Not Just a Tourist

The Market

If you’re one of the few people that actually read my site on a regular basis (Hi Mom!) you might have noticed that I’ve been a bit absent lately. We’ll it’s been for a very good reason – I’m moving to Seattle! My husband, Jim, has taken a fantastic new job and we’re moving at the end of the month.

So starting on December 1st I’ll be blogging to you from the emerald city. I’ve only been once, last weekend, so I’ll have a lot of exploring to do. I’m looking forward to sharing this new adventure with all of you! In the meantime, feel free to peruse the handful of photos I took over the weekend in my future hometown.

Christoph Rehage: The Longest Way

From November 2007 to November 2008, Christoph Rehage trekked across China, taking video as he went. But this was not your typical tourist video. Before he left he shaved his head and his face, and then recorded himself as he went along on his journey. The final edited project is an amazing time-lapse film showing scenes and people he passed along the route, but showcasing the way his hair and beard grew throughout the trip. It’s a wild ride, and definitely worthy of watching at least twice to catch all the background scenery and captions.

Christoph has posted more information about the video at vimeo. He also has a website,, with a travel diary of his trek, but the site has been down the couple of times I’ve checked in. Hopefully he’ll be able to get it back up and running. Christoph – great video and amazing trek, you have my respect!

Patagonia Down Sweater Vest

In the Down

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Down SWEATER vest?!?”, but yes, that’s what Patagonia calls it. This vest is designed with smaller channels for the down, allowing it to keep you warm without a lot of added bulk, so it fits more like a sweater. Not exactly like, but more like. It’s surprisingly warm yet flexible – I’ve found I can wear this vest over a wool baselayer and a light wool sweater and be comfortable walking the dog in 20 degree weather, but it doesn’t make me overheat when I wear it indoors either.

The exterior fabric of the vest, made from recycled polyester, is windproof and water-resistant. It holds in the feathers well and resists tearing – I learned this well on the first day I wore the vest when I clumsily caught some of the vest fabric in the zipper. If it had torn, I would have been covered under the Patagonia Ironclad Guarantee, which I also know from experience is the real deal. The vest has three pockets – two handwarmer pockets and one rather large interior pocket that the vest can fold into when I need to stash it in my bag. The zippers are solid and are the quality I’ve come to expect from Patagonia. I’m very happy with the fit also, not too snug and not too loose, and it follows the natural contours of my torso. All in all I think I’ve made a really good purchase, and I can tell already that it’s going to get a lot of use.

If you’re a guy, Patagonia makes this vest for you too :)

Great Article: Thrown by Elissa Pfost

As I live in Minnesota, it might surprise you to learn that I love to surf. As I’m not into the hardcore drysuit surfing amidst chucks of ice on Lake Superior’s North Shore I don’t get much time on the waves here, but I love to travel to surf spots that are good for beginners like me. I say “good for beginners” as there are a lot of great surf spots that are either too challenging for me, or the spot is local-controlled. The last thing I want on a surfing vacation is to get yelled at or beat up for surfing the wrong break or for accidentally cutting off someone I didn’t see, or to not be able to get a wave because I’m not high enough in the pecking order.

Because of this, I was thrilled to read Elissa Pfost’s article Thrown in the latest Patagonia catalog. I won’t tell you too much about it (as you should read it yourself), but I will say it makes me even more interested in traveling to and possibly living in Portland, OR. I’ve been fascinated with Portland for a while now because the city is very environmentally conscious and has a large biking community, has a reputation for being very laid back and has all the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Now I have one more reason to check out Oregon. Thanks Elissa!