I’ve been looking for a new hobby ever since I stopped playing hockey. I tried bouldering at the indoor climbing gym in Lund and found exactly what I wanted.
After climbing indoors for about three months, I finally got the opportunity to climb outdoors with some friends. They invited me along for a bouldering trip to Kjugekull, a hiking park outside of Kristianstad with an abundance of massive, glacially deposited boulders with routes of varying difficulties.
I was excited to give it the old college try and accomplish my old goal of free climbing something that scares me. I had heard from friends how different outdoor climbing would be from climbing in a gym, but I think it’s something I had to experience to fully appreciate.
First, the problems require a much more methodical approach. Instead of making dynamic moves for brightly colored holds, I had to look carefully for usable holds and make balanced movements instead of relying on strength.
Second, footwork is so much more important. This wasn’t easy for me once I got 10-12 feet above the ground. I found myself being tentative with my foot placement at first, but quickly found that trust in my feet even on small holds was imperative.
Thirdly, and most importantly, it’s just scarier! I’m already not great with heights, and no matter how many crash pads and spotters I had, my subconscious still knew that there were rocks below me, and falling would not be fun. As I got 3/4 of the way up my first route, I realized that my options were either to finish or break a bone. Needless to say, I chose the former option. The adrenaline rush powered me over the top in a way that my friend described as “graceful like a sea lion.” My heart was pounding and my legs felt like rubber… so I went back down and did it again!
I managed to complete 4 or 5 of the easier routes we found in the guidebook (which still definitely scared me), and escaped the day with zero broken bones. It was also a fun day in the park with some great people! 9/10
I remember being in dance class in Kindergarten looking at my hair in the bathroom mirrors and thinking one day I’ll shave it all off. Not your typical six year old little girl thoughts, I know. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to shave my head. I’ve always wanted to know how it feels, and get the satisfaction of getting rid of it all in one swoop. Over the past two years, I have really been considering it. After having waist length hair for the longest time, I was tired of dealing with all the tangles and hair falling in my face. This past summer I was really close to doing it, and of course, I chickened out. Fast forwarding five months, I finally did it after a backpacking trip with some of my closest friends in West Virginia!
My friends encouraged me and got me super excited about it. That night, right when I got home, I showered, then shaved my head. Well technically I cut pony tails off my head to donate, and then Timmy shaved it. It was so liberating. For the following week, I could not stop touching my head and kept getting surprised when I looked in the mirror. If you’re considering shaving your head, totally go for it. It feels so good, is easy to maintain, and is a good talking point. I don’t regret it for a minute and definitely see myself doing it again some day. 10/10 (seriously)
“The funny thing about being naked is that once you are naked you don’t think twice about it. It’s getting naked that’s the embarrassing thing.”
What better time to skinny dip than winter in Sweden? I spent yesterday on a pier overlooking the Öresund in Lomma Bay, alternating between a 170° Fahrenheit sauna and sub 40° Fahrenheit water in the Sound. The sauna had a beautiful view of Malmö and Copenhagen as well! I’m glad I did it, but I think in the future I’ll stay out of the water while there’s still snow on the ground. 6/10.
I’ll preface this post by saying that I usually tell people that I’m not afraid of heights, they just make me uncomfortable. I lie… I’m absolutely afraid of heights. And that is exactly what made skydiving such a desirable experience for me.
There is nothing more exhilarating to me than going head to head with my fears and coming out on top. I even surprised myself with my lack of nerves leading up to the jump. It was only after doing a gainer out of the plane, free falling at 120mph, and descending with the parachute deployed that the adrenaline wore off and I began to feel nauseous. The brain is funny isn’t it?
My instructor, Tadas, was great and Skydive Baltimore made the jump an awesome and scenic experience. Thanks to my brother Collin for being the only one I know willing to do it with me! Rating: 9/10
Assateague Island was a blast. Timmy and I went as a way to end the summer with a bang before school started. On Assateague there are wild horses roaming about. They aren’t shy and will come right up to your camp to try and steal food. They are somewhat aggressive though so we had to make sure to keep our distance. We spent our days swimming in the ocean, and the evenings cooking dinner by the campfire and eating s’mores (obviously). We met some cool people, saw a really cute puppy, and had such a good time. If we learned anything from the trip, it’s that A Tinker’s Damn needs to add a dog to the team. Any suggestions for naming it? Rating: 9/10
I’m sure most of you have heard about, and maybe even saw, the eclipse that occurred last Monday. In fact, we met someone (we believe he was from out of the country due to his accent) on our drive who had a short conversation with Tim with the windows down going 60 something mph on the interstate about seeing the eclipse. Man that guy was awesome. He even gave a chaka back when Tim tossed him one. Even though many people saw the eclipse (as reflected by the miles upon miles of traffic we encountered) I feel incredibly honored and humbled to have seen it at such a spectacular venue. Tim and I went down to visit his best friend, Austin, at Clemson, who took us to his roommate’s old living quarters on a farm. Over the course of the hour that it took for the moon to totally cover the sun, we felt the change in temperature and the surrounding light. When totality occurred, all the animals in the area went haywire. It truly added to the experience as it reinforced the severity of this event. We met some really great people who were very accommodating and some were even more crazed than we were over the celestial phenomenon. Although there were many surreal moments that occurred during the trip and the eclipse, I think the coolest was the 360 degree sunset that resulted from the moon eclipsing the sun. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a direct picture of totality (our cameras weren’t equipped to) but we were able to capture the sunset! I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to see this event and even luckier to have witnessed it with some fantastic people. 10/10
Until our next adventure!
-Nick and Timmy
A huge thank you to Apache Pine for sending me their Ridge bamboo watch just in time for my trip to Hawaii. This watch is perfect for adventuring: lightweight, rugged enough to deal with the elements when I’m on the go, and stylish enough to wear out. One of my favorite things about it is that it doesn’t have tick marks on the face. While the watch is still easy to read, this detail serves as a subtle reminder that time isn’t all that important when I’m out exploring, and I can orient myself in the day without worrying down to the minute.
Additionally, the fact that all their watches are hand crafted from sustainably sourced wood and bamboo just makes them even better. I love the mountain design and I love the fact that Apache Pine is a company that appreciates the outdoors as much as I do.
Check out their premium wood watches, knives, or other apparel via any of the links above.
There are few things I have experienced so far in life that are more fulfilling than a road trip. They really do live up to the hype. I would know since my total road trip time this summer so far has been roughly 39 hours. Two drives about 6 hours (split in half with Jake), a 12 hour and the most recent was 14 (both by myself, cue “all by myself” by Celine Dion) because I hit some rough Chicago traffic. It worked out though because I was able to get some good pictures of downtown! Anyway I had a blast hanging out with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins up in Wisconsin this summer. I went to Devil’s lake (which is an awesome spot for hiking, swimming or picnicking if any of you are ever in the Madison/Middleton area) the Madison zoo, the Milwaukee zoo, the Milwaukee public museum (best museum I’ve ever been too, highly recommend), downtown Madison and the University of Wisconsin (perfect place to see sunsets and hang out), got some putt-putting in, cooked a dinner for an entire family for the first time, the national mustard museum (maple champagne mustard is heavenly), saw a Madison Mallards baseball game (featuring Jake’s fish head), spent $75 at a movie store (worth it), celebrated Lauren’s 21st birthday and Will’s 13th, went to sky zone, skated with some great hockey players at some local pickup games, and still had time to see Die Mannshaft B team win the confederations cup! Well, if you’ve made it through all of that, then I’d like to congratulate you and gift you with my rating of this fantastic journey. 9/10 As always live today like it’s your last, or in this case live the next two months like they’re your last!
I always thought nose piercings were cool, but I never thought I would end up getting one. I didn’t seriously consider getting one until recently when I started to come out of my shell a bit. I have always been the shy quiet girl that didn’t want any attention to be drawn toward me and in my head a nose piercing would do just that. I have definitely become less shy and now I often do things or wear things just because they are weird.
Growing up with half of my extended family being very southern and fairly conservative I knew not everyone would like it, but that only made me want to get one even more. My immediate family has always been all about doing your own thing and expressing yourself however you feel you can so I knew it wouldn’t be an issue with my parents or sisters. If anything I thought my oldest sister would be mad because I pierced my nose before she did. I was also scared it would hurt. It honestly didn’t hurt much at all and it was over in about 10 seconds. I definitely built it up a lot in my head. Anyway, I’m really glad I got it because it helps reinforce how weird I am which I strangely love. 9/10
The first time I saw Something More play live was about two years ago at Charm City Art Space (RIP), and there were only about ten people there to watch. Later that month, I got to see one of my best friends, Chris Swartz, play his first live show ever. Fast forward two years, and I just watched the two of them headline a sold out show at Sidebar on a Thursday… incredible.
Crowd surfing wasn’t really something I thought about prior to doing it, but that’s the beauty of music. At a concert people sweat, jump up and down, push each other around, and scream out the words because it’s one of the few places that sort of behavior is allowed. Chris and the boys in Something More are perfect examples of musicians who truly do it to provide an emotional outlet for their fans, and it’s nice to see them finally starting to get the success that they have worked so hard for. I’m so grateful to them for providing a night I won’t soon forget. Crowd surfing – 10/10.
Thanks to Kristina McComas Photography for the photos!