This is a fantastic adventure for me! Hanging out with friends, going to familiar places with new perspective, and getting another chance to highline. It's the Summer of 2014, and I'd gone highlining just a handful of times prior to this experience. At this point, I’m not comfortable rigging highlines by myself, so given an opportunity I jump at every chance I get to go with folks who are experienced in that department. As we hike up the mountain, we walk along jagged rocks and face the hot summertime Central Oregon winds.
Packing my saddle bag, there was a lot I didn’t know. I hardly knew how to ride a motorcycle, had never camped in the wilds alone, wasn’t sure how I was going to make it to Alaska, had no clue what gear I needed for the months ahead. But I did know two things for certain - (1). With my furry copilot at my side it would all be a worthwhile adventure and (2). I was definitely bringing my slackline.
Before I left, I powered through two weeks of manically finishing two papers and threw a small party at my place. I made for the airport on the 22nd of June 2015 with two backpacks filled with gear and stoke and arrived at the Redmond, OR airport where Jason picked me up at 11pm and drove me to the Bivy at Smith Rock. During that first night curled up in my sleeping bag under the stars, I stared into the milky way, unable to sleep and wondered what I was getting myself into.
Over the next week, me and my dog, Mr. Blaze, serendipitously drove for 1,600 miles moving belongings, exchanging vehicles and forming some sort of makeshift plan for the next month. We eventually landed in The Bivy at Smith Rock State Park, both wics burnt and ready to work towards something new. It took about a week for me to want to emerge from my tent and be social with the other lost boys. Time in the tent was spent processing and deliberating about what to do next. Fortunately, lack of a plan and plenty of time on my hands created the perfect conditions to explore slacklining in a bolder way.