Category Archives: Portland

This Summer

Life update

I started out this summer living in a car in Portland. Now I find myself living in an RV in Minneapolis. So much more than a simple housing upgrade and a move went down this summer, which is something I would like to touch on here as briefly as I can in this blog post.

There seem to be three phases to any adventure. The first is the preparation and work phase which is usually the one that is hardest to do. This was what my time in Portland was like. Working two jobs so that I could afford to travel south. Good times playing hacky sack at a boring ass job, and then weekends on the tricycle delivering people to their destinations. Even though my entire life was dedicated to exploration, I still wish I had more time to explore. It was only a few months spent in Portland before I left for the next phase of my adventure.

By proceeding through the work phase it’s time for the next part of the adventure which is the action phase. My action part of the adventure got jump-started when an old friend called and asked if I wanted to ride the tricycle at a festival in Kentucky. I had about two days to make a decision on if I wanted to go or not but it only took me about 5 seconds to make up my mind. I picked up a few grams of DMT (real shit), shaved my head, and jumped on a plane within a day. Upon getting to Kentucky I realized that the festival that we had been talking about was actually the Kentucky Derby. I joined a team of pedicab drivers and we road in Louisville Kentucky for three days before law enforcement ticketed half of us and then kicked the rest of us out. There is a decent video of the entire event that I posted to youtube that you can find here.

Needless to say, we were pissed but had to pack up and head back west. To save money I hitched a ride with the pedicab guys (who were all from Utah) and spent most of the trip west in a hammock in the back of a box truck. About halfway there I realized that I had a potential RV waiting for me in Denver so I got off in Wyoming and hitched my way south. The RV was promised to me from a friend of mine who turned out to not be the most reliable of persons. To be honest, I knew this going into the friendship but stuck with it because I thought there was a chance that he might pull through. All and all, his friendship proved valuable insight into how poorly some people are put together. The fact that he never came through with the RV was the least bit of troubles. I am talking about a man who makes a good bit of money from selling prescription drugs that he get prescribed from a sketchy doctor. Never coming through on promises is something he would compensate for by making promises with more grandeur. All of these negative attributes were things that I could bear. He was funny and pleasant to hang around and for sure had a positive business input, even if his commitment was only half as strong as his word. Shortly after my time in Denver, he died of a drug overdose which is something I can never forgive him for. All that I put into building a relationship with him is now good for nothing other than to teach me to look for the red flags in people and to take action on not letting some into my life.

Flying out of Denver and landing in Seattle, I got back into my Subaru and headed south where I was to ride EDC in Vegas. I had about a month before I needed to be in Nevada and so decided to take my time going down the cost. I stopped in Pacific City to visit with a friend I had made working on the mountain. I was just looking to stop by for a night or two but when it turned out to be a hippy playground paradise home, I ended up staying for 3 nights. We had bonfires in the woods, kayaking in the ocean, surfing, bow& arrows + guns, some of us tripped our nuts off, and I even got a tattoo. After all of this, I continued to make my way south.

The rest of my trip went quickly before I landed in Vegas. I spent a few days in San Francisco but didn’t find much to do other than walk for miles all over the city. Got all the good tourist things in and made friends with a few people that walk the streets. On my way out I tried to climb half-dome in Yosemite National Park but learned that you need to apply for a permit in order to climb, and there is no car camping allowed in the park. Park security walked up on my car right after I got done smoking a bowl to myself at sundown. I had to wiggle my way out of getting a ticket and possibly searched and then quickly left the park just so that I could get a few hours closer to Vegas.

Upon arriving in Vegas I headed straight to the pedicab garage where I was able to rent a bike a ride the town. One of my favorite places to be in this world is on a bike in a strange place. The click of the mind that says “where the fuck am I and how do I figure this out?” has got to be one of the best experiences of my life. When the sun goes down Vegas becomes a lucrative place to anyone that is working a job. It’s all about strip clubs and dispensaries when on the bike. The days are hot and there is no underground because of the hard desert ground. I spent my days in delirium and my nights exploring and exploiting the town. It was a good warmup for EDC.

For anyone that has not heard of the Electric Daisy Carnival before, its a “festival” but better named as a rave. The largest rave in America. Half a million people show up for a 5-day event and I was seated on the nicest pedicab I have ever road. Two fat lithium-ion batteries were stored under the seat. With the push of the throttle, you could have that thing going 25+ mph in less than 10 seconds. The line of cars to get into to EDC camping stretched for miles. I spent the first hours of the festival driving through car lines looking for people that had too much to carry and needed a lift. I have never met a customer population so ready to spend money. Considering the ticket price was $500+ and the price to camp was more than double that, it should not have been such a surprise.

There are two big factors that go into how much money you make pedicabing EDC. They are how hard you work, and how smart you work. The working hard factor comes about by not sitting in lines. There are times in the city when sitting in a line is most likely the best course of action as it will get you quality rides quickly. At EDC there are so many sales opportunities that your best bet is to get on the hunt and to always be on the hunt. I don’t believe that in the entirety of the festival that it ever took me longer than 10 minutes to find new passengers. The other factor to working hard is sleep. Think about it like this; at any given hour of the day there is $100 potential dollars that can be made. How can you rationalize sleep when there is that type of money out here? The fact is that you need to sleep however and so the trick is to sleep as little as possible. The Uberman sleep cycle is a method for humans to get a little sleep as possible while still being able to function normally. It involves sleep for 20 min naps spaced evenly six times throughout the day. It wasn’t super intentional that I got on to something of this style of sleep but it happened none-the-less. I was also doing some experimentation with a nootropic I had just ordered called “aniracetam” which helps specifically with boosting your mind out of low performance into high performance. All of this hard work was paying bank and I continued to get more hardcore with my routine the further into the festival I got. I even stopped eating all junk food because of how much immediate monetary benefit I got from eating healthy. The second part and the much more valuable part is working smart. By this, I mean supply and demand. As I said earlier, I did not go more than 10 minutes without finding new customers but the average for finding new customers was more like less than 1 minute with a peak time new customer rating of just seconds. At first, I charged a normal city fair of $2 a block. Soon I realized that I wanted to have a good amount of people literally disgusted that I would ask so much. I would ask for the heavens and if I got rejected it would only take me moments to find another potential fair. This little trick made me thousands of dollars over the 5-day event.

The last night of EDC I worked until well after the sun came up The guy I rented my bike from came to get what was his late in the afternoon. I remember stumbling to help him lift the bike into the back of his truck, I then crawled by into the comfort of my Subaru and passed out so hard I did not notice the desert heat for even a moment.

EDC was the highlight of my summer. With the money I made I was able to pay off the last of my cc debt and go to another festival in southern California- Lightning in a bottle where I was able to send more than a few people on a DMT trip of a lifetime. After LIB I moved back to Denver where I rented a spot in Cap-Hill, continued to work pedicabs, and opened up my own business generating and selling leads door-to-door for a few different companies. Tree trimming and roofing were my bread and butter. A hailstorm hit pushing my life, for the first time, into economic prosperity. I bought a motorcycle and a motorhome and moved back home to Minnesota where I do most of the same thing but now with old friends. I road pedicabs at the Sturgis motorcycle rally and was even able to fit another festival in called Shangri-la (best festival ever). I now find myself wearing a flannel and looking out the library window at falling leaves in a chilled Minneapolis downtown. It has been a wonderful summer. The greatest summer.

The third part of any adventure is the post-trip recuperation time. It’s a time that I often become introverted and sometimes madly depressed. It can be hard to accept that in the end there you are and for all the changes that you feel that you have gone through, once again you find yourself back at your baseline, back in boredom. For me, it sometimes takes a long time to pick myself up and get back into preparation build mode but in the end, there is nothing else I can do. With every trip I get better and the past few months in MN I have been able to release myself from the post-trip depression faster than ever and have started to prepare for the next adventure.

In less than a month I will head into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where I will start my season as a Ski/board-instructor at Vail Resorts. This life would be something of a dream to me many years ago but now I am growing accustomed to it. I often feel scared and nervous but now, my excitement far suppresses any negative emotions that might prevent me from moving forward. The fun doesn’t stop there and already I am ready for the next adventure to come.

Much love,

-Chris

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The Boring Details of Building an Excellent Life

It’s the spring is when man is at his most creative. My last post was written in the dead of winter and so much has happened since then. Last I wrote “The Charismatic Character” from inside a ski lodge surrounded by groups of skiers and snowboarders and many different screaming children and families. If I ever felt fatigued with my writing the slopes where only yards away. The last post was a fairly intensive research project and so having the ability to escape into a winter wonderland was a huge key as to why it turned out so well. It was shortly after publishing that post that I wrapped up my time on the mountain and descended back into city living. Still broke and still in my car but with a much richer and more meaningful life. The adventure spirit was catalyzed up on the mountain and I can now claim to have passed into the realm of true adventurers and day by day my thirst for the next journey only grows. There are so many things I need to do and so long as everything plays out according to plan. I will just barely scrape on through, making discipline and thriftiness of highest importance.

I got a boring 9-5 (actually 11-8) job that requires I show up to work on time everyday. As much as I hate showing up on someone else’s schedule, the job pays well. The sacrifice is something I can stand only because I know that it’s something I need to do for a short time before the fruits of my labor will come through. I can feel myself becoming frustrated at times and I wonder if it’s not because I have never really put in more than 20 hour a week at any one job before in my life, and then only for short sprints. I have always been more focused on creativity and my own ventures that I could never handle working for someone else’s dream. This week will be my 5th out of 8 total weeks that I plan on putting in at the company. At this point it feels like I am finding my flow and I expect my best performance to come in the following few days. Because of where I am financially, the work is necessary but all I want to do is create and this job is not the place for my creation, and so I look forward to the day where I can take my last paycheck and make my own way away from the company.

With all of the work I need some place to release all of my tense up energy. Dancing might be the thing to do and I should really find something like that for no reason other than release. At the moment I have not found anything that truly heals my soul. Instead I have taken my pain from the job and am using it for more work. On the weekends I pedicab which acts as my way to release and to grow in my social skills. Getting on a bike and yelling nonsense at drunk people has such a cathartic effect that by the end of a long night on a cab I can let out all of those witty and humorous things that I could never really tap into during the work week. Something about the combination of exercise and short funny interactions that gets the juices flowing. Its pedicabing that will do a majority of the legwork in shaping the events of the summer which brings me to my next point; the plan.

Last week I received my first paycheck from working a fulltime job. The first thing I spent my money on was a permit to ride pedicabs at the Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas. For all of you who have not heard, EDC is one of the largest electronic dance festivals in the world. Today most people would call it a rave. (I say this having been to the old school raves from the 90s, where the people (true ravers) all scoff at the modern usage of the term, but such is the way of change.) EDC in Vegas is sure to be full of pink tutus, shirtless bros, all of the drugs, and a light and art show sure to blow the mind of even the most sober dancers in the crowd. I paid more than half a rack just to get the permit and will be paying almost three times as much to rent a bike. That puts me in at over 2k invested just to be able to ride. I have no doubt that it will be well worth the investment. Still, my work here in Portland comes down to the wire in putting together all the elements that will allow me to rage face with the ravers down in Vegas. There is a lot to do and only just enough time to do it.

Instead of going to the bars and drinking all the local beer this great city has to offer, I work on my discipline and putting together everything I need to put together in order to make my dreams come true. To be honest, I like the life of hard work more than the life of leisure and play. I was never really good at having so much free time anyways and so feel that this type of working intensity life will stay with me even after I leave this place. It’s the type of hard work that sinks in to my off the clock time and let me tell you, it feels so good to have the discipline to do the things I want to do. Right now I am reading three books, I have a meditation practice that has been going strong for over a month, I am actively producing creative works by the daily, and for the first time in years I am waking up before 7am on a consistent basis. I wish I had the funds to start yoga class but I bet I get a week in right before I leave.

Jesus said it best when he proclaimed that “to all that have, more will be given; and to all that have not, everything will be taken.” Upward spirals tend to continue upward, just as much as downward spirals tend to continue downward. Being human we are capable to seeing the consequences of our actions but changing our lives from negative to positive is something that often requires some sort of terrible inspiration to set one down a different path. We know the type of things that is required to change a life; be it the awesome or the awful, both can have a profound effect on the choices we make. Sometimes hitting rock bottom can be what it takes to make one feel that they can no longer keep living as they have. Other times it’s the realization of how great life can become. What’s important is to keep pushing the envelope of life and to keep taking risks. A life lived in the middle will produce mediocrity. A life lived on the edge will shape and define you into something smooth and refined.

Over the past few years I have made a life of traveling from place to place. As soon as I get comfortable I know that it’s time to move on to something new. It’s been hard living like this and now I yearn for order more than anything. From where I sit now I see the potential of building a business that spans all over the states. With the connects I have made and the skills I possess I feel more than capable of creating phenomenal income that would allow me to travel the country and create the order that I crave so much, but something about the chaos is calling and so I feel compelled to throw myself back into the unknown. It’s because I feel that I will come back stronger than ever with new skills that I have never dreamt of having; and so its with my favorite type of sadness that I turn my back on a business built in the USA and instead set my sights on a foreign land and all of the unknown that comes with living in a new country.

Thanks for reading. It’s my hope that you are able to get half as much from my writing as I do. Two minds are better than one and I would love to collaborate so drop a riff in the comments below and we can create something that will change our lives together. I currently reside in Portland and in a few weeks will be in Vegas. After Vegas I plan on traveling the country so if you reside in the United States then lets make plans to meet up.

Until next time.

-Chris