Chris Young, March's Contributor of the Month, is someone who doesn't mind a road trip for a great outdoor experience. He has shared adventures ranging from Wizard Island in Crater Lake to a tour of Alcatraz Island and Prison in the San Francisco Bay, and his Cleetwood Cove contribution earned honors as the best adventure write-up on Outdoor Project for Summer 2013. Chris' other passion is music. He recently launched his newest endeavor, Vortex Music Magazine, and we're huge fans! He is also the managing editor of Neighborhood Notes and a founder of Oregon Music News. I sat down with Chris to find out his secret to creating time for outdoor photography and working with Outdoor Project while also launching Vortex Music Magazine, which is currently raising money via Kickstarter to fund the publication of its first issue.
JARED: Chris, thanks for sitting down with me. To start, how did you find out about Outdoor Project and why did you decide to become a contributor?
CHRIS: You have Tim Rasmussen and a mutual friend of ours to thank! Our friend had shown me Outdoor Project and told me Tim had done the development, and I was impressed by his work. Tim and I were just about to head off to the wedding of that same mutual friend in Southern Oregon, and I was taking a week off following the wedding for a trip to Crater Lake, Bend, and some places in between. I thought contributing those trips to Outdoor Project would be a great way to share some information and photos about these adventures.
JARED: That's one of the fun parts of Outdoor Project, watching how this network of friends of friends gets involved. Your trip to Crater Lake covered a lot of ground. What was the most exciting part of that trip?
CHRIS: During our trip, we had a few of those memorable moments when we were standing directly in front of something of utter natural beauty and found ourselves all alone. Whether it’s a waterfall, canyon, swimming hole or summit, that feeling of being the only one there, like you've discovered this natural phenomenon and you have it all to yourself, is powerful. All the hard work you put in to get to some of these places pays off when you reach the summit or lookout. And then there is an ancillary payoff when you’re enjoying a beer and pizza at the bar post trip.
JARED: I can definitely relate to that, and I'm sure many of Outdoor Project's community members can too.
CHRIS: That's my favorite reason for being outdoors. It's experiencing astounding natural beauty and abundant peaceful solitude. There are so many natural wonders near and far that top my list of things to do before I die. Getting outside and away from my computer and devices gives me the ability to disconnect momentarily and be alone with my thoughts or with someone I want to spent time with while hopefully working up a sweat.
JARED: So what are those spots on your bucket list for future adventures?
CHRIS: I'd like to summit Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens, hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, explore Iguaçu Falls in South America before heading west to Lake Titicaca or south to Patagonia, or even way east to the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, as well as visit more of the islands along the Dalmatian and Greek coasts. I'd also really like to explore Southeast Asia and Oceania in general.
JARED: So you've just launched Vortex Music Magazine to add to your other projects. What can you tell us about it?
CHRIS: I have been planning Vortex Music Magazine for a year and a half along with my partner David Mosher, who owned and ran Art Media retail stores for 37 years. Inspired by past Portland-based and music-centric publications, we thought the local music scene deserved a magazine focused solely on it, one that includes the culture, community and industry that's alive in Portland today, as well as the history behind it all. We also believe the music scene in Portland is on the verge of something great. What exactly is anyone's guess, but we'd like to be there to document it.
JARED: I've been checking it out and am thrilled by the quality of journalism you're bringing to the local music scene. It lives and breathes the same desire to apply really high-quality coverage to music experiences along the same lines of what we're doing at Outdoor Project.
CHRIS: Definitely! We like to say that the print magazine will be like Sports Illustrated, because we're focused on just one thing, which in our case is Portland music, and National Geographic, because you can pick up a Nat Geo and learn about a topic or person that you never knew even existed. Our online presence will focus on immediate access to information including news, a curated concert calendar, and digital media, as well as a Northwest business and artist directory featuring local musicians and music-related businesses.
If we are going to print an actual hold-in-your-hands magazine, the goal is to create content that will have value well beyond its two-month-long shelf life. We're really excited to feature high-quality photography, including portraits of not just musicians but people involved in the industry. Beyond our content, we also believe that our design will really set us apart. We have very high standards for journalism, photography and design and believe these values will lead to a magazine that sets us apart from what's currently available.
JARED: So how do we get the print magazine?
CHRIS: Our website is live now, and we are currently doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to publish our debut print issue. It will hit the streets this May. Once that's out, hopefully I'll have more time for my outdoor adventure pursuits, just in time for the summer.
See below for some of the adventures Chris has contributed to Outdoor Project.