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State of Gold

On the Road in California

On the Road in CaliforniaState of Gold
Chapter 1Death Valley
Chapter 2San Luis Obispo
Chapter 3Joshua Tree
Coming soon: May 9San Clemente

On the Road in California

The Toyota speeds into the setting golden sun—I mash down the gas pedal of this 22-foot motorhome, giving chase, but uphill the thing tops out at 60. We’ve lost them.

The people in the Toyota are eager. They’re not the kinds to sit still, and we’ve been driving all day. Inside the pickup are a couple of Backcountry Gearheads—outdoor experts and natural-born teachers. Each has brought along a customer they’ve bonded with over their shared love of being outside. They’ve also brought a friend whose magnetic personality melds together this gold rush of a trip. Me, I’m part of a crew documenting the trip, prospecting for the awe-inspiring new experiences that tend to happen outside.

We’re in a place where our passions can thrive

California—a place where bikes, boots, ‘biners, and boards drive us toward those paydirt moments we live for.

Here, on the road, we’re fueled by French-press coffee, beef jerky, and Dutch-oven burritos. Each new place we stop at embeds itself in our collective memory—our stories intertwine. Around the campfire we share our best moments: that tram ride in Switzerland, last night’s jump in the ocean. We share advice for the future: Costa Rica’s best ceviche, rivers to fish. Pure gold.

Kyle - Backcountry Gearhead

Kyle - Backcountry Gearhead

Kyle’s the kind of guy whose excitement at the end of a great ride is so genuine and infectious that random people at the trailhead ask for his phone number. True story. His energy and enthusiasm are so raw that his depth of knowledge is almost surprising. Ask him anything —he probably knows the answer.

Contact Kyle at klivingston@backcountry.com

Ben - Backcountry Gearhead

Ben - Backcountry Gearhead

If you ever get a chance to camp with Ben, let him cook your breakfast. He’s magic behind a camp stove—and turning a bike wrench at the trailhead, and carrying a rack of gear up a route in the driving wind. Passion flows out of the guy, whether he’s the expert leading the climb or the noob trying to catch his first wave.

Contact Ben at brabinowitz@backcountry.com

Rachel - Backcountry Customer

Rachel - Backcountry Customer

From Iceland to Everest, Rachel’s dedicated her life to exploring as much of the world as she can. Balancing adventure with the constraints of a nine-to-five job makes her a meticulous planner, letting her make the most of limited time off. She says she doesn’t work out unless there’s a burrito or a pizza at the end; she’s earned both on this trip.

Cameron - Backcountry Customer

Cameron - Backcountry Customer

French-press aficionado, firefighter, former Marine, ’79 Land Cruiser restorer, and encyclopedia of movie quotes, Cameron is one of those rare people who make a deep impression in a short amount of time. His life goals are to make his wife laugh and to be someone that his 12-year-old self would admire.

Kate - Backcountry Ambassador

Kate - Backcountry Ambassador

You’d think a Revelstoke cat skiing guide might be an intimidating figure. Kate is anything but. Her magnetism and desire to talk to anybody about anything bonded our group of strangers from the get-go. She incites front flip contests atop sand dunes, wonders who can do handstands on a skateboard, and turns restaurant dinners into dance parties. On this raging bonfire of a trip, she’s the one stoking the flame.

What’s a Gearhead?