anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Help Build a School in Cambodia

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At about this time two years ago I was busy wandering around Southeast Asia. After several weeks in Vietnam, I made my way into Cambodia, and immediately fell in love. The perseverance of a people that had gone through a horrific history is enough to bring tears to your eyes, and despite decades of hardship, there is a genuine love and happiness that every Cambodian exudes. I was in awe.

Travel opens our eyes, and often it opens our eyes to those who are in need; Cambodia happens to be one of those places. Last year some amazing travel bloggers came up with the idea of Passports With Purpose, a fundraising campaign that would harness the power of travel bloggers and raise some money for a good cause during the holiday season. The campaign was so successful that it’s taking place again, this year raising funds to build a school in this most eye-opening of countries that I have traveled to: Cambodia.

The 2009 Passports With Purpose fundraising efforts is supporting American Assistance for Cambodia, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving opportunities for the youth and rural poor in Cambodia. If PWP raises $13,000, a new school gets to be built in Cambodia… obviously, I couldn’t resist in taking part. Which is why we got Under Solen involved as well… we’re all excited about working on the project. And you should too!

How to partake:

For each $10 donation that you make to AAfC, you will will be entered in the giveaway(s) of your choice. The fundraiser closes on December 21 and all proceeds go directly to AAfC. Check out all of the prizes up for grabs here.

What you can win:

You can’t take on epic adventures without good shelter, so what better prize to inspire some amazing travels than a Sierra Designs XT 4 Ultralight Tent? Thanks to Under Solen for hooking it up!

So for donating some dollars to an excellent cause you can be entered to win this amazing tent which retails for $449. There are tons of other cool prizes as well, so check them all out and donate a few bucks to AAfC. It might just be the best use of your money this holiday season.

Now get to donating… And if you want to keep up with the action, head over to the Under Solen blog where we’ll be tracking everything that’s going on with PWP!

Paddling for

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Photo by Mark Gamba

Saturday I joined about 150+ other paddlers, water enthusiasts and eco superstars for the River of Action. The goal was to make a huge floating 350 in support of’s International Day of Climate Action. Rounding up and organizing almost 200 paddlers and boats is no easy task, but somehow we managed, and the end product was amazing. It feels good to be part of a global movement!

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Written by Anna Brones

October 28, 2009 at 09:43

Pushing Your Limits: A Weekend of Wind, Rain and Kayaking

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lumpy waters kayaks

This dispatch is cross-posted from Wend Magazine.

Donning a dry suit and paddling out into a grey and stormy Pacific, on a day where you know your boat is going to be constantly beaten by salty swell, the rain will pour right into your face and the wind will force you to engage all of your muscles, possibly leaving you sore for days, might not sound like everybody’s idea of fun. But here in the Northwest, it’s the name of the game.

When I headed out to Pacific City for this past weekend’s Lumpy Waters Symposium, sponsored by local paddling shop Alder Creek, I didn’t really know what I was in for. In fact most of my paddling experience has been reserved for calm afternoons to check out wildlife and get a mild sunburn. Sure, there have been some multi-day trips thrown in here and there, but no epic “surfing the Pacific” kind of stuff. But when it comes to enjoying the outdoors, sometimes you have to push yourself and get out of your comfort zone. And there’s no better weather to do so than stormy wind and rain.

After a night of listening to the glorious sound of rain pelting the tent, Saturday morning we downed some bacon, eggs and coffee — breakfast of champions! — and suited up in various layers of polyester quick drying shirts, fleece, drysuits and booties. The ultimate outfit made for a sea of bright candy-colored groups placed along the beach shore, a stark contrast to the gray waters and sky.

My first outing for the day was intended to be an exploration of the Nestucca River, which, thanks to the elements, looked less like a river and more like the ocean that it feeds into. While another group experimented with rescue scenarios, we paddled directly into the headwind to explore some of the local wildlife. “Paddle” might be the wrong word as it felt more like cranking a very, very heavy piece of machinery. Even the seagulls back at the parking lot could barely stand still without getting blown to the side by the wind. But braving the incessant headwind and rain in my face paid off, as we saw a huge flock of pelicans skimming the water as well as a stoic Great Blue Heron undisturbed by the inclement weather. In fact from the comfort of my dry suit, I really had no place to complain; call me crazy, but being from the Northwest, I actually like the rain. And with pizza and beer as the consolation prize for working my shoulder muscles and core, the day couldn’t have been any better.

Sunday was a different story.

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Written by Anna Brones

October 20, 2009 at 06:00

Portland Will be the Copenhagen of America

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portland will be copenhagen

Caught this at Oregon Manifest two weekends ago; the uber hip and cool bike show that any two-wheel lover should make sure to attend is going on through the rest of the month. (Plus the exhibition on Danish cycling culture — which features this quote — is fantastic!)

Written by Anna Brones

October 17, 2009 at 06:00

Paddling for Change: River of Action

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350 cake

Things are gearing up big time for’s October 24th International Day of Climate Action. If you’ve been living in a cave and have somehow missed what is, it’s pretty simple.

From River of Action:

In 2007, NASA’s chief climatologist, Jim Hansen, released a study marking 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as the safe upper limit for humanity. Much more than that, and we risk dangerous temperature increases. Unfortunately, we’re at 390ppm and rising 2 ppm each year. Writer and activist Bill McKibben launched in response. The goal is to organize a grassroots campaign designed to educate the world about the runaway CO2 levels, and then motivate people to do something about it. Thousands of communities around the world will represent the number 350 as prominently as possible to send a message to world leaders bound for the UN Climate Change Conference this December in Copenhagen.

With actions planned for all over the world, it’s hard not to take part. Last night in Portland, River Action, along with help from Keen, Nau, Wend Magazine and Hopworks, hosted an October 24th pre-party. Basically an event to get people revved up on the need for climate change action and reminding us all not only to take part on the 24th, but in our everyday lives. [That and drink free beer BYOC style — Bring Your Own Cup]. On the 24th River of Action will be harnessing the power of paddlesports communities all around the world and having them form “350” on waterways. A creative idea that’s certainly getting some attention… can’t wait to get out on the river and take part!

Great event with an uber fabulous 350 cake. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Find out what action is taking place near you here.

Written by Anna Brones

October 16, 2009 at 16:08

JunkRide + Ban The Bag Event in Portland: Help in the Battle Against Plastic Pollution

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Great event next week to educate about the evils of plastic pollution and work on getting the plastic bag banned in Portland.

What: The Portland Surfrider Chapter welcomes Anna Cummins from Algalita Marine Research Foundation and Dr. Marcus Erikson of JUNKride, an educational tour by bike from Vancouver B.C. to Tijuana, Mexico. The duo will highlight the voyage of JUNKraft, a recently completed trip from California to Hawaii on a raft made of garbage. In addition to JUNKride, Jessica Hamilton, Natural Resources Policy Advisor to Governor Ted Kulongoski, will present on the West Coast Governors Agreement to reduce the western seaboard’s impact on the oceans, with regard to marine debris. Entertainment by singer/songwriter Micah Wolf. Beer and wine will be available for purchase, with all proceeds going to benefit Portland Chapter Surfrider’s BAN THE BAG campaign to ban single-use plastic shopping bags in the greater Portland area.

When: Tuesday, April 21st, 2009. 6:30pm to 9:00pm.

Where: Keen Footwear, 926 NW 13th Ave #210, Portland, OR 97209

For more information on JUNKraft and JUNKride, visit To keep up with Ban the Bag, follow them on Twitter.

Written by Anna Brones

April 14, 2009 at 11:14

Mountainfilm On Tour

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I was stoked to receive the Mountainfilm 2008 guide in the mail yesterday. Sent to me in order to get a feel for what this year’s film festival will be like, the guide made me want to immediately book a ticket for the upcoming event in May. If you’re not familiar with Mountainfilm it’s an annual film festival dedicated to “educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, and conversations worth sustaining.”

So it’s not just a collection of climbing and hiking films; there are also ones about conservation, social justice and cultural issues. All things that we should be concerned about! Last year’s films include Carpa Diem, Losing the Elephants and Flow (a personal favorite documentary about water issues).

But for those who can’t make it to the actual festival held in Telluride, CO, there’s Mountainfilm On Tour. A selection of films from the festival are taken on the road to reach audiences that otherwise would not have experienced them. The tour is coming to Portland tomorrow which I’m excited about, but if you live elsewhere, be sure to check out the tour schedule.

Written by Anna Brones

January 28, 2009 at 10:25