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
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 boyfriend’s 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 boyfriend’s bike. I got bored being a passenger pretty quickly, and learning to ride just sounded like a lot of fun. At the time I hadn’t 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 it’s 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 didn’t 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 that’s 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 I’d be setting an even worse example if I stopped being myself due to the judgement of other’s. When I choose to ride unprotected for a photoshoot, or if it’s 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. I’m not an advocate for riding one way or the other. I just do what I feel in the moment, and I’d 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, I’ve 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. I’ve had some unfortunate experiences traveling, as I’m 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 women’s motorcycle apparel brand I own / operate with my partner, Kelly Wehner, is my future! Our collection, at it’s 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 women’s riding community, travel, meet new people… the list could go on. Since our launch last Oct we’ve gained really great traction which perpetuates both of our excitement for the future of the brand, and we’ve set a course to take over the motorcycle / fashion world.
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.
A few of my favorite photos from our Strange Vacation FW16 Lookbook
Photographer Molly Quan.
Creative Direction by myself & Kelly Wehner
Produced by myself
Styled by Michelle Clabby with Hair/make-up by New Vintage Beauty Lounge
Models/riders - Jenny Smith, Heidi Leiberman, Casey Lynch, Dennis, Kelly Wehner & myself
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.