issue no. 4

editor's note
By kyle Hentschel

We’ve been producing O2 Magazine for a year now and it’s rewarding to have followed through with an idea. In the beginning, the thought of launching a magazine made us feel motivated, vaguely unqualified, and fired up. Instead of brushing it off after the initial excitement, we had a second meeting, and a third, and then they all started to blend together.

Maneuvering around the pitfalls and mistakes, this hasn’t been easy or convenient all of the time. But it’s a labor of love and we work hard to make each issue better than the last.

In “View from the Road,” John Stember follows through with a hankering he’d harbored for years. He pedaled across 2,200 miles of the United States, testing himself against the landscape of rural America. He kept a journal of his experiences along the way:  

DAY 14

“I’ve always been the one going up to dirty people and asking where they’re headed and gawking at what they’ve done. But now it’s me. And it feels like sometimes I’m not here, like I’m watching myself do these things...I mean, this shit’s hard. There’s a reason everyone I meet says, “I’ve always wanted to do something like this,’ but most never do.”

John’s reflections resonate with everyone who’s wanted to do big, intimidating things—and if you’re reading this magazine, you probably have a longer list than most. Unfortunately, many of those plans get filed away for laterfor a more convenient timeand we continue to watch others go forth in our place.

We hope that John’s story and the very spirit of this publication urge you to dig up that bucket list and actually do those big, intimidating things you’ve never done.* So enjoy our summer issue—and then put it down. Buy a plane ticket, order some new treads, or call a friend and plan a weekend trip. Leave nothing unsaid, or undone.

*This publication and its affiliates are not responsible for any big, intimidating endeavors resulting in injury or death.

dust til dawn

Words and Photos by Adam McKibben

Accelerating over the cracked dirt at 100 mph isn’t actually that dangerous in the Alvord Desert. It’s barren, lifeless, and dry—perfect conditions for a scene straight out of Mad Max.

the medina

Words by Hannah Steinkopf-Frank & Photos by Justin Hartney

Following a night throwing up Moroccan couscous, I didn’t feel like bargaining to get my iPhone screen repaired. I made the bad decision to eat the traditional Friday couscous at a restaurant, which are notoriously untrustworthy in Morocco. Unfortunately, my illness coincided with my phone screen smashing, and there was no way I was going to pay a merchant’s price to get it fixed.

Behind the Minds of the Locals Project

Words by Cameron Kokes

The Locals Project, a new film and ongoing media exploration, shines a light on the personas of aerial wizards and backcountry guardians who define ski culture.

view from the road

Words & Photos by John Stember

Without knowing how to change a tire, or virtually anything about long-distance biking, John Stember embarked on a 37-day ride from his summer job in Minnesota to his parents’ driveway in NW Portland. He dumpster-dived for food, camped in restricted areas, and explored pockets of small-town American culture. These are edited excerpts of journal entries he crafted along the way.

Field Notes

While the original goal to photograph a sunset at the top of Spencer’s Butte was thwarted by thick fog, the walk back down offered a satisfying substitute. The fog captured a warm glow from the parking lot street light, which made the trees look like they were on fire. After snapping a few photos, I realized that my friend would make a perfect silhouette in front of the light. I looked through the viewfinder and lined up his head between two trees in the center of the glow.

Camera info:
Canon 5D mk3,
Canon 16-35mm F2.8,
F3.2, 24mm,
10" exposure,
Edited in Lightroom CC."