Get ready to kick off “The Summer of Adventure”

From a week of sport climbing at Red River Gorge in Kentucky to an epic journey to Flagstaff for Overland Expo, my summer has been exploding with seemingly non-stop adventures. It’s been quite a task trying to keep up with all the excitement, so I’ve devised a plan – I call it, “The Summer of Adventure.

Behold, a weekly schedule of thrilling posts that revolve around road trips, climbing excursions, edible adventures, my favorite gear, and more. Constantly being on the road has muddled my preferred system of operating on a routine, so I’ve created this weekly agenda to keep the content flowing.

Monday: Monday Morning Ascents

Keeping true to the strongest motivation for my adventures, each week will begin with a climbing conquest. From my latest outdoor pursuits and training at Tallahassee Rock Gym to favorite routes I’ve climbed (and photographed) around the country – let’s start each new week with some inspiration to get out into the boulder fields and crush some rock.

Tuesday: Tasty Tuesdays

Second only to climbing, one of my most beloved activities in life is stuffing my face. Tuesday posts promise to get your mouth watering with stories and photos highlighting my favorite eateries throughout the nation. I’ll go through a buffet of destinations and dishes, including the outrageous doughy concoctions served at Miguel’s Pizza at Red River Gorge in Kentucky, messy Mexican grub in Merced, and a local Tallahassee mini-bakery that cooks up some of the tastiest sweets I’ve ever munched on. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Thursday: #ATQA Adventure Travel Chat Recap

You’ve been asking for it, and now we’re ready to deliver. After weeks of faithful #ATQA chatters asking about a way to revisit any questions or answers they may have missed, we’ve decided it’s time to start giving you what you want. Check back every Thursday at noon for a recap of all the best tweets from #ATQA Adventure Travel chat, the latest and greatest outdoor Twitter chat created by the wonderful J. Brandon of American Sahara. Don’t want to wait for the Thursday recap? Join us Wednesdays at 5:00 PM (EST) for our weekly discussion about all things outdoors.

Friday: Outdoor Adventure Fridays

The weekend is finally upon us, and it’s time to get inspired to get outside with a grand tale of adventure. From tromping through the towering trees in Sequoia National Park to kayaking down the Wakulla River in Florida, every weekend will be kicked off with a story aimed at getting you motivated to get out into the great outdoors to do some exploring.

Sunday: Get Your Gear On

While you spend the afternoon lazily lounging around in your skivvies, I’ll be using the last day of the fleeting weekend to put outdoor and climbing gear to the test. I may even double up with Sunday two-fers on occasion; the tiny room I share with Niko is currently overflowing with packs, reparative balm, outdoor apparel, and loads of gear that deserves some true attention.

BONUS: My Co-Pilot Becomes My Co-Blogger

Since the inception of The Morning Fresh, readers, fans, and friends have been begging to get more of Niko. After nearly three years of traveling and climbing together, Niko is gearing up to become a much larger part of The Morning Fresh as we prepare for our big 2013 trip. Since he attempts to lay claim on every package of gear that gets delivered to me, he’ll have his own section in nearly all of my gear reviews. Additionally, keep an eye out for his own breed of posts – he’s calling it “The Morning Dirt,” and I’m looking forward to seeing what my beau cooks up.

My life has transformed into one giant adventure, and as always, I am so grateful to be taking you along for the ride. Between The Morning Fresh’s epic summer schedule and my other seasonal projects, this season is promising to be one for the books. Today marks the official start of the Hydration Summit, an excellent campaign I’m working with to raise awareness about the importance of staying hydrated while adventuring. On Friday, I’ll be whisked away to Sedona for an outrageous event with Columbia Sportswear and my OmniTen crew – we’ll be testing out exclusive gear all weekend, and hiking out to Havasu Falls! Stay tuned for all the updates and excitement!

Can’t bear to wait for the official posts? You can keep up with my adventures in realtime by following me on Twitter (@themorningfresh). 

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Feast your eyes on Sam Carter’s ‘Half-Light Honey’ photography, seriously.

You may remember Samantha Carter from a July 2010 post, where I expressed my raging room envy over her perfect vintage-style bedroom. I featured her summertime project loaded with kitschy artwork, entitled ‘asleep on a sunbeam.’

Well folks, Sam is raising the artistic bar once again with her new photoblog, Half-Light Honey. Her work with 35 mm film inspires a desire to whip out my AE-1 and adventure around Tallahassee in search of peculiar subjects.

Her best work is easily her double exposure photography. While she may not identify herself as a travel photographer, her double exposures are my favorite because of their combination of images snapped in different locations throughout different areas of Florida and its neighboring states.

Here are two of my all-time favorite double exposures taken by Sam:

Sam has a great eye for discovering beauty in unlikely places, and her talent for combining photos into a single, flawless image is astounding. She would make an excellent road trip buddy; she’s the type of gal who wouldn’t protest when I want to veer off a country road to stop at a dusty antique shop in the middle of no where.

Be sure to check out Half-Light Honey, and stay tuned to her blog for frequent updates and dazzling photos.

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Tasty Thursday – Asian/Mexican Fusion Fish Tacos from WTF

Get your mind out of the gutter – WTF stands for What Tasty Food, and the two ladies behind this delicious website are cooking up a storm of dishes to combat the stereotypical college student’s meal itinerary. Their website says it all: “Kelsey & Megan, two college roommates looking to survive the year on more than just ramen.” – And boy, do they! Amongst my favorites are their Margarita Cupcakes and Vegan Pitas, but what really caught my eye was their latest post, featuring Japanese-Mexican Fusion Fish Tacos. Oh, yes.

Motivated by a remediation assignment on collaboration, Megan Valente found inspiration in a Japanese guacamole recipe, and eventually crafted these tantalizing tacos.

For ingredient lists and step-by-step recipe instructions for both the guacamole and the fish tacos, click the image above or follow this link to the post. The mixture of traditional taco ingredients and unexpected Asian-influenced additions promises to expose your taste buds to something they’ve never experienced before. Mixing avocados, ginger, jalapenos and wasabi in one dish? Unheard of, yet somehow these ladies managed to pull it off.

Visit the WTF: What Tasty Food homepage, and be sure to check out the blog’s Facebook page, which is constantly updated with sneak peeks at upcoming posts. All you Twitter addicts can follow the site on their official Twitter page. – And as always, be sure to give them a ‘thumbs up’ on your StumbleUpon bar!

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AK Jigga – Get Your Fresh Tracks While They’re Hot!

If you’re into finding new, quality music that transcends the barriers of genres and styles, this post is for you. I’m talking acoustic, house, indie, folk – you name it, Andrew’s got it. Allow me to digress.

About a month ago, my Facebook feed started blowing up with promotions for a new site, AK JIGGA – and I immediately blew them off. Here we go again, another kid from my high school feebly trying to make it big, I thought. Honestly, I didn’t give the site a second thought until I caught a glimpse of AK JIGGA’s theme for that week: noteworthy female artists. That grabbed my attention, and I finally explored the site, which buried my ears in a whirlwind of fantastic music.

AK JIGGA is the digital love child of my high school peer, Andrew Kenward. His passion for the music industry sparked while he was attending college in Austin, Texas. Working for a handful of different music management and promotion gigs, Andrew booked coveted artists like The Cool Kids and Chiddy Bang. He’s spent the past two spring breaks working for SXSW in Austin, and his dedication to the music industry has left him with a discerning taste for good music.

Andrew gave birth to AK JIGGA after a failed internship left him stranded in Miami with time on his hands and a constantly stream of friends begging for music recommendations. He took a small hiatus when his schooling became too demanding, but Andrew is back in action with a steady flow of hard beats and ethereal vocals. I highly recommend that you check out the website, and all you social media kids should ‘like’ the AK JIGGA Facebook page, which already has almost 250 fans.

This site is the real deal, folks. Andrew has watched his reputation skyrocket, landing him on the front page of The Hype Machine’s popular tracks page. Get your fix of Andrew’s top picks via the Hype Machine by clicking here to check out his featured tracks – and as Andrew said himself, “click those hearts for AK JIGGA!”

One of my favorite tracks recently posted on AK JIGGA is entitled “Raggamuffin” by Selah Sue, a young Belguim artist with a gorgeous voice. Check out a live version of her song. While you’re at it, poke around the rest of the site. He showcases everything from Rusko and Born Ruffians to The xx and the folk melodies of Kelly Bartley, who is another talented high school peer.

Kudos, Mr. Kenward – and keep up the sweet, sweet work. Readers, you can expect to see more of AK JIGGA as I’ll inevitably find it irresistible to share new tracks as they emerge.

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room envy.

One of the best things about living in Tallahassee is the wonderful artist community that crowds the spaces around Florida State University and Rail Road Square. Writers, painters, photographers, creators — everyone is here to share their talent. The small-town vibes here in Leon County keep everyone humble.

Case in point, my friend Sam Carter. She is an astonishing photographer, and over all artist, who would never let a single compliment inflate her ego. Her double exposure photography is my favorite of her work thus far, and I invite everyone to check it out by clicking the picture below, which will direct you to her blog ‘Asleep on a Sunbeam.’

This photo is of her bedroom back in her hometown. First of all, let’s take a moment to appreciate the simple fact that she was able to take such a stunning photograph of her bedroom – look at the lighting! The real juice is the pure fact that Sam’s room kicks ass. I am filled with room envy, but also inspiration.

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