Home Made SUPs and Hopping Fences

The Edwards, the wonderful, gospel-centered family I was able to spend time with in Cheyenne. 

South bound from Cheyenne, Wyoming and headed to Colorado Springs, I was soaking in every moment of the drive. It was my first time to spend more than a weekend in Colorado and I was so excited. 

The plan was to visit my good friend Tim Jones, his beautiful wife Charity and their friend Luke Paris, whom I had met earlier in the year at Tim and Charity's wedding! We knew we wanted to do some exploring but no specifics were to be nailed down until I rolled into town. 

My time in Colorado Springs could not have gotten off to a better start. I pulled into a long dirt driveway with wooden fences and trees on either side. As I reached the Jone's home, my buddy Tim was outside in the yard, shirtless, shoeless and greeted me with a great big hug. He immediately told me about his plan to make DIY SUPs (Stand Up Paddle-boards) and go out on a camping trip near Blue Mesa. 

He had purchased some foam from a hardware store and some gnarly adhesive, and the goal was to craft paddle boards out of them and use some bits of scrap wood and tree branches for the paddles. I was completely on board. (Pun intended)

The Rig

Tim Jones is a MAN.

Tim is seriously one of the most incredible individuals I've ever met. He is a loving and caring friend, an extremely passionate and brilliant teacher... and makes me lattes. I could go on forever though. He pours into every relationship in his life, mentors those younger than him and seeks council from those he respects. The little time that I have spent with Tim has made me into a better man. We also share a love for the mountains, so the drive to our destination was just an absolute treat. 

We all had our doubts about the boards, but were so stoked to get out on the water and test them out! 

It took about 2 seconds on the water for us to realize that this was going to be a very different experience than we had anticipated. Though it doesn't look like it, the water was rough! It took us all a few minutes before we were even able to stand up on the boards, which we also realized were MUCH shorter than standard paddle boards. We all fought the lake waves for about twenty minutes until one of us (I can't recall who was first) screamed that their board was breaking in half, followed quickly by a splash. All of our boards snapped or came unglued around the same time. There we were, three dudes in the middle of a lake in Colorado, laughing our balls off as we swam back to shore in hilarious defeat. 

Luke with the remains of his paddle board. 

We drove a bit further and met up with another friend, Susan Williams. Click her name to check out her website that catalogs her "sue-batical." She has travelled the world, constantly and intentionally attempting to live a life that will reflect Jesus. We showed up to a park-area where there was one state-park ranger that looked like he was closing up for the night. There was no camping in the direction we were walking with our camping gear and I was a bit nervous the ranger would ask us to leave and find an official camping area. But as we passed, he gave us a nod, and though he was a ways away, what I assume to be a smile, which we took as a bit of an approval to head off into the wilderness. 

We hopped the fence just past the parking area and began what would become one of the most peaceful and beautiful hikes of my entire life. Because you don't want to end up at a camp site after dark, you usually plan a hike early enough to set up camp before the sun goes down. We, however, got a bit of a late start, resulting in our entire hike being lit by one of the most spectacular sunsets. All of the photos below are straight out of the camera... no editing. It was breathtaking and such a wonderful experience all around. 

This entire trip and every aspect of it were planned pretty last minute and we had no idea what the outcome would be. The paddle boards ended up failing, we ended up not finding an official camp ground, and I would not change a thing. These are my favorite kinds of adventures, shared with friends who are psyched no matter the outcome, and the night ended up being better than I could have imagined, even waking up in the middle of the night to a large animal sniffing around my feet. Yikes! Get out there and do something awesome this Labor Day Weekend!

Thanks to Tim, Luke, Susan and Charity for making my stay in Colorado so amazing. 

Chattanooga Adventures

In addition to extreme sports, I'm super psyched to announce that we'll be documenting all kinds of adventures from here on out. Recently, our very own Charles Cundall and his wife Madelene came and visited Chattanooga. We planned a quick little overnight camping trip on Maclellan Island on the Tennessee River in the middle of Chattanooga. We had no proper gear to get across the river and we had an absolute blast. 

This will serve as the first installment in a series of shorts documenting adventures around the beautiful city of Chattanooga. Enjoy. 

Check back soon for a photo gallery. 

The Sheridan Scoop

As mentioned in the last post, Josh, Dan Miller and myself recently had the incredible opportunity to go to Sheridan Wyoming as a SkateChurch Mission trip to help out with a few things to grab the attention of some kids, build relationships and point them to Jesus!

Keep scrolling to get the deets. 

Click on any Image to enlarge. Photos by Cameron and Dan Miller.

When we arrived, one of the local churches had supplied us with all the lumber and materials to build some killer ramps for the downtown event over the weekend. Here Josh and Logan are building the skeleton for one of quarters. 

Jared is one of the SkateChurchSLC leaders. Jared has an impressive beard. What's even more impressive is Jared's love for God, life, people and serving. It was an honor serving with this dude. 

We gave some of the dudes the task of making stencils? Drayke was stoked. 

Jared helps Pete in the barn where we built the ramps. Pete was the oldest guy on the trip, and we all quickly became big fans of Pete. Pete also has an impressive beard, and might also be an engineering genius. 

I'm pretty sure this kid had never jumped a box jump before. Local shredder. 

We setup a little repair shop to help the kids get their bikes a bit less loose and scary. 

It's no secret that Josh makes bike riding look good. 

Overview of our street they blocked off for us. Such a great time. 

This is James. James LOVES. I'm pretty sure he would skate 24/7 if sleep wasn't a necessity. 

We also had the opportunity to go to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. They had a reeeeeeally jacked up and trashed skatepark that the community had put in years before but hadn't been touched in a couple of years. We cleaned it up, got it running again and got to ride with some cool kids. 

This is Tanner, a local Crow Indian kid who said he "used to skate." After 15 minutes of warming up on a SkateChurchSLC board, he was throwing down. So stoked. 

I can't explain how good it feels to finally be throwing stuff after that time off my bike because of my ankle. It's still not 100% but it will finally let me do these!

Josh Jost. Always clicked. 

The ramps packed up and headed back to Sheridan. 

All in all it was a fantastic time. Thanks so much to the local churches and K-Life youth ministry for having us out! The best news of all is that one of the SkateChurchSLC kids gave his life to Christ on the trip, in addition to a few local kids! Praise God for such a sweet time and changing lives in the process!