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Savage Gulf - by Jackson Thomas

In 2016 we've seen incredible growth in our community of explorers. The coolest part about that growth is seeing all the adventures you guys share with us. I go on adventures of my own and try to share as much as possible but it takes the brand to a whole new level when people are interacting with us the way y'all have been. It's exactly the vision 'Merica Clothing Co. was founded on, an entire community inspired by adventure. 

Check out the latest film Jackson Thomas created for us. It's awesome to see people grow with their talents and Jackson is a perfect example of that. He creates new content daily some give the man a follow (@jacksonkthomas) and subscribe to his youtube.

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24 Hours - by Faith Fitzgerald

We recently were connected with Faith Fitzgerald on Instagram. After talking with her, we decided to collaborate. We sent her a few products and asked the question, "What does "inspired by adventure" means to you." In exchange, she photographed our products and wrote the following blog. Hope you find it as inspiring as we do! Enjoy.

When thinking on what I would write for this blog I really wanted to capture the mission of 'Merica Clothing Co. With that I realized that I myself strive after that same mission daily. You see, my passion is capturing things behind a camera, it is my constant goal to find the unnoticed because with each thing nature has provided me to capture its actually taught me more and more about the beauty of the people who wander amongst it and with that I want to share my heart a little because one thing nature has taught me is the power of transparency and genuine vulnerability.

We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the universe and it is filled with such a uniquely wonderful diversity of human beings! But I must ask, have we taken that for granted?  Have we become so consumed with the American rat race of education and career with our only efforts being to fill our personal bank accounts so that we have some kind of false security blanket ultimately leaving the fact that we're still breathing as our only definition of living?

There are so many complex parts of nature, so many details that without one another working in harmony it wouldn't thrive and I've learned that we human beings are just the same, we've become so consumed and distracted by the things that stir fear and selfish desires within us that we've forgot to embrace actually living, and how can we have life without embracing life? It's time we take off the blinders our stigmas of success have placed over our ability to see that beauty awaits, we must cast off these chains of division and strife and accept the beautiful reality that is us only thriving through harmony, let's become one again because it is our differences that make us one, it is where the thought that some lack and some gain is put to shame because we're all equally apart and simply have life differently so that we may invest our strengths into one another's weaknesses.

You're probably wondering why I titled this blog "24 hours" and the reason is because on September 13th 2016 it only took 24 hours for my life to take detour, a detour that began with my dad walking into the coffee shop after his doctors appointment, while my mom alongside him had tears streaming from her face and within seconds my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach when hearing the words "It's stage three lung cancer" come pouring from the mouth of my hero of a Daddy, It was in that moment I examined the every wasted breathe I had spent on meaningless selfishness because that moment reminded me of the seconds I had failed to seize, I had simply taken not only my time for granted but the time of those I claim to love! You're life may be gone before you get it together so ask yourself is this the adventure I'd want people see in my legacy because what if this was simply the last 24 hours of me?

Moral of this endless passionate babble typing: Be inspired by the living that awaits and do not take it's beauty for granted for now is the time to seize the adventure.

- With love and flowers, Faith Marie Fitzgerald.

Follow Faith and her great work on Instagram @faithbulous
 

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YO YONAH!

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YO YONAH!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of taking on Yonah Mountain with the wonderful Lauren Gates and a pup nicknamed Momo 🐕. We had planned the hike a week in advance having realized neither of us had seen the mountain. The forecast the days leading up was consistent in saying we'd have great hiking weather with a high upwards of 70 degrees.

We left Atlanta around 11:30. Despite a few missed turns, we made it to the trailhead gravel lot in a very reasonable time. Yonah Mountain notoriously stands out as surrounding mountains and hills are much smaller and less steep. However, standing at the trailhead Saturday, we had to guess where the peak might be behind the intense fog.

Momo, in his blue bandana, led the first stretch. We soon realized we'd be lucky to even catch a glimpse of the sun. We didn't mind it though; the trail was one of the more unique trails I've been on. There were many areas of large exposed boulders covered in moss and lichen. We weren't surprised to see some climbers making there way up some of the bigger rock faces. Momo didn't seem up for the challenge so we kept on the trail.

Halfway (about 1.2 miles) up the trail you come to a flat cleared area suitable for group camping. There's a neat view and plenty of room for a Bon fire. Continuing up from there, you'll hike a section of Georgia clay. This may be the most difficult section in my mind. It's steep and the footing is rough especially on a day where the clay is damp and slick. As we rose higher into the clouds, visibility became worst. We'd hear down-hikers way before they appeared from the fog. Thankfully no other creatures appeared out of THE MIST (in reference to the Stephen King novel/movie). Lauren was apparently the only one on that mountain aware of that danger.

Shortly after passing an area used for military training, you come to a bald at the summit. Trees circled the area providing many hammock sites. Fire pits are scattered across the open area and into the wooded perimeter as well. There is a ton of room for hammock and tent campers to spread out. We hung our Enos around an existing fire-pit. An impressive trio of younger guys had a fire blazing in minutes. Resourcefully, I attempted to borrow their flames to start our own fire. I hate giving up on a fire but after many failed attempts, I concluded my kindling was too damp. When the guys left, we inherited their blaze. The temperature was great when we were hiking up, but once stopped, we became a bit chilly. I had worn shorts expecting a sunny day so the fire was a nice touch. 

We stayed up top for a while hanging around, eating cliff bars, tending the fire, and talking with some enthusiastic bare-foot hikers (shout out to those Tarahumara inspired brothers). Momo enjoyed hammock break after having to be carried a little ways up. We couldn't resist but to snap a bunch of photos of the eerie summit. 

 

On our way down, the fog subsided a bit and we were able to catch some of the scenery. The down-hike is always the easier part but don't let it fool you into thinking you can run over some of the slick earth or you'll wind up eating it. At that point our mind was on eating tortilla chips with a fresh bowl of salsa. Momo was just ready for a nap.

We'll definitely make it back to Yonah for a few reasons. Not only did we not get to experience the views, but the mountain is easy to fall in love with. It will be perfect for a group camping trip this spring. Interested? Go ahead and leave a comment below! We'd love to see you up there.

-David

 

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Blood Mountain

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Blood Mountain

My brother and I started on the Byron Reece trailhead around 4:00 pm on Saturday. We had a 1400 ft elevation gain hike in front of us. The pace was set high in order to have the camp situated before sun-down. The trail is considered moderate to difficult with its steep rocky inclines. We determined our pace was too fast after making it to the top out of breath and hearts pounding. Panoramic views of the rolling Appalachian mountains were neat. The total time of the hike up was 1hr 15mins which left us plenty of time to set up camp before the sun set. 

If you've ever experienced an Appalachian Mountain sunset, you know that capturing its magnificence is impossible to do in a photo or video. Standing on the peak of Blood Mountain, you're able to see a great expanse of the mountain range as it extends northeast. Cold winds chilled us to the bone but we kept our eyes on the rewarding scenery until the show was over.

No time was wasted sparking up a camp fire. We strategically set up camp in such a way that a rock wall that shielded us from wind. After a few hours of warmth by the fire, we bundled up into our Eno hammocks. Sleep was very limited as we battled to keep our feet from becoming icicles (multiple pairs of socks and foot warmers would've been nice). We decided to restart the camp fire at 5:30 am after our feet had had enough. I rehung my Eno in order to hang my feet over the fire. Finally warm, I was able to get a couple more hours of shut-eye. Meanwhile, Daniel laid his sleeping bag next to the fire, every now and again feeding the flames.

The fog didn't allow us to see the sun rise. We were packed up and departing from camp by 8:30 am. I've always favored morning hikes not only because it normally contains a lot of downhill, but because of how peaceful they can be. We passed many hikers on the way up the mountain but on the morning hike we passed just two couples. It only took us 45 minutes to reach the bottom. 

My first time on Blood Mountain was all-in-all a great experience. The views from the top are simply outstanding and no-doubt worth the 4.8 mile round-trip. It's a great day-hike destination. I'm interested to see what the camping is like during spring.

- David

P.S. Blood Mountain's name is believed to originate from a bloody battle between the Cherokee and Creek Indians.

 

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Clear Vision 2016

In our three years of business, we've been blessed to interact with with such a quality group of customers, partners, and supporters. Being such a small business, it's easy to lose focus from time to time. There are many distractions in the world that can distort our vision. When I first started the company I didn't know what to expect. I knew I loved being active, traveling throughout America, and communicating through graphic design. I wanted a way to express my passion for the outdoors through graphic design in a way that could benefit a greater good. Our ultimate goal is to inspire people of all ages to go on adventures, to get outside, and to be active. Profits we raise will one day allow us to host camps and trips for youth and young adults. 

One of the things I cherish most is having seen the entire lower 48 with my siblings over a series of road trips. Whenever I'm asked about the coolest thing I've ever done I think about the time I, along with 14 friends, painstakingly hiked 14,429 ft to the summit of Mt. Massive. If these are the memories I value most, I'm inclined to encourage others get out and experience it for themselves.

Coming into 2016, business is growing rapidly and our vision is more clear than ever. We are more than just a clothing company, we are a growing community of bad-asses inspired by adventure. 

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