Hi! My name is Paulina Dao of Little Grunts. The San Francisco Bay Area is where I call home, and it also happens to be in the heart of tons of outdoor activities. I currently work for a healthcare startup called Practice Fusion, which only leaves time to #makeadventure on the weekends. Warmer weather and longer days means that I can fit in some thigh-burn time after work as prep for peak bagging, climbing, and long backpacking adventures. I work pretty long hours and commute even longer, so most things have to be pretty close by to get some time in. Continue reading
I recently had the opportunity of talking with Megan Rose, a Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) thru-hiker on a mission! Megan has a special story and a motivating reason to take on the 2,650 miles of the PCT, her father has been living with Multiple Sclerosis since 2000 and she is hiking for him. Megan will start in Southern California, right on the California-Mexican border, and will spend the next 4-5 months making her way North on the PCT until she reaches the Washington-Canadian border all to raise money for research, treatment and a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. I was able to ask Megan a few questions about what she’s doing and why she’s doing it. Here’s what she said. Continue reading
Today marks the start of something very special. Granted, it is April 16, 2014, which is, by all accounts, a pretty meaningless day of the year. Not to mention that today is also a Wednesday, the second most hated day topped only by that of the most evil Monday.
However, today is special nonetheless, and here is why: in order to combat the “Hump Day Blues” I have decided to start a tour of the United States using bloggers throughout the country. In actuality one blogger will represent their whole state as the “50 States in 50 Weeks” blog tour winds its way up and down, back and forth and all over this beautiful country. Continue reading
This past weekend I had the opportunity of participating in my first Century Ride. Those of you who know me know I haven’t talked about cycling or biking before so a 100 mile century ride might seem a bit outlandish; it was for me as well I assure you.
The back-story is really pretty simple. I had a 14-mile trail-run race planed for April, however after my Climb for Change in late February my knee had gotten pretty sore. I was unable to run any mileage that would have allowed me to feel confident in preparing for a 14 miler on trail. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I start cross-training on a bike. The low-impact riding was a great switch from running, but I needed a goal. I needed something to replace my April trail race then in a flash I realized the perfect thing! The annual Bike Around the Buttes was 2.5 weeks away – perfect timing to sign up for the century ride! Continue reading
We live in a society that is based on instant gratification. We want results and we want them five minutes ago. Technology has opened up a world of instant access and communication and getting ahead as an entrepreneur takes dedication to Social Media representation and communication. However, one of the most commonly overlooked, but important aspect of Social Media is listening. Continue reading
Attention to detail and quality are terms that apparently still exist in San Francisco, California at the Boreas Gear Headquarters and can be seen in all of their products, especially the Boreas Bootlegger pack. The Boreas Bootlegger is a three in one, one size fits all, modular backpack that has redefined backpacks for the city dweller all the way to the diehard outdoors-man. What do I mean by all that jargon? Simply put the Boreas Bootlegger allows you to switch out its suspension frame with three different backpacks: the Scrimshaw, Hopper and Torpedo all using the Supertramp suspension technology. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I sincerely thought I was dreaming as I read a message too good to be true. The Twitter DM from a respected climber simply said, “You up for a trip to Denali next year, in process of organizing one.”
My response was an empathetic, “Shoot dude that sounds sick! Potentially yes!” I tried to stifle concerns of uncertainty, doubt and about how I would be able to save enough money to make a trip to Denali, before I heard more.
Then came another DM, “Awesome, will have details in the next month so plenty of time, but would be great to have you along if you’re free, and it’s going to be sponsored, so it’s going to cost you next to nothing.” Continue reading
I had planned on posting a fun “Top 10 From the 90′s” post today, however, as sit in my car for a few minutes before heading into and IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting for a young man on my caseload. (I’m a Social Worker) I’m suddenly not thinking about funny stuff from my boyhood, but the difficulties boys and girls face every day and the change that needs to happen. I love the outdoors. They saved me in some sense. The outdoors gave me hope and excitement. They helped me to connect with the God and are a sanctuary to me from all that is unfair and unkind in the world. I was taught a love of the outdoors by awesome parents and friends and that love has continued to grow.
Now, I’m looking at the clock and realizing that I will soon need to make my way across this high school campus on a grey and cloudy day to a conference room. There I will sit down with this 16-year-old who has seen more than any teen should have in his short life and has gone through more than I will ever go through in my lifetime. We will talk with his teacher, therapist, foster parents, school psychologist and other social workers all with the aim of helping this young man progress. In a couple of minutes we will be discussing goals and working on a document that will dictate the rest of his educational career in high school. He, like many on my caseload, need that help, direction and structure, but from my perspective they need more than a meeting with a group of adults and a lengthy report detailing all of their strengths, weakness, behaviors, academic achievements and struggles, and goals. It has occurred to me that despite the best intentions of society we are missing the mark. We are missing opportunities every single day to inspire kids, and not just the “troubled” ones. Continue reading
We all have different reasons for getting outdoors and enjoying all that nature has to offer, but the walk of the outdoor purist is an untold story. While I think everyone enjoys the outdoors for different reasons I think that most of those reasons are felt across state, country, race, age or gender. We love the beauty, the rush, the challenge, the solitude, or the serenity. There are other reasons, but these are some main denominators in getting each of us outdoors, and the same can be said for the outdoor purists for they aren’t inherently different from you and I. The main difference is they will likely never read this post or update their Facebook status with some awesome photos from their latest trip. They are simply “outdoor purists.”
I have a very good friend, Mitch. He loves the outdoors, the peace and beauty appeal to him as well as the element of exploration. I worked with him throughout college waiting tables in Salt Lake City, Utah and we spent some time in the backcountry together. We talked often of life, spirituality and the outdoors. Mitch loves the outdoors, but that’s simply where the story ends for him. He isn’t concerned with the newest gear, sharing his adventure with others, talking in Twitter chats about his experience and certainly not writing a blog. He’s just an outdoor purist. Continue reading
Nestled inside of the huge American Steel Studios warehouse is a quiet little tree fort workshop that is dedicated to providing a true barefoot experience. The warehouse is an oasis of innovation and creation in the midst of busy Oakland, California. The air is wet, almost musty, but light and full of life as if infused with the creativity and dedication of the artists and creators who have know taken up residence inside the massive space.
Walking into the warehouse through the large open doors sounds of a metal grinder can be heard somewhere across the way as well as a soft, but distinct sound of a hammer. A welder hisses from somewhere down one of the bays, but aside from the sounds of creation the space is still, not a soul to be found. Reaching “Bay 9″ there hangs on the chain-linked gate a sign: “Bedrock Sandals.” A few hundred feet from the gate, past craftsmen hard at work, the tree-fort inspired “Fort Bedrock” becomes visible and the shop owners kindly say hello.