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Grand Canyon Tragedy, National Bike Month & The Midwest Is The New Outdoor Hotspot

Today on THE ROCK FIGHT (an outdoor podcast that aims for the head) we're slinging rocks at some of the more interesting and notable headlines to come out of the outdoor industry and community over the past week.

On this weeks slate:

  • Can Justin ace Colin's National Bike Month quiz? (03:55)

  • Gamel's new safety oriented commuter bike helmet, The Remarkable (13:28)

  • Bay Area swimmer sets record by swimming from the Golden Gate Bridge to Farallon Islands (21:03)

  • A report from The Guardian declares the Midwest the new hotspot for outdoor activity in the United States (27:53)

  • Skechers & John Deere announce a new shoe collaboration aimed at virtually everyone (32:25)

  • Paddling Magazine's Joe Potoczak joins Colin & Justin to talk about the latest details that have emerged regarding the death of Thomas Robison who died attempting to paddle the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. (36:23)

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Episode Transcript

Colin (00:08):

Welcome to the rock flight where we speak our truth, slay sacred cows and sometimes agreed to disagree. This is an outdoor podcast at Aimes for the head. I'm Colin. True and joining me today, he just finished up his breakfast of scrambled eggs and some deep fried tadpoles. It's Justin Hausman.

Justin (00:25):

I hadn't thought about the fact that I could just eat these frogs when they turn into frogs.

Colin (00:30):

Just protein Betty, just straight up protein.

Justin (00:32):

Our little tadpoles have legs now though. They just sprouted legs tested yesterday, which apparently means

Colin (00:37):

Has P showed up at your door yet? They kind of kick.

Justin (00:39):

I don't know. They might because apparently once they have legs is when they start to get carnivorous and so there's three little tiny bass in there and I guess the temples will eat each other if they don't have enough meat source. So I'm hoping that the fish flakes counts is enough because I'm not going to dangle, I'm not going to put some ground beef in this water or anything.

Colin (00:55):

Wait, so wait a minute. You're feeding bass, like tropical fish flakes from the pet

Justin (00:59):

Store? Yeah, that's what they suggest. They're just fish. Really? That's

Colin (01:02):

A big,

Justin (01:02):

They're fish. I mean it's just like ground up other fish in the fish flakes I think. Oh, okay. But when the tadpoles are close fish to frog situation, we'll bring em and let 'em go where we got. Well,

Colin (01:16):

Should you do it sooner if they're going to start eating each other or

Justin (01:18):

The fish? Yeah, I don't know. We'll find out. This is our first time

Colin (01:21):

You should film it and put it to cage match sound effects and stuff

Justin (01:25):

Like that. I don't think that's a good idea for my career As a nice person,

Colin (01:29):

You're the one who caught 'em.

Justin (01:31):

They're fine. They're probably way, I mean honestly, I think it's a tiny amount of tadpoles that actually make it to maturity. Well, that's a good point. So they're probably safer here. They seem great. Yeah.

Colin (01:42):

How many of these would be dead if you hadn't?

Justin (01:45):

Yeah, there's just egrets and shit everywhere. Just looking for 'em constantly. It's amazing. It's a brutal world out there, dude. It's gnarly. Oh dudes with dudes with plastic nets just smashing you from your house.

Colin (01:56):

They had just gotten away from the egret and then here you come with your net like, oh

Justin (01:59):

God, damnit. What's amazing. Hadn't thought about just right now. But what's amazing is my favorite environment on the planet is little pleasant freshwater systems. So whether that's a creek or even just these really pretty little wetland where we got these ones from and it's only there for three months out of the year and then it's like a mud pit and then it's just dirt for the rest of the year. But right now it's very pleasant. It's like the water's probably, I dunno, 70. It's like eight inches deep. There's reeds everywhere. There's shade. It's you want to live in there and the whole time we're getting the TAs like, God, I wish I could live in here. Anyway, let's remove them.

Colin (02:34):

Let's take them back to our house and put them in a glass case. This is going to be great

Justin (02:38):

Anyway. Yeah, kids love them. All right,

Colin (02:39):

Well today we're going to run through some of the more notable or exciting headlines to come out of the outdoor industry and community. But before we get to that, if you just joined the Rock Fight, please follow the show Wherever you're listening, whether that's on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, please click follow. So you are subscribed and you never miss an episode. Then head over to rock We've got a lot of things for you to do today and up for our newsletter that comes out every Sunday. It includes stuff like typically our Justin Hausman retrospective. I don't think there's going to be a rose colored hausman this week, but maybe next week as well as a bunch of other goodies like outdoor industry news. So go to rock, click join the mailing list. Lastly, hey, you want to pick a fight with the rock fight?


Maybe send us an email. Just say hello, make a suggestion for something that Justin could do over the weekend. We love picking up small creatures and putting them in tanks. We love hearing from our listeners, so send your emails to My Rock And then lastly, before we get into it, coming up at the end of this episode, friend of the Rock Fight and Pad Lee Magazines, Joe Potto check is going to join us to talk about the discovery of Thomas Robinson in the Grand Canyon. Justin and I talked about the story a couple of weeks back after he was discovered missing and Joe has been leading the coverage for this over at Hadley Magazine. So he sat down with Justin and I to go a little deeper into what we know about that story. So that's what I got there. But did you know Justin? Yes. Do you know what month it is?

Justin (03:57):

It's may

Colin (03:59):

Correct, yes, moving on. No, it's actually it is May. You're right about that. But it's also National Bike

Justin (04:04):

Month. National Bike Month. That is true. Yeah. What's great is that they've changed national Bike to work day to national Bike to wherever day. So many of us folks are remote working.

Colin (04:14):

You just go out in your driveway and do a lap. Just do

Justin (04:17):

Circle circles. I'm here. Yeah, I think was that yesterday? Bike to work or whatever day

Colin (04:22):

As someone who also works from home. I don't know. I did participate in a bike to work day back when I was working at Timberland 20 years ago. I did that once. So that was fun. It was cool. They had aid stations set up was going to We get there.

Justin (04:34):

Yeah. I had to take my daughter to a doctor's appointment yesterday and there were little aid stations around town. I'm like, oh, that must be what that's about.

Colin (04:40):

That's what that is. I pulled into one. There's nobody's showing up.

Justin (04:43):

I pulled one my truck just like, Hey, lemme get what I got Danish. A little banana situation. I normally bike bike later, but

Colin (04:50):

Sir, sir. No, no, it's fine. I have a

Justin (04:52):

Bike. It's fine. It's fine. I have some bikes. I'm hungry. Yeah,

Colin (04:55):

But I got a quiz for you. I got a little bike quiz for you. Let's do it. To celebrate National Bike Month. Okay, so what was the year in which National Bike Month was established? This one surprised me actually.

Justin (05:07):

That's a good one. I wasn't that off with Earth Day.

Colin (05:12):

You were pretty good. You were within five or six years. I think you were in the seventies, which, and it was,

Justin (05:17):

I want to say it's in the nineties. I'm trying to think if there's anything that would have kicked this off or something specific that would've happened. I don't know. The nineties feels right,

Colin (05:26):

You, you're just going to pick a

Justin (05:28):

Decade. No, I'm going to try to pick a year here. Hold on. I dunno. 98,

Colin (05:33):

That's kind of what I would've said too. 1956, what?

Justin (05:38):


Colin (05:39):

Yep. Established in 1956. National Bike Month is a chance to show. Yeah, I don't know. They don't give you much more of that, but that's what's on the website.

Justin (05:47):

That is amazing. That's incredible.

Colin (05:50):

It's also kind of sad that we're probably not better at biking in this country considering how long we've been trying to make it a thing.

Justin (05:55):

Dude, imagine how annoyed you were in the fifties.

Colin (05:58):


Justin (05:59):

You're the one person in town with a bike. We should be on these these and get out of here. Communist.

Colin (06:06):

Like these guys are giant Chevys. Go away.

Justin (06:08):

Wow. Gas was basically free. That's amazing, right? I

Colin (06:13):

Idea's a long time ago.

Justin (06:15):

Speaking of bike, cool bike. Well sorry, continue with your quiz. Okay,

Colin (06:20):

So roughly how many bikes are manufactured every year

Justin (06:23):

In America or worldwide?

Colin (06:25):


Justin (06:25):

Whoa. Well, I mean, Jesus, this is going to be a random stab in the dark. A hundred million

Colin (06:31):

Down on the nose. Yeah. Nice job. Did you Google

Justin (06:35):

That? No, that feels about right to me, which is an absurd amount of bikes every year.

Colin (06:40):

How many cars do you think we made? I should look

Justin (06:42):

That up. Well that's why, because my first thought was, I dunno like 10 million, but then I think we make 10 million F1 fifties every year. So it's got to be way more than that and

Colin (06:49):

It's like a billion bike owners in the world. I mean a lot of people own a bike if you think relative to the

Justin (06:54):

Population. Alright, now I have to mention this, so we'll go back to the quiz in a sec, but last night on Seth's bike Hacks or not Seth's bike hacks, that's what a show used to be called on Burn Peak Express. Seth Alvo. You know that we've talked about it, right? Yeah,

Colin (07:05):

Yeah. We should get him on.

Justin (07:07):

He did the coolest segment I've really seen. Have you ever heard of Buffalo Bikes? Buffalo Bicycles?

Colin (07:14):

Only because I saw the thumbnail with the video. I think I haven't watched it yet, so no, I was the first I'd ever

Justin (07:19):

Heard of it. It's amazing. So it's this brand that you can't buy 'em here. They're basically for Africa and maybe South America, places where people really need dependable transportation. They're marvels of engineering, but not in the way that you would think. They're all steel. Everything is steel everything. The wheels are steel. You

Colin (07:42):

Have my attention,

Justin (07:44):

But it's not like Cali Steel. It's like gnarly heavy steel. And the reason why is because people use these for literally everything. So if you use thin walled Cali steel, it's really hard to weld stuff onto it. People weld things onto these bikes, so it has to be really thick, gnarly steel. It comes with steel racks on the back though, or weighted to 250 pounds. Every single thing on there is meant to be able to be turned with a regular box wrench. So there's no hex key stuff. It's all traditional hexagonal like bolts for

Colin (08:19):

Everything. So what's the base weight of a? So 55

Justin (08:22):

Pounds. They're heavy, but they have a servo break, which I don't even know what that is on the front. And then a coaster break on the back. They're single speed. They use this gnarly chain that he called A BMX chain. He said I've only ever ever seen these on BMX bikes and he held up a regular eagle chain like Ara Eagle and it's, that looks like a paperclip compared to the chain on the bike. But the whole idea is that they're forever serviceable and they're easy to service and so it's like you give to people in Africa and they can have it forever and you don't need to. It's

Colin (08:52):

Getting a car basically. It runs

Justin (08:54):

Forever. Yeah, but you're also, if you have one of these, you're probably really far away from a bike shop and really far away from a mechanic. And so the whole point is that theoretically, pretty much anybody can fix 'em and with tools that you already have and for every a hundred that are sold in an area, they send a bike, a trained buffalo bike person out there to show people how to work on them. No way. And they're only like $165.

Colin (09:17):

That was going to be my next question, but we can't get 'em here. You couldn't order one. Nope. Dude, you need to get into this and get one. You need to review one for AJ for gear and beer. We got to get our hands on one of these bikes.

Justin (09:28):

I'd never heard of them before and it was just like, what a cool thing.

Colin (09:31):

If you got your hands on one of these, I would drive up just so we could both ride it around and then talk about it on the podcast.

Justin (09:38):

Seth loved it. The ride's pretty good. It's all steel, so it's pretty compliant and it's kind of meant for riding on dirt roads and stuff. And the tires are kenda, but they're made for that bike so they're like burly and really puncture resistant and thick, but most of the footage of people riding them are in Africa. I think that's probably their biggest market, but it was really, really cool. Check 'em out. Buffalo bikes.

Colin (09:58):

Well segue back to the quiz. I, I assume this would apply to all bikes including a bike like that, but true or false, a bike doesn't need a rider.

Justin (10:07):

What does that even mean?

Colin (10:11):

Do you need for a bike to have locomotion I suppose? Does someone need to be riding it?

Justin (10:16):

Well, I mean I would say false because I've seen video of animals riding bikes. I've seen footage of monkeys riding a bike.

Colin (10:27):

The answer's true. As long as the bike is going eight miles per hour, it will stay upright and go on its own. Oh,

Justin (10:32):

That's interesting. Any bike or that's like the general physics thing.

Colin (10:35):

I guess that's why I thought I'm like, oh, well would that apply to the buffalo bike? Does it need to be going 15 miles per hour so heavy and it will just fall over if it's going slower.

Justin (10:43):

So eight miles per hour must be the speed at which you can comfortably take your hands off the handlebars without it let's just care around wildly. That makes lot sense.

Colin (10:50):

Which I still am never really comfortable doing. I

Justin (10:52):

Don't see, oh man, I have to do that after a long ride. I have to sit up with no hands on the no,

Colin (10:57):

I do it. But when I see the Tour de France riders barely across the finish line at 80,000 miles per hour, I'm like, I would never barely a little

Justin (11:05):

Bit better at riding bikes than you is the thing.

Colin (11:07):

I don't know. I don't know if that's true.

Justin (11:09):

Well, the other day I was riding home and after a mountain bike ride and I'm just kind of sitting up just to breathe really just to get more air and just relaxing and there's some swoopy turns and every time I do that with no hands, I wonder how sharp can I turn? How far before disaster strikes? I've never fallen off a bike while I was at least not as an adult because I didn't have my hands on the bars.

Colin (11:32):

If it was anybody else, I'd tell you to push that. But knowing your history, I'd say don't find out. Just be okay with that. Not knowing that one.

Justin (11:39):

I'm definitely due for a big fall. Definitely.

Colin (11:41):

I'm glad it didn't happen when we were riding together.

Justin (11:43):


Colin (11:43):

All right, next. So true or false, another true and false cyclists are cool and this is not a subjective like, oh, that's funny. This is a legit question. Are cool. True or false?

Justin (11:55):

I would say true.

Colin (11:56):

True. Okay. A 2014 psychological study found that cyclists tend to demonstrate a unique blend of intelligence, generosity and the quote cool factor.

Justin (12:06):

That's interesting. So I wrote a story, I mean it wasn't like I did the research. I wrote a story about some research that had been done, I think last year on the AJ blog where they did some tests where people that rode bikes displayed more like altruism and more community spirit and were more likely to participate in politics, far more likely to participate in local politics. And the takeaway was like they cared more about their community. But that makes sense. What's interesting is these sorts of studies are always going to be chicken or the egg. It's like does the bike make you that way or were you already that way to begin with and therefore you prefer to ride a bike around? I don't know. You don't want to be isolated in a car or you are aware of transportation issues or this that other thing. But it's interesting,

Colin (12:47):

Maybe mountain bikers weren't included then they would've the guy who yells at the equestrians. And

Justin (12:53):

Honestly, I think it's bikes that cause it, because like I didn't use to ride a bike. I've always had kind of always had one, but years where I probably never rode a bike at all. And then once I got into mountain biking and then I got into having a cargo bike for daily stuff, that completely changed everything about how I think about transportation and how I prefer to get around and all that stuff. So I think the bike actually does cause this, but that's interesting. Alright,

Colin (13:15):

Last question. Is the best food to eat after a mountain bike ride is what?

Justin (13:18):


Colin (13:19):

Fuck yeah, it is. All right. That's the

Justin (13:21):

Bike ride. Saltier the better.

Colin (13:28):

All right, here we go. So let's get into some headlines and keeping the bike theme going. The first story we have today is a story that was on bike It reported on a new product that can actually help out bike commuters called the Remarkable. It's a helmet by a brand called GAM L, and this helmet has integrated lighting and turn signals that are activated by nodding your head. The helmet also features an automatic brake like function. The remarkable was first brought to market by a Kickstarter that it's now available to buy on their website. The website's in French, so I don't know if they're shipping to the US yet, but it's listed at 207 euros, which is about 224 bucks. I think it actually looks kind of dope. I mean I've seen a lot of other, you see some of those inflatable helmets and things like that that just people try to do something interesting with and it looks terrible. This just kind of looks like a basic commuter helmet or a little frankly, t Trish from the movie

Justin (14:18):

Tron, it does look like Tron. It looks a lot like, oh, what does that brand shit, I don't remember. I have a bike helmet that looks just like this without the lights. The video of the guy turning

Colin (14:26):

Left is like a nutcase or a triple eight or something like that. It's

Justin (14:29):

Not those brands. But yeah, the video of the guy turning left is kind of funny.

Colin (14:33):

How he moves his head

Justin (14:33):

Kind of go. It's pretty exaggerated. Do you really have to move your head that much?

Colin (14:37):

I don't know, but I mean that part maybe you can get a little critical of. But I like the intention. When I was living in Seattle, it made me think of this because that's a big bike commuter town. A lot of people ride bikes in that city, but it's also rainy and dark there for a lot of the years. So a lot of the year. So something like this I feel like just provides a huge safety upgrade and it kind of does it in a way that you don't look completely like a tool wearing

Justin (15:02):

Either one of my favorite parts. So he's obviously in Paris during this video. One of my favorite parts about any video of Paris, if you've spent any amount of time there, you're like, I've been there. I've been to that corner because it all kind of looks the same as you turning up. I'm like, I know I've been to that little bakery. Okay, so I don't love this. And I'll tell you why.

Colin (15:22):

Because you hate safety.

Justin (15:22):

I hate safety. No. So I have a new rad power bike that has turn signals, which is cool, but only in the back, but actually has a turn signal indicator. So I use it, I don't know if anybody can tell, but it kind of same thing like the light that's on the back flash to the left or flashes to the right, which I think is great, but hand signals work. Great. Hand signals are I, I'm not sure what problems.

Colin (15:44):

Well it's things though, right? It's the integrated lighting and the signals. It's not just the signals because you don't have to use the signals if you don't want to. You don't have to do the,

Justin (15:53):

It's integrated lighting, so it has, okay, I didn't really think about that. So it basically has a headlamp function all the time

Colin (15:58):

And then a brake light in the back

Justin (16:01):

I guess. But you could also just have those things for $10 each and not have a $250 helmet just

Colin (16:07):

Them on your bike. Yeah, I think you're more noticeable. Think about that. Think about when you were riding your bikes in San Francisco. If it was a dark kind of rainy day and you're in the bike lane, it's just more options for people to see you. Yeah,

Justin (16:18):

But okay, I guess I

Colin (16:20):

Think 224 bucks is a lot for, I mean it is a lot, but you can get bike helmets way cheaper. Of course,

Justin (16:26):

If I'm at a bike shop right now and I'm like, I got a new bike, it doesn't have any lights on it and I don't want to get fully lit up here and be protected, I'm going to look at that helmet. If they had it and it's like, okay with taxes two 50 or

Colin (16:39):

Here's 17 things, this

Justin (16:40):

Little break,

Colin (16:42):

Why do you have that on your desk? Said I was

Justin (16:43):

Charging it. I was charging it. I'm holding up a little USB chargeable brake light that has a very simple rubber strap that goes around whatever you want. Usually my seat post that blinks and does all kinds of cool.

Colin (16:54):

Now you got 15, you the hassle of adding all your stuff on. You got to make more stuff. This is kind of streamlining all of it. I think this is the beginning of a world where I think this wins.

Justin (17:06):

Do you really want to be right down the street and be like night at the Roxbury style, just bopping your head around?

Colin (17:10):

Well, once Elon gets his brain implant thing going, we can just connect it. You can just think turn signal and it'll click on.

Justin (17:16):

So have you seen the Clin movie Firefox?

Colin (17:20):

No, I

Justin (17:20):

Have not. I think that's what it's called and I'm pretty sure it's Clin Eastwood. It's from the early eighties or something and he steals a Russian super advanced fighter plane and you control it with your thoughts. So once you have your

Colin (17:34):

Helmet, 70 scifi,

Justin (17:35):

Maybe you're shoot missile out goes the missile or whatever. But I mean if it was like that somehow, that would be cool, but I just think that's silly. Honestly, at the end of the day, the night at the, it's a full night at the Roxbury situation. Hey, I don't know. I guess I get having it in your head. I'd almost rather have a little thumb switch and maybe the light goes off on the head or something like that. But having to nod your head is kind of wild.

Colin (18:02):

I in no way think this is a 10 out of 10 no notes finished product. I think there's a lot that needs can be improved here. But I see this going in the right way because I mean a little bit of just the practicality of, like you said, what you have right now. It's easy, but it's a lot of individual solutions. It

Justin (18:16):

Also makes you wear a helmet. I mean, I don't wear a helmet around town most of the time, so it's like,

Colin (18:20):

Well, this is, now we're getting down to it. Like we said, you hated safety. You hate safety.

Justin (18:23):

Well, no, but there is plenty of research out there that shows that helmets don't really do much. There really is. No, I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding. In terms of, do you want

Colin (18:31):

To give us your thoughts on smoking? Is that

Justin (18:33):

Overall? Overall in terms of injuries per year or even fatalities? I think maybe it's fatalities or something like that. It doesn't really seem to have, I swear to God, I've read this a million times where it doesn't really seem to have a giant measurable effect. It also has the effect of making people think biking is dangerous and fewer people. This is like when you go to the Netherlands and nobody wears a helmet ever, and there's 8 million people on bikes, and I would always wear a helmet if I lived where you live or something where I'm riding on boulevards where people are going 45 miles an hour, I would absolutely wear a helmet, but around my town or in Paris, no way.

Colin (19:09):

Do you make your kids wear a bike helmet? Of course. Well double standard.

Justin (19:15):

They can decide when they're old enough whether or not they want to wear a

Colin (19:18):

Helmet, but they never will. They'll have grown up wearing helmets. I

Justin (19:20):

Always wear well, right? But if I'm riding the bike with them, I'm always wearing a helmet. I want to see them to see that that's what they should do. But if it's just me riding around town, I never wear a helmet. Never.

Colin (19:30):

You save your hypocrisy for your own time. It's not

Justin (19:32):

Hypocrisy. You're not listening to me. It's just as

Colin (19:34):

Safe. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. I know what you're saying. I'm just

Justin (19:37):

Teasing you. And yeah, so I wouldn't want to be like, I'd rather just have the lights on my bike and wear a helmet. That's my take. Also, I can't really imagine people in France wearing this because it's going to fuck your hair up so bad to have this helmet on all the time.

Colin (19:55):

I think though, if you play this out long term, I get what you're saying and I see even the argument for the smaller lights or whatever. I think this wins long-term though, because one-stop shopping, you just got to throw it on. Now you've got lights, you've got turn signals to get everything. If you can improve the sort of wonky nature of how to turn them on and you're a bike commuter every day, it's just simpler. And I think right now at 224 bucks, the price will probably come down over time. Yeah. Why is it that

Justin (20:18):

Expensive? Oh, because of the sensors.

Colin (20:21):

Well, because of the brain implant. I don't think

Justin (20:24):

Brake lights on a bike are very functional. I don't really see the point of that.

Colin (20:28):

Yeah, I don't know. And that I don't even understand too. Does it a sense if you're slowing down and it kind of flips on, and I imagines what that is, but I think most, I don't know. I would do it just for the convenience of like, oh, I don't have to grab three extra lights now and slap them on my back or on my bike if I don't want to. Lemme ask

Justin (20:43):

You this. Do you use your turn signals while you're driving?

Colin (20:47):


Justin (20:47):

Oh, every time. Every

Colin (20:49):

Time. There are definitely occasions, but I always feel bad if I forget. How would

Justin (20:55):

You, so

Colin (20:56):

If you, I'm a big, nice blinker asshole guy. I say that a lot. Yeah, nice blinker. Okay.

Justin (21:01):

Okay. All right, good.

Colin (21:03):

Alright, well next story we got is according to the Half Moon Bay Review, a Bay Area woman, Amy Ser, made history by becoming the first known person to swim outbound from the Golden Gate Bridge to the, is it Faron?

Justin (21:13):

Faron, yeah,

Colin (21:14):

Faron Islands. It's a nearly 30 mile open water swim through water temps in the upper, well, excuse me, upper forties and lower fifties. And it waters known to be, it's been old

Justin (21:23):

Lately folks, it's been really cold. So it was probably like 48 and threw a lot of that swim. That's

Colin (21:29):

Really cold. The waters are known to be a popular place too for sharks. And it took her 17 hours. Five other swimmers have made this swim, but they've done an inbound. So from the islands to the bridge, they could take advantage of the inbound currents. You sent this one over, man. What was it that struck you about this story?

Justin (21:45):

This is easily the gnarliest thing you could do on the planet. This really is, I swear to God, I dunno what

Colin (21:50):

Is it remarkable?

Justin (21:52):

I mean, yeah, I guess you could swim whatever the straight is from South America to Antarctica and that would be gnarlier. But I mean for things that are actually doable, this is a horrifically gnarly thing to do and I can't believe anyone's ever done it, let alone six or

Colin (22:06):

Would want to do it.

Justin (22:07):

Well, if you don't know the Bay Area, the fair lawns are, they're also called the Devil's teeth. They're, there's no life on them. Well, that's not true. True. There's a shit little birds and seals, but they're just, these rocky

Colin (22:20):

Heard the Arctic cowboys are hanging out. Yeah, they

Justin (22:21):

Probably are these rocky. Just seeing what the bird migration is all about, these rocky, pointy, evil looking peaks. There's not like trees, there's not anything nice about them. And that's where you go to look for great whites. There's great whites all over the place just circling the freaking islands. What the hell? Yeah, because there's seals just like roost out there and you can see them on clear days and even from a long way away, they don't look pleasant. They look pointy. They look like shark's teeth sticking out of the ocean. I mean, I've been around the ocean my entire life. The currents and everything that goes through the Golden Gate is so insane. It is absolutely ungodly insane. And so it's not a pleasant place to be in the ocean. I mean, even on a really nice day at Ocean Beach, you still are aware that you're basically sitting in the middle of the ocean.


It's like being at Hawaii, there's just nothing. There's just thousands of miles of open ocean in front of you. There's nothing to protect you from the shore. It's really deep, really close to the shore. So anyway, it's just a horrific thing. And that is so far, and there's always swell. It doesn't matter. There's always swell. So you're swimming through big swell and there's been swell lately. It's been windy as shit lately. So it would've been really miserable out there. I interviewed a woman named Kim Chambers and I wrote, it was actually the first story I ever wrote for a venture journal I think. And she was the first to do the swim and kind of the best documented one, but I guess I didn't realize this until we talked about this morning. She jumped into the fair lawns and swam to San Francisco and there's been a few other people that have done that and they usually end up drifting.


I think most people end up drifting north into Marin just because of the way the currents are. But having to hit that island insane. But look it up. I mean, when I wrote the story about Kim Chambers, I think she's done all the big seven swims. I forget what they are. The straight of Gibraltar I think is one. The English channel is one. There's a bunch of big swims. I think she's done them all, but everyone who's done them all is like the Faron one to Golden Gate is. That's the worst swim you could do. I mean, it's just absolutely unbelievably gnarly. So kudos to this lady is insane.

Colin (24:36):

It's weird to think about how we, the hierarchy of what's hard. I mean you saying that, right? This is the gnarliest thing that you can do in the world. I know you're hyperbolic exaggerating a little bit, but

Justin (24:47):

Not that much.

Colin (24:48):

You're probably not that much, right? Because you think so much stuff is so easy to digest visually you're like, oh my God, that's gnarly. And this kind of like, oh, she swam to an island. Oh, it's 30 miles. That sounds really long. And you kind go about your day. I sent you that Instagram video the other day of that guy kind of traversing a knife, not even a knife set. What do you

Justin (25:05):

Call that? I don't even know. But physically I am capable of that mentally. Not

Colin (25:10):

This video was these guys on skis and it's on, I don't know, a 12 inch

Justin (25:13):

Bike. I thought you meant the bike one, but yeah, yeah, the ski one was

Colin (25:16):

Even worse then it was the bike one too. But there are these things when you saw, you see where even if you do these sports that we participate in, you have an immediate aversion and you say, no, never. Right? I think you responded back why in all capitals. And this on its surface is like, oh, that's cool. She swam. Swam to an island and you kind of go on with your day and then to kind of, when you really do break it down what she did, it's

Justin (25:38):

Incredible. I mean, presumably I didn't read the article. I just heard that it happened and I know enough about it to understand how impressive we do our

Colin (25:47):

Research here on the rock fight.

Justin (25:49):

Presumably she had a chase boat, a support boat.

Colin (25:52):

She did. She had support and she stopped to eat and drink, didn't drink water and all that kind of stuff. But otherwise, she just went for 17 hours. What's

Justin (25:58):

Crazy is Kim Chambers talked about how she had to gain weight before the swim, and you want an extra layer of fat, obviously in really cold water. And she probably wasn't in a wetsuit. I'd be shocked if she was that. They usually don't wear wetsuits on these big swims, which is wild to me. I think chafing is a major issue, but that's also a major issue without you spend that much time in the saltwater and you just start getting sores anyway. So they have to cover themselves in weird grease and stuff like that, so they don't get major sores. But just think

Colin (26:25):

About, that's like my Saturday night being covered in weird grease, so I don't get sores.

Justin (26:29):

Think about how mentally crazy it must be to be 15 miles out into the middle of Pacific Ocean and just aware of how deep it is below you and what's down there. I mean, just talk about a primal fear. Oh

Colin (26:43):

Yeah. The sharks are almost like an icing on the cake here. It's like it's scary no matter what. It's unknown the deep ocean, but by way, ocean.

Justin (26:48):

Ocean, I mean, you have a boat, so I guess you're fine. But even knowing that there's a boat, there'd still be, I would be on the verge of panic all the time. What if I stopped? What if I just sink right here? Oh my god.

Colin (26:58):

Terrible. Well, she did more than 30 miles just because of the way currents

Justin (27:02):

Work. Oh, she would've timed. I mean, it's funny they say that the outgoing tide is pretty gnarly too. So presumably she went on a low tide or as the tide was dropping. But I dunno how far out to see that you still get that effect. But

Colin (27:14):

Yeah, once you're past the land, is it kind of even doing anything it

Justin (27:18):

That point? It's also crazy that when you talk to anybody who's done this swim, the worst part by far is getting into the fair lawns because there's giant sharks out there and it's not pleasant. So that being your target is almost weirder to me, at least. If you're swimming away from it, the closer you get to San Francisco, the safer it is. There's not really sharks in San Francisco.

Colin (27:37):

And then you get the added benefit of when you're your most tired, you're going to get a push

Justin (27:40):

And you're swimming to a continent. So it's like you can't really miss it. But the islands, it's like the closer that you get kind of the worse it gets. The currents are bad. I dunno where they picked her up. I dunno if she actually touched the rock or whatever, but Right.

Colin (27:53):

Well, according to the Guardian, Justin, do you know where the new hotspot for outdoor recreation is in the

Justin (27:59):

United States? hoa,

Colin (28:00):

That's part of it. It isn't where there are notable mountain ranges, but rather the new place to get outside is the Midwest using the opening of several new reis and locations that were previously either undiscovered or unrecognized journalist. Betsy Reed, by

Justin (28:14):

The way, journalist Betsy, there could not be a better name for a journalist writing about the Midwest than Betsy.

Colin (28:21):

That's pretty good. Yeah. Yeah. Nice one syllable last name. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Solid. Nice work. Betsy Reed. Turns out, actually, she's British.

Justin (28:28):

What's Betsy short for? Is that like Rebecca

Colin (28:31):

Elizabeth, I think?

Justin (28:31):

Elizabeth. Elizabeth, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, go ahead.

Colin (28:34):

So she pointed out that outdoor participation in states like Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan have risen more than 6% since 2019. Definitely a pandemic effect, but still it's continuing, which is faster than more typical outdoor states like Colorado, California, and Montana. And another story, Colorado immediately filed suit for trademark infringement and once their title

Justin (28:56):

Back Bet they did.

Colin (28:59):

But I do feel like we talk a lot about our local, where we are local here in California a lot on the show, but we've been a friend of the Midwest. We've talked about Kansas, we talked about a few different places. I like seeing them get some love. The Midwest is

Justin (29:10):

Cool. I haven't spent really much time there other than to drive through it on a cross country road trip. But I really enjoyed it and I'm not surprised to hear that. I mean, I think you have to assume a lot of this is remote work

Colin (29:21):

For sure. The pandemic helps

Justin (29:23):

People from Colorado and stuff like, oh, I can buy a giant house in Ohio. I don't know. What is the Midwest, by the way,

Colin (29:31):

Ohio is the Midwest. I mean, it's like that Pennsylvania border, the Appalachian Mountains is it? And Rocky Mountains are kind of everything in between, but it's a little misleading, right? I dunno. Is Texas the Midwest? I mean, yeah, a lot of it is, but there's probably some other parts that don't seem very Midwest.

Justin (29:47):

I would think they would. I mean Texas probably mostly considers itself the south right? Or its own thing, but anyway,

Colin (29:52):

Its own thing probably. Yeah,

Justin (29:54):

I would think that there's probably been plenty of people that have decided they could, that they'd be just fine in Iowa and they left Boulder, it was too expensive or something like that. That's got to be partially the uptick. But at the same time, I mean, outdoor participation is going up everywhere. So of course it would happen in places like that. The cool thing about that is that the, obviously the more people that are doing stuff outdoors, the more those sorts of areas will get protected and maybe get some federal monies to make new parks and maybe make new campgrounds and all that kind of stuff, which is fantastic. But I know there's really good fly fishing in Iowa, for example, which I wouldn't know that other than the fact that I know a guy who's been there and loves to go there and just for that purpose. And so there's probably all kinds of little gems of cool. I mean, we already know Kansas is a great gravel state for gravel riding big for that. So I think that's awesome. I mean, would love to, I would rather go to Iowa to go fly fishing than Colorado just for, not necessarily the novelty, but I kind of know what I'm going to get in Colorado. I have no idea what it's going to be like in Iowa.

Colin (30:53):

Well, I think this is a good marker of the expansion of the outdoor experience or anything outside. Anything that's outside is outdoor now. It

Justin (31:02):

Doesn't, doesn't need to be in the mountains.

Colin (31:05):

I think honestly, thinking about what your personal preferences are, you really value the small town vibe, the Ocado ability to walk places. And it's like even Marin is not a largely mountainous area. It's an interesting calm, frankly, because a lot of these places, maybe they have incredible towns with cool little restaurants and everything, but hey, guess what? They open up an awesome bike park not that far away. Oh, like you just said, I can get a house for less than a million dollars. All right. I don't need the ocean. I'm good. It checks a lot of boxes. Whereas previously you were almost kind of looked down on if you didn't want to live in a mountain town, if you were in our community, I think this is a good sign. Think it's

Justin (31:43):

Probably cooler now to be in a place. I keep saying Iowa, because Minnesota has, Minnesota probably doesn't count. That's more like Great Lakes, but parts of Minnesota might, Midwest,

Colin (31:53):

I'm from Midwest, they have

Justin (31:54):

A lot going on already outdoors that is already the case. But every once in a while you'll see some random climbing area in Illinois. You're like, what? And that happens all the time. And so there's obviously a ton of undiscovered stuff for those of us who have always lived in places that are already kind of known for being outdoorsy. I would much rather take a tour of that kind of thing than the big famous spots out west. No question about it.

Colin (32:25):

Alright, last thing and then we'll get into our conversation with Joe. One news out of the industry this week that I thought was interesting, there was announced that I called them professional footwear mimics Sketchers is collaborating with John Deere and yes, that John Deere, it's a new global partnership for a collection of footwear that'll debut this July. According to SGB, this line will be wait for it for agricultural professionals, construction workers, outdoor enthusiasts, and if that's not enough, also trendsetters.

Justin (32:55):

I could see that. Definitely could see that.

Colin (32:58):

It's a shoe for absolutely everyone. That'll be the coolest shoe

Justin (33:01):

Ever. I could absolutely see that being a big deal in the norm core world. John Deere shoes.

Colin (33:08):

I think it's a smart collaboration. I mean, I know that there are people who working in ag and construction that are probably already wearing Sketchers. So I think a ton of sense between the brands. Yeah.

Justin (33:18):

Why would that be an outdoor thing though? Well,

Colin (33:20):

That's what I mean. You're trying to lure in the outdoor, let's just put everybody in the room. The

Justin (33:25):

Sketches make outdoor shoes. I mean, yeah, they

Colin (33:27):


Justin (33:28):

Everything right. I actually have no idea what Skecher makes.

Colin (33:32):

Well, Skechers got kind of famous for knocking off other stuff, other technology. MBT was the big kind of rocker had was that a convex rocker to the bottom of it, right? And then Sketchers ripped it off and immediately became way more successful with it. And they've done that multiple times with multiple footwear technology and whatever. Good on them. They became a really big brand, but they're not considered, you're not going to go into, what was that shop we went to in San Luis Obispo and see Skechers on the wall. Just say even at REI or Dick's, you're probably not going to see S sketches on the wall, right? Skechers

Justin (34:06):

Have to be the coolest thing you can wear if you're a kid. Right? Like a hipster kid. Now I bet you they are.

Colin (34:12):

You think so? Ironically, you are wearing

Justin (34:13):

Skechers. Oh yeah, totally. Yeah.

Colin (34:14):

I don't know. I think people are still, my kids all want to wear Sambas and Chucks and stuff still. They still want to have cool

Justin (34:19):

Shoes. Interesting. Yeah.

Colin (34:21):

Maybe in college. I bet you there's some kid out there listening to Pink Floyd and Rock and Skechers, Cal

Justin (34:25):

Poly is going to be all over the John Deere collab.

Colin (34:28):

Am I missing something when they say trend centers, are there trend centers maybe in these other categories that I'm just not aware of? I think trendsetters, I think met gala and celebrities

Justin (34:38):

And shit that maybe I think that is what they kind of mean. Well, influencers maybe,

Colin (34:43):

Right? But Emma Chamberlain's going to start wearing, I

Justin (34:46):

Honestly do shoot. I honestly feel like I do kind of feel like I wouldn't be that shocked. I feel like this is the weird this the moment where it's not even irony anymore. Maybe a little bit.

Colin (34:57):

That's a good point. But it's just,

Justin (34:59):

I saw the other day when we were in slow, I think I pointed him out, there was a very fashion forward hipster kid with the most grandpa keen hikers you have ever seen in your life. And he would wear these.

Colin (35:15):

So this is basically the post crocs world where, and maybe this is what they're thinking, that it's like, Hey, look, anything can catch on. We don't know. Just put it out there. Let's see what happens.

Justin (35:23):

Yeah, honestly, I think so. I think, and I think the fact that it's John Deere might weirdly draw attention. I wouldn't be surprised. This color isn't particularly cool. It'd be hard to pull this off. I'm surprised it's not more of the rich green that John Deere is. I mean,

Colin (35:35):

I think the likelihood outcome is, look, there's probably a lot of folks who do construction work and everything, who will like these shoes and they'll be comfortable and will wear them around a lot. That's probably likely. But I could definitely see, to your point, an ironic sort of push all of a sudden becomes a TikTok trend to have your John Deere shoes. Well, good luck Sketchers and John Deere. Can't wait to see how you just take over the world a couple years from now when we're all sitting here wearing our John Deere shoes. I'll be eating my words. I already have some. You got 'em early because you're an influencer. That's why Exactly. I seated you. Exactly. All right, man. Well, let's tell you what, let's get into our conversation with Joe and we can hear a little bit more about what's going on down in the Grand Canyon. Okay, let's do it. Alright, well, we're happy to be welcoming back paddling magazine's. Joe Poche, who is also the official paddling correspondent for the Rock Fight. Welcome back, Joe, man. Good to see you. Hey,

Joe P (36:31):

Good to see you guys too. Thanks for having me on.

Colin (36:34):

So a few weeks back, Justin and I spoke about your story that ran on paddling about Toma Robeson, not Thomas Tomas Robeson, whose truck was found in your lease ferry, which is the launching spot for most expeditions down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. You had reported that he had left to head down the river with his dog, presumably. It was not verified, I think at the time, and potentially aboard a incredibly simple craft of just kind of a handful of lash together boards. A very basic emergency style life jacket, not really the type of flotation device you'd want to have on any river really. And then this past week we saw on a, b, C news, it was reported that Tomas body had been discovered in the canyon. I guess just to start, since we have you here, how did the story even come across your desk? How did you even discover those original details?

Joe P (37:20):

Sure. Like most stories that occur, an editor slid in front of my desk and said, Hey, have you seen this? And at first it was these kind of stories materialize on the news and Google alerts and things like that often. So at first it kind of skeptical if it's something that we should dive into, but as we opened it, see the kind of craft that Tomas was traveling presumably down the river on, it kind of makes you curious and intriguing. And then when you start to get into, after you seeing some of the stories and news pieces that have been published, the comments that people are making and how much we actually don't know about this person, then that personally intrigued me. I see a guy who in his beat up truck and his dog are off on an adventure. And it made me curious because I think, well, I could have easily have been that same person in that situation. I can't think of how many times I've done something that people felt was reckless. And I had my dog along with me in my beat up van, down some dirt road in the middle of the desert somewhere. And so it absolutely made me more curious to find out what was going on, who Tomas was, and to help share his story.

Colin (38:40):

Do we know he was on that craft? I mean, how did we even know that that was, I don't think that was ever really confirmed. That was almost assumed that he was going down on those three boards.

Joe P (38:52):

Sure. I think we're still at a point where we're assuming that this kind of gets into some other details that we received from the park service outside of the press releases. They did recover his paddle and his life jacket about eight miles down the river, about a week after that news story that we published came out. So they did find those items in the river. They did not at that time find the raft. So that's an assumption until we find out otherwise, a lot of these items that we're reporting, there's not a great way to confirm at the time. There's an ongoing investigation with the park service.

Colin (39:40):

Right. Yeah. That's just the intriguing thing to me, the crux of the story. I think people have done stuff like this before for sure. Right. Plenty of illegal runs down the Grand Canyon, but the fact that you're going out there on that was interesting.

Joe P (39:55):

Sure. It's interesting, when I spoke with the PR office at the Grand Canyon National Park, Joel Baird, she mentioned that in her 12 years at the park, she had never actually heard of an occurrence like this, which I was somewhat surprised. I figured that probably once or so a year somebody decides on some random craft to go down the canyon. Also, it seems, from talking with other people and seeing us, some of the online stuff that Tomas had produced, these boards that he put together as a raft were actually his artwork in a sense, he was an artist and these were repurposed planks of wood or benches that he had carved into shape, had put up places and sold and attempted to sell around Santa Fe and that. So that is essentially what he ended up making his raft out of.

Justin (40:51):

Is there any indication that he was a capable paddler or anything like that? Was this a hobby of his anyway?

Joe P (40:57):

Yeah, so pretty interesting stuff about Tomas. He was a completely competent outdoorsman in a lot of ways. He actually had worked on the river for a few different outfitters at different times and different capacities. I spoke with somebody who worked with him on a motorized river trip on the canyon and the big 30 foot pontoon raft if you'll go down. And he was working as crew on one of those boats and actually was one of his first times doing that. And the guy who I spoke with mentioned how he let Tomas take the rudder and steer the boat through some sections that he wouldn't normally let for somebody who hadn't done that before do, and was pretty impressed with his ability to do that. But then also just in general through the years, he had spent a lot of time in the canyon for sure.

Justin (41:48):

What would the river have been like at that point? I mean, I got to think. I don't know a lot about, well, I don't know a lot about paddling, but I don't know a lot about what the river, the different times of year where the flow would be high. I would assume spring are going to be relatively high flows. I mean, if that's what I'm used to. But is this something that would've been safe in even if you been in a professionally built boat that you would take down the river? Or is this a dangerous endeavor no matter what?

Joe P (42:17):

The river level was actually even slightly below normal for spring flows. Oh wow. Okay. Yeah. It wasn't like an extreme conditions kind of scenario. Somebody in a proper craft, a raft or a whitewater kayak, it would've been very much safe within the term of interesting safety. Obviously anytime we step into the water like that, it's a endeavor. Got to take seriously. But it was also the section or river. So he had only, essentially the body that was recovered was only six miles down the river. And that section of river is not anything. There are not many rapids through that section of river. There's a few riffs, what you would consider on the Grand Canyon up to maybe class three.

Colin (43:03):

Yeah. When we first spoke about it, I definitely was speculating that this is a suicide attempt when you look at the craft and he's kind of like, Hey, someone's just punching out. I referenced Guy Waterman, we forgot his name at the time, who he went to the top of a mountain in New Hampshire when he was just done, sat down and punched out. And I think to your point about kudos to you for thinking a little more deeply, I'm just connecting the dots. I see this craft. I'm like, he's going down the Grand Canyon. I'm like, oh, this guy's just thinking of a, this is it for me. But then you watch, you sent me his YouTube channel yesterday, and it's kind of going through some of the videos and what you just referenced about that guide that the person he was guiding with, it was pretty capable outdoors person, really seemed to know what he was doing that seemed to have a lot of thoughts, seemed to be, definitely had his quirks, but also it was a big part of his life. I mean, do you get the sense that this was maybe just an attempt at a really big adventure and just maybe something just went wrong in those first few miles?

Joe P (43:54):

Sure. There was a lot of speculation with anything like this. So I want to be careful that we don't really know what his intention was at the time being First, I'd say we stepped back and I want to just say as far as ability as an outdoorsman, talking to people who, so he was actually a member of the Flagstaff outdoor community for decades in Arizona. Before moving up to Santa Fe. He helped found the rock climbing gym in Flagstaff, Arizona. He helped advocate for trails around Flagstaff. He had ridden extreme mountain bike trails like the white line down in Sedona. And that he was the guy who,

Colin (44:31):

No, he wrote the white line. Yeah.

Joe P (44:33):

Wow. Absolutely. Dang man. Somebody who a lot of people around town couldn't keep up with

Justin (44:39):

Uncomfortable with risk, clearly, yes.

Joe P (44:41):

And also an extremely kindred person. Somebody who was constantly helping other people out, trying to provide people incredible experiences in the outdoors. And so to go from there to where we are now, at some point it seems like his friends felt through, the friends I've spoken with, felt he kind of drifted away. He went through some life circumstances. He ended up selling a property that he had in Flagstaff, eventually found himself up in Santa Fe, living in a yurt on kind of a two and a half acre community with other people on the property around there in the Santa Fe area. And so a lot of his friends from Flagstaff that I've spoken with so far, kind of lost touch with him throughout the years, and it kind of drifted away. So nobody really knows why he went to the Grand Canyon, but it seems like he was an individual who was probably at a lonely point in his life and going off to do something down in the canyon, and we don't really know what the intention was.

Justin (45:58):

It seems like moving away from him specifically, I feel like I've covered or written a lot of stories about people who make sort of handmade rafts of various shapes and float down various things. Is this a common thing that you guys see? I mean, it feels like this is almost like an adventure trope. I mean, I've written about people that have sailed across the Atlantic on rafts made of garbage. It feels like this is a, how often does this kind of thing happen? Not so much that they die, but I mean, are you guys covering these sorts of things a lot?

Joe P (46:31):

So that's interesting. One thing that keeps coming up are these pumpkins that people carve out and there's this totally world record for how far down a river in a pumpkin have.

Justin (46:41):

Yeah. That kind of, yeah.

Joe P (46:42):

Yeah. I mean, I've personally taken a Tupperware container, like a Rubbermaid down a section of river, because we needed to get it a few miles downstream in order to transport some materials. So I hopped in there with a paddle and it's a lot, a short little freestyle whitewater kayak. It's kind of like a cork in the water. So yeah, paddled like a 50 gallon type of war container down some class one before. Yeah. I think in paddling, people do these sorts of things. I mean, people have gone over the Niagara Falls in a barrel. We all know those stories. And more people haven't made it than not going over Niagara Falls and there, so people do crazy stuff and different contraptions on the water for sure.

Colin (47:24):

Yeah. I think what you're touching on though is exactly why we wanted to you on and have this conversation. You referenced Joe in our email exchange about other people making references into the wild. And I mean, these are the stories we tend to come back to. I feel like in our community, more than anything else, maybe the first example of is why do you want to George Mallory, why are you climb in Everest? All because it's there and it's the, why would you go ride the white line, I don't know, let's like a bike up there and see if we can ride our bike across that thing. It's a bit of the essence of a lot of the things we talk about that we've kind of commoditized and it's become what it's become. But then you get back to these sort of the root of it all stories. I mean, a guy taking his dog down the Grand Canyon, we don't really know what was happening. It's an interesting backstory and maybe it could be any number of things. And I kind feel like this might be one of those stories that a few years from now we're still bringing back up. It's like another Aaron Ralston or Chris McCandless. I was just fascinated by the story itself. Sure.

Joe P (48:23):

And yeah, almost everybody I've talked to about this brings up something like into the wild. And it's interesting because that kind of brought me to a point to step back and actually look into the wild and Chris McCandless and we always think of Chris McCandless as being a 20 something year old kid, a young man who walked out into the Alaska wilderness. But if you look at who Chris McCandless would be today, if he were still alive, he'd be 56 years old. And Tomas Robinson is 50, they said 58 in the news article, but I believe he is actually 59 years old. So you have two people who at this point in life would be around the same age. Interesting.


And this is maybe a slightly dark look at all this, but I think a lot of times with something like into the wild, what we see outdoorsy adventure types since we see this person who said Screw society and went off into the wilderness, but if you look at crack hour's work from book to book, a big part of his themes are actually these extreme corruptions of system and egos and victims of all that. And starting with Chris McCandless, we found out later on it was a lot of family troubles that kind of essentially a collapse of what we look at as a healthy family structure. He did that again in the guiding industry under the banner of heaven was based on extreme religion. So you just see this theme over and over again in his work. And then I look at, so again, going from the Chris McCandless being 56 today and then seeing a guy like Tomas who's 59 and his friends seeming he drifted away. It's this aspect of he did all these really awesome adventure pursuits and was this extremely confident outdoor person. But then you have to wonder about some of the stuff that we see today with illnesses of despair and loneliness and kind of where society's at. And it raises me to ask the question, is this another form of a corruption, a collapse of a societal system? Like somebody doesn't, their friends don't see that they need help or they don't know how to find help. And I guess that's just kind where

Justin (50:34):

It leads. It's interesting. We tend to romanticize that kind of thing. I mean the whole, when Colin and I first started talking about the story, even if it was a decision that I'm going to go out and I don't really care if I come back, there's a part of, I dunno, I think there's a part of any of us that spend a lot of time outdoors and always wonder about what's over the next mountain or what's around the next bend. There's a romance to that. I'm just going to kind of put my hands in nature and see where it takes me. But that's probably a place that you don't really come to unless you've got some other issues, like deeper issues that are going on. But it is interesting that it does seem, my first thought is I want to celebrate this kind of thing.


The more people should be doing this, they're just like, you know what? Screw it. I'm just going to go see if I can get this wrapped on the Grand Canyon. That's a cool way to live. I mean I love that idea. I mean, how often do you really take a chance like that at any other point in your life? I mean I've made a couple surfboards that I've surfed. That's probably the closest thing, but I've never just been like, I'm going to do this crazy thing and just see if it works. I mean, there's something to be said for that. It's pretty cool.

Colin (51:34):

Yeah, it's interesting. I wonder, you think about it's also the size of the craft and how experienced he was. He could definitely, was it a planned adventure? I'm going to go and I'm going to float. I can carry it a little bit if I need to. There's ways for me to kind move around the can and see how long I can go. Or maybe it was something else, but it might be one of those things where we never know. And honestly in this world, in this age, when we kind of know everything, it's a touch of a button. It's kind of, I think it's good to continue to have stories like this too. Maybe this is just the way it's going to be.

Justin (52:02):

Nothing wrong with a little mystery.

Colin (52:03):

Any final thoughts on that on Joe? There's anything else that you plan on pursuing or following up on? Or do you feel like it's We know what we know and that's kind of where we're at?

Joe P (52:13):

Well, we're certainly going to publish another article in Paddling magazine that shares what the updated news is and also what we've gathered about Tomas. And I think we will keep an ear to the ground and see what else arises to see what we learn and continue to what it seems like should be shared with what the world about him. And so they just have a better understanding of the person who was in a news story to know who they were and what they were up to.

Colin (52:43):

Well Joe, thanks again for coming on. I hope it's tragic circumstances regardless of what Tomasa's intentions were. But again, just one of these stories, like Justin was saying, that these are one of are just stories that kind of, I dunno, piques our interest. I feel like when we do these things for sure.

Justin (52:58):

Yeah, for sure. I mean I don't want to necessarily go out that way, but I dunno, it's something about it, some romance there. So yeah, always going to be drawn to these stories.

Joe P (53:08):

Yeah. Well thank you guys. I really appreciate it and I agree there are worse things than being on the river.

Justin (53:13):


Colin (53:14):

Alright, thanks Joe.

Justin (53:15):

Thanks Joe.

Joe P (53:15):

Thank you.

Colin (53:17):

Alright man, we can wrap it up there. Anything else going on that we need to talk about before we punch out of here?

Justin (53:23):

It's almost Summer getting pretty

Colin (53:24):

Excited. Right. Getting pretty cool and Memorial day's coming up. Alright man, well that's the show. Thanks for listening everybody. Well thanks for Joe Poche for coming on. I think it Potto check. I always get it wrong. Sorry Joe, but thanks for coming on talking us about that. The Rock Fight's a production of Rock Fight LLC for Justin Hausman. I'm Colin True. Thanks for listening here to take us out. It's Krista Makes, he's going to sing the song that he always sings at the end of every one of our episodes called The Rock Fight Fight Song. And we'll see you next time. Rock fighters, rock, fight,

Chris DeMakes (53:54):

Fight, fight. There we go into the rock bike where we speak our truth, stay sacred cows and sometimes agree to disagree. We talk about human power, outdoor activities and big bikes are about topics that we find interesting. Black five, culture, music, the latest movie reviews, ideas in for the head. This is where we speak our truth. This is where we speak our truth. Welcome to, to the.


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