TRAIL NOTES BLOG
Monday is Labor Day, and we wanted to celebrate the holiday with a shout-out to ten American companies who are working hard to produce beautiful, innovative, well-crafted goods. If you don't know these places already, get to know them! They make awesome things.
Ball and Buck
Clothes for the sporting gentleman
Can't imagine hiking without a pair of Danner boots on our feet
Cozy jackets, vests, and flannels
Imogene + Willie
Women's clothes, men's clothes, and one-of-a-kind stuff
Jeans, jackets, and shirts that last forever
Hemp t-shirts that feel so right
Men's and women's clothes to help you move through the world
We couldn't be happier to announce the great Jordan Vouga has joined Juniper Ridge as our Art Director. Jordan comes to Oakland from Chicago, and he runs the beloved Ancestry Quarterly magazine. For his first Juniper Ridge blog post, we asked him to share his five favorite wilderness photographers.
Kevin Russ @kevinruss
Kevin has a pretty cool life. He travels around the country shooting on his iphone and selling the prints to get by. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to jump off like that and it certainly shows in his images. It isn't about the camera; it's about the photographer.
Mikael Kennedy @mikaelkennedy
These are this kind of photos you want to keep looking at. Mikael's images are oozing with emotion. He has the ability to transport you to that place and keep you there. Luckily he does a bit of publication work with images that are available on his site.
Kate Rentz @katerentz
The essence of "the road trip," Kate's images are all about the story. For me, an image needs to give me insight and knowledge, and Kate's certainly speak volumes. Just take a look at her blog.
Daniel is more of a lifestyle photographer but the few wilderness images he displays are absolutely beautiful. I'm a total sucker for film and this dude knows how to utilize it properly.
Rob Williamson @rob_williamson
Rob has a keen eye for humans interacting with nature. His photos tend to look like film stills in the best way possible. Rob also creates some pretty awesome videos. Check out his still and moving images on his site.
(Me, happily surrounded by cocktail ingredients)
Hall here. When I was in high school, I'd go backpacking with a group of friends, and one of my pals had an enraging habit of breaking out a beer a few days into the trip. We'd be sitting on a rock outcropping or summit with our three-day-old cheese, drinking warm pond water covered up with iodine and Gatorade, and then suddenly we'd hear the cracking sound of a beer opening, click, fizzzz … you get the picture, it was basically just a long-game joke, he’d carry a full beer around for days just for the shock value of unleashing it in the middle of nowhere.
One of the great pleasures of camping is that everyday indulgences suddenly seem like other-worldly luxuries, so in thinking about campfire cocktail recipes and times I’ve really enjoyed a cocktail while car camping, unexpected luxury is the key.
Ice. Need I say more? When you’ve been out for a few days, nothing in the world could possibly be more luxurious than ice in your drink. If you do nothing else but get some ice and pour a nice single-malt scotch or aged bourbon over it, you’ve accomplished a small miracle as far as your friends are concerned. Get those big bartender cubes and some nice glasses, and put them in the cooler—it’ll blow people away.
If you want to take this game further and get all Martha Stewart on it, I always default to a simplified Old Fashioned with a wild herb infusion.
Tips on making wildcrafted simple syrup
Making a simple syrup is so, well, simple. Pick a plant you like that you know is edible and tasty, make a tea out of it to the desired flavor strength, and add equal parts sugar to tea. I love Douglas Fir for this, but wild mints, sages, and many other wild edible plants are great too. The sugar preserves the mix so you don’t even have to keep it refrigerated for short periods of time. Using wild plants is really fun here because it sticks with the theme of a campfire cocktail and brings the outdoors into the cocktail.
Douglas Fir/orange simple syrup recipe
1) Harvest some Douglas Fir tips (the last 12” or so of a Doug Fir branch)
2) Make a strong sun tea/cold infusion
put 16 oz of cold water in a quart-size jar
cut up Doug Fir tips into small pieces and jam them in there until they are densely packed enough to bring water level up to top of quart jar
set in sun for 1 day of full sunlight, then move to fridge for 2 days more until water tastes strongly of Douglas Fir
Tom and family, tearing it up in the mountains.
Tom Accettola spends a lot of time swimming in the scents of the Sierra. Tom's the head of Research and Development at Juniper Ridge, and when he's not distilling Cedars and Firs at the Wild Plum Campground, he's floating with his family down the Yuba River.
For Tom, the best base of operations for Sierra expeditions is Nevada City, about an hour northeast of Sacramento. "My wife went to high school there," he says. "It's full of real people doing real things, and it has a sense of history. It's a mix of rural, red-state people and liberal hippie types happily coexisting."
Heading to the Sierra? Here are Tom's favorite things to hear, see, and do in his favorite California mountain town:
1. Listen to KVMR (89.5 FM). "It's a community radio station that plays everything from bluegrass to jazz to rockabilly. My family loves the Hawaiian show on Sundays."
2. Visit Empire Mine State Historic Park. "You can tour the mine---it opened just after the Gold Rush, along with the house of the millionaire who owned it. A lot of artifacts from that era."
3. Have breakfast at the South Pine Cafe. "The best breakfasts. Eggs Benedict. Hot links. Pancakes with lots of fruit. There's also one in Grass Valley."
4. Shop at Kitkitdizzi. "An eclectic shop with lots of cool stuff. They sell these knives that a 16 year old kid makes. My wife just got a great old 1960s map of Nevada City there."
5. Drink a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at The Mineshaft. "A super-friendly dive bar."
6. Swim in the Yuba River. "Nevada City is about 10 or 15 minutes away from really good swimming holes along the South Fork of the Yuba. Just ask locals to point you to the bridge."