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Forest Woodward

reckless pursuit of a life well dabbled / photos / films / words/ trails / trees / winks / hugs • Sacred Strides 🎥👇

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lucky mud. Many years from now I doubt still that I will fully understand the irony of my small plagiarisms and minor deaths. Postcards from the bottom of the canyon. “send help”. No who or where, just a helicopter and sixteen kinds of love. dark trails returning to the heart of it all, the thunder of brown blood through sandstone veins. I will not pretend to understand. I will smile. I will choke on my own spit. I will lie sleepless between dead and dreaming and watch fire in the sky. I will laugh. sit up beside brothers and sisters. see little, remember less. feel as much of it as I can. mud that settled at the river mouth. squeezed through canyons and toes. mud that floats on rubber rafts. mud with a bit of luck. // 📷 @tommypenick

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Time passes. the river flows. You don’t need me to tell you. You can see for yourself. the boats got shorter and the shorts got longer and then shorter again. I have seen some things, let some go. It is hard to say what is moving sometimes, us or it. And if you asked or even didn’t I’d guess now I know less again than I ever did in the first place. Which feels okay in its own way. I texted dad again this morning. Telling him I missed him. He told me “I’ll be there with you on this trip too” and I felt or maybe just remembered then the truth of it

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3100 film // A few years back we traveled into the Kalahari in search of some of the last Sān huntsmen. Unique to these tribes and the landscapes they inhabit is the use of organized groups of runners as a tool for hunting. While the last vestiges of these traditions are quickly disappearing (replaced by modernized conveniences and suppressed by government regulations) some families still hold to the traditions, harvesting their food through intense physical effort and with deep reverence for the land and animals from which they take life. @mrsanjayr’s latest film @3100film synthesizes the story of the Sān runners alongside three other stories from around the world: the running monks in Japan, Navajo runners in the southwest, and an unlikely superhuman runner masquerading as a Swiss mailman. Ultimately the film is a stirring examination of the anthropological, social and spiritual underpinnings of humans and our will to run

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“We get Mother Earth one time. Not two times. Not three.” // link in profile to short film about bears ears prayer run this spring. Thanks for all the good words, thoughtful questions and support @wings_of_america @quinnthenavajo @protectbearsears @renan_ozturk @lennecefer @jay_r_frank @nativeroots_net @marie.sully @annacalla @aidanhaley @laurakottlowski @mrsanjayr @cheezbee @ducttapethenbeer and friends on the ground pouring in miles and sweat and soul

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​“At the beginning we did it for ourselves, you know, we paddled for ourselves, everything was for ourselves, yeah, for our team and ourselves, our crew, but now we do this for those kids, for the future, so we can keep this thing going, yeah. So everything in our club, is here for the kids.” - Tao [2nd photo] • The undercurrents of paddling culture throughout the islands run strong and deep. particularly meaningful to spend time with Tao and the @niumalunation youth as they shared stories and canoes with our crew and welcomed us to Kauai

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After weeks of rain it seems the sun has finally found her way to the Ring of Fire, a place where grown men have been known to embrace one another and openly weep at the sight of sunshine and rainbows. @usmensraftteam @puakeadesigns @gnarlybay #nuinui #kauai #willcryforrainbows

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Wrapping up three weeks chasing waters north to south along the ring of fire. What a trip. Grateful for the company of a few fine old friends - and many new along the way. From fledgling packrafters churning blunt boats down remote glaciated riverways in Alaska to seasoned watermen and women navigating outriggers through volcanic reefs, landscapes and faces and craft change, but I’m pretty convinced the simple joy of moving across water under human power is universal. Thanks @puakeadesigns for letting me wrap our stay in HI by flipping your beautiful boat a few times, to @usmensraftteam for letting us tag along on another wild ride and to @niumalunation and all the other folks who shared stories and boats with us along the way #mahalo #ringoffire #shouldbecalledringofrain

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“Nothing is really sacred unless you are willing to fight for it.” // @outsidemagazine released our film today and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you all. As my friend @annacalla puts it, “the fight over public lands has been pretty hot this year, and Bears Ears has been the main headline. A perspective that seemed glossed over was that of the Native American tribes who used the land long before it was ever designated anything at all.” // this film is about running but more so it is about community, being brave enough to stand up for what you believe, and honoring land and our connection to one another. A huge high five and thank you to @wings_of_america @quinnthenavajo @a.littlebear @nativeroots_net and all the runners for all your leg and spirit work and for allowing us the privilege of joining in your journey and telling your story. Thank you to @marie.sully @annacalla @aidanhaley @laurakottlowski @mrsanjayr @canyonwoodward for carrying the creative torch // 🎥 link in profile

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summer vacation, a nice time for naps

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If you’ve ever hiked into wet headwinds wearing a dry suit and a non ultralight pack then you know. I hope you’d don’t know. I hope if you know you also know humans like Graham and Shannon and Tommy #ifyouaniakchak #ihopeyoualsoleeannwomack

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Anniakchak day I - From a time when i still had partially dry clothes, did not precisely realize we were traversing coast to coast on the Aleutian Peninusla, and thought it was funny watching graham try to have a piss through five layers of bug nets and rain gear. Everything seemed drier and funnier then than it was the next day or the day after. Still, we laughed and pissed and cursed our feeble bodies under many pounds of pack rafts and paddles and and pastries and read each other Vonnegut at night in the tent while the winds molded the walls and poles into new shapes around us. We even lived in a volcano crater one day. It was beautiful. It was also terrible. Some days later we floated out into a salt marsh and found out we had traversed the peninsula and had eaten all our pudding. not long after we found out that Tommy was not to be snacked upon by a bear. we were happy for all these reasons and more and thus still smiled even when we were finally back in king salmon and graham had to drink a beer out of a shoe and the young man driving the shuttle bus thought we looked like old people. I put my dirty street clothes back on, poured powder on my swamp feet, ate a pint of ice cream in the parking lot, and realized maybe we were, maybe it’s all relative, and maybe it’s all right. Again i smiled for it was an alright time to do so, much as it had been all along so far as I could really tell

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Dad says everyone has their “up north”. He borrowed it from Robert service or someone I think. I kind of learned what he meant by that when I started traveling to Montana on my own as a teenager, and later these years into Alaska. As much as a place i began to guess, it was an idea. a land balanced on the knife edge of dream, hazy along the horizon of imagination, the echo of something wild we forgot but did not lose

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