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Virtual Toms

Stay Wild

Trippin out on Toms at Agenda

by Hunter Meece

Remember the first time you got on a ski lift? I’m not talking about the bunny hill, but like a real fucking ski lift. One that is so high up you feel dizzy as you stare at the jagged rocks and cliffs below. As the cold and stunning view leaves you breathless, you are suspended in infinity with a terror deep in your stomach as you imagine what may be waiting at the top.

It’s been a long time since my first ski lift, but the feeling of experiencing something for the first time is unforgettable and as I grow older, it’s something I cherish and seek out wherever it may be. When the opportunity came to attend my first trade show representing Stay Wild, I could feel the cables lurching forward and I jumped on a flight to Los Angeles with only a two-hour notice. 

The mountain of brands present at the Agenda trade show seemed infinite as I plowed down the mountain with my pizza fully engaged. It didn’t matter that my muscles were burning or that I probably looked like a kook; the sheer volume of vendors distracted me from my exhaustion.

After about the third run I was preparing to angle my pizza towards the trees to make some yellow snow when amidst the mountain of brands I ran face-first into TOMS shoes

Admittedly I was a bit embarrassed because they looked like some real hotdoggers and it was pretty obvious that I was still working on my pizza. It turned out that they weren’t pretentious at all and were stoked to show off their brand. It was jaw dropping. 

TOMS is different from the other brands that were on the mountain. Unlike other brands just looking to make a profit, they have been successful in generating a profit while generously improving lives on a global scale. Sometimes words fail to capture the essence of a style this fluid. I mean, imagine someone doing the splits in the air over a mogul to reach someone trapped on the mountain without boots! Essentially this is what I witnessed when TOMS shared their virtual reality with me. 

For those not familiar with Oculus Virtual Reality – Google or YouTube it. It’s a powerful tool that works with your smartphone to give you a visual experience of an alternative reality. Imagine stepping into your favorite game, being immersed in your favorite movie, or in the case with TOMS, jumping to a destination on the other side of the world. This technology gives you the illusion of being physically present in places you may have only dreamed about. By partnering with Occulus VR, TOMS has been able to allow customers to experience the contributions of their unique brand firsthand. Imagine what it would be like to be in the skis of the person doing the splits over a mogul to help the bootless person – to see from their point of view. Imagine looking 360 degrees around yourself and being able to decide where your attention should go. While staying loyal to the brand’s values, this experience brings marketing back to the customer as an individual. 

From TOMS’ perspective I saw what it could possibly be like to give to people in Malawi, Haiti, Peru, or one of the other 70-some countries where they have an impact. In their virtual reality it was impossible not to be captivated by the expressions on individuals’ faces as they interacted with the TOMS giving team. It was brilliant and made me want to wear their shoes. Interacting with brands the rest of the day was still an adventure, but my experience with TOMS stays with me. It was virtual, but TOMS is the real deal.

Mexican Birthday Party

Stay Wild

After a certain age birthdays tend to mellow out. They become less about you and more about the people you surround yourself with. A few weeks ago, my friends and I drove four hours south to an oasis along the Mexican coastline to celebrate another trip around the sun with our dear friend, Laurie. 

We set up camp at an overlook just above a fun point break and spent copious amounts of time basking in the desert sun. Equipped with just under two dozen surf crafts, ten beautiful humans, and three pallets of beer, we had way too much fun. While eating roadside churros in the two and half hour border line wait, we collectively came to the realization that being disconnected from our cellular devices makes us exponentially happier. Life is better when you share memories with the people you want to be with. With that being said, our newfound longing for disconnect didn't stop us from clogging our Instagram feeds for the next week. 

Adventure by Evan Schell 

It’s called the Cobra

Stay Wild

"Who wouldn’t want to climb something called the Cobra? 

I first saw it on the approach to Ancient Art in Fisher Towers, Utah (it’s that crazy spire you might have seen in a credit card commercial). 

On the way back down the trail, I had the opportunity to give the Cobra a go. Sure, it’s a conglomerate of pebbles and soft rocks that feels similar to mud, with a neck that looks treacherously thin. I figured it had probably been there for a long time, so the odds of it landsliding were pretty slim. Turns out, I was wrong, because it crumbled several months later, but not on my watch. 

I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to conquer the Cobra before its unfortunate fall." 

Harmony Calhoun @harmonycalhoun

Choose Your Own

Stay Wild

We eat a lot of Clif bars at Stay Wild. In fact, right now there is a Clif bar choo-choo train going through our guts as we type these words. We love this shit, so we're not surprised at how fun this interactive video is. Check it out:

Locals Only!

Stay Wild

Short Sands is everyone’s Secret Spot

by Scrappers

We all have a place we want to protect. We keep it a secret. We refuse to disclose where photos were taken. We remove road signs. We slash tires. We say, “Locals only!” with our mean faces. We love it so much we build bad-vibe force fields around it. 

I have a secret spot.

It’s my favorite place on the planet.

I wish I could be there every day and feel wild.

It’s where my inner forest embraces my inner ocean. 

My wife and I found our son’s name on a hike here. 

Our son, Camper, has grown up at Short Sands—discovering banana slugs, eating huckleberries, sliding down creek riffles, catching Dungeness crabs, building driftwood forts, exploring barnacled tide pools, and surfing on my back like a koala bear, while his mom watches, snug in the sand.

When I die, this is where they will scatter my ashes. 

Yet, my secret spot has been open to the public since 1913, when Governor Oswald West passed a law that made the entire Oregon coastline public property. In fact, this place is even named after him. Even though we call it Short Sands, the official name is Oswald West State Park, and aside from Crater Lake, it’s the most visited locale in Oregon.

So many people come here to bond with nature and relieve their spirits that they broke the bathroom. For reals! The septic drain field was updated this year to solve a nasty bacteria problem because this place was being “loved to death.” According to Ryan Cruse of Portland’s Surfrider Foundation, this recent fix is a “clean water victory especially important due to Short Sands’ location directly adjacent to the newly established Cape Falcon Marine Reserve.”

The reserve is the second largest in Oregon. Its cliffs are home to thousands of seabird nests, including bald eagles and black oystercatchers. Under the cliffs in the water, the reef and soft gravel sand are home to colorful seaweed, starfish, rockfish, halibut, and the official state seashell, the hairy triton. Farther out, the water gets very dark and cold. This is where giant monsters live in the deep, and I’m too afraid to Google further.

Yes, I said I want to keep it secret, but really… I love Short Sands so much, I’d rather sing its praises to every hermit crab and RV tourist. We all become “locals” when we care so much about a place. It’s called environmental stewardship, but I prefer to call it “Locals only!” Bears and cougars mark their territory with claw marks and piss, but we should mark ours with love and understanding by sharing everything we know in order to protect it. 

Become a Local by getting involved with Surfrider’s Oswald West Action Days. The group focuses on the stewardship of Short Sands and the Cape Falcon Marine Reserve. portland.surfrider.org