You've heard of it, and maybe you took a trip here when you were five years old. It might not seem like anything special to the common traveler, but Yosemite is similar to an old relative that you didn't pay too much attention to, only to find out at their funeral that they were a top secret spy involved in significant historical moments. The park has layers upon layers of discovery that could challenge even the most daring of risk takers. No matter how many visits you make, documentaries you watch, books you read, or John Muir quotes you memorize, the place is infinite. It's an explorer's endless amusement park. For those that haven't been there yet, take a week (or month) off from whatever you're doing, and go. Not only will you gather an understanding for Yosemite, you'll also discover much more about yourself. Photos: Wild Native Photography
After spending the night at the Gingerbread Mansion in carefree Ferndale, California, Alexa and I took advice from the town's friendly music shop owner to venture out the dangerous Mattole Road towards the coastline. We had no expectations, so once arriving at the Lost Coast we were immediately impressed with its beauty. A lonely utopia that stretched for miles and miles, haunted by roaring winds and violent northern Pacific waves. The right amount of time in a place like this could act as an alternative to a mind-cleansing psychedelic experience, giving a person the opportunity to view their busy life from an outsider's liberating perspective. We spent two days here before continuing on through Petrolia, eventually arriving at the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. photos: Wild Native Photography
We would get together from time to time, at least once a year. It was always exciting, and her unrestrained ways were irresistible. I’d never felt such desire before. With the little time we had together, I’d eagerly explore every corner of her body and mind. She would create moments so beautiful and deep that I'd forget about home completely. California. Maybe I had it wrong this whole time, and this was actually home. Maybe I was supposed to stay here, in a place where I felt comfortable and alive. That would explain the sickness I get every time I have to leave her. The comedown will last months until I’m able to plan my next visit. The excitement of a return will power me through the rest of the year, pushing me to keep working towards the dream of possibly relocating to this golden land of endless natural beauty.photos: Wild Native Photography
After the long, strange night of New Years 2013, Alexa and I ended up passing out in a Ford Mustang rental car on the side of the road somewhere in Malibu, California. Intensely uncomfortable and cold, the morning was welcomed with a mixture of relief and angst, as our hotel was a few hours down the coast in San Diego. Instead of rushing to I-5 right away, we decided to examine our surroundings, and to our delight, a beautiful California sunrise at Point Dume was the reward for surviving the night. Still in our New Years attire and feeling like a boxer who just barely survived twelve rounds, we stumbled to the coast to soak in our first memories of the year.
When I had to travel to races years ago to support my team and keep up with the industry, I developed ways to go to events with almost no money at all, but still keep a good appearance. Most race events I could get into for free due to sponsoring the right people. So entry fees were no problem, but what about hotels, gas, and food/drinks? Here's an example of how it's done. There's a race in western Indiana for instance, and I'm basically traveling from Pittsburgh. Using my gas-saving, standard four-cylinder Pontiac GrandAm, I would leave with just $100, a pillow, and necessary essentials. It took about $30 to fill my car up with gas at the time, and used about two tanks to get there and back. When I arrived close to the race track the night before, I'd drive around and find the nearest trucker station (Pilot, TA, etc.) and get some sleep in the parking lot. With five dollars the next morning, I could go inside and get a shower, grabbing breakfast on the way out. OR if I was short on money, the closest hotel always had free breakfast, and they don't pay attention to who comes and goes. If the race was over that day, I could head straight back. If there was a second day like usual, I headed back to that same trucker station and repeated for the next day. Normally I would make it back home with money to spare.