It’s always so much easier to wake up early in the summertime, and having a destination like Hazel Valley ranch made it even less difficult. Outside it was some magical number between sixty and seventy degrees out, and with just enough light coming through the clouds. We started by 6:20am, and were treated to stunning sights around the ranch throughout class.
Directly in front of the class was a pond in perfect standstill, and in the distance we watched the mist wrap around the tree line under morning light. We heard the odd grunts of the buffalo nearby, and the soft chirping of birds as well. Throughout all of this our instructor Crystal Beshears led a class that complimented the time and location beautifully.
After class the participants were even friendlier to one another than before, and all hung around to talk and explore the area for a bit. Hazel Valley Ranch, which will also be the location of our festival End of Summer Daze this year, has a truly special vibe to it. We saw the makings of a giant slip n slide, parts of an epic 36 disc golf course, and much more that makes me incredibly stoked to send the Summer off in grand style.
The cheerful scene above captures what makes these classes one of my favorite parts of working at Fayettechill. Smiles shared between strangers. Without a doubt that makes waking up a little earlier than normal worth it for me.
End of Summer Daze (EOSD) Is just under a week away, and we couldn’t be more excited in the land of Fayettechill. It’s been a big year for the boys of FC - winning Small Business of the Year from Arkansas Business set off a series of good vibes, and we’ve been riding the waves ever since. This year we have expanded into the double digits of states we’re carried in, found a real home in the Smokehouse of the bottom of Mt. Kessler, seen that mountain’s Greenways protected into perpetuity by the council of the city we love, stepped into the cut-and-sew game, funded our first crowd sourced Kickstarter project for the Journeyman, and are now in the middle of new store whose layout and location are what dreams are made out of. What to do next? Celebrate of course! And we want you to join in on the party.
EOSD is designed to mean something different to each person who attends. For us, it’s our way of saying thank you for supporting us and our vision as a lifestyle brand and company. Everyday we receive an incredible amount of positive feedback from supporters who believe in the lifestyle we promote. Our inboxes are filled with passions for camping, climbing, hiking, biking, fishing, and explorations & adventures of all kinds. Our goal with EOSD was to create a weekend long experience where you could fully submerge yourself in many, or all, of the lifestyle components we promote as company. Of course, we wanted to present the most chill versions of each of these activities, so that the steep learning curve that often dissuades people from partaking wouldn’t be an issue.
In one aspect, End of Summer Daze is a challenge: What do you have left in your Summer? Let’s put it all out on the table and play in the Ozarks under the Summer sun and stars across a beautiful, private 300 acre ranch just 35 minutes outside of Fayetteville. What could make this experience even better? Friends, of course! And we’ve got them waiting for you in spades, and in all varieties. One of the most amazing aspects of this festival will be the people who partake in it. At this stage of its development, the lifestyle available at EOSD is a little gem not yet scene by our wound up world. All who attend will surely feel as if they are at a private showing of something truly special, and the best part is, it is they who get to write the script of exactly what it will become.
So what are the basics you need to know for this most amazing weekend?
LOCATION - 16330 Olive Rd, Fayetteville AR. Don’t let the address fool you, the ranch is actually just outside of Elkins, but has a Fayetteville zip code. Put it into to Google maps and it will take you right there.
There are two ways to get in:
General Admission ($65) - this gets you general access to the festival. Open camping throughout the ranch, outside showers, a pantheon of outdoor activities, holistic living programming, artistic stimulation, and two full nights of live and local music.
VIP ($100) - this will get you all the above but, in addition, you will have access to VIP camping in the more shaded, forested areas of the ranch, and access to the Buffalo Lodge, which has an A/C, shower, and private bathrooms in addition to other amenities.
If you haven’t purchased a ticket yet, you can some for you and your friends here - http://shop.fayettechill.com/collections/yoga-adventure-series/products/experiencethedaze
What to bring: ¡BUG SPRAY AND/OR REPELLENT! Don’t forget, it is August in Arkansas, so bugs will be out and about, but not in such numbers that some well strategized bug spray and citronella candles can’t handle. The ranch is very well maintained, so bring some light deterrents to the critters and you’ll be fine. Beyond that bring your camping basics - a tent, sleeping pad, blankets, chairs, canopy to block the sun, instruments, MP3 players, and anything else that will make you comfortable in the outdoors. You can car camp so that’s chill too.
The weather has been relatively mild this summer, so dress for weather in 80-90s during the day, and upper 60s - 70s at night. There are multiple water components to the ranch (slip-n-slide, above ground pool, middle fork of the White River, swimming holes) so be sure to bring a swimsuit or something similar.
The rule of cool is food is alway welcome, and EOSD is no different. Stuff your cooler with your favorite summer snacks and bring some to share with friends. Drinks are BYOB but we ask that no glass is brought onto the HVR property. There is a strange time-continuum anti-matter pocket around and below the ranch that will implode if any glass is brought on property. We would totally be cool with glass if it wasn’t for this fact.
Beyond that, the most important thing you can bring is the one-two punch of good vibes and dancing shoes. These two essentials will take your further into the festival than any words I might string together.
Okay so you want the deets:
The festival is broken down into four components, each designed to represent and reflect a component of an ideal lifestyle we at Fayettechill value. Let’s break down the 101s on each of these components.
Outdoor Recreation - in addition to a weekend of camping the following outdoor activities will be available throughout the weekend: rock climbing (in the form of bouldering), mountain biking (1 mile, 4, 5 mile tracks), trail running, longboarding, scavenger hunt, yoga, frisbee golf, fishing, ultimate frisbee, horseshoes, and swimming holes. Plus you can make up your own game and activities so feel free to get creative. The Outdoor Rec will be directed by Team FC Climber, Ben Putman.
Holistic Living - in addition to Native Nectar cold pressed juices available throughout the weekend, the following classes & activities are programed for your holistic health, center at the Holistic Healing Center: detox class, kundalini yoga, a healthy eating class, intro to Reiki, compositing and gardening class, ashtanga yoga, guided meditation, and massages, including a couple’s massage class.
Music & Entertainment: We have a stacked lineup for your entertainment over the weekend over two nights - Chill & Jam (Friday) and Groove & Dance (Saturday)
Chill & Jam
High Lonesome | Comfortable Brothers | Farmer’s & the Markets | Goose | Shawn James Band | Fractal Sky
Groove & Dance
Will Gunselman | Cutty Rye | Great Escape | Irie Lions | Cadillac Jackson | Goose | EOSD Dance Party ft. Diø Nysus | Fractal Sky | Rat Hatchet | Archnemesis
…feel free to bring your instruments and jam along to these shows or create jam circles of your own anywhere throughout the ranch. This is your party too!
Artistic Stimulation - The final component of EOSD will offer participants a chance to stoke or tap into their inner artist. There will be body painting with FC artist Joelle Storet, and also a painting class. In addition there will be a drawing class with Chad Maupin, Fayettechill numero uno artist and creator of some of the most iconic art associated with Fayettechill. Matt Miller of REfresh and The Path Outfitters will also be leading a community art project, and there will be a create your own something amazing station so you can created individual pieces with the nature that surrounds you. You can expect a lot more than this too, as artistic creation in this situation has a way of gaining a life of its own.
The most simple definition of End of Summer Daze is that it is a lifestyle festival celebrating all that is chill in the Ozarks. But really, this festival is a blank canvas for you to create lifelong memories with your family and friends, new and old. These are the types of experiences that only become available for a short time each year, and sometimes never again, so if you are feeling a little inkling to join in on the fun, don’t think - DO! Once you find yourself on the ranch, greeted Tatonka the buffalo, found your campsite and begin to chill you will realize a very certain fact - you have surrounded yourself with people had the same inkling as you. People who saw the same glimmer of magic that windows into weekends like this encourage, and were moved enough to not just to make it happen, but add to it with the individual contribution that is the presence of their personality.
Great shot by Fayettechill Photographer samjmatthews.
Chillin in Austin, TX.
We are so close to reaching our Kickstarter goal with the Journeyman, the water-proof backpack that carries all your important belongings. Visit the link below to help us get there and be a part of something big!
Tandie - We’d been riding hard for weeks leading up to Angle Fire. New Mexico would be the first DH race of the season, and ‘stoked’ didn’t do our excitement justice. We planned to roll out of Fayetteville at 4 on Wednesday evening, which would put us in Angel Fire around 3am mountain time, but like any good road trip, we were a few hours behind.
With two dirt jumpers on top and two carbon framed bikes on the back, the four of us piled into the VW, rolled the windows down (no a/c), and headed West. We took turns hardly sleeping in the backseat and fighting the rain in the front, though the front seat view of the lighting storms was well worth the drive time. A few gas stops and Erin’s first-ever Arby’s sandwich later - we were at The Mountain. Racers could hit the lifts early, so Dustin and I took a quick nap and headed up to registration/packet pickup. As with most Mt. bike events, registration was a little awry, which left time for a quick hang with DH Pro Jill Kintner who was next to us in line - according to Jill, the Pacific NW is the place to be - convincing us that we needed to take a trip.
Zero sales tax this weekend!
Outfit your smallest companions with the coziest, coolest onesie out there.
Sale tomorrow, don’t miss it.
Last Sunday Fayettechill warehouse extraordinaire, Darrin Wahl, invited a few of us onto his boat to cruise around Beaver lake, and do some board riding.
Darrin grew up on Beaver Lake and was raised in and around water, where he has developed some amazing skills behind a boat. His father is a world class bare-foot skier, so for Darrin, pushing the limits behind a boat was always encouraged. He is typically seen on a wakeboard doing back rolls and spins while being towed with a rope, but on this balmy Sunday he taught us how to navigate the wake without a rope using a wake surfboard and one of my surfboards I have laying around the house from my time in Costa Rica. We were ready to get into the water.
Wake surfing is the same as normal surfing in that the angle of the wave creates a continual slope that propels the board forward. The main difference on Sunday from being in the ocean was that we were on a man-made wave, cruising through a lake.
We put as many people on one side of the boat along with a huge sack filled with water, adding about 500 pounds. This weighed down the boat and created a huge wake with a picture perfect, curling wave behind us. Darrin jumped on first and showed us how it’s done. He carved smoothly and methodically through a few sets and then let Mo and I get our feet wet. We were having a blast feeling the wave propel us and learning small tricks and turns.
Once I was able to get the rhythm of the wave, I was feeling super comfortable. It was just the same as my many years surfing in Costa Rica and California. Mo and I each shared more than ten sets, each time feeling out the wave better and adding more technical moves to our runs. Although it is a very different experience from the ocean I was able to fulfill my passion for the surf and became a instant addict to the lake wave that Darrin so skillfully learned to sculpt.
People passing by on the boats would stare and point, as riding the wake without a rope caught a couple odd looks. After a long sun-tapped afternoon on the lake, Darrin dropped us off at the nearby marina, satisfied with letting us in on his little piece of refuge. Big thanks to Darrin and Shelby for making this happen. I really look forward to hitting this again while Summer is still peaking.
Fayettechill Flannels: coming this fall.
Big announcement from us at Fayettechill: Free Shipping on all orders online! Thanks for spreading the word all over, we’d like to return the favor.
I met Jessica Day about 6 months ago. I recognized her name after fulfilling many of her online orders. When most of my days were spent reading order manifests and folding Fayettechill shirts, a lot of the names I read through to began to run together, but I immediately recognized Jessica’s name when I heard her story.
Since I began at Fayettechill in 2011, I have always tried to present Fayettechill as more than a product or an item of clothing. Fayettechill is the platform that we use to inspire people to experience nature. I see the Ozarks as our muse, and Fayettechill acting as the product of that inspiration. This has had a real and personal effect on everyone that I work with. Our non-profits we help support, the hiking and camping trips with my fellow friends, and the people who have found a new outdoor hobby through Fayettechill are what make my job so satisfying. But the most important thing to me is meeting people, one by one and hearing the unique and inspiring ways in which Fayettechill has helped them in some way or another. Despite everything, by far the most lasting impression I have had is my interaction with Jessica and her best friend Timmy.
Jessica and Timmy have been avid outdoor enthusiasts since they were young. Timmy loves hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and anything and everything that is outside. Timmy and Jessica are Ft. Smith natives and are true Ozark enthusiasts. On any given weekend, you could find Jessica and Timmy floating the Mulberry, gazing at the view over White Rock Mountain, or camping at many of the region’s beautiful parks. Jessica was always there to support Timmy during a tough problem on a boulder, someone to hike with, and just enjoy each other’s company. Timmy and Jessica found companionship, nature, and beauty, and things were good.
The accident happened on September 22nd, 2013 on Hwy 215 between Ozark and Mulberry. Timmy was in a terrible car wreck near the Mulberry River and had to be life flighted to Fort Smith, then later that night to Little Rock. He was on a ventilator for about a month and a half. He had a tracheostomy, countless surgeries, dialysis, heart rate problems, pneumonia, and more. Everyone close to Timmy was heartbroken. The doctor’s prognosis was pragmatic and bleak. Timmy had a 1% chance to even live, and was told he would certainly be paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life. On top of this he had a brain injury which would take him years, if ever, to return to the “old Timmy.”
Timmy, Jessica, their families, and their loving support system did not give up. They stood by Timmy’s side day after day, supporting him and praying for a miracle. A miracle is exactly what they received. The doctors, who initially gave him such a somber prognosis, were amazed to see that he not only survived, but began to re-gain function of his arms. Timmy made slow progress, moved to several hospitals throughout the next few months and was finally given the okay to go home with his mother, Elizabeth.
Timmy’s fight is still not over. He is making positive strides everyday but is currently looking for a surgeon to fix his throat so he can eat solid food. He is making progress in motor functions but is still in a wheelchair, which helps with his arm strength. He is under constant care from his mother, and the days of hiking the Ozarks seem like only a distant dream.
After Timmy improved upon the unpromising prediction from the doctors, the possibilities are endless as to how far he can go. “Timmy never has been and never will be the type to give up. Every day is a struggle and fight but he keeps on going,” said Jessica. Timmy would ALWAYS say, “Everybody love Everybody,” and “God bless us each and every one.”
Jessica admitted to this being one of the toughest stretches in her life, but her feelings are unfathomable compared to how Timmy feels. As Jessica has stood by while Timmy fights, going from being outside everyday to stuck in a bed has not been easy to live through or witness. But they don’t really have time to ponder on what-ifs and other scenarios. “It has not been easy but we all realize that the situation is what it is and now the only choice we have is to move on and make the best of what life has dealt,” said Jessica. “There is so much further that he has to go and much more healing that needs to take place. At this point even though he is in a wheelchair, who is to say that he won’t ever walk again,” she added.
After speaking to Jessica, her story left me numb and feeling selfish. I thought about all the things I had stressed about over the past few days, and realized how self-serving it was. Timmy is fighting for his life and Jessica and their families are there throughout it all and I’m sitting here worrying about my late rent payment and the $10 I spent at Andy’s Frozen Custard the night before. Timmy’s story is not about pity or empathy, but about the beauty of human perseverance. You find out a lot about yourself when you’re in a hole and feel like there’s no way out. Then, when you’re above ground, you leave the experience stronger and better. Life happens in the trenches. Life is hard. It’s about dealing with life and making it work for you.
Whatever I experience in my daily grind with Fayettechill will never fathom what Timmy and Jessica are going through. My goal with Fayettechill is for people to be inspired. I want people to see a Fayettechill product, or a photo tagged with Fayettechill, or someone talking about Fayettechill, and take away a positive feeling from that. Whether you are hiking the Ozarks, riding your bike in the city, or at home with family, I want Fayettechill to help people realize what’s really important in life. Timmy and Jessica have definitely helped me realize what’s important in my life, and I hope their story can do the same for you.
All MADE IN THE USA shirts and tanks will be $17.76 for the entity of Independence Day, one of our favorite holidays around the Fayettechill HQ. Happy 4th of July everyone!
In an area with renowned floating, fishing, climbing, bouldering, camping, and any other “-ing” activity people love to do outdoors, there’s little mountain biking. This has been corrected with an exclamation point for the mountain biking community, from the mountain biking community. With over 30 miles of rolling Buffalo National Forest we welcome the trails of the Upper Buffalo.
On Monday, June 16th, marked the grand opening of another (soon to be) epic trail in Arkansas, as it has applied for “epic” status from the International Mountain Biking Association. Beside meeting the thrilling epic trail qualifiers, what makes this trail a stand out is the simple fact that it’s located right around the headwaters to the iconic Buffalo National River.
It truly was a community that birthed this trail. It appears that same community has plenty of energy to continue to raise it, and share it for all to enjoy. The native Arkansas company Progressive Trail Design was selected to connect the long time work of the local non-profit group Ozark Off-Road Cyclist’s trails, a local organization we are proud work with at Fayettechill. Aside from chopping these trails since the beginning, the Ozark Off-Road Cyclists put in over 200 hours of work in the few weeks leading up to the opening, hauling in and planting over 25 heavy, steel trail markers (with a complete map of the trails, sections, difficulties, topography, and more thanks to IMBA for gps mapping) at each intersection. The OORC and IMBA have also been hard at work establishing a maintenance and Bike Patrol program, with the aid of the Walton Family Foundation, that will utilize local riders and residents to do trail recon, weed eating, and offer their renowned hospitality to visiting riders. Camping and guided rides will soon be introduced to the park.
The celebration of the trails official opening was hosted by the United States Forest Service with a large gathering of OORC members, IMBA reps, excited locals, and mountain bikers from around the area. Phat Tire Bike Shop out of Northwest Arkansas even donated a Trek hardtail to the USFS crew for them to enjoy the trails on when they weren’t busy maintaining our pristine forests and rivers. After this, we rode.
These trails are badass. You want flow? They give you flow. You want water crossings? They’ve got those too, and lots of them. Did we mention this is the buffalo river headwaters? Waterfalls, blue holes, vegetation, - LIFE is everywhere. Miles of downhill sections, miles of uphill sections, but, most magnificently, miles of secluded, beautiful, Buffalo wilderness is all around you. As we rode we heard water falling, brakes squealing, and an occasional “YEEE” and “Wahoo!” as riders were taking flight over the rolling sections or off rocks serving as a quick kicker, whipping around the hairpin berms, and splashing through clear mountain streams.
Next time you’re looking for an epic ride, look no further than the Upper Buffalo. Located just 1.5hours from Fayetteville downtown and get ready for a truly breathtaking experience.
How to get there: Directions from Fayetteville… Take Hwy 16E through Elkins, Brashears, St Paul, (Hwy 16 turns right about 2 miles east of St Paul) to Pettigrew to Red Star. Continue 6/10 mile past Red Star and turn left on Madison County 3595 (dirt road known locally as Cave Mountain Road). Hwy 16 bends right and MC 3595 turns back to the left. Stay to the right on the County Road and you will find yourself a large gravel area with a big wooden trail sign structure. Park here.
For more information on the Upper Buffalo and other nearby trails, check them out in detail here.
Thanks and happy riding - Eric Kearney, Fayettechill Basecamp manager