Rafting Road Trip

Head over to Burton Girls to read up on our river rafting camping mission in Maine a couple of weeks ago, good times were had on land and water with the crew! Click HERE for the full read, Blotto

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Camp Nice 2017

Once again TheGoodLife! crew put on an incredible end of summer camping mission in the month of September to get family and friends one last chunk of time sleeping under the stars before the days shorter up and get a bit cooler. The 2017 edition would be one of epic proportions given a new location, dozens of unique, positive and creative individuals that showed up and a solid list of partnerships supporting the cause going by the names of Burton Snowboards, Cutty Sark Whiskey, ABK Beer and Unreal Snacks.

I spent the entire week on site enjoying the festivities, brewing up a few coffees, laughing with the crew, sitting around the camp fire and much much more. Click this LINK for an amazing film photo package from Craig Wetherby and witty words by Tim Broadhagen, it’s sure to please and get you frothing for next summer’s adventures in the woods. Holler! Blotto

 

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Skatin Downtown Burlington

Get the crew together, pick your stop, modify the existing double grate into a jump ramp and get busy. This is skateboarding, this is the DIY spirit. Blotto

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The Real Buy

Another set of images from Milk Gallery and Gucci Ghost’s ‘The Real Buy’ instillation running September 6th through the 23rd at 450 West 15th St. Aside from the artwork, there’s an entire line of merchandise available for purchase, which I highly recommend grabbing up, there’s some great stuff! FYI, you can only purchase in person, product not available on line, sorry! Enjoy the flicks, Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Milk Gallery BTS

The Real Buy behind the scene images during the final days of set up, the celebration, the tattoo parties, skating the NYC streets and beyond. If you’re in New York City, you have to stop into Milk Gallery and peep the work, the final product turned out incredible, thanks to all of the good people at Milk, Jim Warrier, the Trouble Gang and Trevor putting in triple shifts each and everyday.

Milk is located at 450 West 15th Street with gallery operating hours of 10:00 > 18:00 weekdays and 11:00 > 19:00 weekends. Enjoy, Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Gucci Ghost X Milk Gallery

Stop into Milk Gallery on 450 West 15th St (NYC) between September 6th and 23rd to witness the Gucci Ghost Instillation, a massive collection of canvas, clothing and items created, painted and curated by Trevor Andrew.

Jim Warrier and crew have been busy for months preparing the presentation and bringing it to life at the famed Milk studios, it’s something you shouldn’t miss if you’re visiting (or living) in New York City in September. Dozens of canvas prints will be available for sale, along with a limited number of prints, t-shirts and stickers, grab something while it’s still on the shelf!

I’m proud to say Trevor is featuring my photography in the show as well, a massive canvas print from our travels during the Gucci FW16 launch campaign where he added his acrylic paint touch over the printed image. The image is in line with the photos on these Milk press releases, captured in Brooklyn, Tokyo and Mexico City.

I hope you have the chance to check out the gallery, it’s looking really nice as we’re nearing the 48-hour countdown to opening. I’ll write a follow up blog post with the BTS images of the gallery set-up after the show goes live. Blotto

 

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto

Nova Scotia Mission Part Three

For the final leg of my Nova Scotia tour I decided to drive around Cape Breton on the famous Cabot Trail, which runs along the west and east coasts of the island, and features a massive national park spanning the two sides. I was told by Liam Griffin and Scott Doucette that I couldn’t visit Nova Scotia without touring the trail, so I took their recommendation, after all, they ARE locals to this area, born and raised!

I disembarked the PEI ferry at Caribou around 17:00, took the 104 east, crossed over the causeway at Port Hastings and began the journey north via the Highway 19. My plan was catching afternoon light and sunset somewhere on the road north, which I managed after setting up camp in Inverness. The few hours before and during sunset were my first taste of the Nova Scotia epicness along the Cabot Trail, I was not disappointed!

The next morning I packed up the tenting gear at my campsite and continued north, passing along endless amounts of stunning coastline and small villages, eventually arriving at the Highlands National Park entrance gate. Taking a moment to gather information about the park and hiking trails from the gracious staff, it was back in the car and into the park to explore this amazing region.

Departing the Cheticamp Visitor Center you’re immediately greeted by the sheer size and strength of this mountainous region, this place is big! One might not think of giant mountains in this part of the world but I was happily proved wrong right out of the gate. The Cabot Trail hangs onto the side of the mountain much of the way, placed above huge cliffs that drop into the sea below; we’re talking beautiful roadway people! Holding myself back from stopping every half-kilometer to take in the beauty and snap a pic, I made decent time to the Bay St Lawrence Road, which would bring me to Meat Cove, the northern-most point of Cape Breton. If I was touring this part of NS, I might as well take it to the tippy top of the island, which I managed and wasn’t surprised at all by the sheer beauty of the landscape.

Peeling myself out of the Gulf of St Lawrence waters I began the journey east to take in the other side of the Cabot Trail, which certainly did not disappoint as I moved across the top of Highlands National Park leading into a southerly direction at Neil’s Harbour.

As the sun was starting to set I made moves to catch a night’s rest at Broad Cove Campground, a gorgeous plot of land within the national park sitting on water’s edge. Squeaking into one of four remaining campsites, I set up my Durable Goods tent in a hurry, and then hopped on the bicycle for a tour of the area, eventually settling down on the beach to watch the sun disappear beyond the horizon.

Waking up the next morning refreshed and energized I took my time in packing up and getting back on the road as I knew journey’s end was in sight, so it was important to take in as much of Cape Breton as possible. I did so with two cups of joe, a bike ride around the area, a beach chill followed by a quick hike, not a bad morning! Back on the road I meandered along the coast, but who wouldn’t, this place is amazing, had to see any and everything I could before eventually finding my way to Highway 104 and back to the Halifax area.

The Nova Scotia tour was officially completed, twelve days of exploration, road tripping, bike riding, skateboarding, hanging with friends, picture taking, camping, you name it, I attempted to do it! Put Nova Scotia on your radar, it’s an absolutely wonderful part of the world, magnificent people, great sight seeing, outdoor opportunities and beyond. Thanks to the Doucette and Griffin family for the knowledge, guidance and hosting, you made my trip that much better! Blotto

All images by Blotto @deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Nova Scotia Mission Part Two

Finishing up on the South Coast with a shipwreck discovery in Lunenburg Bay, I made my way north to the Kejimkujik National Park to have a look around, hike a couple of their well maintained trails and scope future camping opportunities. Canada is promoting their one hundred and fifty year anniversary with complimentary entrance to all national parks so things were popping, lots of enthused patrons setting up camp, hiking, biking, loving it.

Back in the whip I made my way northeast in the direction of Prince Edward Island, the smallest of the Canadian provinces, which sits east of New Brunswick, north of Nova Scotia.

PEI commonly referred to as ‘The Garden of the Gulf’ boasts a max elevation of 152 meters (498 feet), averaging around 35 meters (114 feet) above sea level surrounded by the relatively shallow water depths in the Maritime Carboniferous Basin. How does this translate? It’s a small landmass sitting in the Gulf of St. Lawrence that has a reputation of outstanding natural beauty mixed with farmland covering the rolling hills from shore to shore.

Wanting to see a good chunk of this wonderful province in two day’s time, I drove in over the Confederation Bridge, took an immediate left and began the journey up PE-14 along the coast with intermittent photo stops to walk the western red sands and take in the atmosphere of this foreign land. Arriving on the North Cape amongst the giant wind fans just in time for sunset, it was perfect timing to be on the very tippity top of PEI to enjoy the pleasantry of day’s end.

The next morning I continued around the top side of the North Cape Coastal Drive stopping into a couple of small provincial parks, then moving along into the Central Coast Drive and up to Cavendish National Park. Cavendish is a spectacular park that spans a good chunk of coast line, making for endless adventure opportunities on foot or on bicycle (the bike path system: two thumbs up!), so I chose both methods of transportation to see as much as possible in this area.

After completing a nice sweep of Cavendish, I continued onto the Points East Coastal Drive, which takes you around the eastern most third of PEI. My area of focus would be the Greenwich National Park, which boasts well-maintained bicycle paths and white sand beaches (oddly enough), an area high on the priority list. Spending time in this area chipped away at complete tour around this section of PEI, but I was OK with that, the water, the wind and the sand was just perfect!

With a ferry schedule to keep in mind, I packed up the goods and headed to the rural community of Woods Islands to drive the car up the ramp into the boat and take a float back over to Nova Scotia, and start my journey to Cape Breton. PEI was nice, straight up. Really chill residents, beautiful beaches, warm water, pedaling opportunities galore, a place I’ll visit again for sure, thank you Prince Edward Island! Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

Nova Scotia Mission Part One

I just returned from a great driving mission around the Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island provinces, mixing in camping, hiking, biking, skateboarding and chilling with old and new friends in the pleasant country of Canada.

Packing up the car in Burlington, Vermont and heading directly east, I soon ran into the Maine coast just below Bangor to continue up US-1, reaching day’s end destination at Cobscook State Park. The overall drive time from Burlington to Halifax is approximately thirteen hours, so I was happy to break it up and grab a quality night’s rest on the coast of Maine. Waking up to a pleasant sunrise, I busted out The Ship and The Whale coffee beans, got my grind on, poured over the hot water and enjoyed some time on the rocks while tide was out.

Packing up the Durable Goods camping gear, I began the journey east past the border, through New Brunswick, crossing into Nova Scotia over the Missaguash River. At this point in the mission, my final destination on the south coast is now within three hours reach, juggling the anticipation in seeing a new and uncharted zone for this traveling fool, while still sitting in the driver’s seat.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with perfect summer weather and open arms from the crew at The Ovens Natural Park, the perfect way to end a lengthy drive! The Chapin Family are the proud owners of The Ovens, a one hundred and ninety acre pristine reserve of coastal forest, where you’re more than welcome to set up a tent, grab a cabin or pull in your trailer and call the Atlantic Coast your spot for a few days or weeks. It’s a marvelous home away from home as you start your Nova Scotia journey of sightseeing, exploration and discovery around this part of the world.

The Ovens garners it’s name from the sea caves that line the property, an unreal collection of caves jutting under the landscape where you hike above, in and alongside, it’s really unique! The walk takes anywhere from forty minutes to an hour, depending on your photo gathering rate (hehe), but don’t sleep on a kayak tour of the caves, which can be set up at reception. I walked the Sea Cave Trail in the afternoon, but also made it a point to catch the sunrise as the caves face directly east; it was certainly a beautiful way to start the day! Moving on into the park, I set up on Tenting Site 138, which sits on the water facing west, boasting a perfect sunset and a nice compliment to the sunrise possibilities you’re presented out front.

Not only does The Ovens offer up all the comforts nature has to offer sleeping next to the ocean, you’re also treated to a daily dose of live music while dining. I can’t explain to you how enjoyable it is having dinner alongside some incredibly talented (and award winning I might add) musicians doing their thing for your pleasure, completing your day bedding down under the stars! What a place, you should certainly plan a stay when visiting Nova Scotia. Blotto

All images by Blotto ©deanblottogray/blottophotto2017

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