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Lambo and Paige Rainy Wichita Camping

AdventuresLamboComment

     Last weekend, my lady and I decided to finally make it over to the Wichita Mountains for a camping getaway. And guess what?! It rained for like 9 hours. MERIT BADGE EARNED! Honestly though, the gloomy weather made for a more relaxing trip. On our way up the Wichita's we accidentally stumbled upon the cute little town, Medicine Park. Who would've thought such a cool place could be hidden somewhere like Oklahoma? If you have never been there, do yourself a favor and check it out. Cute shops, waterfalls, and even a Santa sighting are just some of the things you can expect to see there. After we left Medicine Park we headed over to Mt. Scott to see what all the hype was about. Foggy conditions made for a beautiful view. Following the beast of a hike, we set up camp nearby and survived a cold and rainy night. As much as it did suck we had a great time, and we plan on going back soon.

Right in the middle of Medicine Park is Santa's Snack Shop. Delivery mailbox for letters to the North Pole, an actual size sleigh, and candy cane sitting areas make for an interesting afternoon. Fun fact, we saw the owner walking out of the snack shop and we were pleasantly surpsired to see how much he resembled Santa. 

Right in the middle of Medicine Park is Santa's Snack Shop. Delivery mailbox for letters to the North Pole, an actual size sleigh, and candy cane sitting areas make for an interesting afternoon. Fun fact, we saw the owner walking out of the snack shop and we were pleasantly surpsired to see how much he resembled Santa. 

Cow? Bull? Steer? Cattle? Heifer? Whatever it was we caught them rolling around in the grass on our way to the campsite. 

Cow? Bull? Steer? Cattle? Heifer? Whatever it was we caught them rolling around in the grass on our way to the campsite. 

I don't know exactly how tall Mt. Scott is but, I can tell you that it is tall nonetheless........

I don't know exactly how tall Mt. Scott is but, I can tell you that it is tall nonetheless........

Maximum comfort.

Maximum comfort.

We hiked a small mountain nearby, and Paige started feeding some random person's dog.

We hiked a small mountain nearby, and Paige started feeding some random person's dog.

Shameless promotion for the new Tree and Leaf backpacks.

Shameless promotion for the new Tree and Leaf backpacks.

Cold brewski. Every time we go camping I make it a point to start a fire using only a lighter and whatever I can find around me. This trip I decided to save myself some time and energy and bring lighter fluid. Guess what? I forgot it, so back to the ol' grind.

Cold brewski. Every time we go camping I make it a point to start a fire using only a lighter and whatever I can find around me. This trip I decided to save myself some time and energy and bring lighter fluid. Guess what? I forgot it, so back to the ol' grind.

After a cold night of rain, we packed up and did some adventure seeking.

After a cold night of rain, we packed up and did some adventure seeking.

Playing with my new camera.

Playing with my new camera.

There were hidden little cacti everywhere. Watch your step!

There were hidden little cacti everywhere. Watch your step!

Osage Lake.

Osage Lake.

Oh yeah, we saw a pooping bison. Highlight of the trip.

Oh yeah, we saw a pooping bison. Highlight of the trip.

On our way home we found some cool spots on the side of the road.

On our way home we found some cool spots on the side of the road.

The best being this "Pet Sematary." For any Stephen King fans out there, I did find a grave there marked "Cujo."

The best being this "Pet Sematary." For any Stephen King fans out there, I did find a grave there marked "Cujo."

      The Wichita Mountains are a perfect place for anyone trying to escape the real world for a day or two. Looking back I'm glad the weather sucked, in a way it made for a better camping trip. A little birdie told me that there may be a possible Tree and Leaf camping trip to the Wichita's soon. Well Dusty, get your sh$% together, because I want to go back soon.

Little Costilla

AdventuresDusty GilpinComment

This last weekend I got to go on a really wonderful camp-cation. Six my friends loaded up and headed toward northern New Mexico. We didn't want to drive straight through, so we decided to pitstop at Black Mesa on the way and stay the night. While at the Mesa, we swung by 3 Corners and took a look at the dinosaur footprints. Black Mesa is a must-see, the stars at night are incredible, and definitely worth the 6 hour drive. If you're headed that way, stop by No Mans Land in Boise City for some great beef jerky!

From left to right; Chumpy McChumperson, Kristen Vails, Cassidi & Wes Martin, Billy & Anna Wiginton, and Aaron Arneson (seated)

From left to right; Chumpy McChumperson, Kristen Vails, Cassidi & Wes Martin, Billy & Anna Wiginton, and Aaron Arneson (seated)

Black Mesa was the only night we had an opportunity to 'cook' dinner, so we prepared some hobo meals. If you aren't familiar with hobo dinners, grab a meat, some veggies, some slices of fruit, and throw them in a tin foil bag on top of a fire. Let them cook until the meat is done and enjoy! Doesn't look incredibly appetizing, but it's fantastic.

The next day we drove 4 more hours west until we got to Carson National Forest. No trail was provided, but Billy (with map in hand) guided us 2 miles deep in the woods between Ash Mountain and Little Costilla Peak where we would spend our next two nights.

As we approached our camping location, we happily started to notice a few flurries of snow. Within minutes we were hastily trying to set up camp in a thick fog of snow. As Kristen's dad, Tony, would say, "Welcome to springtime in the mountains!" The first night we camped the temperature dropped to 28˚. It was a very restless night as we had expected lows to be in the 40s.

Despite the snow, we arranged our campsite, built a fire and boiled water for our dehydrated dinners. Our cozy little home away from home would be at 10,000 ft. for the next two days.

The next day was our hike to 12,500 ft on Little Costilla Peak. With an intermittent 3 hours of sleep each, we slowly but surely made our way to the sub-summit at 12,000 ft. We rested, enjoyed the view, and ate a small lunch. Our ultimate goal was taunting us only 500' above, but with weary legs and lungs and an impending snow storm on the horizon, we decided to make our way back down to camp.

This photo pretty much sums up our hike on Little Castillo. It was steep, thick, uneasy terrain, surrounded with downed limbs. We hiked along a beautiful snowmelt creek that was our constant source of water.  Billy is pictured here scouting out a passable approach.

This photo pretty much sums up our hike on Little Castillo. It was steep, thick, uneasy terrain, surrounded with downed limbs. We hiked along a beautiful snowmelt creek that was our constant source of water.  Billy is pictured here scouting out a passable approach.

The summit of Little Costilla Peak to the left, Billy Wiginton (for scale) to the right.

The summit of Little Costilla Peak to the left, Billy Wiginton (for scale) to the right.

View to the west, our snow storm looming behind us.

View to the west, our snow storm looming behind us.

As soon as we got back to camp, chores had to be done; gathering and cutting firewood, building a fire, hanging bear bags, preparing dinner, filtering water. Simple tasks can quickly add up after a long hike and elevation change. We stoked a fire all night long to help push back the cold as we slept off the exhaustion.

We woke up the next morning and prepared for our trek back out our cars. This view is to the south with a distant Wheeler Peak in the background. I don't think we could've picked a better location for camping. We were surrounded by trees, had a beautiful view of a valley, and had a constant running supply of water 200 yards from our campsite.

We decided to head south toward Clayton Lake where we would make camp our 4th night. We drove through barren rolling hills for hours and out of nowhere was a beautiful, clear lake.

We dropped off our supply and headed into the town of Clayton where we enjoyed a hot dinner at the Eklund Motel. We enjoyed our hostess' stories of wild west shootouts and outlaw hangings. I wouldn't have wanted dinner anywhere else, as it was the perfect atmosphere for our adventure.

We also ran by the store and picked up some of New Mexico's finest. After setting up camp, we savored the warmth of our fire and restfully enjoyed our cool refreshments and cheerful company of friends.

On our way home we decided that there was only one place good enough for our on-the-road lunch, The Big Texan. The fanfare and pomp of this honored Texas establishment was the cherry on top of a wonderful weekend. We filled our bellies with steaks and beer and ambled down I-40 back to our homes and comfortable beds.

As a seasoned camper/hiker but very novice backpacker/mountaineer, this was an absolutely amazing trip. I have spent very little time mountaineering and anxiously look forward to the next opportunity to backcountry camp. In hindsight, I was adequately prepared for the distance but not the altitude change. No one of our party became sick from the elevation, but I was very surprised at how quickly we drained on our hike upward and likewise very surprised at how quickly we regained our energy on our decent from Little Costilla Peak. Other than that, I wouldn't have changed a thing about this trip. The scenery was incredible and the company was wonderful. Here's to the next adventure!

Lambo Shreds California!

AdventuresLamboComment

     Hey everyone it's Lambo, Tree and Leaf's shop rider/newest employee. Last week I was fortunate enough to go on one of my biannual trips to California to visit family and friends. For the most part I am a fairly new face around the Plaza District and I definitely love living here, but since I basically grew up in California it will always feel like my home away from home. Originally hailing from Cleveland, Ohio (WOOOOO! GO BROWNS!!), my family and I moved around a lot when I was younger until we finally settled in Apple Valley, California. For most, what seems like a small town on the southern edge of the Mojave Desert, this is the place where I went to high school, met almost all of my closest friends, and started to really get into skateboarding. That being said, it is always a fun filled treat when I get to go back.      

     I made no hesitation to start my vacation with full force. My first day in California I met up with my good buddy Johnny, who is an amazing photographer and an equally talented BMXer! One of the things Johnny and I like to do is open up Google Maps, switch to the satellite view setting, and just look from a birds eye view at potential spots that we can shred. Luckily Johnny was way ahead of me and had all the spots mapped out. First spot on the list was an abandoned pool in the next town over. 

     With me, half the fun of skating an abandoned pool is cleaning that bad boy. Sometimes you just have to roll your sleeves up and accidentally get some stagnant pool water in your mouth...

That water looks a lot cleaner than it actually was ha!

That water looks a lot cleaner than it actually was ha!

Good to go.

Good to go.

30 minutes later it was straight to business. Rock to fakie some tight transition.

30 minutes later it was straight to business. Rock to fakie some tight transition.

That was a wrap on spot #1. I was able to film a few tricks for a new Tree and Leaf edit I have been working on, stay tuned.

That was a wrap on spot #1. I was able to film a few tricks for a new Tree and Leaf edit I have been working on, stay tuned.

     With plenty of daylight left we headed to the next spot. The cool thing about the Mojave Desert is that it is surrounded by what I would consider a tiny mountain range, AKA Silverwood. These mountains are home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails, hot springs, and national parks. We decided to take a little trip up to Silverwood and on the way we were blessed with The Holy Grail of skate spots. The fullpipe. The cool thing about this fullpipe was that it was actually the first one that I have ever skated, and let me tell you it is not easy. Johnny kept pestering me on busting something cool out on it, so I had to let the creative juices flow for a second and this was the outcome.

I honestly can't tell you what this trick is called, but it definitely isn't EASY.

I honestly can't tell you what this trick is called, but it definitely isn't EASY.

Once you get warmed up sometimes you just can't control what your legs do. Got a little loose with this one. P.S. the attempt before this I slammed so hard I thought that I broke my wrist. Just picture me running around holding my hand and whimpering like a lost puppy.

Once you get warmed up sometimes you just can't control what your legs do. Got a little loose with this one. P.S. the attempt before this I slammed so hard I thought that I broke my wrist. Just picture me running around holding my hand and whimpering like a lost puppy.

     There was nothing much left I could do on this colossus, and Johnny wouldn't stop complaining about how hungry he was so we decided to take off. But like I said, Silverwood is a beautiful place and sometimes you get sidetracked.  

We couldn't resist, sometimes Mother Nature just calls to you.

We couldn't resist, sometimes Mother Nature just calls to you.

     After we got some food in Johnny's system we hit up a few more spots, but with the cameras dying and my preference to keep some things in the dark for my Tree and Leaf edit we decided to call it day.

     Some say that "first is the worst", but honestly the first day of my California venture was probably best. It was so great in fact, that I don't need to talk about the rest of my trip (plus I'm sure you don't really want to hear any of that boring family stuff. SORRY MOM haha.) I'd like to finish by giving the BIGGEST THANKS that I can to Tree and Leaf for making sure I'm staying fresh on and off the board and to MasterLensmanFlex Johnny for the sick shots! If you guys like bikes, airplanes, hiking, and just having an all around good time be sure to check out more of Johnny's photos on his personal social media sites: FACEBOOK • VSCO • INSTAGRAM

Be on the lookout for my Tree and Leaf edit "CHUMP" coming soon. Thanks everyone!