clear lake on 126

gear review, sup touring

Photographing wild life has been a favorite reason for paddling since I started 1.5 years ago. Mostly capturing birds, one must be quick to grab the camera and have much faith in their vessel, that it will keep stable. The Hala Nass does both of these tasks well. With the quick access tie downs on the front of the board, I can slide my dry camera bag upfront and be ready to grab the SLR Canon 60D as soon as I hear a wing flap. The 31′ rail to rail, 12’6 length, and amazing buoyancy means I am never nervous the board will spill and my camera will submerge. It’s definitely the ideal board for photography.


white water round 1, the nass and atcha

gear review, sup touring

White water safety SUP guide. Great outfits right?

While reviewing the pages of Stand Up Paddling, Flatwater to Surf and Rivers by Rob Casey, I found the International Scale of River Difficulty description for Class 1 and 2:

Class 1- Easy. Light Current with a few riffles and small rapids, and few or no obstructions. Easy self rescue.
Class 2- Novice. Easy waves, wide open channels, little difficulty, and rocks that can be avoided with some skill. Some scouting from shore.

This finding promptly deflated the ego I had grown after having took a few white water runs just below Big Eddy on the Upper Deschutes last week… “Easy”? Really? While I was pleasantly surprised at my capabilities in the white caps, I definitely wouldn’t have called it “Easy”. Not to mention the laceration friendly snags lining the western shore on both runs and the wealth of lava rock on river bottom just waiting to grat you like cheese. Just remember, I grew up in the city, pretty terrified of water most of my life. My white water experience amounted to 2 rafting trips, one over Big Eddy (Class 3), and the Mckenzie (Class 2). I had zero kayaking experience and the same number of reasons to think I would be successful at this sport. Volunteering for white water was a shot in the dark at best.

However, when Paul Clark, photographer, slacklinner, and, more pertinently, white water paddler extraordinaire, offered to take me for my first white water run, I jumped at the chance. Dressing for the part was the most time consuming phase of the whole endeavor. Luckily, I’d purchased a second hand (circa 1990) wet suit in mint condition for the epic, which kept me at a totally comfortable temperature during the 2+ hour session and took approximately the same amount of time to squeeze into. Cheers to Gear Fix for supplying the suit.

Clark also supplied safety gear: helmet, shin guards, PFD (chesty style), leash, and strongly encouraged me to wear boardies over my wet suit, claiming it was the “industry standard”. Obviously I opted not to cover the glorious neoprene 8th layer of skin, it cost me $18.00, no way was covering it. I know what your thinking, where are the prints? Unfortunately, there are no photos to document as we Simul-SUPed and there was no one on shore to keep record.

Take away STATS:

  • Stoked after one try I made it down the Class 1 standing, although I prefer the Class 5 definition for this run as we did an excessive scout from shore … just saying. Mad props to the Hala Nass which gracefully floated me down the rapids. For such a long board it handled quite remarkably and it would be my number one choice on a multi-day float. The hard tipped nose was great when hitting lava rock and the stability was hardy when pulling my fallen self back on the board.
  • Riding down the Class 2 (arguably +, maybe?) after a 30 minute paddle upstream in some rapidly moving water, hopping eddy to eddy, Clark recommended I stick to my knees and lent me the Hala-Atcha. Significantly wider, 36 inches rail-to-rail, and 9’6 feet, I rode the Atcha majic carpet style down 4 huge waves over 40 feet river distance. Though I was super tiered and my balance was off after the several sessions on the Class 1 and the paddle upstream, I barely worked for my kneeling victory. Balance came easy on a shorter, wider board and it was truly boat knows best rolling over the waves.
  • It was really hard carrying the boards. Just remember, I weigh 120 lbs. If you think committing to the perceived danger of rapids is the hardest part, your wrong.

metro: smith rock ascent

commuting chronicles, events, gear review, outdoor

Having not participated in anything resembling an athletic competition since high school, it was exhilarating to have an opportunity to join in the energy of a race! When Danielle Lancelot Watson (D) first asked me to assist her on the ride, I was stoked because Smith is my old stomping grounds (I spent many a weekend break from the University of Oregon scaling the runout chicken heads of that massive welded ash tuft). It didn’t hurt to have Jeff Boggess cheering us on and slinging Trail Butter our way. I especially enjoyed the espresso mix during the home stretch. In addition, Todd Janssen the race promoter from Go Beyond Racing was very supportive and accommodating!

Our race was a half marathon, 13 miles. Apparently D competes in these types of races all the time, having just completed the Portland Half Marathon, and looking ahead to some in Seattle. I felt really blessed that she wanted me to join her. Although I was largely little help to her during the competition because she is totally independent, when we reached tight turn around points, I was glad I could be there to lift her bike around as her turning radius is that of Austin Powers golf cart. At least I made myself useful in some capacity.

The most epic part of the race was when when a couple wiener dogs started chasing us. Their bark was pretty ferocious and the way D was angled, she couldn’t see what they looked like. I was glad to be there to tell her they sounded way worse than they looked, and everything would definitely be alright, just keep pedaling. Competition or not, in the end that’s what friends are for right? We all need our pit crew supporting us, telling us to keep pedaling because everything is going to be alright. I am so proud of D and hope to join her on a future race.

patagonia: mary moynihan presents slide show

a&e, gear review, outdoor, travel


Mary Moynihan, Patagonia@Bend Supervisor and *Triple Crowner, returns from a 4 month excursion hiking the entirety of New Zealand. From the tip of the North Island to the bottom of the South, 1,7000 miles later, she’s here to share her journey with us, tonight, May 22nd, 7:30pm. Hop Valley, her sponsor, will provide the brews.

*Receiving the Triple Crown as a thru hiker means Moynihan has hiked every step of the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and Pacific Crest trails.

patagonia: spring review

gear review, metro, patagonia

Beginning my second spring at Patagonia@Bend, I wanted to share some classic women’s wear items that are must haves for the season.

The Lithia and Kamala Skirt: The Lithia is the shorter version of the Kamala Skirt, both are must haves because they can be worn two ways; The Lithia as a halter top or short skirt and the Kamala as a long halter dress or long skirt. A new feature this season is the asymetrical hemline on the Kamala.

The Minnette: If you fall in the spectrum of outdoorsy-timeless-professional female (as many of us do in Bend) you will find our dresses to die for. Unique cut backs, built-in bras, no ironing necessary, and an array of patterns and colors are just a few reasons to check our dresses out.

Summer Footwear- New this year is a huge selection of comfortable and fashion forward footwear to compliment skirts, dresses, and other in store casual women’s wear. Be ready as the warm weather rolls in this week. Stop in and let us help you find the right combo today!


gear review: why is the better clog so much better?

gear review, patagonia

Patagonia Footwear

Looking over reviews about this stylish and functional shoe, it’s superiority in clear. Folks say it is comfortable, stable, lighter and more attractive than other clogs. Staff member Tina is particularly impressed with the roominess in the toe box. Perhaps the most important feature pointed out by customers has been its superior comfort while going for a walk or when on your feet all day. The Better Clog has a higher throat which encases the foot and makes for a heal-slip-free fit. In addition, the elastic side vents make for easy in and out when flexing the ankle and foot. Lastly, customers have been pleased with the grip and feel sure footed in the Better Clog on uneven terrain. Patagonia@Bend is confident you will find nose-to-tail comfort in our footwear and hope you will stop in to try some shoes on today!

gear review: maui air great everyday footwear performance

gear review, patagonia

When it comes to performance, on and off stage, Doug Michaels, local Bend musician, says the Maui Air is his shoe of choice. From set up to singing live, the Maui Air has delivered breath-ability and lightweight comfort to Michaels in hundreds of performances aboard cruise ships and in Central Oregon. With 20% recycled material in the footbed and midsol, you can look good and care for the planet at the same time. Stop into Patagonia@Bend today and give us your review of our footwear! Special thanks to Michaels for jamming at our April Art Walk and knocking it out of the park!

gear review: the splice, latest and greatest in approach footwear

gear review, patagonia


Calling all climbers. Remember your dream approach shoe? The one you hoped would be great for hiking to the crag but sticky enough to stop and boulder in too? It has finally arrived: the Splice, by Patagonia Footwear. Brooke, Inventory Supervisor says, “the Splice is a great shoe because its versatile enough to handle the Bend lifestyle, which, can include multiple outdoor sports in one day”. Staff unanimously enjoyed this description from the manufacturers:

“Taking on the bouldering problem Love Cats for a first date is a promising start – keep the approach light with the versatile Splice. The shoe’s suede leather/canvas upper provides moderate protection while scrambling. Dri-Lex® ventilated air mesh collar and tongue lining wicks moisture. Traditional lacing for comfort during descents and off-the-rock wear. Self-centering tongue keeps out debris, stays put and wraps the foot. Rubber toe bumper and heel provide durable protection. Recycled EVA anatomical footbed with Aegis Microbe Shield® and a recycled, dual-density, die-cut EVA midsole lend support underfoot. Patagonia® extra-sticky rubber sole provides excellent grip and durability on varied surfaces”

Climbers, enjoy!



gear review, patagonia

Surf into Spring

A new age in trail running footwear was ushered in with the release of the EVERlong during the recent Surf into Spring fundraising event at Patagonia Bend. Designed by Patagonia Trail Running Ambassador and local Jeff Browning, this shoe is as Bend as apparel can get! Browning gives a full run down of the trail runner saying, “They’re light and responsive with just enough protection to do the job, but not overbuilt. The soft, flexible heel and the wide toe box with solid mid-foot wrap holds your foot on the platform when you have to push them on technical terrain”. All this he says came from runner driven feedback and a lengthy testing and design process.

After this event, what amounted to the EVERlongs’ Bend Debutant, pairs of the shoe could be seen on many feet in store and around town. If 50% of the employees at Patagonia Bend owning the shoe (there is no other item so universally popular amongst staff) isn’t selling you, maybe what Denise Bourassa (Patagonia Trail Running team member) has to say will persuade you. Bourassa explains “the EVERlong is a fun, light weight running shoe that has great flexibility and support without having been over engineered. The EVERlong allows you to run and be one with the trails”.

Staff encourages you to stop in to our 1000 Wall location Downtown and try on a pair. We are confident you will find toe-to-tail comfort in our footwear!


patagonia shoes stylish and multi-use: Ultralights

gear review, patagonia

Boasting 20% recycled material in soles and footbeds and superior shock absorption, Patagonia’s Ultralight everyday shoes are ahead of their class in comfort, style, and environmental sustainability. With medium widths, full toe boxes, and medium arch/insteps reviewers tend to rank our line among the most versatile in fit. Ultralight styles we encourage you to stop in at our 1000 Wall downtown Bend location and try on are: Men’s Maui Air, Naked Maui, Advocate Stitch, Women’s Advocate MJ and Maha Sling (see photo’s below for styles). We are confident you’ll find nose-to-tail comfort in our footwear.

surf into spring

events, gear review, oregon, patagonia, photo essay

Highlights from the Surf into Spring event held at Patagonia Bend last Thursday included amazing raffle prizes given away every 15 minutes, raising a massive fund for Nomadcharities, the opportunity to visit with Patagonia Athlete Ambassadors, releasing a new shoe wall constructed by local Ben Hull, and having aid of Patagonia footwear representatives on hand to discus product highlights! The most popular shoes where the ultralight slip-on series. The Advocate for women and Maui‘s men! Stop in and try on the perfect shoe for spring. Don’t forget to see the article about our new shoe wall in Cascade A and E, page 21!

Cargo MacGyveress

commuting chronicles, gear review, shredventures



Although we really haven’t had enough snow to constitute much transport of my snowboard anywhere, much less the mountain, I still realized a bit of a turning point in my bicycle commuting career when I rigged the carry system pictured above. I have been mulling over how to properly attach my Burton to my bike for a few months before finally testing out a few methods today. It is official, with one salvaged pannier, two bunggies, and a bit of cord, I have dubbed myself a Cargo MacGyveress because thus far that seems to be all I need to fashion a haul.

Obviously my steel orange framed 10 speed, the Recyclops, would struggle to make it all the way to Sunrise Lodge. All I had to do was develop a system to get the board from my house on 15th and Milwaukee to  the park and ride on Columbia. To all the cycling nay-sayers, and I quote, “You can’t bike commute in Bend in the winter!”, I will retort, at least try and fail before you say it can’t be done. Admittedly, we have a lot of winter left to go, but even if I have to walk the couple miles to the park and ride someday due to an in town blizzard, I’ll at least be thankful for having found my limit. Who wants to say they can’t do something without giving it a proper go? Not I. I know I didn’t solve world hunger, but meeting each new commute challenge with ingenuity and resourcefulness instead of giving up makes me feel pretty rad. Nothing like overstating ones own importance to alienate from the mainstream.

Either way, Macgyver digs bikes too… Check out the link.

007- Bike Pack

commuting chronicles, gear review, patagonia


Imagine a panier mated with a traditional back pack and they had a baby… Introducing the bike-pack.

The bike-pack project was born of a bike commuters’ need for a multi purpose pack. I started with a dry bag from City Thrift, on Franklin. Through some expert bartering, I was able to get the clerk to throw in an old padded water bottle waist pack (which I intended to use as a removable padded waist band for the pack), all for $10. Next, I salvaged plastic clips from older packs long lost in forgotten corners of hall closets. Lastly, for the straps, I diced up an old slack-line.

Attendance at the Repair Cafe at Pack-it Liquidators, put on by Rethink Waist, an Environmental Center program, was crucial. It was here that I met Allison Murphy, owner of Utilitu, and Ben Lewis, owner of Pinch Flat Designs. Allison helped me with the initial back straps brain storm phase, Ben and I expanded on this, and he used his old school machine for the stitch work.

The first hurdle was deciding how many stitches to put in an already water proof fabric. After consultation with the pro semsters (Allison and Ben) we decided the top buckle would be directly sewn on to the water proof fabric, and we would find a way to make everything else removable. Because I needed to obtain velcro for attaching the waist strap to the bottom of the pack, I had to arrange to meet with Ben a second time at his studio in The Workhouse, near sparrow bakery. What an inspiring space to project in!

One of Ben’s four machines had what is called a “long arm” which made sewing velcro on the most difficult corner of the bag much easier. He was a super-trooper making many recommendations which I rejected and then, as the project progressed, quickly realized were not only necessary but clever and imperative. Shortening straps lengths here, double backing terminus webbing there, re-alining the waist several times, Ben is a master designer and semester. It isn’t often an artist can execute a design and the final product serves a function better than anything offered as a commodity. The work house is full of this ingenuity.

In the end, the bag has been an enormous success. Not only has it accomplished every task I have set it to, it also attracts massive attention. One of my favorite past times is when strangers approach me to learn more about the pack. The exchange goes something like this:  “Wow, I like your bag”, “Thanks I made it…” and a very interesting discussion commences. Because it attracts so much attention, co-workers satirically dubbed it 007 (covert is one thing the pack is NOT).

I found yet another use for the multi-purpose cargo unit while watching Valhalla, the seasons greatest narrative ski movie, put on by The Plankery, at the the Volcanic Theater Pub last Tuesday night. Arriving late meant all the seats were taken and I was relegated to the floor. Stuffing the pack with everyones jackets, I made a massive pillow and laid out below the screen finding I had the greatest seat in the house…

Lastly, had I not made my own pack, the next best bag for cycling on the market is the Black Hole. You can find it at Patagonia Bend on 1000 Wall st. In fact, come in tomorrow between 10:30 and 5:30pm, ask for Krystal and I will walk you through it’s features. Mary Moynihan, co-worker, Triple-Crown thru hiker, sole writer of Married to the Trail, and fellow carless bike commuter lives by this easy top loading, durable, nearly water proof, light weight pack. Though I haven’t tried it, I think the Black Hole would modify into a saddle bag easily as well.

Saddle Bags vs. Shopping Basket Battle Royal

commuting chronicles, gear review

When I first started trialing ways to transport goods on my bike, there were some obvious solutions: paniers, baskets, an extra cycle… But as usual, cost, self installation, and low maintenance were of the utmost importance. For these reasons the finalists became saddle bags or a shopping basket. The following is a review of the pros and cons of each.

Saddle Bags:

Saddle Bags are great form many uses. Transporting goods to and from work, certainly if you are locking up your ride in a bike room, bringing goods to a friends house, etc. Additionally, in terms of physics, bikes distribute weight best (i.e. you don’t have to work as hard peddling) when it is low, paniers fulfill this requirement. For my lifestyle, I didn’t like that bags I could afford weren’t quick release. I can’t always park in a bike room and I would like to remove the devices quickly and easily if I need to. Also, the bags are super awkward to carry once you do remove them. It would be possible to come with a locking mechanism and I have continued to consider this.

Shopping Basket:

Perhaps the most attractive trate of the shopping basket is that it makes a statement: I am poor, please don’t steel from me. Living as simply as possible creates alignment with people around you, unfair distribution of wealth drives theft (i.e. rightfully or wrongfully, having nice things encourages steeling). This is a principle I have used often when traveling, it isn’t 100%, but I have had success following it so far. Also, a backpack can be put into the basket which, once arrived at your destination, can be carried on ones back. Although, during the ride, in the basket, weight isn’t carried low, depending on how much weight, the rider doesn’t really know the difference for the convenience of having a backpack.

In summation, if there was an inexpensive easy to remove backpack which was also a saddle bag, or a locking saddle bag devise than I would reconsider, however, so far, for the convenience, the basket aids the rider in avoiding all kinds of hassle.

Pointer: Securing the basket long ways with a short bungie wrapped through the seat helps for stabilization.

Patagonia Donates and Employees Support ONDA’s Wild and Scenic Film Fest!

events, gear review, patagonia

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Although my co-workers and I had locked up the Patagonia@Bend shop for the night and headed over to the ONDA’s (Oregon Natural Desert Association) Wild and Scenic Film Fest, it felt as though we never left the office. Looking around the Old Stone Church were the festival was hosted, nearly all the participants sported the typical Bend wardrobe- Patagonia gear. This made me feel proud to sit with my co-workers, Mary, Camara, and Leslie and support a good cause. When Cory Harlan, an ecologist and one of the event organizers welcomed us, we thanked her profusely for the tickets she had supplied and eagerly awaited the show.

Among the ten films shown, there was something for everyone. Three stories of human impact on wild places (Public Lands, Private Profits: Too special to Drill, Return Flight: Restoring the Bald Eagle to the Channel Islands, and One Beach), two animation based pieces (The Story of Change and Song of the Spindle), one produced by ONDA tracking the Oregon Desert Trail (Sage Steppes: 800 miles on the Oregon Desert Trail), and a winter white-water flick (Seasons Winter). The two snow sport films (The Denali Experiment and Unicorn Sashimi) and the climbing piece (The Gimp Monkeys) were personal favorites.

Wild and Scenic Film Festival

The Denali Experiment and Unicorn Sashimi were favorites for juxtaposing reasons. I gravitated toward the banter that accompanies extreme goals such as climbing, sking and boarding Denali. While Sage Cattabriga (a Bend based free ride skier) spoke of wetting himself, Lucas DeBari (a Glacier, WA native and half pipe rider turned back country), through a haze of altitude sickness rattled off lines like “I feel like a 60 year old chain smoker”, laughter and applause shook the Old Stone Church. Accounts of the ski season in Japan were just as compelling although documented with a backdrop of images and audio from traditional Japanees drumming. The ambiance in both were compelling for different reasons. Finally, inspiration was rampant watching images of the first all-disabled accent of Yosemite’s El Cap in The Gimp Monkeys. Having just visited Yosemite weeks earlier to document The Rim Fire, preservation of this somewhat wild and undisputedly scenic place was fresh in my mind. Lines by Pete Davis (born without an arm) like “the right attitude and one arm will beat the wrong attitude and two arms any day” shook me to the core. These films seemed a good way to transition from fall climbing to the impending ski and boarding months, especially with powder already blanketing Bachelor…