|Erin, Phoenix & Coral dwarfed by a feature that needs no introduction. April 2014.|
As I said in the previous post, I have been a few months behind, but that doesn't mean things haven't been moving forward. Here's a bunch of stuff that's happened in the past number of weeks and a couple of things going on in the near future.
Interviews & The Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
The Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route maps sold out fairly fast this winter. We immediately turned around a did another printing. If you need maps, we have them in stock. I've also gotten to do a number of interviews about the route in the past few months. Montana Headwall ran a nice piece in their spring issue, and more recently I talked with the folks at The Bicycle Story about the route, my outdoor excursions, and more. Dave gave the Hot Springs route a shout-out in a piece he penned for BackpackingLight (members-only-access). There were also a couple write ups in DirtRag, and on Boise State Public Radio.
|Porcupine Rim with Devon(top), Blake(bottom), and Carter(left).|
In late March and for spring break, Erin and I decided a trip out of town would be good for us and the kids. Moab was an easy choice. So, we packed up the car and headed south. Erin got to go skydiving for the first time, and I got to get out on bikes with some Missoula boys both in Moab and Fruita, but perhaps the best time was spent as a family. The highlight for me watching Phoenix mountain bike for his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time ever, on the most famous mtb trail in the world, and totally crush it. This kid is built for outdoorsy sports, and I don't mean physically - although that too - I'm talking about his attitude. Nothing phases him. Always stoked and smiling. It's pretty cool to watch, and encourage.
|Phoenix choosing his line in Moab|
A couple weeks later Erin and I went down the Main Salmon River as part of guide-training trip, and and a university outdoor rec class, with a company she does part-time work for in the summers. I had reservations going into the trip, but still saw this as quality time I could spend with her.
|Out on the Main Salmon River with Ryan behind the sticks. April 2014.|
There were a couple of highlights too. It was fun hanging out with Bart and Ryan, and it was great to get behind the oars of an 18ft gear boat. I had never piloted a rig that big before, and it was definitely different learning to setup for a line well before I normally would in a smaller boat. I could not have asked for a more gracious and encouraging teacher then Ryan.
Sometime this past winter I finished up the identity for Paul's rebranded bag company, Wanderlust. Because he is making bags for bikepacking, I didn't want the logo to have any relation to cycling. I wanted it to have the feel of the destination, not the activity. An end, not a means. The outcome, not the narrative. Where these bags will take you, not how you'll get there.
We went back and forth with a few ideas, but the campfire won out easily. The weight of the chosen condensed typeface matched the width of the logs in the logo perfectly, and we are both happy with how it all turned out.
I just wrapped up the above flyer for the American Packrafting Association. It's always fun to do pro bono work for a good cause. It was a pleasure to work with some great guys throwing ideas back and forth. A big thanks goes out to Tom, Brad, Forrest, and Jim for editing everything. And to Jim again for the use of such spectacular photos.
As for the design, we felt the end goal of it should to make the customer feel like APA is knowledgeable, friendly and approachable. We decided to keep it simple, use great photos and basic mission statements to let folks know who APA is, what they do, how to get more information and join the cause.
My personal goal was to not designing this flyer for packrafters - they (we) will buy the candy no matter what. I designed it for public officials. I want Sally Jewell to pick it up and have it visually communicate to her that APA is an organized, knowledgeable, friendly, and approachable organization. To accomplish that I chose to use the same serif typeface the Park Service uses. It's very graceful, but authoritative. Friendly, but bold. It could not be a more perfect fit.
Really though, I just tried to stay out of the way of the photos. I really wanted four specific scenes on the flyer: a calm river/ big landscape; one of someone hiking with paddles sticking out of their pack; a group shot; and a whitewater shot. The fact we got ones of people smiling was a huge bonus. I could not have dreamed of better photos to work with.
I'll be attending 2 gatherings coming up in the next few weeks. The first is the Forest Fire Lookout Association's Western Regional Conference on the 27th - 29th of June, in Darby, Montana. I'll be presenting a slideshow of ski touring and bikpacking trips to towers in the Northern Rockies. Most of which have been featured here. If your into lookout towers, their history, and the future use of them, it would be worth checking out.
The second is the American Packraft Association's 1st annual Packraft Roundup, July 11th - 13th. It's being held along the North Fork of the Flathead River south of Polebridge, Montana, at the Big Creek Campground. This should be a great low-key event for packrafters, and those looking to get into the activity. Some of the most prolific practitioners will be in attendance for demonstrations, presentations, and questions. There will be organized trips for different ability levels. The itinerary is not out yet, but I suspect most will take place on the class I-II North Fork and the higher grade Middle Fork. Although, I do know of one group from Missoula planning on exclusively running big-drop creeks in Glacier NP. Needless to say, it should be a fun weekend.