1000 posts on a blogspot doesn’t sound like much of a topic to, well, blog about. But if you ask these motherfuckers or anyone else who’s ever tried holding down a consistent blog, blogging ain’t easy, especially when done well. Jackson Allen does just that. His blog, the Santa Cruz, CA based, Sasquatch Canyon is a testament to what good things can come from the internet and new media. The site is not an overnight sensation or a place for your sponsorship news, but rather a place for local scene updates and an outlet for some really great original content. Just recently though, Jackson and Sasquatch Ccanyon hit 1000 posts. And while celebrating any number seems arbitrary, taking a minute to recognize something real is the least we could do. It’s also a little easier to recognize when Jackson went ahead and made one awesome video to premiere here on The Least Most. To coincide with the release on the world wide web I got in touch with Jackson to discuss Sasquatch Canyon which you can read below.
Jackson Allen by Joey Cobbs
So 1000 posts. You must be some kind of big shot blogger right? In case people are not familiar with the site, could you describe it, in your own words?
Haha, yeah it’s a pretty nerdy reason to celebrate but then again Sasquatch Canyon can get pretty nerdy sometimes. The blog serves a lot of functions and depending on my moods or the seasons concentrates on trails both here and abroad, the overall Santa Cruz/Central Coast BMX milieu or just things that catch my eye and the eyes of my friends. There are a lot of people who I would consider part of the Sasquatch Canyon family, birds of a feather, and the site serves as something we can all share even though we may not all live in Santa Cruz or see each other everyday.
Mike Hernandez by Joey Cobbs
What does 1000 posts equate to in real time and how has it changed, or not changed, from it’s inception ‘˜til present?
When the Canyon turned 1000 posts recently I actually looked back at some of the older posts and figured out that it has been about 3 years since I made the first post. The last two years I have averaged more than a post a day so that accounts for the big number. Originally the blog was just a way to share sketchy photos of our progress at a specific set of trails that shared the same name. The trails eventually became a bust and have since been plowed and although that sucked, the blog had changed so much over the years it didn’t matter much in terms of carrying the blog on. Pretty early on I also started posting photos and videos of other trails and stuff that held my interest. I still do this but over the years a lot of other blogs have done this (more thoroughly and enjoyably, I might add) and at the same time I started to get interested in photography and filming and wanted to produce more of our own content. In fact, I just finished some tangible Canyon content: t-shirts. So check those out, designed and printed by Chromaculture (a trail-rider-run-business in Santa Cruz). Although I am still the only person who actually makes the posts, the family of people who contribute has grown over the years. Tons of people have submitted photos and email me with ideas or notes about content that is out there and the majority of the posts come out of conversations with friends.
Mike Hernandez by Jackson Allen
One of the things I really like about SC is you produce a lot of original content for what I’m assuming is no financial gain, Why bother? Going on a roadtrip to ride a fullpipe and building trails is enough work, what makes you want to document stuff?
Yeah, for a reasonably small seaside town we have joked that we have a pretty high blogger-per-capita count, particularly in the bmx world and we all seem to be working on stuff all the time. I work a fair amount and I don’t mind what I do and enjoy my co-workers, but I have a ton of energy left over that wouldn’t be satisfied by just riding and chilling, particularly as I get older. I think creating things, even small things is incredibly human and I am not quite sure what else there is to do in life so I think we all just get the itch to take photos, film things, dig when we can and generally modify and document the world around us. Although we have a really cohesive group of friends and riders here in SC, everybody has different tastes in riding and documenting and people live on different sides of town or have different schedules so we often create stuff to share with each other as well as the outside world. There is a lot cross pollination in our groups and its really fun to see what other people are up to.
Do you have any formal training in the realm of photo or video because everything looks pretty damn good?
Thanks, I don’t have any particular formal training, but I do benefit from having free time, the internet at my disposal and some incredibly talented and generous friends to learn from. I don’t consider myself a photographer but I have learned some amazing photo and video stuff by osmosis from the following people: Dave Reuss, Chris Riesner, Ryan Fowler, Chris McMahon, Chester Jones, Jarrod Allen and many others.
Anthony Quiroz by Jackson Allen
Santa Cruz plays a big role in the site. If I were you I’d never leave Santa Cruz. How do you feel about it, based on the site I assume pretty good?
Well, I have lived here for a little over 9 years now and still thoroughly enjoy it. Although it is a small area sandwiched between fairly finite boundaries (a small mountain range and the ocean) it seems to get bigger every year as I meet more people and find new stuff to do. My extended family lives here now, so if I ever did leave, this would still be home. Sasquatch Canyon is a bit of a place of the mind at this point but it is definitely tied to, and fueled by Santa Cruz, so if I ever did leave I wouldn’t take the blog with me. I like to travel but I’ve never found a place I like more than Santa Cruz.
I also really like that there seems to be a lot of varying inspirations coming through on the site. Care to name any?
I once read a discussion about skateboarding being about the exploration and exploitation of architecture. I think that is true and I think BMX is about doing the same with landscape in general. Santa Cruz, Northern California and the landscapes we travel to are the first and foremost inspiration. Green and Gold. With my aesthetics, a ton of disparate elements have informed it over the years, but these are just a few that have particularly influenced the Canyon: Neil Young, the woodblock printer Tom Killion, The Adventures of Tintin by HergÃ©, Bill Waterson, the illustrations of NC Wyeth, Dig Magazine, Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir, the spirit of the pioneers of BMX and Mountain Biking, Spike Jonze, Richard Brautigan, Dave Parrick, accounts of Santa Cruz history, and Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. I am constantly inspired by the stuff I see on the internet and in the real world and by all my friends in and out of bmx, people that dig and create all the amazing spots around the world. All the people that are generally living in a way that is of their own choosing and makes them happy inspire me to do the same.
Andy Maguire by Jackson Allen
Thanks Jackson, I really enjoy checking the site and thanks for sharing this video with The Least Most. if you have anyone you’d like to thank or anything you’d like to add, feel free!
Thank you to everyone who has visited the blog and continues to view it, thanks to everyone who has let me come ride their trails or other spots and let me stay with them. Thanks to all of Santa Cruz, the Central Coast and the Bay Area and particularly, but in no order: My parents, Otis, Mike Hernandez, Dave Reuss and Snacks, Ryan Fowler, Jordan Murdock and Brandon York, Chris Riesner, Dusty Sampson, Andy Maguire, Kurt Seiver, Country Clubbin, Anthony Quiroz, Murph, Ryan Nyquist,Travis Hill, Matt Mardesich, all the NCBs, Eric Zelner and all the trail locals in SC, Mark Potoczny, Chester Jones, Chunky, POWS, Crazy Chris, Joey Cobbs, Chris at SJBMX.com, Chris San Agustin, Brad Davies, Luke Brennan, Pacific Avenue Cycles, Holeshot, IntheGnar, Pretty Shady, Steve Crandall and John Lee at FBM, Robbie at Cult, all of the bloggers and sites that have given the Canyon love (check the links on the blog), Least Most and you Nick for giving me this opportunity. Thanks to everyone else who I forgot, you know who you are. See you out there.
Be sure to check back for Part II this Friday!