Montana-based ambassador Kina Pickett is a multi-dimensional maker and outdoorsperson: you can put him down as an Airstream adventurer, former pro skier, entrepreneur, photographer, and family man. Kina and his wife Nellie decided to use the pandemic as an opportunity to take their family on the road for months at a time in their Airstream trailer. Now it's just a way of life for them. They're blurring the lines between their outdoor and everyday lives, and taking us along for the ride.
Springtime in Montana can be tricky: it can be full-on winter, or 60 degrees, and it can snow in June. By about March we start to get the travel bug, and we crave the sun and the ocean... these adventures are something that have become part of our family's existence.
Keeping our kids connected to the land has always been paramount to my wife and me. In our view, nature is the only thing that can fight the screen. It's truly amazing, and when we are out in it, the kids thrive, they are fulfilled and they don't need anything, just to be surrounded by the environment. Rocks, rivers, lakes, oceans, forests... these become their playgrounds, this is where they shine, where their own energy is finally matched by the natural world around them and they glow.
This spring we hit the road, heading south out of Montana to make a quick stop in Zion before carrying on to California's central coast. Rock hopping, ocean breezes, red dirt, waves and sunshine in abundance. The shoulder seasons can be tricky, so we bring gear for warmth, rain, mud, sun and wind.
Zion is such a magical place. We spent our time getting lost in canyons, climbing red rock, and basking in the sun overlooking those majestic vistas; it's truly otherworldly. We got lucky this year and the weather was perfect. Seventy degrees and no wind, just beautiful.
From Zion we drove straight to the coast to spend some time just west of San Luis Obispo in a zone called Montaña de Ore. This time of year the campgrounds are empty, so if the weather is good, you're in for a treat. Montaña de Ore is one of the most beautiful places on the Central Coast. Think cypress trees, green valleys and private beach coves with sea caves and tide pools. We hunted for shells, surfed, rode e-bikes on the beach, cooked out under the stars... just perfection. The light on the coast in the mornings was something you could feel and touch, mist rising through the trees as the sun broke through around mid morning to reveal the Pacific in all her beauty. After Montaña de Ore, we headed up to the Big Sur area and roamed the coastlines to see elephant seals. The Central Coast is really special this time of year.
This kind of lifestyle has shaped our family. It brings us tighter together as a unit. We have built our life around these adventures purposefully, with something precious in mind. We want to give our kids something that no one can take away: experiences. Those are the gifts that last a lifetime. Something they can hold on to. Not something tangible, but rather stories, memories, adventures, and a sense of self.