“Better You 2014 Contest”Peace Surplus would like to help you be a better you in 2014!Do you have a New Years Resolution to go further, to do better or experience something new in the outdoors? Tell us why Peace Surplus should choose you to win a $200 gift certificate towards the gear you’ll need to achieve those goals.
Make your submissions via essay, photo essay or video and turn in either through email (email@example.com), to Peace Surplus’ Facebook page, or at the store by Wed., Jan. 29, for your chance to win.
The winner will be voted on by the Peace Surplus Crew and announced Jan. 31.Imagination Encouraged – Adventure Required
Man cannot be defeated,” the old man said, “he can be destroyed but not defeated.”
This quote-from the old man and the sea-resonates deeply with many, and in my mind is tied deeply to the outdoors. It is truly amazing to me how quickly problems can fade away as soon as I set foot on a trail. All the stress of work, bills and relationships fade when I step out of society and into nature.
A recent experience at Paradise Forks, in Sycamore Canyon, reminded me as much.
Heading out to the second annual Forks Fest climbing festival, this past September, the last thing I expected was to find solitude and calm amongst a large group of climbers. Yet, I managed to find myself wondering away from the crowds with my friend, Andy. We selected some less popular cracks at the Golden Pond on which to climb. As I rappelled down, the noise of the other climbers nearby disappeared and I found myself alone on a small ledge above the pond.
For a brief moment that seemed like an eternity, I was no longer in the canyon, I felt a part of it. As I placed my hand in the crack, I felt the warmth of the rock against my skin. I took a deep breath and stepped my foot up on a small ledge, entering a world I call home.
This rock doesn’t care how my day was, or how strong I might be. I focus on my next move. All of the plans for what is up above me are meaningless if I cannot complete that which is in front of me.
As I continued up the face of the rock, fatigue set in making my palms sweat, weakening my grip on the rock. Fear put me in a rare euphoric state, feeling powerless to do anything but keep going, like a waterfall in reverse.
As I neared the top, fear was winning as I shouted to Andy to take up my weight. As I prepared to lean back and weight my harness I spotted, out of the corner of my eye, a handhold. Taking another breath I stuck my hand in the crack and weighted it, allowing me to rest. I stepped my feet up and continued on to the ledge above me where Andy waited.
At the top we reflected on the struggle, concluding that whether I had fallen or not I had just been through the once in a lifetime experience because that was the first time I climbed that line.
The experience, like an iceberg, was something where what you see is only a fraction. There is a vast depth hidden beneath the surface. All I can say is that if I had fallen, as I did on many other routes that weekend, I would not have been defeated; I would have only been driven back to experience it once more.
Dave Warner, Oct 2013
To get to Paradise Forks from Flagstaff, with a low-clearance car (short stretch of good dirt roads), drive west on Interstate 40 for roughly 27 miles to exit 167 at Garland Prairie Road. Follow south, crossing railroad tracks, and then for about 8 miles. Turn right onto Forest Road 109 for 3.3 miles to a left-hand turn into the parking lot.
Time rolling forward to fly day April 30, 2013. Fitness/endurance/suffering training accelerating by the day. Fitness going up. Endurance going up. Suffering going down as Spring rolls in, days get longer and weather warms by the day. Rode 10 to 15 road miles all winter even in hard wind and cold with only days off for full-on wet snow blowing sideways. Makes you strong. Makes you tough. Mental and physical toughness may be required for unsupported touring.
Every bike trip and travel in general involves some suffering . . . mostly pleasure, but some suffering. Riding through the Flagstaff winter makes almost any suffering seem as nothing. Along with that comes the fitness/endurance reward. Weight stays steady, strength goes up, time marches on. I’m nearing 67 so I have to put forth the extra mental effort to do the real thing.
Hell yes, I still have those nagging doubts at 3 in the morning when the blood sugar is low and gremlins are dancing on my head . . . same as you. That’s part of your training. Smack those little buggers and go back to sleep knowing that when morning comes, the sun will rise, you will get on your bike, the gremlins will die and you will live.
Earlier this week rode my 29er mountain bike on the rolling single track 1000 feet above Cave Creek, itself nearly 1000 feet above Phoenix. Riding 7000 feet all winter in Flagstaff never left me short of air on this ride 4000 feet closer to sea level. However, the legs need more. Hey Lance, could you spare a little of that EPO? I could use some. Anyway, felt great chasing the 35-year-old racer/owner of Flat Tire Bikes in Cave Creek all over 22.5 miles of Sonoran Preserve single track . . . up and down, up and down, wildflowers and rattle snakes. 3.5 hours rolling time. Feeling groovy.
PEACE SURPLUS WEEKEND WINTER SALE!
WE KNOW IT HAS BEEN A GREAT WINTER – WITH MORE TO COME
BUT PEACE SURPLUS WANTS TO BE SURE YOUR GEARED UP AT A GREAT PRICE!
ON SALE NOW . . . SELECT WINTER ITEMS FROM:
THE NORTH FACE – MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR – SHERPA – RAB – COLUMBIA
SALOMON – ARC’ TERYX – SIERRA DESIGNS – OUTDOOR RESEARCH AND MORE.
35% OFF RIPZONE – POWDER ROOM – MILLENNIUM THREE JACKETS
20% OFF BIG AGNES PADS AND SLEEPING BAGS
20% OFF MOST SNOWSHOES
20% OFF SKI AND SNOWBOARD HELMETS
$88.88 USED SKI RENTALS FOR PURCHASE – INCLUDES TUNE-UP
20% SNOWBOARDS – BOOTS – AND BINDINGS
TONS OF NEW HIKING BOOTS JUST MARKED DOWN TO 30%-50% OFF (ALL SIZES)
COME HANG OUT WITH OUR TALENTED STAFF – SEE YOU THIS WEEKEND
MARCH 1-3, 2013