Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sunsets and other things

Sunset in Sequoia
(See this picture bigger here)

As most of my group rushed ahead to the end of the trail to get back to the cars, a few of us hung back to bask in the warm glow of the setting sun over the horizon. We ambled ever-so-slowly, keeping our eyes fixed at the end of the valley that was bathed in the most wonderful light.

I slowed down even more, quickly losing my group and ending up alone on the trail. In my solitude, I had the freedom to climb atop boulders and search for the angle that I would take this shot. Some time later, with my battery nearly dead and my memory card almost full, I found what I was looking for in this particular photograph - sprawled across some rocks, steadying my hands to take a sharp picture.

It was a moment that remains burned into my memory - feelings of wonder and excitement at seeing such an amazing sunset, the anticipation of a hearty dinner well-earned, and a great night's sleep after a day of grueling hiking.

Thus was life in the outdoors, and I loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Second Skin - Eleven months in. Two washes.

11.5 months

11.5 months in

11.5 months in
Jeans - Rogue Territory Stantons, T-shirt - Spurr, Boots - Allen Edmonds

Thanks to Nick Clute-Reinig for his photo assistance.


These jeans received a bit of a break over summer, as heavyweight denim isn't particularly comfortable in the Los Angeles heat. But as the weather has finally cooled down over the past semester, these jeans have once again been used and abused. To the utter elation of my friends, these have received a second washing recently.

As expected, they continue to fade magnificently. The topstitching and details on the butt pockets are beginning to break apart, while the side seams are showing heavy wear and fading. I also finally got them hemmed by Karl at Rogue Territory, which has been a huge improvement. After a weekend in Sequoia filled with campfires, hiking, and scrambling, these jeans received a boost of wear that have pushed them into what I would consider "heavily worn." They also smell of Islay malts and smoke from sitting around the campfire so much.

Though this project technically ended five months ago, I still continue to wear these as much as possible and delight in all of the stories (and grime) that they accumulate. It's only a few more weeks until the one year mark, and I look forward to seeing what's in store for the future - mine and the jeans'.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A most sacred stone.

Womb of Zuigu-Bosatsu
The Womb of Zuigu-Bosatsu. Kiyomizu Dera, Kyoto, Japan

As you enter this temple, you are pointed down a dark stairwell into a maze devoid of even the tiniest sliver of light. You wander through twists and turns beneath the temple - sightless, stumbling - until you finally turn a corner and are greeted by the most interesting sight. There before you, dimly lit but shining through in the darkness, is a large stone with a single raised Sanskrit character atop it.

The character symbolizes Zuigu-Bosatsu, the motherly Buddha, who is said to grant wishes to those that are sincere. The narrow maze is seen as the womb of Zuigu-Bosatsu, with the close walls leaving no room to bring your worldly attachments with you. When the stone appears, you are supposed to make a wish. If it is successful, the stone will turn on its own (I had to do it manually).

Once you leave the womb, you are supposed to be purified and to have undergone rebirth with the virtue of Zuigu-Bosatsu.

What an interesting ritual.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Second Skin - not quite my own.

Ian Byers' RKs

Ian Byers' RKs

Ian Byers' RKs

Ian Byers' RKs

Ian Byers' RKs

Rogue Territory RKs, 2.5 months in, 0 washes

My friend Ian's been breaking in his RKs these past few months to great effect. The jeans are starting to break in nicely, with slight fading along the belt loops and other areas of heavy wear. The denim itself is something of a dream - incredibly lightweight and pliable, but with a noticeable toughness about it. I'm pretty excited to see how these break in over time.

The giant mud splatters come from a little spill that he took when we were hiking through storm drains to take some pictures, some of which can be seen below. It took a bit of effort to convince him to keep the jeans nice and muddy so that I could take pictures of them. Heh.