Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dog Days and Dank Espresso

In an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, get some different perspectives and offer unique stories, we're excited to start featuring pieces written by friends and new authors.  Below is a piece written by our friend and Partner-in-Gnar, Amos.  Although I've written about Amos before, I'm stoked to have his voice join the chorus at Nature of Motion.  If you're interested in submitting a story of your own, consider getting in touch through

Dog Days and Dank Espresso

Amos Swanson

What do you think?

In an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, get some different perspectives and offer unique stories, we're excited to start featuring pieces written by friends and new authors.  If you've got a story, an adventure, or just some philosophical musings, consider sharing them with us here!  We're excited to broaden the conversation, and we're interested in moving beyond the car-free or bicycle powered narrative to include stories and essays questioning our personal concepts of mobility and philosophies of sustainability in general.  We encourage you to leave comments and engage with the authors, and again, consider adding your voice with a story of your own! Use the contact info to get in touch and submit your story.  Thanks!

Friday, August 8, 2014


Waste is a human concept.  Nowhere else in nature can you find systems that incorporate this belief.  Just exactly when and how mankind created this habit is a mystery, although I’m sure Scientist’s would likely link it to the advent of agriculture or some such revolutionary occurrence.  Waste is a subjective idea, proven by the age-old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and it’s a notion that we have learned to merge with our beliefs of worth and value.  Through this amalgamation we have come to create a concept of waste that can mean many things, but always has a negative connotation.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gunsight Peaks - Trip Report

Looking at Dome Peak and Chickamin Glacier from the top of South Gunsight.
Over the week of July 25th to the 31st, Liz and myself climbed two routes and reached as many summits in the Gunsight Range of the Glacier Peak Wilderness area.  We climbed the South Ridge route of the South Peak, as well as the West Face of the Middle Peak.  Our ascents were completely free and followed the existing routes over varied terrain, including, but not limited to: splitter granite, steep glaciers, loose choss, devils club, and hot pavement.  The trip was a great recon and an epic adventure in its own right.  The Gunsights should be high on the list of anyone looking for golden granite in an absurdly alpine setting.  In addition to our meager climbing achievements, the significance of this trip lies, for us, in the fact that we undertook the approach entirely by use of Public Transportation. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Skiing Sympathies

Living in Little Cottonwood Canyon during the winter, I'm lucky to be able to enjoy backcountry skiing in both wilderness and watershed areas, zones that are free (read - prohibited) of snow-machine travel.  If you're reading this, most likely you're a skier or snowboarder, and even if you use an old beat-up sled to get deep into the mountains, once you're there you probably trade it for skins and slog your way up the mountainside to earn your face shots.  Backcountry skiing is about solitude and isolation, a dance with the wilderness.  When not used correctly, snow-machines can create a noisy, hectic, and often dangerous atmosphere.  If you value you value the solitude and serenity of a quiet mountain range dressed in white, then you should know this: on June 18th, the Forest Service issued a long-awaited rule for public comment on designating areas as open or closed to winter motorized vehicles, this is a good first step, but comments from our backcountry community can make it stronger! Your help is both needed and essential to capitalize on this opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry.  By designating specific trails and areas where over-snow vehicle use may occur, winter travel planning is an opportunity to bring balance to the backcountry.  The community of backcountry skiers needs to be heard!  Please consider adding your comment to the voices of support for human-powered winter recreation.  To get a better grasp of the issues at hand, and help you draft a comment worthy of consideration, the Winter Wildlands Alliance has put together a very helpful page to aid you in navigating this beurocratic issue.  Keep reading to see a few links that can help you along, as well as my annotated comment if you're interested.  LET'S DO THIS!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hazed and Confused

Hazed and Confused

If you haven’t heard, wildfires have been taking over eastern Washington, with some half dozen different fires including the incredibly massive Carlton Complex which has torched over 215,000 acres to date.  Coupled with a couple weeks of 100+ degree heat, and as my friend Scott put it best, it’s felt like a smoky oven.  Needless to say, we’ve been laying low and doing our best to adapt to the situation at hand, things seem to be improving but I’m still skeptical for the future.  For now, we’re enjoying a reprieve and I’m reflecting as well as looking forward to how and best balance this reality as it unfolds.  Below you'll find a few pictures from our weekend of clarity, and a few words regarding what it's like living in a pressure cooker.  If you're into pictures or like your dose of crazy diluted as possible, remember to check us out on the Facebook and Instagram, where angry rhetoric is in short supply.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Moving Pictures

If you read our last post, or are friends with us on the Facebook - Instagram, you already know I managed to put together a short video for submission into the Adventure CyclingAssociation’s Bicycle Touring Video contest.  If not, then, well, I did.  While I have a pretty extensive history with some aspects of photography and relatively none with videography, this was my first real attempt at putting together a project that, while I might not consider it professional, it was intended for public consumption, and while the equipment I used was largely amateur, it is hands down the most advanced and highest quality I’ve used to date, and I’d like to think the film’s content and quality reflects that, at least a little.  If you haven’t yet seen the video, or would like to hear a little more about my experience in putting it all together, then read on.

Behind The Scenes

A lot of times I find myself unmotivated to share or write about our lives when I don’t feel like we’re doing anything noteworthy or significant.  This happens to me often in the winter, when work dominates my day to day and I’m lucky to find time to get out on small ski tours and climbs.  I think it’s basically a function of how much I feel like I’m challenging myself.  When I’m out working towards larger goals or attempting them, I’m psyched to share my progress and experiences, but when my life takes a mellower routine, I’m content to go to the crag without a camera, and spend some time in the mountains without writing about it here.  We all need our version of silent reflection, whether it be from our jobs, our partners, ourselves or the whole scene, this time can give us the perspective and inspiration to return invigorated and focused. 

In light of all this, I wanted to share a little bit about our lives for the last few weeks, because while I might not feel like I’ve been challenging myself enough, our days have been full and there’s been a lot going on, in fact, we’ve got pretty big news, but you’ll have to read to the end for that.  After all, if my goal is to advocate for a simpler, quieter lifestyle, one that might not always be as glamorous but continues to deliver satisfaction and adventure, well then what better place to start than here.  With that in mind, here’s a brief look into the last month of our lives through some words and pictures.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ambassadors of Action

 One of my high school teachers once asked, “Without speech, would there still be thought?”  At the time this stoner-esque consideration was profound enough to leave me not only speechless, but thoughtless as well.  I tried to imagine a thought without words and could only vaguely conceive of emotional inspirations that well up deep within us.  Music has a piece of this power, to convey thought and emotion without words, but in a way it borrows so much from speech and sound.

People seem to do a lot of talking, and a lot of thinking.  Unfortunately, they don’t always go hand in hand and at times we seem to say things without thinking about them, and conversely to think of things without talking about them.  Most of the time, this is all fine and well, after all if you’re not hurting someone or something with your pointless drivel then who cares, but words and thoughts have a way of turning into actions, and together these can have a serious impact.

Monday, June 9, 2014

10 Reasons to Adopt the Bike and Go Car-Free.

People love lists and why shouldn’t they.  If we want to make a decision about something we need some concrete facts, plus, when you write stuff down with numbers next to it, it looks orderly and scientific, so it must be reputable!  If you’re already on the fence, here ya go, this should pull you over one way or the other.