The Finalists and Winner of our Adventure Contest. Inspiration within.
The results are in. The ballots have been counted. And, barring a Florida recall, the winner is decided. We judged adventures by the inventiveness of the trip, the quality of the adventure, and the overall inspirational appeal. In other words—did the trip resonate with us? Did we talk about it at lunch, after work—did we say, Damn, I’ve got to go do that.
The submissions were many and the selection process arduous, but our staff was up to the challenge. And, in the end, we found a worthy winner. He is below, along with five finalists. In the coming weeks, look for full accounts of these trips. And, a big thank you to all who submitted. We were humbled and inspired by all of your exploring. See you out there.
An urban wooded workout where we carry big rocks, jump walls, and get really sweaty.
It’s a common problem—you live in the city, but need the outdoors. You work a 9-5, but need to a workout. So how to train in nature while maintaining urban life? Enter Mr. Courage.
Josh Courage, of Courage Performance, has a solution: your local city park—it’s got more workout acumen than we’d thought. He took us into SF’s Presidio for a morning workout carrying rocks, jumping fences, and doing burpees in the morning dew.
Teaming up with ZOZI and Spike to catch some dinner in the bay.
The experience is one of the many local experiences that ZOZI offers, pairing the adventurous with local experts to guide your exploration. And along with their local adventures, ZOZI's also got solid gear, awe-inspiring getaways, and a slew of knowledgable guru's (like Bear Grylls) to help get you out and exploring.
Meet Lucid Stead, the trippy mirror cabin in Joshua Tree National Park.
Joshua Tree National Park, with its odd, twisted plants and red desert light, is a place that has often inspired otherworldly visions. Otherworldly enough to attract NASA's Martian subsurface exploration team, who tested their Mars drilling equipment on the desert floor here. Jim Morrison and Keith Richards regularly visited Joshua Tree. There's also a building in Joshua Tree called the Integratron: a large, geomagnetic dome based on the writings of Nikola Tesla—and telepathic instructions from extraterrestrials.
Thirteen miles southeast of the Integratron in that strange, high desert, there is a cabin of mirrors. Lucid Stead, as Artist Phillip K. Smith III named it, is an old homesteader's shack that Smith re-appropriated as an art installation by outfitting the small, wooden building with mirrored panels, LED lights, and other customized electrical doodads.
A history of our favorite drink, 6,000 years in the making.
Beer – the most revered elixir known to man.
From pint to glass, can to keg, this yeast-ridden concoction is one of the world’s earliest libations and most beloved liquids to ever touch the pallet of man. Here is our quick and dirty trip through beer’s illustrious history:
Russia’s 588th airborne division—made up entirely of women—forever changed WWII.
Mark Twain wrote, It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. And, while Twain probably didn’t have in mind the dogfights that take place thousands of feet in the sky, his words nonetheless hold true.
The 588th airborne division, a battalion of female Russian fighter pilots in World War II, prove as much. The 588thearned a distinctive nickname from the Germans: “Nachtexen” rough translation, “the Night Witches.”
Twenty-years and 500,000 miles—this is a road trip that never ends.
In twenty-five years, Otto has driven over 500,000 miles (125,000 of them on unpaved roads), been through 200 countries, and 23 territories. Otto drove through northern Iraq and Afghanistan during the wars. Otto has been to Mt. Everest, Sudan, and has been in a shipping container 36 times. In 2012, Otto was the first-ever foreign vehicle to enter North Korea.
Otto is a 1988 Mercedes G-Wagon—the most well travelled vehicle on Earth—and his caretaker is a German man named Gunther Holtorf.
A group of friends, a bear-infested Russian peninsula, and a set of hidden waves.
Here’s the equation: seven friends, a full quiver of surf boards, one “roaming bomb shelter” of a truck, and a formerly-military occupied, bear-infested Russian peninsula. Do the math.
The sum’s a hell of a lot of adventure, a novel worth of stories (like the one about the guy in a Speedo shooting a handgun on the beach), and a gallery of great photographs and video.
We talk Freezy Freakies and Founders Beer with the managing editor at Cool Material.
The third post in a series that's like a vulcan mind meld between us and the Tastemakers of today.
From ridiculously awesome rides to craft beers, our buds at Cool Material scout out the coolest gear on the internet. Below, we ask Cool Material Managing Editor Mike Newman to share a few of the things he's loving right now.
One of the last free-riding ranches is hidden in 40,000 acres of British Columbia.
If you’re lucky, there’s a childhood tradition dear to your heart. Whether it’s building stuff in the garage with Dad or a mud-caked game of Thanksgiving football, the memories live on even if you’ve out-grown them. But for the really lucky ones, the tradition is still going strong.
For me, it’s the Flying U Ranch. Located in British Columbia, the Flying U is the oldest guest ranch in Canada and one of the only in North America that offers unsupervised riding.
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