Try. Be. Write.

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Enter GoPro and YouTube

New to my content creation arsenal is my new GoPro Hero 3+, and along with that comes a host for the new format of content, my YouTube account.

I’ve had my new toys for little more than a week, and they’ve been a blast and a half to play with. This GoPro is my first, and it is an amazing little device. The camera is so basic, yet it can do so much. My television can’t even handle it’s 4k resolution, and my computer struggles to process the 1080p 30fps videos. It’s a heluva machine. My 8 year old Sony DSLR is still great for single shots where I want to fiddle with the zoom and focal length, but the GoPro beats it in every other way, and can do a lot more new stuff to boot!

I’ve also purchased an REI Hiker Shocklight Staff which has a camera mount on top of the pole, hidden under the cork knob.

Shocklight Staff with top-mounted GoPro

Shocklight Staff with top-mounted GoPro

Along with using my staff as a monopod, I ordered a StickPic to increase the variety of angles I can shoot from.

StickPic with GoPro

StickPic with GoPro

I’ve only just begun my exploration of what the GoPro can do and how creative I can be with it. Here are a few shots I have taken so far.

I’ve also played around with some video, though I’m most impressed with my steady-shot videos so far.

I’m using Gimp to edit my photos, and an old version of iMovie for the video editing. I can’t do all too much, but I think the kind of outdoor footage I’m looking to shoot will not need too much editing.

I’m looking forward to experimenting with the apps on my phone to import the GoPro footage, edit the video and pictures on my phone, and upload it to WordPress so that I can blog on the go, especially for our 2015 PCT Thru-hike.

And so now I have a YouTube account which will be filling up with videos, mostly of hiking and beautiful scenery. I’m so lucky to get to experience beautiful locations, and I want to share them with you in the best ways that I can.


As It Happens: A Documentary

An honest representation of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Two stalwart friends document their attempt at thru-hiking the PCT, capturing the beauty of the landscape and the people along the trail, but also some of more painful and bitter aspects of the journey.

Mitch and Dave (or whatever their names are) share their adventure with us in this documentary. Eager enthusiasm is quickly evaporated by the scorching Mojave Desert. Breathtaking footage of the beautiful High Sierra soon turns dark as a dangerous snow storm traps the duo in a stone hut on top of a mountain pass. The camaraderie forged between fellow hikers uplifts the spirit, but does nothing to soothe aching and blistered feet. Drinking muddy water and rehydrated beans is daily life, but the bountiful burgers and jugs of beer even the smallest of towns have to offer are close enough to heaven to make the struggle all worth it.

Such are the contrasts of the trail. Even the two good friends struggle to maintain their bond as the rain pours down and their spirits sink to unpredictable depths.

The honest truth of trail is displayed in this documentary. Though at a full film length, this is but a glimpse of the majesty and torture of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Jill and I have watched this, and it has only inspired us further. As It Happens presents the trail in such a way that I want my friends and family to see it, because it visually describes what has drawn me to the trail. Though there are ups and downs, scares and thrills– such is life.

Watch the video. If you enjoy it, check out As It Happens at their website to see what else they have going on and how you can support their efforts.

Beer Here

There is an anti-symmetry between my goal of posting to this blog on a regular basis, and the act of drinking beer for “research” and “content creation”.

Though I have been tasting many beers, visiting breweries, and attending social beer functions, I have not been keeping the audience up to date. What a bad, bad blogger I am.

And so here I bring you a lightning round of reviews. Quick notes on a handful of the brews I’ve experienced lately. Who really needs an in-depth breakdown of beer anyway? All anyone needs is yay or nay and a short quip to relay an experience from on to another, right? So off we go!


Uinta Hop Nosh IPA
Yay! A hoptastic beer from Utah? I had to double-check that this beer had alcohol in it. It does. It says so bright and bold on the face of the package. They know their audience.


Campbell Brewing Company
Nay! I tried three beers straight from the tap and they were as salty as seawater. The bar smelled like chicken shit too.


Drake’s Brewery in San Leandro, CA
Yay! Spent an afternoon at the brewery, sipping away at some delicious brews. The Zinkonic was the hit of the day.


Drake’s, again
Took an informative tour of the brewery. Good people, good beer, good atmosphere. Hard to find with it being in the shadow of a gigantic Wal-Mart.


Sour Beer Fest at Original Gravity in San Jose, CA
Yay! A great vibe in this place, and some really sour beers! Many taps in the house. I will explore here again.


Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale
Yay! Smooth. Tasty. Nothing exciting, but well-balanced. Good people drink good beer, indeed.


Deschutes Brewery Fresh Squeezed IPA
Yay! So tasty. Farm fresh feeling. It’s like I’m drinking plants or something.


Snowshoe Brewing Co. in Arnold, CA
Yay! At least I think so. Random find when camping out in a national park. I drank a lot on an empty stomach at this place. I remember being happy, but not much else.


Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis
Nay. I love the original Oatis, and I think the vanilla addition just takes away from something that was already great.

20140731-163249-59569486.jpgSierra Nevada Ruthless IPA
Yay! It is a harsh first sip, but bear with it and the rewards are bountiful. Luscious, beautiful beer.

Good people drink good beer. Always remember that.

What is the PCT?


Now that you know a little bit about our back-story regarding the trail (if you haven’t read it, here’s our Decision post) I’ll try to describe the PCT.



The map hanging on our living room wall.

The Pacific Crest Trail is approximately 2,650 miles long and connects the California/Mexico border to Canada following the Sierra Mountains in California and the Cascade Range through Oregon and Washington.

Hence the “crest” in the name.

The elevation of the trail ranges from around sea level to over 13,000 feet as you can see from the elevation chart I snagged from



The distance of the trail changes depending on trail conditions from year to year, and the accuracy of the “ascent” and “descent” values shown above varies depending on the equipment used and who’s measuring, but I think it’s safe to say that it is a long walk with plenty of ups and downs.

The trail passes through a multitude of national parks, state parks, and Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas as it winds its way through the mountains, but the Pacific Crest Trail Association is the steward of the trail.


The PCTA’s mission is “to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as a world-class experience for hikers and equestrians, and for all the values provided by wild and scenic lands.”

If you want to help them in their endeavor you can become a member for 35 bucks. Doooooo it.  You’ll get a sticker. 

As far as the history of the trail goes, the PCTA has a great page on their website outlining key milestones of the PCT as well as information on who was involved in the creation of the trail.


There are a million other ways to describe the PCT besides what it consists of physically. A journey, a life changing experience, a chance to disconnect from the rest of the world for a time and reconnect with yourself. I’m sure Rt and I will be able to describe it in our own words and give you all an earful soon!

If you have questions about the trail then send us a comment and we’ll answer them for you.


The Human Bean

The Human Bean is a drive-up coffee chain located all across the western United States. My experiences originate from the locations along the southern Oregon coast.

Without Human Bean leading the way, the small towns along Oregon’s southern coast would be nearly void of espresso offerings. Human Bean has invigorated the coffee spirit in these areas, providing a quick jolt of caffeine on the go without sacrificing the quality of the coffee bean or customer service experience.

The Human Bean

While there are cafes around Coos Bay and it’s neighboring towns, The Human Bean franchise locations were the first quality drive-thru espresso joints I encountered in the area. There were a couple of others around in the years before Human Bean came to town, but my experiences at those locations were always sub-par, even at the other local franchises, such as Dutch Bros.

I’ve visited Human Bean on dozens of occasions, each time leaving satisfied with my experience and drink. The free candy covered coffee bean they give with every drink is always a pleasant treat as well.

Customer service is a key reason why I keep returning to Human Bean locations. The staff is always smiling, consistently provide great small talk, and do what they can to make sure the customer is satisfied.

Not so long ago at the Bandon location I had ordered a drink, only to be told that the card reading machine was down. They were only able to take cash. I had nothing but a few loose coins scattered about my car. I looked at the woman’s face, and together we frowned. She hesitated for a moment, and then said “Don’t drive off just yet. I’ll get you your drink. Just pay it forward to someone else some other time.” She gave me my drink. I thanked her for being so kind. This is the type of service that brings customers back, and that experience alone has been enough to keep me loyal to Human Bean when I find one.

I’m glad my hometown has a great drive-thru coffee option. The big beverage bros haven’t made their way to these small towns yet. You won’t find any big coffee chains. Human Bean is a shining example of the quality of product and service that any business should provide, especially to small communities which are always the last to be introduced to modern marvels, such as a creamy, dense, luscious latte.

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