Escape Collective | Spring Break Road Trip
Design and fabrication agency out of Portland, Oregon specializing in geodesic domes and motorcycles.
geodesic domes, custom motorcycles, fabrication, manufacturing, design, branding, art, tenting, structures, events, portland oregon
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Spring Break Road Trip

Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada

Spring Break Road Trip

Hey, Kara here.

I just recently went on a magical road trip. It all started with this text at 11 pm on a Wednesday night:

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My dear friends Corbin and Libby were leaving in Libby’s new Subaru at 8:30 the next morning, and I went with my gut and said, “Okay! I’m in!” cuz sometimes you just gotta be spontaneous.

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First stop: Nowhere // Activity: Eat avocado on rice cakes  Chill Level: 15%

This really set the tone for our road trip. We wanted to find a perfect nowhere spot for our afternoon pic-nic, and I don’t know if we could have found a better one if we tried. The rest of the trip was serendipitously easy, everything always happened when it needed to, and we were functioning on our own schedule that had nothing to do with time. It was great.

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Second Stop: Miracle Hot Springs // Activity: Soak our bodies till we can no longer feel our bones. Chill Level: 38%

We stayed in a geodesic dome! I was obviously very excited by this. We soaked that night, went into the small town nearby for enchiladas and micheladas, painted our nails, and fell asleep to Corbin reading to us about gemstones. Early the next morning we had the pools to ourselves, we got a good soak in and left for Salt Lake.

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Third Stop: ‘A Call To Place’ exhibition, work produced by Frontier Fellows of Epicenter in Green River, Utah. // Activity: Engage with amazing artists, and learn about the exciting work Epicenter is doing. Chill Level: 48%

I’m gonna let Corbin take over on explaining this one, since she is the reason I know about this place.

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Hey, hey. I’ve been working with Epicenter since 2012 on a variety of projects as a artist, designer, teacher and most recently as a co-curator. Epicenter is a community design center located in rural Green River, Utah (pop. <1000). Founded in 2009 by a few recent graduates from Auburn University’s architecture program. Through a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant, they purchased a historic building on main street and renovated the structure. This building houses Epicenter and their projects that are oriented around affordable housing, economic development and the arts. Fundamentally Epicenter believes design and art are for everyone, this is why I do projects with them. In Green River I get the opportunity to ask questions and test theories about the role of art and the purpose of design in a way that I find cities are too distracted by themselves to do.

The Frontier Fellowship is the artist residency program that Epicenter has run for the past five years. Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds design, architecture, documentary, performance, craft but all engage with the community and make work in response to this specific small place. ‘A Call To Place’ is a retrospective on the first five years of work from these artists. The work explores landscape, agriculture, craft, humanity and the role of an artist in society amongst other narratives.”

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Thanks Corbin!

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Fourth Stop: Fifth Water Hot Springs // Activity: Soak in healing mineral waters, laugh until your face hurts. Chill Level: 67%

I’ve always wanted to go to hot springs that were not interfered with by humans, just to see them bubbling out of the ground with natural rock pools all around. It feels authentic in a way that concrete pools just can’t. This trail had only recently been open due to snowfall, and snow was still in patches along the trail. The landscape was really incredible, on one side of the river bank were these lush pine trees, everything was so green. On our side the trail was completely different, red dirt, exposed boulders, and dried up juniper trees. It felt like the river was dividing two different worlds. spring28 spring26

The pools were all varying temperatures, it got so hot near the source of the springs that we couldn’t handle it and hung out in a lower tiered pool that was very juuuuust right. So relaxing. spring31 spring32 spring33The mineral deposits in the water from the springs gave the water an amazing blue color, and there were bits of algae and minerals growing near the source that had incredible textures and colors. spring34 spring24Sadly no noodie bathing though, that would have made this the ultimate natural hot spring experience, but maybe in a bit more liberal place. . .

Stop Five: Green River, Utah // Activity: Get super charged, and super inspired. Chill Level: 85% 

The town itself is very small. You could drive through it in about 12 min. But it has so much charm, and so much thriving potential. We spent a lot of time feeling small in the surrounding desert, and visiting Corbin’s ever-growing spectacular rock garden. 
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Stop Six: (It was actually multiple stops) Along hwy 70. // Activity: Look at every thing, in awe.     Chill Level: 98%

As we left Green River, we drove through these rock formations known as ‘The Swells’. It looks as if the rocks are waves, frozen in time, about to crash down onto each other. Simply spectacular. Past that, the landscape did not disappoint with flourishing colors and rocks stacked in perilous ways that make your head spin.

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We continued our drive into Nevada, along Hwy 50 – deemed the loneliest road in America. Sprinkled along it were ghost towns that were once booming towns with a pop. of 10,000 back in the day and age of mining, but now have dwindled into populations of <600, there only to not be forgotten and feed the few who dare to drive the length of the highway.

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Final Stop: Crystal Crane Hot Springs // Activity: Surpass all expectations – Chill Level: 110% 

We got into Crystal Crane when it was dark, with no care of what time was after driving in and out of so many deemed ‘time zones’.  We set up our tent in the dark, took a few swigs of whiskey, and snuggled up for a cold nights sleep. Luckily our toes did not freeze off, I think it was because our bodies knew what was in store for them the next morning . . .

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It was pretty incredible. Surprisingly the pool got too deep to touch at the bottom and yet it was warm across the entire expanse. We did some lazy-girl water yoga along the banks, and after we felt fully satisfied and warmed to our bones, we started on our way back home.

It was an overall fantastic time. Very nourishing, very relaxing, but also very energizing. Taking time to slow down, go with the flow, and chill out, is one of the most important things one can do.

‘Till next time.

xoxo Kara Jean

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