your body and the struggle you endured to get to where you are and you realize how special you are. Of all the people in the world, you have climbed to the top of the land and breathed in the still, clean air of freedom. Your legs are achy, you have a slight headache, and your throat is dry, but despite your discomfort, happiness squeezes your heart. It took you five hours to get to the summit and you couldn’t be happier with your efforts. The ability of the human body is truly something to behold and you pity those who don’t have the open-mindedness to push themselves to the limits.

The climb down isn’t nearly bad as you’d think. Going down is 100% times easier than going up, and something about seeing those who started later that you makes you smile. Their sweaty, grimace-laden faces remind you of the struggle you were facing an hour or more prior. Once you get to your car, you sit for a moment to relish your victory. You look back at the mountain one last time, nod, then start the engine.

But when you get back home, you feel it. Your knees are pissed off and your stomach demands homage, and the few patches of skin that somehow avoided being covered in sunscreen itch and burn. It was still all worth it, though, even days later when your hamstrings tighten up. It’s still worth it. No one can trivialize the experience of ascending a fourteener, it just isn’t possible. The place where the sun and earth collide is a unique site of respect, pride, and accomplishment, and no one can take that away from you.

Aliens on the Wall

When I heard about the Aliens on the wall, I immediately ran out of the cabin, camera in hand and excitement in my belly. I knew what they were talking about and I knew that I had to see it as soon as possible. The ATV rumbled and growled between the outhouse and farming equipment and across the pasture between the cliffs. Scaring a handful of cows away, I pulled up to the river, right next to the water, and in front of me, far up on the canyon wall, sat two carmine figures frozen in time.  It was hard to believe, but they did look like aliens. I had to get a closer look.

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Running across the bridge to the other side of the river, leaving the ATV behind, I found a satisfactory path and began to climb the steep hill that led to the images. It was midday and the sun roasted my neck as I climbed up past cow skulls and a few sunbathing snakes. They both looked at me with indifference. Once I reached the base of the cliff, I located an old, sandy trail and worked my way over to the alien figures.

I stood before the images for a long time before tearing my eyes away. There were two clear wall paintings, one massive piece that had been covered by mud, and a distinct carving in the cliff face. They looked like aliens, they really did, but they weren’t. Did aliens put them there? No, probably not.

In reality, despite my first impression aided by an excessive imagination, the pictures were created by the Ute – most likely – around 1100 AD. The paintings were dark red in color, and according to my research, that shade is most likely due to red ochre, a reddish colored clay usually applied by a hand brush or by blowing the red substance through hollow animal bones.

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The images themselves were intricate, old, and very strange. The impression on the right was a tall figure that had lines running across its face and down its body. The figure on the left was smaller and more humanoid in appearance. Eyes sat near the top of its face and two little antennas shot up from the top of its head. The middle image covered in mud was, according to the property owners, a large picture of animals – buffalo and antelope – in a large heard. The rock carving was tiny and the most humanoid of all of the impressions, yet still not familiar. It looked like a demon with horns in my opinion.

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I know what your thinking; this guy is an ancient alien theorist. I am not, unfortunately, although I’d like to be, simply because history and science become one hundred times more exciting when you think it all came from little green dudes.

What were the Ute trying to depict? I honestly couldn’t tell you. There’s a possibility that whoever created these images was describing what he or she thought to be demons or monsters or some sort of mythical creature(s). Or maybe they were doing their best to paint headdresses or outfits that were common during the time. It’s hard to tell what the aim was, but what was left behind is no doubt fascinating.

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High on the hill right beside the chilly river, I looked away toward the rest of the canyon and considered what life must’ve been like hundreds of years before when the artist had sat down to express himself. How many people were with him or her? How long did it take to finish their work? Were there animals around? But most importantly, how did they communicate with the aliens?

I’m kidding of course….. although, they did look just like aliens.

 

 

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