Aslan Brewing Company (before and after)

24 06 2014

The Brewhouse

The Front House

The Front House (kitchen Side)

We received the keys to this building September 15, 2013. Gutted and retrofitted the building reusing as many materials as possible and opened our very own brewery and restaurant May 19, 2014. Visit us at 1330 N. Forest St. in Bellingham, WA! All of our beer is certified USDA organic and the food is unbelievable. Check us out online at or at /aslanbrewing


Ecuador Sessions: Work & Surf

17 01 2013

After a solid two months in Colombia, (I only planned on spending a couple of weeks there originally) the last month spent almost entirely climbing, we were ready to thaw out a bit and stop the hemmoraging of the bank accounts. We got an email back confirming a work/trade option from one of the owners of a little restaurant in Canoa, Ecuador and decided to send it. 45 hours by bus and three days later we made it to the Pacific. We basically fell into another job working as horseback riding guides and Danny was able to line up a free bed and meal at the horse owner’s hostel in exchange for daily horse maintenance. Work at the Surf Shak was much more like hanging out at night and serving people food and drinks. I was also able to make a little extra cash helping out with the surf lessons during the day. I’ll let the photos explain the rest, they tend to do a better job.

After a couple weeks living and working in Canoa I decided to head South. I would have stayed for months but the surf was a little too inconsistent for my unhoned abilities. I wanted to get to a place called Ayampe that is just North of the famous surfer party town Montanita. Danny and I had talked to a couple restaurant/hostel places there on a surfboard buying mission around the 1st of the month and the waves had been pretty good. I wasn’t able to line up the original job I wanted but got hooked up in the next town North called Las Tunas. The waves have been much better and the owner is a real gent. It’s going to be very hard when it comes time to leave La Viejamar.

Climbing in Colombia: Some Highlights

2 01 2013

Here are some photo highlights from the climbing in December. The first week we spent in Suesca, just north of Bogota:

After Suesca we made a hainus 7 bus 2 day connect to Mesa De Los Santos. We spent a week climbing the canyon crag and exploring the surrounding area called La Mojarra:

From Mesa De Los Santos we took quite possibly the worst bus ride I have ever had. 9 hours on a dirt road winding up a mountain towards the Venezuelan border. Got stranded at 4am in a grimy town with no idea what was happening.. ended up catching another bus at 5am further south and then finally another at 7am direct to El Cocuy. One of the most scenic places I have ever been. Most definitely worth all of the effort, freezing cold temps, uncooked rice and lentils, lack of gear, semi frost bitten toes, thrashed hands and general lack of oxygen. There is plenty of video footage to edit but photos will have to do for now:


29 11 2012

Bogota–> Suesca–> Bogota–> El Peñol–> Mesa De Los Santos–> San Gil–> Santa Marta–> Taganga–> Costeño Beach–> Santa Marta–> Palomino–> Santa Marta–> Cartagena then a flight back to Bogota, and a month gone to the road in the blink of an eye, feels more like two weeks since we landed in this wild country. The translation of money and language and understanding. The continual destruction of the stereotype, this country is dangerous. Until you get here and meet the people that call this “mi pais”. The people that have been so betrayed by the drugs and the violence and the rest of the world´s view and belief  that every Colombian is Pablo Escobar reincarnate. Instead it´s as if each citizen has taken it upon themself to fix their bad reputation. And they do it in a way that is no more self serving than your Grandma giving you cereal in the morning, with sugar and juice and love. And that´s it. The friendliest strangers I have ever met. Doesn´t matter that you butcher their language sounding more like Yoda than Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Sure it´s dangerous, but how safe is the South side of Chicago, or Flint, MI or Oakland? Common sense, a resurrection is a revelation.

The pure size and diversity of this country, the outdoor urnials, the buses; the fastest, coldest, bumpiest experience ever. The bigger the bus the more the driver seems to believe he is on a motorcycle. The lightening, every single night. Seriously. Hammock life. Empanadas, street meat and the fresh Aji salsa that deserves to be applied by the gallon. Almuerzo corriente, set lunches. Juice boxes – the best kind. The aguardiente, a “firey water” derived from sugar cane with a taste of anise. Makes me laugh until I cry. Literally. The night life. The music that grabs a hold and makes you dance with no other choice.

The mountains. The climbing. Monkey Barbie, tu puedes. More crack? Hornets nests on the crux (los santos). Overhung (everywhere). Run out. Loose bolts. Sandbagged. Gripped. But it´s facil. Big Jugs. Don´t think. Tranquilo. Eso es.

But most of all, the people.

Los Colombianos la gente me encanta.

Setting Sail – Project Kaisei

6 09 2012

STS Kaisei

I am heading back to Canada this weekend to meet up with the STS Kaisei (meaning Ocean Planet in Japanese). A 150ft square rigged brigantine sailboat owned by Ocean Voyages of Sausalito, CA. The boat is currently operated by the non-profit organization Project Kaisei. Their mission is to; “increase awareness of the scale of marine debris, its impact on our environment, and the solutions for both prevention and clean-up.” They have made several trips to the Pacific gyre and have been on  their mission since 2008. The upcoming expedition is going to focus on the tsunami debris that has been washing ashore the West coast of the US for several months now. We will be sailing about 200 to 300 miles offshore in an effort to take water samples and conduct research on the effects the debris is having on the ocean environment. I will be working as a deck hand, climbing the rig and setting sails (all the sails are set by hand on this boat!). Our port of call is going to be San Francisco and if everything goes according to plan I should be there in a couple weeks. I am looking forward to building some more sailing experience and working towards cleaning up our oceans, it ought to be quite the adventure!

Sailing under the Golden Gate bridge


Squamish Climbing Trip

5 09 2012

Over the labor day weekend I jumped in with my buddies Logan and Danny for a trip up to Squamish, BC. It’s a little over 2 hours North of Bellingham and sits right on the waters of Howe Sound. There is endless amounts of outdoor adventuring in the Squamish area but the climbing is truly world-class. The rock is predominantly granite and the main attraction, for us, is called the chief (pictured below, as seen from the town marina.)

We arrived on Friday evening and climbed a few routes on smaller cliffs that sit right across the highway from the marina called the Smoke Bluffs. After the warm-up we set up camp off of a gravel road closer to the Chief. We got a decent start in the morning and made it to the base of the Angel’s Crest route behind one other party. In the Squamish rock climbing guide Angel’s Crest is graded at 5.10c and has 14 pitches, so we were looking at about 2,000 feet of climbing, give or take.

     Logan led a majority of the pitches (all trad climbing) and Danny took a few as well, while I climbed in the middle all day. Pretty grateful to have friends that climb a lot harder than I do! Here’s Logan on Angel’s crack, the first tough pitch of climbing.

     It was a solid 12 hour day, we had a few breaks for food and scenery as well as a few nature hikes in the wrong direction, but all in all we were successful. Nobody fell and we were able to hike off  the back of the cliff on a well maintained trail. It has been a goal to climb the chief ever since I started climbing and getting up on it was worth the wait. Here’s a few more photos from the climb. 

Master Bathroom Remodel

26 06 2012

For the past couple months my Dad, brother and I have been working together on several construction projects. The most recent project that we completed was a bathroom/master bedroom remodel for our friend Blake in Mt. Vernon, WA. He wanted to utilize the space he had more efficiently and upgrade his bathroom in a modern style. Frank put together several designs with Blake’s goals in mind. (There are photos of the blueprints below.) With the new design to work from we went in for the demolition phase of the project. We took the old bathroom out entirely, moved several walls and cleaned the room out to prepare for the new design. New walls were framed, plumbing and electrical was re-routed, new drywall and paint were installed and the new bathroom space was created.

We built new pine shelving in his closet and matched the stain with the rest of the wood doors and trim in the house. His old vanity got modified to fit the new location and a poured a concrete counter on top. New sink basins and a nice stone back splash finished the sink area quite nicely. The next upgrade was radiant heating (on a programmable thermostat) throughout the entire bathroom and black granite tile on the floor, baseboard and tub deck. Black brushed slate tile was used on the floor to ceiling shower walls, granite for the shower bench and local river pebbles for the floor. The Schluter drain was also a nice upgrade, a long slot like drain that sits up against the bench to make the illusion of the drain water flowing under the bench. More pine was used for a towel rack and trim around the exterior of the shower. Finally, the rest of the fixtures, mirrors and glass were installed to complete the project.