The Cinder Cone Book and Video

In February of 2014, long time friend Tucker Gorman and I started day dreaming about building a tree house.  I wanted to set up a home base and build a space to work on projects.  These day dreams quickly developed into loose plans to build a two tree houses and a skate bowl.  After months of preparation and planning,  we broke ground in the beginning of June. 

Friends old and new stopped by to work and stay on the property. Some of us worked as carpenters professionally, others learned on the go. Over the course of build, I took thousands of photos and kept sketches, models and notes from the design process. 

 Since finishing the tree houses, I’ve been organizing these images, drawings and notes into a book. This book will be different than my last two photo books.  Think of it as one part instructional book, one part photo book, and one part tiny homes book. My goal is to make something that shows the process from dreaming up a seemingly outlandish idea to the final result after thousands of hours of hard work and the moments that happened in between.  I hope that result ignites the imagination of people’s inner kid and gets ideas going for their own projects.  To make the book happen,  I'm funding it through Kickstarter here

I'm working with Farm League on the production of the book. They produced films like 180 Degrees South and The Fisherman's Son and do print projects for companies like Patagonia.  They also produced the video.  I'm really excited about the progress we've made and can't wait to finish it. Here are some examples of the page layouts and what the front and back covers will look like. 

The Cinder Cone will be 10 inches by 7.5 inches, about 135 pages and with a hardcover. During this campaign, the book will be $30 for a signed copy, if the campaign is successful,  the book will retail for $35.

Material lists, build notes and process photos are organized into sections, like this wood burning hot tub.

Full color and printed on matte art paper,  sections of the book document the steps and process of building large and small projects.

In addition to my photos, shots by Ian Durkin, Trevor Gordon, Java Fernandez and Alex Yoder will be in the book.  The majority of the photos in the book were shot on medium format film. 

 Daily schedule. 

The design and building of the tree house.

Tucker Gorman's (the tree houses designer) sketches from the build were scanned and included in book to show how ideas evolved.

 The building of the skate bowl. 

Lando DOWN!!!

I'm really excited about this book and the video.  Its been a ton of work,  more than I've put into any other project.  The video was a first for me and was an opportunity to work with,  Jess Gibson.  As a kid,  I loved the Robot Food Snowboarding movies and it was a treat to work with him on them this video.  The book is an ode to my favorite childhood books about woodcraft and primitive skills.  Thanks for the support.  

 Here are some more links,

The Cinder Cone (Vimeo),

The Cinder Cone Build Book (Kickstarter),

The Cinder Cone (Tumblr),

@farmleague (Instagram).

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Spring

The sun hovered below the canopy of second growth Douglas firs, casting sideways light through the sparsely populated forest. A few pieces of surveyors tape tied to branches of Vine Maple and a sporadically cut log marked the rudimentary trail. As I walked, I checked my watch, it was 7:05, an hour or so before sunset. "The days feel like summer now," I thought to myself.

"Do you hear that?" I asked Lane, confusing the buzz of a gnat with the distant revving of a two stroke.

"I think its an insect."

"Sure sounds like a two-stroke....I think thats early this year," I said motioning towards the buzzing gnats. "Don't they normally hatch in July or something?"

"Yah thats super early." 

The trail dropped off the plateau, switchbacking it's way down the hill towards an outcropping.  Over the sounds of sucking air and sliding on the wet dirt, the faint crashing of a waterfall was audible.  Grabbing a branch, I steadied myself as I slid down the steep trail on the flat soles of my Converses.  The trail dead ended on a hillside over looking a small gorge.  Taking off my backpack, I lowered down, making sure it wouldn't roll off into the river, some four hundred feet below. 

"Last time I was here, that whole waterfall was ice.  It was warming up super fast and huge pieces were breaking off and falling.  It was nuts."

"Crazy, when was that?"  

"November, maybe December." 

"Fuck..Time flies."

"Sure as hell does."

The winter that never was gave way to an early spring in the Northwest.  Instead of my normal routine of traveling most of the spring, I hunkered down this year and focused on finishing the documentation of the building of the tree houses and skate bowl. 

I've been spending a lot of time here,  working on The Cinder Cone Book and video, as well as learning to edit videos.  

Looking out as the sun sets on the hills behind Portland. 

Curtis Cizek launching over the Drink Water Crew at a hip at Mt. Bachelor. 

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Tim looking for a place to camp.

Socked in.

Pete flying around the bowl on a warm day in March. 

The finished Octagon. 

Wildflowers on Archer Mountain. 

Bad Boy Rig.

Storms in the Sierra.

F5 Bronado. 

Sea lions were barking and chasing Chinook salmon. 

Lane and I sat on the hillside and listened to the waterfall.  The setting sun chilled the air.  A small sliver of the Columbia River was visible to the south.  Fishing boats trolled for salmon and I sat watching them.

"These are early too?" Lane asked,  holding up a small handful of flowers.

"Yah, those are early too, but I'm not complaining."

Here are some more links,

Out of Reception (Tumblr),

My Instagram (Fosterhunting).

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Japanuary

In January, I made the pilgrimage to Japan with Bryan Fox.  Growing up snowboarding in the Northwest, I watched videos of people riding the famous Japanese powder that has inspired names like Japow and Japanuary (its usually the best conditions in January).  Japan's location in the North Pacific gives the area a unique combination of cold temperatures and tons of moister.  With a few days notice,  I packed my things and met Bryan in Vancouver BC.  After 21 hours of travel, we were in a rental van in Hokkaido.  For the next 10 days, we drover around the island looking for hotsprings and powder.  I was blow away by how affordable travel is there when compared to winter towns in the west.  The food is cheap, the 7-11's have delicious sushi.    The hostels are cheap and you can hike to ride world class powder.  They have hands down, the best local snowboarding scene with people living in their vans traveling around in search of the best powder. I hiked around with a tripod and camera and made this lil vid of him shredding for Quiksilver.   We had a blast.

Here are some more links,

Asadachi (Vimeo),

Bryan's blog post on Quiksilver's blog.

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A Brat Saved My Ass In Baja

"Ehhh, I don't know about that mud.  It could be six inches deep, or two feet,"  Scotty said motioning towards a section of single track road that cut a cross fifty foot brackish marsh.

Standing in ankle deep water, I looked around for some solid to wench to, incase one of us got stuck. Except for a few shrubs, there was nothing.  Brackish water in the estuary covered the rutted tracks.  To my left, a grouping of grass swayed in the current.   For a second, I visualized my truck charging down the tracks only to sink down to the axels in two feet of mud with water flowing in the doors. 

"There's no shame in backing out"

"Can I quote you on that?"

"Sure.  It would be so fucked to get stuck in that mess,  not to mention,  who knows if it even connects to the North Road.  It could just be a road the fisherman use to dump trash or something."

The thick mud separated my flip flop from my foot,  holding it under the ankle deep water as if an indication of its seriousness. Grabbing down with my right hand,  I searched around, found the straps and pulled it out with slurp.  Scotty laughed and headed towards his Brat. 

Walking past the Brat and coming to a stop with my hand resting on the side of my camper,  I inspected the 400 or so feet of single track road that hugged a steep hillside before opening up onto a plateau.  A hand built road with a  retaining wall made with rocks and dirt kept water from the estuary and the hillside.  As long as I hugged the uphill side, we would be fine.  The rock retaining wall dropped off into murky salt water. 

 "Well boys,  thats a shit show,  we are going to back out."

"What happens to the road?"  Trevor asked from the back seat.  

"It fades out in a fucked up mud pit,"  I responded with an emphasis on the Fucked Up, doing my best to convince Trevor, Ian and myself that we were making the right call.

"Want us to get out and give you directions?" Ian asked.

"Naaa, I got this, things gotta back up camera,"  I boasted,  slapping the stick into reverse, illuminating an LCD screen in the rear view mirror. The truck jerked into motion as I let off the clutch and we creeped backwards. 

Warming up our toes. 

Moondog heading south and ultimately west towards Fiji and Australia. 

Shelby whipping up Ceviche. 

Rise and shine 

Shred sleds

Waisting away in Tecateville. 

Sunrise in Central Baja. 

Sand Storm 

Scotty's Brat made it from Portland to Central Baja with out incident.  These trucks kick ass. 

Skinning freshly caught fish with the Freescape Camp Knife. 

Waiting for the tide to drop.

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Fifty feet from the safety of the open field, I turned to avoid a boulder and got within half a foot of the edge of the road.  Inching along backwards,  the truck suddenly lurched sidewise as the retaining wall gave out.   In an instant,  the truck dropped a foot and landed with a metal thud on the axels and skid plate.  

"FUck," I gasped.  I swung door open and jumped into waist deep water.  The whole passenger side of the truck was off of the side of the road, hanging over into the estuary.  

"This is.... Gnarly.  Everyone out." 

Climbing over the retaining wall and on to the road,  I stared at the back of the camper.  The truck's suspension was fully articulated.  I heard the Brats high pitch idle cut out and Scotty and Shelby yelled almost simultaneously.  

"What the fuck happened?"

"I got too close to the edge and the road gave out."

"This is fucking bad," Shelby kept repeating. 

"Theres no fucking way we are getting to the boarder by sunset now."  

"No shit.  The only thing we can do is reverse out."

"Get the shovels and start grabbing rocks.  We need to build a ramp to get the back tire up onto flat."

"Do you think the Brat can get around me? It might be nice to get a tug." 

Ian and Trevor stood on the back right corner of the truck while Scotty, Shelby and I shoveled, hauled rocks and built ramps under the tires.  I worked silently,  assessing contingencies.  If the truck dumps into the estuary, the water will break most of the fall but the truck and camper will fill with water.  I cant be more than four feet deep and after the tide drops, I'll offer the fisherman my 10 horse outboard if they can get me upright and back on the road.  That should work.  But think positive,  we are going to get out.  All the truck needs is to get the back driver wheel up on solid ground and we should be good.  It's not going to roll.  

As we worked, a truck pulled up and two fisherman and the dog got out to watch the gringo's spectacle.  

"Alright,  I'm not sure what else we can do.  Kinda have to go for it."

"Yah,  what should we do?"

"I'm going to put the lockers on and give it hell.  You should put some tension on with the Brat and then tug when I say go."

"Sounds good, and if it rolls...?"

"...Its not going to roll but if it does I'll have my seat belt on and the window will be up," I interrupted. 

"Lets do this. Leroy JAAckens,"  I yelled as i opened the door and crawled into the drivers seat.  Firing up the ignition, I turned on the rear locker, and rolled down the passenger window.

"You guys ready?" 

The Brat fired up.  "YAH, lets go."

"If Scotty's Brat pulls me out,  I'm never going to hear the end of this,"  I said to myself as I dropped the clutch and pinned the gas. 

Here are some more links,

Out of Reception (Tumblr),

My Instagram (Fosterhunting).

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