August 22, 2016

July 19th at 11:58pm Nick saw the broken glass lying aimlessly on the dark and cold ground. He was confident he had parked his car there before he left to Montana for the week, but there he stood that night and no car was to be found. A couple more laps around the parking lot yielded a phone call to the towing company.

“Have you guys towed any Volkswagen buses this last week?” – He asked with a hopeful twinge.
“Nope, nothing in our lot” – She responded.
“Okay, it is confirmed. That glass on the ground is from my car. Someone must have stolen it” – Nick motioned to Chris.
“Need a place to stay tonight?” – Chris asked.

squamish

Nick’s car, you see, is not only a car for him, but his home. For a 2 years now Nick has been on a mission of reducing his overhead in order to spend more time on trips. Living in his car was an obvious way of accomplishing that. There is one huge risk with living out of your car, all of your eggs are in one basket. If someone steals your car, they steal all your possessions. Luckily, Nick had a few pair of clothes and some small essentials with him.

The next week was devoted to getting things in order and trying to figure life out in light of this new reality. Honestly, it was not stressful in and of itself. The stress mostly came from the push of others. While everyone meant well and were ultimately looking out for Nick’s best interest they were adding stress. He was constantly responding to the same texts, calls, and questions. He felt like a robot responding with the exact same answer. Simultaneously, friends were helping relieve the stress: Nick was given rides, lent cars, offered places to sleep, and he was even given money! If there is one thing Nick took from this whole scenario, it is that people are surprisingly good! He aspires to be as kind and caring as everyone was with him.

squamish

Meanwhile Devan was working diligently on getting this trip to come together in the little time he had. He had been sending emails back and forth everyday with their sponsors, trying to figure out what exactly they would need, and what the companies would receive in return. With Outdoor Retailer being around the corner they had little time to prepare for his last minute trip. In all of this mess, Devan heard of Nick’s van being stolen and within was his passport, a critical detail when traveling to Canada. All within a little over a week of their departure date! So now there was a looming feeling of doing this all by himself, which makes things very complicated. Devan lacked the equipment and knowledge to do this all on his own. On top of this, their sponsors expected there to be two people on this radventure. So what would they think if he sent this disappointing email to them? Would they still sponsor their trip under these new, unfortunate circumstances?

Devan was hard at work with the companies, aware that Nick had too much on his plate to even consider Squamish. The most productive thing Nick could think to do every morning was to spend a lot of time in prayer. Surprisingly, one morning Nick was getting answers. He was given the response of

“do not worry, do not be stressed…” Nick was confused. “To be quite frank, I’m not worried or stressed, I feel fine.”

He thought to himself. But, not more than two hours later, Nick’s car was found by David Young. At first site of his car, all the worries and stress hit him like a two ton truck.

“Ah,” he thought, “there is the stress and worry.”

The reality of what needed to be done was suddenly placed before him. The car would require a good amount of work to get running. His passport was stolen. His camera gear, climbing gear, sleeping bag, clothes, all of it. Somehow when the car wasn’t directly before him, these things didn’t stress him out as much. “Take a breath,” Nick said to himself. Squamish might actually happen.

After not hearing from Nick for what seemed like forever, Devan finally received a text from him one morning.

“You going to be in the shop today?”

“Hell yes dude!” he said.

This was a huge relief for him because they were supposed to be leaving in 2 days. When Nick arrived Devan filled him in on everything. His passport was supposed to be arriving via mail on August 4th, just in time for their expected departure. Nick began to roam the shop for what he was still missing in order to camp and climb for a month, aka everything.

“Dude, get over here.” Devan said. He showed Nick the email threads with all of their sponsors. “You’re not going to need anything man, we’re set!”

La Sportiva provided climbing shoes, approach shoes, pants, and shirts. Big Agnes hooked us up with two sleeping bags, two sleeping pads, two Helinox chairs, and a 3 person tent using the new “MtnGlo” technology. Sea to Summit went over the top with not only essentials but luxury items to keep us camping in style. Their items included 2 of their collapsible and highly packable “Xpot” sets, 3 sets of titanium silverware, all of the wilderness biodegradable washes, two 20L waterproof lightweight backpacks, and a waterproof 10X10 tarp to protect our camp from the rain. Friction Labs sent us more than enough of that good good to keep our tips dry for the month in the humid climate of Squamish, two shirts, stickers, and some patches. What more could they possibly need?!

The next two days were a blur. Some stuff happened, Nick was sure, but their minds were already in Squamish. As promised the passport arrived on time. That was the last thing holding them back! The next morning they got an alpine start (10 am), packed the car, grabbed the necessary road trip kombucha and they were off. Before they knew it, they were sitting in traffic, then more traffic. Then Portland traffic. Then Seattle traffic. Then border traffic. But, eventually they made it. And here they are, now, in the middle of a dreamland on a dream trip. And we can’t thank Gear Coop and our sponsors enough!!!