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The Sunset Cassette

Adventures, Local, MUSIC, PLAZA DISTRICTSteven SilvaComment

Summer school, summer vacation, jumping in pools, majestic sunsets, freeze-pops, porch nights, fresh produce, fresh tunes, boogie nights, crushes… 

As we get older, it becomes easier to swap the youthful magic of summer break for common complaints about the weather. “It’s so hot outside!” we say. 

Not this year. The hottest part of this summer? Our mixtape:

The first batch of Tree & Leaf Sunset Cassettes™ drop next weekend during a backyard party show by Rousey and The Nghiems (the night after our Mario Kart 64 tourney, get wrecked). The cassettes are sponsored by us and by Anthem Brewing, mixed locally by 46 RPM, DJ’ed by boys of summer Huck and Rod, and laced with eight upcoming local acts jamming two tracks apiece – Rousey, The Nghiems, Bowlsey, Sativa Prophets, Cosmostanza, Astral Planes, The Ivy, and Haniwa

Here are the dates for our summer series: 

ATTENDANCE IS FREE. The homies and drones at Amazon aren’t throwing parties like this. It’s a tangerine dream. We’ll live-print band Ts during each show, and cassettes and merch will be available. Special thanks to all the talent, 46 RPM, and that boy Troy B at Burn Tapes.

See you there,

Cheers 

Little Costilla: A Comeback Tour

AdventuresDusty GilpinComment

Last year at about this time, a few friends and I headed out to Carson National Forest to mountaineer a route up Little Costilla Peak. As mentioned in the blog I wrote, the trip was excellent, but we were unsuccessful in summiting due to inclement weather and exhaustion. Our summit-deficient trip left us with an insistent desire to return again. So we packed up and headed that way for the weekend.

I believe the saying is, "Where the rubber meets the road..."

I believe the saying is, "Where the rubber meets the road..."

Last year, we camped at Black Mesa before hiking into our mountain. We decided to forego the pitstop this year and head straight for base camp in Carson National Forest. Right as we pulled into our campsite, we got a flat tire. Not a huge issue, but not ideal. We changed it out real quick and then I cooked dinner for the posse. I only mention these two chores because I think the hectic few hours before bed led me to my next misadventure...

Cooking in the tailgate to help block the wind!

Cooking in the tailgate to help block the wind!

I haven't spent a ton of time in the mountains, but I thought I'd spent enough to have seen the effects of altitude sickness. I was wrong. Kristen and I settled into our tent and dosed asleep after a mildly exhausting couple hours of chores.

I awoke to Kristen yelling for help and literally shaking me awake! I lunged forward, panicking and ripping off my sleeping bag. My eyes were wide open and dilated but I was unable to see, I gasped for breath and slowly regained my composure, and eyesight.

I'm typically a quiet and light sleeper. Kristen said that in my sleep I started snoring, which is uncommon. She nudged me to be quiet, but I slowly started gasping for air. She then started thumping me in the face with her index finger, but I still wouldn't wake up! That's when she yelled for help and I awoke.

Apparently, without any of our knowledge, one can suffer from Cheyne Stokes breathing and sleep apnoea when acclimating to altitude. It totally freaked us all out. We were unable to do any quick google searches to diagnose the problem because we didn't have cell reception. For the rest of the trip, I cautiously went to bed and only slept on my side. While it was only a singular occurrence, it totally tripped me out, especially since we were only going to be increasing our altitude and isolation for the rest of the trip.

Kristen and I on the hike into our base camp of Valle Vidal.

Kristen and I on the hike into our base camp of Valle Vidal.

Hiking into our base camp.

Hiking into our base camp.

Valle Vidal means Valley of Life in Spanish. It definitely isn't an understatement. Elk, antelope, deer, and animal tracks by the hundreds could be seen on our hike into the valley. Our base camp was a hike about 3 miles into the woods following a stream between two mountains.

Our campsite in the trees just on the edge of Valle Vidal.

Our campsite in the trees just on the edge of Valle Vidal.

Once we made camp, we decided to scout a couple routes up the mountain. Billy had a topographic map of the area and picked out a few routes. Since there is no real trail up the mountain, we did a lot of bushwhacking last year that really exhausted us. This year, we found a few game trails and easier ascent. This made all the difference for our trek the following morning.

(Top Row) Kristen, Hannah, Billy, Anna, Kristen (Bottom Row) Ryan, Aaron, and Chumpy

(Top Row) Kristen, Hannah, Billy, Anna, Kristen (Bottom Row) Ryan, Aaron, and Chumpy

Little Costilla, or Little C-eazy, has 4 ascending peaks. From the angle you hike in, you can't see the following peaks. There are times as you walk where you think, 'Oh! There it is, that's the top. I'm almost there." and then your soul is crushed when you reach the top of that section and see another section looming behind it. At one point, I was leading the walk. Someone radioed ahead to me and asked, "Is that the top?" I didn't even reply because I knew that radioing dissappointment below would be a morale-killer.

Kristen enjoying the view of Wheeler peak just south of us.

Kristen enjoying the view of Wheeler peak just south of us.

Despite the deceiving peaks, altitude, and heavy legs, we made it to the summit! Reaching our goal without a defined trail was really awesome. We were especially glad after not making it last year. The views from the top were wonderful, and there was still a ton of snow.

Our descent down was very steep, but as you lose altitude, you regain strength. We made it back to base camp for dinner, a little whiskey, and a warm fire.

The descent downward was pretty fierce.

The descent downward was pretty fierce.

The next day we made our hike out back to our vehicles. We drove through no man's land and made camp at Black Mesa (Lake Carl Etling Park). The park was packed because of Memorial Day weekend, but we really just wanted to rest, eat, and enjoy one more night under the stars. If you haven't seen a starscape at Black Mesa, you are really missing out!

Hooting and hollering on top of the mesa. The echo is pretty awesome, and I'm a total kid when it comes to that kind of stuff.

Hooting and hollering on top of the mesa. The echo is pretty awesome, and I'm a total kid when it comes to that kind of stuff.

Some of our group had to leave camp early and head back to the city. Ryan, Kristen and I decided that since we don't make it to Black Mesa often, we needed to hike it. We got to the trail at 6am and had a wonderful hike. Elk, turkey, lizards, deer, and antelope were seen and no other hikers had made it out yet. It was a great way to wrap up the trip!

Walking quietly in the woods, gazing at stars, and seeing wildlife all reinvigorates me. We try to get out of town every other month or so, but it never seems like we do it often enough. Trips like this really help me brainstorm new ideas, exhaust me physically, and get me off my phone for a while. I'm super thankful for my friends and wife that encourage me to get out into nature often. Now that we're back into the fast pace of work, hopefully I can apply a few of the sentiments I had while on this trip into my work at the store. We'll see what happens, thanks for trekking along with me! Come by the store and swap stories with us, and know that we always love seeing photos of our gear on your adventures!

Blue Seven Clean Start 2017

Adventures, LocalDusty GilpinComment

Blue Seven is a long-time friend of Tree & Leaf. We've collaborated on a number of projects, products, and events. Local businesses relay on the support of their community, but also the support of other local businesses. We wouldn't get anywhere if we treated small business ownership like a competition. There is an old saying, "A rising tide lifts all boats." It is most commonly referring to economics, but can be applied to all situations. When one of us is doing well, it lifts the community. We should have a drive to support each other in the events, goods, and culture we each produce - it helps us all.

6 years ago, Caleb asked if I would participate in a small project he had called Clean Start. He told me it was to demonstrate how jeans wear over a period of 6 months. Get a pair of jeans, wear them without washing, and see what happens. I'd never worn raw denim before, but figured it was an easy way to not do laundry for 6 months! Every year since then I've participated in Blue Seven's Clean Start Program. Now, it's the only way I break in jeans. The final product is a pair of pants that fits perfectly and has unique signs of distress. Along with a great pair of jeans, they've built a really fun community around the project. The initial group of participants in 2011 was 20 and it has now grown to around 200 participants each year!

Doug's Laundry with it's great signage and classic vibes. A great place for Blue Seven to host it's wash party.

Doug's Laundry with it's great signage and classic vibes. A great place for Blue Seven to host it's wash party.

Every year, they document before and after pictures of the jean wear and tear. The jeans get their first wash in 6 months and then are displayed as apart of a big party hosted by Blue Seven. Last year, I noticed such a change between the appearance before and after the wash, I wanted to make sure to document it this year. Here's some photos of the pair (Railcar Fine Goods 13.75 oz) I've been wearing for 7 months.

Here's what the Railcar Fine Goods 13.75oz  'Spike'  look like before being broken in.

Here's what the Railcar Fine Goods 13.75oz 'Spike' look like before being broken in.

I promise I didn't use any filters or adjust the saturation of either of these photos. The left is my jeans with all the sawdust, paint overspray, and dirt of 7 months worth of wear. The right is hung dry after the first wash. All the areas of wear really pop after the first wash. Notice the color change of the threads of the torn knee. Gross!

I promise I didn't use any filters or adjust the saturation of either of these photos. The left is my jeans with all the sawdust, paint overspray, and dirt of 7 months worth of wear. The right is hung dry after the first wash. All the areas of wear really pop after the first wash. Notice the color change of the threads of the torn knee. Gross!

I wear a pair of construction boots almost everyday. They hold up the bottom of the jeans and create some interesting creases. Every once and a while I accidentally brush agains a can of plastisol ink that's sitting on the floor in my shop.

I wear a pair of construction boots almost everyday. They hold up the bottom of the jeans and create some interesting creases. Every once and a while I accidentally brush agains a can of plastisol ink that's sitting on the floor in my shop.

This is the back of the knee where a lot of scrunching and creasing happens. The indigo in the jeans is slowly worn off as they wear. After the first wash, all those lines get cleaned to a light blue, almost white.

This is the back of the knee where a lot of scrunching and creasing happens. The indigo in the jeans is slowly worn off as they wear. After the first wash, all those lines get cleaned to a light blue, almost white.

Things like wallets, keys, and cellphones, all leave wear marks on the jeans. For me, left pocket cell phone, right pocket wallet. The metal money clip on my wallet just barely wore all the way through.

Things like wallets, keys, and cellphones, all leave wear marks on the jeans. For me, left pocket cell phone, right pocket wallet. The metal money clip on my wallet just barely wore all the way through.

I'm very lucky to have been asked to help design the patch for this year's limited  Clean Start  jeans. Here's what they looked like right after being pressed, and what mine looked like after getting worn in.

I'm very lucky to have been asked to help design the patch for this year's limited Clean Start jeans. Here's what they looked like right after being pressed, and what mine looked like after getting worn in.

I know, It's kinda weird, but it's also really cool! There's a handful of great reasons why breaking in a pair of jeans this way is the best way. You don't have to ask my opinion on it - get the facts from fine denim makers and the Blue Seven crew at the Clean Start Party on May 20th at the newly renovated Sunshine Cleaners building on Classen! Follow Blue Seven on Instagram, Facebook, or at their website to stay filled in on all your denim needs! You can also see other photos from other local denim wearers at #B7CleanStart.