Home » Posts tagged "上海外卖工作室1000起"

Coming Home

first_imgI spent the first 21 years of my life within a 70-mile radius. Born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, I only got as far as Charlottesville when it came time to go off to college. As a kid, I took the landscape for granted; as a teenager, I predictably wanted nothing more than to put as many miles as I could between myself and my hometown. It wasn’t until college that I actually came to appreciate this place.That was when I began to notice things that had escaped my attention before. The dusky, metallic smell that comes with the first drops of a summer rain. The deep-space silence of a snowy winter day; the soaring parkway views over grassy valleys and distant, peeling farmhouses nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge. The way the Virginia land begins at the sea as a swampy plain and then races west to crumple into mountains. Those mountains themselves, ageless, immovable, and so ingrained in my understanding of the outdoors that anywhere flat, regardless of population or architecture, seems to me desolate and unnerving.But still I wanted to see the world, leave that 70-mile corridor for something utterly foreign. My newfound appreciation of my own surroundings crashed up against my teenage wanderlust, and I knew that I had to see what else was out there, even if it sent me right back to Virginia at the end of it all.So a month before I turned 22, I boarded a plane that took me 7,000 miles away from the only home I’d ever known. When I finally arrived in Busan, South Korea, the sun had set and the city was bathed in the twilight of a neon haze. Glowing red crosses dotted the rooftops above rows of concrete buildings that clustered in the craters among the surrounding mountains like colonies on a distant planet. For the first time, I knew what it was to be away, truly away, from home.As I got to know the place, I never lost the dual sense of the known and the deeply new that can only come with being far from home. The mountains were so familiar, and on some summer days, when the cicadas would shriek and the moist heat would cling to my skin and the clouds would billow over the ridges in thick blankets, I could almost be back in Virginia. But the rocky coast and the Chinese juniper and the itinerant monks who roamed the streets at night, twirling ratchets and calling for alms, always broke that illusion.I spent three years in Korea. I made friends: foreigners and locals. I learned the food and as much as I could of the language. I learned how to teach. I fell in love. I sat up at night and watched the wind rip the leaves from the trees as the light from squid boats shone phosphorescent off in the sea. Oppressive summer; windswept fall; raw, chapped winter; spring with its drizzle driving green shoots from black, rain-slick branches; summer again.I finally returned to Virginia with the Canadian girl I’d fallen in love with. We came back to the last gasps of a Virginia summer. Straight away, I found things I didn’t even realize I’d missed. Trees were one of the most surprising pleasures. Without even realizing it, I had spent nearly three years in a country where I didn’t see a single tree over two or three stories tall. The trees in Virginia were leafy and impossibly massive: great, ancient behemoths bursting with fractal branches and broad, variegated leaves. The sky was another surprise. Vast and filled with enormous, kingly cumuli and scraggly tussocks of cirrus, the sky bled crimson and orange and purple as day gave way to night. I hadn’t even noticed in all that time that in neon Busan, the sun just fizzled and died each night.None of this is to say that Korea didn’t have its natural beauty—far from it, the country is filled with mountains tumbling dramatically into the sea. But it wasn’t the beauty I had grown up with.Two days after getting off the plane from Korea for the last time, I went walking along the trails around the Potomac with my parents and that Canadian girl, the one I’d soon marry. I let them go on ahead while I slowed my pace through a meadow that ran right up to the river. A small sea of waist-high grass roiled in the wind. Bullrushes quivered at water’s edge, and a florid smell hung heavy in the air. For the first time in three years, I felt a sense of permanence. A rabbit stirred in the grass and then froze. I was home.last_img read more

Continue reading »

The Red Bull Back 40

first_imgDear Red Bull, First, let me just say I love your product. And I’m not just kissing your ass here. Those little 8-ounce cans of go-juice have been fueling my half-baked ideas for more than a decade. Love it. Never change a thing.Second, you totally need to sponsor my backyard.I know what you’re thinking: “Strange little man, we sponsor athletes, not quarter-acre suburban lots full of scrub brush and questionable drainage slopes.”It’s a valid point, and I’m glad you brought it up. You’re absolutely right. To my knowledge, Red Bull has never sponsored a backyard before. You’re not a landscaping company, after all. But this is no ordinary backyard. This is an oasis of adventure. A testing ground where the rules of gravity and limits of lactic acid are constantly questioned. This is where the envelope is pushed, baby.Granted, at a mere .23 acres, the footprint is compact, but the yard lives large. Where other suburban dads have quaint fire pits, I have a towering inferno in the middle of a 20-foot gap jump. Instead of a shed full of lawnmowers and edgers, you’ll find a winch-cat for grooming the winter freestyle park.  Are you starting to comprehend the gravity of my backyard? Take a little bit of Mount Hood, a bit of British Columbia singletrack, a smidge of Yosemite granite…shrink it down to less than an acre, and you’ll begin to understand what I’m talking about.Of course, most of The Red Bull Back 40 is still in the development stage. (Notice I’ve already given you title sponsorship as an act of good faith.) I’m currently in the midst of phase one–building a 30-foot high climbing wall up the side of my back deck that has begun to put a serious strain on my bank account.And the wall is just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s what’s in the pipeline for The Red Bull Back 40:Half Dome: The aforementioned 30-foot high climbing wall with 2,000-square feet climbing surface that moves from slab (for the kids) to vertical to overhang to straight up roof.The Free Fall: A 90-foot zipline with a drop that would never pass any sort of safety code.Jump-a-Looza: A dirt jump park complete with a foam pit (for practicing back flips) and fire pit gap jump (for impressing the neighbors). In the winter, snowblowers will be installed to turn this mountain bike jump park into a freestyle ski and snowboard park.Little Pisgah: A half-mile of burly singletrack laden with rocks and log drops. Keep in mind the minimal real estate available to me, so the singletrack can be a bit intestinal at times.Slack-vill: A 30-foot Slackline that can be strung over the foam pit or the fire pit, depending on your mood.The Red Bull Tiki Bar: An understated point of relaxation/recharging with thatch roof, handmade bamboo bar, and mini fridge stocked with Red Bull and Grey Goose vodka. And a hot tub. Because what’s a tiki bar without a hot tub?Total cost to you: $200,042. For an extra $62,000, we can install a mini-lift system that will take bikers and zip-liners back to the top of my yard. It’s a luxury item, I know, but it adds a bit of cache, don’t you think?Obviously, I can’t foot that sort of bill on my own. I’m a writer in the outdoor industry. I get paid in backpacks and wicking t-shirts. Many people would look at this exorbitant price tag and give up on their paper-napkin sketches and pipe dreams of a backyard glory. But I’m not most people. I’m a firm believer that when God closes a door, he opens a window, and it’s up to me to jump through that window without thinking twice and pray to that window-opening God that there’s something relatively soft on the other side to break my fall. Red Bull, I want you to jump through that window with me. I’m hoping your cash will break our fall.Ask yourself, aren’t you tired of sponsoring rally-car driving success stories and overly-tattooed skate boarders? Earth to corporate suits: we’re tired of seeing people summit Mount Everest and surf massive swells. Defying gravity by BASE Jumping with a Wingsuit is so last year. What’s really inspiring is real athletes (or in my case, really bad athletes) taking a chance with their marriage and homeowners association by installing state of the art training facilities in their tiny-assed backyards. That’s extreme. That’s Red Bull.You’re probably wondering what sort of exposure you’d get by sponsoring some dude’s privately owned adventure park that’s tucked safely behind a 12-foot-high privacy fence. Another great question, and I’m glad you asked it. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m a popular guy. I literally have dozens of people randomly drop by my house on an annual basis. And the demographic base is astonishingly wide. Mormon kids looking to chat. Dad-neighbors needing to borrow tools. Our babysitter. The list goes on. Each of these people knows dozens of other people. And each of those people knows dozens of people…you can see how quickly the word of mouth buzz will build once solid foot traffic is established. My babysitter alone has like, 200 Facebook friends.Now, to sweeten the deal, I’m also willing to open The Red Bull Back 40 to all sponsored Red Bull athletes as a training ground and Red Bull “hotspot” if they’re ever in the Historic Montford neighborhood and in need of an uber-caffeinated beverage and quick romp through the jump park. Think of it as a safe-house of sorts. We have a guest bedroom in the basement that your athletes are welcome to use in exchange for babysitting hours as well.The ball’s in your court, Red Bull. I look forward to our future partnership.Sincerely,Graham Averilllast_img read more

Continue reading »