The Story...







I met gnarly in Utah.

It was 2016, a friend and I were road trippin' through the Grand Staircase, the most amazing mix of desert, canyons, and mountains I'd ever seen. Views of rolling canyons with shades of bright white, vibrant browns, and brushes of green filled every sight during the day. The nights were pitch black besides what looked like glitter dust scattered across the skies. Which always seemed to put us into some sort of philosophical mode full of thoughtfulness and deep discussion. If you woke up early enough in the early morning hours, you were graced with glimpses of our cosmic neighborhood, the milky way galaxy. 

This particular day we were up on Boulder Mountain, just outside of Boulder, Utah. A town of just a few hundred lucky people, brave enough to abandon and stay away from the stress and busyness of the big cities most of us are too afraid to leave. We found an awesome primitive camping spot off the side of the mountain overlooking the Grand Staircase. After setting up camp, I walked off to find some solitude, sat on a boulder and began contemplating the direction of my life.

The adventures I'd experienced on this trip had brought so much satisfaction, I wondered why it had to end. I began to questioned the path I was on and much of what society had to say about living life. If enlightenment exists, that was the closest I've ever been to it. And, that's when I met Gnarly. Hiking down the mountain, I heard a medium toned voice say, "Good evenin' traveler". Slightly startled, I turned and nodded. I immediately sensed a unique energy. Little did I know, that this encounter would change the course of my life forever.

Sitting down next to me I was a little taken back by the willingness to plop down next to a stranger. "My name is, Phil" I said, trying to break the silence. "Gnarly" he said, as we shook hands. A little confused, "You think the name Phil is gnarly?" I said. "No, no, my name is, Gnarly. Well, my new name anyways. I reinvented myself a year ago and thought it was proper for my new life." I was immediately captivated. "Wow, sounds like you have an interesting story" I said. "What made you want to reinvent yourself?" 

Turns out Gnarly had become a nomad. Traveling around in an old renovated RV, he abandoned a comfortable job in the city for a life of simplicity and adventure. He spent his days exploring the vast western landscapes and making ends meet by selling creative goods made from abandoned stuff he'd found or salvaged along his travels. 

It's hard to completely describe Gnarly. A unique presence indeed. Definitely a dirtbag, but a pleasant one. Full of wisdom and passion about living simply and mindfully. He described his reinvention of self as a born again experience. And, it felt as if this was his ministry. This was one of Gnarly's newfound purposes. Meeting people on his travels and preaching about a better life available to anyone willing to reject the madness of society. Proselytizing a connection with nature, cherishing experiences over over accumulating stuff, and I was slowly becoming a convert. It spoke to my heart in the same way that religion speaks to some.

I told Gnarly about my road trip experiences and the questioning of my life's purpose and direction. That i felt as if there was something else for me to do. What Gnarly said to me sent chills down my spine,

"Phil the spirit of mother nature is speaking to you. If you listen and heed the call ideas will flow from you like the Colorado River. You will find the freedom you seek and do your part in changing the materialistic culture of America. Follow her guidance and the path you want and need will open up. People will come along your path, just as I have today. Their vision will join with yours and a powerful force for change will be created."

My road trips in the west and encounters with "Gnarly Nomad" are what lead me to start the Gnarly Nomad Brand. A lifestyle brand seeking to change the materialistic madness our society is caught up in. 

Peace and Love, 

Phil


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