Nature Lotteries

A few years ago I became aware of the Recreation.gov lotteries you can enter to gain access to remote areas or special privileges within US Federal Recreation lands. Since then I have been lucky enough to explore some truly magical parts of our country with some of my favorite people. 

Below are images from my backpacking trip through the Enchantments in Washington, self-guided snow mobile tour through Yellowstone Nat'l Park, and within the Wave which is located in North Coyote Buttes Wilderness, AZ. 

The way I approach these lotteries is to apply for them as they become "active". Different lotteries are open to enter at different times of the year, and some are open all year round. If I win, I take is as a sign that it's meant to be, and dive into planning the trip! From the time you find out if you've won, to the date on your permit, there is typically plenty of time to figure out how to make it all happen. 

These experiences are once in a lifetime opportunities that bring me a sense of happiness and fulfillment few things compare to. So, if you ever have the chance, do what you can to make it happen. Whatever might be holding you back, is likely something you won't regret putting it on hold, leaving behind, or taking the risk for the memory and smiles that will last a lifetime. 

Self-guided snowmobile tour of Yellowstone National Park 

Photo by Michelle Clabby inside the Wave / Coyote Buttes North

Interview with Red Clouds Collective

Red Clouds Collective are the most genuine, talented, salt of the earth dudes you'll ever meet. I'm honored to be rocking their insanely well crafted Women's Waxed Canvas Work Pants. Unless it's above 70 degrees out, I wear these suckers every day and they're only getting better the more I beat them up. 

The first time we saw Jenny Czinder on a motorcycle we were left speechless. She rips through landscapes and roars down open roads, she is right out of a dream and makes being alive look like a party we'd never want to miss. We wanted to know more about the person behind these iconic images so we sat down and asked her a few questions...

RCC: How many miles have you put on your bike in the last year?

JC: In the past year I’ve put about 10K miles on my Harley Nightster (I call her my Broomstick) and 2K on my boyfriends Harley Street Bob. I borrowed his bike for a trip because it’s set up for travel better than mine is. I’ve got my eye on the Harley Low Rider for future long hauls though. The Low Rider would be in addition to my Sporty, as she’s my first bike, and I’m still super obsessed with her. Plus, you can never have too many toys.

RCC: In the last few years there has been a huge increase of ladies getting on their own bikes. Statistically more than ever. Do you think its because of things like Instagram where a woman can see images of other women riding and say to themselves “That looks like so much fun and look she is doing it - I can do that”? What inspired you to start riding?

JC: I was inspired to ride after spending some time on the back of my boyfriends bike. I got bored being a passenger pretty quickly, and learning to ride just sounded like a lot of fun. At the time I hadnt seen that many girls on bikes, and definitely had no idea motorcycles would become such a huge part of my life. 

I absolutely think social media has shown women that riding a motorcycle is more approachable than they may have thought. That its not just for dudes, and that it is FUN! And the best part is that this has gone beyond social media for a lot of people, and lead to some great friendships in real life.

RCC: Many of your images are highly sexualized, I personally think it must be empowering to harness that kind of sex appeal, but do you ever get backlash from the wider community of lady motorcyclists out there? If so - how do you respond?

JC: I used to be insecure about certain aspects of my body but I decided I didnt want those insecurities to hold me back from things I wanted to do, like modeling or just runnin around free & naked at home or out in nature. So I kinda forced myself to do those things, even though it felt a little uncomfortable, and found that the more I exposed my insecurities the more I accepted them. Eventually they grew to no longer have such a strong hold on me, and I feel thats where my empowerment comes from. From overcoming some fears and replacing that with a feeling of carefreedom.

I definitely get backlash for my sexualized posts, and for the times I may ride unprotected, claiming I’m setting bad example. It comes from all kinds of people though, not just other women riders. 

I think Id be setting an even worse example if I stopped being myself due to the judgement of others. When I choose to ride unprotected for a photoshoot, or if its just hot as balls out, that's a choice I'm making for that moment. There are plenty of other situations in which I feel more comfortable riding more protected, and there are photo of that out there, too. Im not an advocate for riding one way or the other. I just do what I feel in the moment, and Id rather stay true to myself and hopefully inspire others to do the same, regardless of what A-holes out there have to say about it.

Ultimately, Ive had so many positive experiences with social media - getting inspired by others, laughing and making new friends - that I prefer not to indulge much in the negativity some people choose to perpetuate.

RCC:  In all of your Journeys over the years is there a particular time that stays with you, like best time ever? What about worst time ever?

JC: The best time ever was the cross country ride I did for Harley Davidson last summer. A group of girlfriends and I rode motorcycles from NYC to SF over the course of a month. We rode through some of the most beautiful areas of the country, and through some of the most gnarly weather. That trip taught me a lot about myself, and riding of course. 

The worst times end up being the best times. Ive had some unfortunate experiences traveling, as Im sure most people who travel a lot have, but because they can be some of the most trying, they are therefore the most rewarding. In the end, thats the shit you remember and smile about most. Good experiences or bad, it's all a part of the adventure and makes life way more interesting.

RCC: 5 things you can’t live without?

JC: Transcendental Meditation, my family, my boops, my Broomstick, sparkles!

RCC: What does the Future hold for you?

JC: Strange Vacation, the womens motorcycle apparel brand I own / operate with my partner, Kelly Wehner, is my future! Our collection, at its core, is based on classic silhouettes that are designed for riding, but with a modern look. Working on Strange Vacation is super fulfilling for me. It allows me to work and be creative with my best friend, ride my motorcycle, support the womens riding community, travel, meet new people… the list could go on. Since our launch last Oct weve gained really great traction which perpetuates both of our excitement for the future of the brand, and weve set a course to take over the motorcycle / fashion world. 

Dirt Quake USA // Castle Rock, WA

I had a blast as the official flag girl for the races at this year's Dirt Quake USA. It was total madness per usual given the rad crews of See See Motorcycles and Sideburn Magazine of the UK that put this race event on each year.  If you haven't been, I highly recommend spectating next year, or if you're crazy like the rest of them, then grab any non-tractional race machine with 2-3 wheels you can find and getting yourself out on the track! Nothing but good times. 

Photos by Yve Assad & Savannah Castranda
Self styling featuring Strange Vacation's Moto Rugby with 'Stranger's chenille patch, and Varsity Jacket

The Wave

Michelle and I entered Recreation.gov's Coyote Buttes North lottery for months before Michelle finally won us a permit to experience the magic of The Wave. Tucked back in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, lies an area of intersecting u-shaped troughs that have been eroded into the Navajo sandstone. It's one of the most beautiful, picturesque landscapes I've ever seen in person.

The moment Michelle text me that she had won, we immedtaiily dove into planning an entire trip around the 1 day we would get to experience this wonderland. From Portland we drove to Southern Utah in my Airstream, hitting Brice Canyon Nat'l Park on our way to Lake Powell where we posted up for the week at Wahweap RV Campground. From there we took day trips to Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and of course, the Wave. Before heading home we ventured further East and stayed the night in Monument Valley, hitting Zion Nat'l Park for a hike up to Angels Rest to top off the most phenomenal road trips yet. 

Photos by Michelle Clabby
Featuring some fun stuff from Mink PinkStance socks, Katy Kansas, UV Sun Visor, Ariat cowgirl boots... 

Becoming the Lotus

Ever since I discovered this excerpt from the Egyptian Book of the Dead when I was 14 years old it has been a guiding light, something I always come back to remind me of the light that can be born of darkness. That it's ok to feel the chill of life's shadows, in order move through them into the illuminating warmth of my Self. 

"As if I've slept a thousand years underwater I wake into a new season. I am the blue lotus rising & memory opening — I, the thousand-petaled flower. At dawn the sun rises naked & new as a babe; I open myself & am entered by light. This is the joy, the slow awakening into the fire as one by one the petals open, as the fingers that held tight the secret unfurl. I let go of the past & release the fragrance of flowers. I open & light descends, fills me & passes through me, each thin blue petal reflected perfectly in clear water. I am that lotus filled with light reflected in the world. I float content within myself, one flower with a thousand petals, one life lived a thousand years without haste, one universe sparkling a thousand stars, one god alive in a thousand people. If you stood on a summer's morning on the bank under a brilliant sky, you would see the thousand petals & say that together they make up the lotus. But if you lived in its heart, invisible from without, you might see how the ecstasy at its fragrant core gives rise to its thousand petals. What is beautiful is always that which in itself, in essence, is a certainty of Being. I marvel at myself & the things of this Earth. I float among the days in peace, content. Not part of the world, the world is all parts of me. I open toward the light & lift myself to the gods on the perfume of prayer. I ask for nothing beyond myself. I own everything I need. I am content in the company of god, a prayer that contains its own answer. I am the lotus. As if from a dream, I wake up laughing..."

– Egyptian Book of the Dead

Photo by Michelle Clabby

Babes Ride Out, by Go Pro

I am so honored to have been apart of the making of this video along side so many other incredibly inspiring women. Thanks to the babes at Go Pro who put this together. And to Ashmore and Anya, for igniting a fire that's reached women across the country, and creating a paradise for us all to ride to. Nothing gives me chills and fills my heart with love like being apart of this growing community of women motorcycle riders. xx