Where did summer go? For Kyler and I, it was a time of little sleep and little food, but when we did eat and sleep, it was all that more enjoyable. From 17 plane rides, to the countless hours spent hiking this beautiful earth, it was one unforgettable adventure, but an adventure that carries onto the next.
During the month of July, we traveled with Made by Lisa Marie to explore the Canadian Rockies, then road trip through Montana, Idaho and Washington to capture content for DJI and a handful of our other sponsors. We were brought out to Canada by the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies to produce a short film, where we hung with adventurer and author, Powder Matt. Our time here was spent chasing the light, and chasing the adventure.
We flew into Spokane, Washington and made the 6-hour trek north to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. The weather here was fairly unpredictable, which ended up canceling our backpacking plans. We were scheduled to heli drop in the back-country for a few days, but the inclement weather kept us grounded. Instead, we took on the famed Via Ferrata and some breathtaking day hikes. The Via Ferrata alone put us to the test, where we had to endure a long climb in the misty rainy weather. From the wood planked suspension bridge to the vertical walls, we had our fair share of adrenaline rushing through our veins. Each day here, we pushed ourselves to soak up every ounce of daylight we could. Then we spent our remaining hours awake under the night sky, often running time lapses.
From there we drove east, camping in Yoho National Park, where the weather followed. We were lucky enough to get some clear pockets, which gave way to some remarkable scenes. Yoho was great, but Banff proved to hold it’s own, showing us the well-known Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Just outside of the national parks, we took to the skies with Rockies Heli Canada. The views alone were reason enough to wonder why we live in Chicago. After our heli trip, we continued our drive south, ending up at Fernie Alpine Resort, another property of RCR. If you’ve ever been mountain biking, you know the thrill it gives. The steep grade combined with the rugged landscape, made for it’s own kind of rush.
As adventure filmmakers, we travel quite a bit and when we get projects along these lines, we come alive. My passion for the outdoors began when I was young, but the more time I spend outside, the more I crave it. After spending 9 days in Canada, we were Seattle bound. This leg of the drive took us through Glacier National Park and Idaho. GNP gave way to some remarkable night skies. If you’ve never been, I strongly encourage making the drive during the summer months, when the Milky Way is going strong.
Our last few days of this 2 week journey brought us to the great state of Washington. We took a day to embrace the city and then squeezed in some beach camping, as well as mountain climbing before flying back to Chicago. But our travels didn’t stop there. The day after returning to Chicago called for a 6am to Utah for Outdoor Retailer for 24 hrs followed by a 6am back to Seattle.
We were selected as Social Influences for Southwest Airlines to be apart of the delivery flight of their brand new plane into service. The flight departed the next day to Dallas and was practically a party at 35k feet. From there, after a day back at the office in Chicago, we set out to Maine to shoot a product launch video for Manfrotto. This involved 4 days of stuffing our faces of lobster after long days of shooting, but the fun wasn’t over yet.
While traveling through Montana the week before, we were notified we had been selected to speak at TEDx Memphis, at the ages of 20 and 23. This had been one of our biggest goals for the year. 2 weeks later we delivered our talk titled “How to Live the Outbound Life,” where we discussed what it means to live each day with passion, intent and purpose. The way we see it, you never know when your last day will be. We use our platform to speak to others, especially youth to show that they are capable of so much more than they might currently think. That they truly can change the world. For us, each day we will continue walking a bit faster, taking on a bit more than we can handle, and encouraging a bit more than we did the day before, because we refuse to let this life we’ve been gifted go to waste.