Chris Korbulic and I are lucky. At least that’s what I think. Our job is to travel the world in search of a great paddling adventure. And since there are relatively few places on the planet where water does not flow, we can dream big. But more than that, Chris and I are lucky that we have been able to put up with each other for this long. Paddling together nine years, we have experienced some of the most awesome and stressful situations I can imagine. That’s not to say that it’s perfect. I mean, can you imagine spending months with someone you often don’t share more than a few dozen words with per day? Don’t get me wrong—not every day is like that, but more often than not we live and work together in a sort of comfortable silence, a shared feeling that if we are not on exactly the same page, we are no more than a few paragraphs apart. But our most recent kayaking mission to Myanmar’s Irrwaddy River would put our partnership to the ultimate test: failure.
Words by Ben Stookesberry, Images by Chris Korbulic
Two weeks ago, we published the first episode in season two of our Insider’s Guide series. Eddie Bauer guide and local Taos celebrity Dave Hahn gave us a first-person look into what makes his off-the-beaten path hometown such a unique place and such a powerful vortex. In episode two of our series, Hahn explores the artistic influence of Taos, heads out for a hike up Wheeler Peak and caps it all off with some farm-to-table food and Bavarian drink in the place he calls home.
Camera by Jon Mancuso, Edit by Karl Archer
Pressed by a New York Times reporter in 1923 on why he was so interested in climbing Mt. Everest, George Mallory replied with the three most famous words in mountaineering lore: “Because it’s there.” Mallory’s exploits and his disappearance along with climbing partner Andrew Irvine high on Everest’s Northeast Ridge in 1924 have become the stuff of legend.
That afternoon we’d come out of the Shinjuku subway station spinning slightly, disoriented from a day of van-to-bus-to-plane-to-train travel and the multicolored knot of the Tokyo subway map. We’d spent the past few weeks on the idyllic north island of Hokkaido, where we’d settled into an ultra-peaceful rhythm of quiet days in the mountains and nightly soaks in backcountry onsens. The brightest lights we’d seen had been at the convenience store, where we stocked up on 100-yen rice balls. But it was December 31, we were headed back to the States in a few days, and we felt like there was a lot of the country we hadn’t seen. So, backpacks stuffed with puffies and not-exactly-clean long underwear, we switched modes and headed to Tokyo to see what New Year’s Eve looked like there.
Today is Earth Day, a very special day for us at Eddie Bauer headquarters. To celebrate our reverence for the birthday of the modern environmental movement we’ve been highlighting our primary conservation partnership with American Forests and exploring the environmental motivation behind our philanthropic ambassador Ryan Reynolds.
As the final installment in our Earth Week interview series with the actor and activist, Reynolds explains why spending time in the outdoors is so important and what it means to him personally. He also explains why he strives to help conserve the wild, natural places of our environment for his children.
As our celebration of Earth Week continues with a focus on our conservation partnership with American Forests, we’re thinking about the transformative experiences we’ve had in the forests and mountains of our wild, natural environment. First hikes, first climbs, first backpack or camping trips—this act of opening our eyes to the importance of wilderness has made many of us both lifelong fans and lifelong guardians of our wild spaces.
Our philanthropic ambassador, Ryan Reynolds is no different, and in the second installment in our Earth Week interview series, he explains what first introduced him to the power of the woods and why he feels a duty to preserve and protect our great forests.
As our celebration of Earth Week continues, we tracked down actor, activist and Eddie Bauer philanthropic ambassador Ryan Reynolds for a deeper understanding of why conservation and reforestation struck a personal chord with him. Reynolds spent a transformative outdoor education semester in the woods when he was young and this experience ingrained in him a lifelong love of the forests, rivers and mountains. When he sought out the right personal fit for a conservation cause and an outdoor brand, he picked Eddie Bauer and our 20-year-partnership with American Forests. In the video above Reynolds explains his perspective on the outdoors and his viewpoint on conservation.