Endless Goodness

The latest camping mission with TheGoodLife! posse was out to one of our favorites we refer to as Endless Goodness, featuring two lakes, multiple waterfalls, an impressive rock laden river and adventurous hiking routes. It’s quite splendid how much natural beauty is packed into a relatively small area, so we do our best ‘to make the best of it’ over a few days of sleeping under the stars.

The swimming, hiking, relaxing, adventuring and food preparation moves were nothing short of amazing as the weather played perfectly into these outdoor plans with a mix of mild temps, zero humidity and plenty of that precious sunshine to sooth the soul, along with the epic vibes from all in attendance.

Summer is made for camping, get your gear together and take that trip asap, whether it’s a quick one-nighter or a multi-day adventure, you won’t be disappointed! Holler…Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Go Skate Day June 21

What a magnificent afternoon enjoying Go Skateboarding Day at the Andy A-Dog Williams Skatepark in Burlington, Vermont with a healthy dose of the East’s best humans! Skateboarders from all around the region converged on this newly built park to celebrate a great day for skateboarding while raising awareness of the A-Dog Foundation’s continued drive in pushing the art, music and skateboard culture, and campaigning for the critical need of bone marrow donorship.

Trina and Brendan from Maven Skateboard Shop were on hand to wrangle in the skaters for a three-feature best trick contest while Big Dog, KermiTT and Crusty Cuts kept the crowd moving with a solid selection of beats on the 1’s and 2’s.

These are the days of seeing the community come together that put a smile on your face knowing the youth is in good hands through skateboarding and positive mentorship. Enjoy the flicks, Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto 2017

Skating Around the Woo

Skateboarding around Winooski on a Saturday afternoon with Quade, LJ, Danny and Ben looking for spots, filming and hanging out was a great way to start the weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect for an activity meter based around creativity on structures not intended for urethane, metal and wood below two human feet, ala skating cement curbs, angled metal and concrete.

I often catch Quade and LJ around the Burlington streets while they’re out with Danny stacking clips for various edits; these fine folks are a comedic group always down for a good time. It goes without saying their skateboarding talents are on another level, it’s a total treat to witness the trickery, while enjoying the byproduct of capturing still images of the madness.

We hit up a tall ledge to drop where Quade was locking in front 5-0 to big spin out, while LJ was in a battle with a backside tail slide. In between attempts we were greeted by many a passersby walking their dog, heading out to late lunch and long time locals sharing their tales of the early days of skateboarding around Burlington. After some makes and misses we headed into an area between a parking garage and building that offered up an interesting drop ledge arrangement, wrapped in metal, that oddly enough was still skateable. This area was ‘more of a photo spot’ than a ‘filming location’ so the boys consistently threw down tricks one after the other while I rattled off a few different angles within the tall walls.

Dusty, dirty and spent, the boys called it a day and asked if I wanted to hit up the local ramen spot, which I happily agreed to! Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Go Camping

The first camping mission of the 2017 season is completed, taking place out a local spot in the Champlain Islands (Vermont), featuring perfect weather and good vibes. The initial step into camping mode after taking the winter off from tent life is a bit of scramble, given you haven’t dug into the kit for a few months, maybe you acquired some new items that need tinkering with and the ‘ol “…shoot, forgot to bring that!

Not to panic people, a quick over-nighter will help all of us dial in the tent, the food and beverage, the board games and whatever else you find as a camping comfort while spending the night under the stars. I know I left the house without some critical items on this initial camping trip, but any good soul knows that camping is truly a ‘constant state of modification‘ so you’ll always work it out, and you have your pals to lean on as well to get the job done.

A few tips for camping in Vermont is bring a bicycle as many of the state parks have miles and miles of pedaling pavement in and around the park on top of the endless hiking opportunities (bring a flat kit!). Take a look at the Vermont State Parks website HERE for a well-organized peak into every camping location including exact descriptions of each site along with a photo of said location. Their website is super easy to navigate after a couple minutes learning your way around, you can also reserve and pay for your adventure at that time. Another great item to pack in or tow behind the car is a boat. There are boat launches at every park, in addition to many of the camp sites having their own waterfront accessibility, increase your fun factor that much more!

I’m over and out for now, off to the next mission, will update asap…Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

 

Jet Surf Lake Life

As the summer temperatures rise so does the stoke to get in the lake and enjoy all things water craft related, including a morning mission out in the desert to session the Jet Surf.

Bobby Hurtado invited me for one of his sunrise missions and I gladly excepted the invitation as this would be a good opportunity to whip up a coffee lakeside with the Jet Boil while taking in the sunrise, pull out the camera to snap a few photos of Bobby whipping around the shoreline and give this unique motorized board a go.

Think of the Jet Surf as a wakeboard meets surfboard meets Jet Ski; it’s quite the engineering feat as they’ve managed to fit an inboard 90cc motor into a four-inch tall space while keeping the overall mass down to a one person carry weight. The learning curve is such that you can lie on your stomach, hold onto the handles and become accustomed to the throttle pitch. After passing first base out you then graduate to standing up and prepare for your launch procedure which translates to placing your rear foot in the back binding, giving it some gas while simultaneously placing your leading foot in the front binding and away you go.

All who’ve ridden the Jet Surf absolutely love it, especially those of us who prefer standing sideways via the snowboard, skateboard, surfboard; it becomes a warm weather option for those days when you’re headed out to the lake. Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

 

2017 Blotto X Burton Family Tree

As summer kicks in and we shed those winter layers for shorts and t-shirts, I wanted to look back and thank all of those involved with the making the 2017 Blotto X Burton Family Tree a complete success.

First and foremost thanks to all of you who went out and purchased one of the nine available models ranging from splitboards to snow surfers to powder slashers. Secondly the talented minds at Burton for creating this collaboration including all those who developed these ground breaking shapes. Last but not least our main man Marin Horikawa for taking my images from location to camera to layout to production.

This line was a total treat to be involved with, watching hundreds of images narrow down to a collection gracing the bottom sheet of each and every model. It made me smile every time the boards were hash tagged, mentioned or featured on your social media pages and websites, and I hope you were smiling ear to ear making those fine powder turns down the mountain popping in and out of the white room.

Is there a Blotto collaboration for the 2018 Family Tree line? You bet there is! Burton and I teamed up once again with Marin to create the next evolution in this collection, along with a couple new shapes being introduced sure to please. Stay tuned! Thanks again, Blotto

For the story behind the Landlord Splitboard image, click HERE

For the story behind the Gate Keeper powder king, click HERE.

For the story behind the Skipjack Surf, click HERE.

For information on the Backyard Project’s Skeleton Key, click HERE.

All images on snowboards by Blotto | Graphic Design and Layout by Burton

Gucci Ghost Documentary

The Gucci Ghost story is a fascinating tale of Trevor Andrew’s journey that began in Nova Scotia, Canada as a young tike, which lead to the discovery of skateboarding, onto a marvelous globe trotting shred career through his teens to mid-twenties followed by a successful music endeavor, all while raising a family and eventually calling New York home. My latest mission to Trouble’s home base was centered around an upcoming GG documentary with director Seb Zanella, which details how all of this played into Trevor’s spectacular product of imagination and creativity, while continually spanning the realms of skateboarding, music and art.

Tucked deep in the city across the bridge from Manhattan lies an art studio with no windows or clocks, a space reminiscent of a Las Vegas casino in the fact you can stay in there for hours, not knowing time of day or whether it’s raining or sunny outside. Commonly referred by Trevor as ‘the trap,’ this space serves as a fitting locale for music production, creation of original art, hang outs, meet ups and anything else visiting family and friends would like to partake in. It’s a positive environment meant to serve those who stop by a few hours or a few weeks.

Seb and Trevor spent the better part of four days mapping out the course of the movie while interviewing individuals involved in all aspects of Trevor’s life, with plenty of painting in between the sit-downs. We also enjoyed some really fun skateboarding missions around the neighborhood searching for found materials, hitting up the art store for supplies and of course enjoying the plentiful food options this area offers.

The documentary is off to a great start with many months of filming to go, not to mention rifling through years of footage that Trevor has collected from the entire posse. You could imagine there’s plenty to witness and drop into the time line! Stay tuned, Blotto

The accompanying images were captured using a medium format Hasselblad camera, shot to Fuji 100 Polaroid film. After capture I took digital images of the Polaroid prints, short cutting the scanning process for time’s sake.

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Sunday Bike Mish

On Saturday I took the drive down from Vermont into Brooklyn to link up with TheGoodLife! crew and take part in their Sunday pedal tour around the various boroughs of New York City. These are the bike missions you live for, as it’s an incredible way to see the vast amount of NYC neighborhoods, streets and shorelines while sitting in the saddle alongside good people.

Teaming up with the Bridge Runners for this mission, we had a solid posse in effect with a loose plan of a thirty-mile ride that starting in Williamsburg, with the end goal of hanging in Rockaway and getting back into Brooklyn by nightfall.

Gathering up at Broadway and Kent, we rolled out along the water to the Bush Terminal Ferry zone, taking the first group photo of the day with the Manhattan skyline in the background after this opening push. Back in the saddle we continued along the Shore Parkway, stopping for our next group image under the Verrazano Bridge, taking a minute to psych up for the serious headwind in effect while thinking about the upcoming food appointment at L & B Spumoni Gardens. Our Sicilian square pizza and Italian ice cream treats were absolutely delicious and devoured quick like, before setting off to Coney Island to take in the sights and sounds of this legendary east coast theme park. Five hours in and the sun slowly setting, we decided to scrap the Rockaway portion of the plan and instead point it down McDonald Ave into Prospect Park, ending our tour under the beautiful Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch.

Our comrades went their separate while Craig Wetherby and I headed into Bed Stuy to grab a few games of dominoes with Cole Barash and Trouble Andrew, snap some portraits and catch up, topping off a perfectly fine day.

TheGoodLife! X Bridge Runners rides are a combination of great humans, an approximate route in mind while going with the flow and letting the vibe direct us around the sprawling metropolis, all in the name of smiling for miles. Thanks for following and reading my friends! Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Krink ReUp

Stopped by my local art supply store today to grab a few Krink K60 Paint Markers in assorted colors I was running low on or didn’t have in the ever growing stash. The K60 is a squeezable 2-ounce bottle with a broad-round 12mm tip, a really fun marker to spread the acrylic love with! If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite artist manages the ‘drip‘ look in their pieces, it’s all about the squeezable bottle, mystery solved folks!

Per usual I do my best to only shop local for any of my everyday needs, habits and work related equipment and having Vermont Art Supply in Burlington certainly makes that possible. Hit up John Bates via the tele 802.860.4972 or john@vermontartsupply.com, he knows everything there is to know about professional art supplies. If he doesn’t have the knowledge or you know of a product you absolutely swear by, he’d love to hear what you know and how he can make his selections that much better with your input and needs.

If you can shop local for all things life please do. Thanks for reading friends! Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

US Highway 302

Took a quick road trip from Burlington, Vermont to Conway, New Hampshire yesterday via US-302, which runs along the south side of Mt. Washington. This region is absolutely beautiful, big mountains, lots of terrain, it somewhat reminded me of the many tours I’ve done through western Norway with the big stone faces protruding from the mountainsides.

Driving along the Crawford Notch Road you’re treated to various mountain peaks while skirting along the Saco River, including a very accessible waterfall called Silver Cascade, plus various camping sites and roadside attractions. My mission was a same-day ‘there and back‘ to the city of Conway so I stopped as many times as possible to take in the views, snap an image or two and carry on. Once in Conway I whipped out the pedal bike to have a look around town and enjoy the scenery.

Conway is a nice little town (approx 8,800 population) sitting alongside the Saco River, boasting some quality local goods, great eats and for you train buffs out there, a gorgeous collection of railway gems! I pedaled around for an hour or so in between my errands, grabbed an ice coffee from The Met, chilled out near the river off White Mountain Highway, chatted it up with some locals then got on the road back to Burlington. The driving mission was three-hours each way, one hundred forty miles of Northeastern goodness. Not a bad day. Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017