EDITOR’S DESK- We are back with another installment of Highlight Paddling Media with an inside look of one of our favorite photo/video collectives, Black Owl Media (BOM)! These guys have been sending stouts with many of our Admin team over the last few months. The roots of our name “Dirt Bag Paddlers” is from the old climbers term, and it’s fitting that these friends of ours embody the spirit through their union of the two disciplines. Enjoy the photos and backstory and check out their feeds!
The quest to become a professional dirt bag began on Sean’s break from photo school as he discovered the breathtaking beauty and world class rock climbing of Bishop, CA. From hearing tall tales of river madness to feeling the rush of highball climbing Sean began to feel an even deeper pull to the nomad lifestyle. School came to an end (finally) as the river season began. He and his high school buddy, future DBP Admin Casey Tracht, found themselves in riverguide school on the infamous Kern River. Known for its high intensity, technical whitewater, Sean was suddenly recreating a version of the stories he’d been told just months before.
The creator and main photographer of Black Owl Media, Sean Naugle found his passion through visual storytelling of people living out their adventurous hearts to the fullest. Rock climbing and whitewater quickly became his focal point of freezing time, capturing people at their purest, happiest, showing us their raw joy.
Sean and I met while on adventures independent from each other and immediately discovered our shared desire for the nomad lifestyle.
Dirtbagging it became our immediate priority. We now live in a 25ft travel trailer with our two dogs, on a mission to travel with purpose while creating positive media. From volunteering as Camp Hosts for the California State Parks, to learning what it really means to dry camp, we’ve had fun navigating the beautiful terrains of California over the last 2 years. Finally making our way to Oregon, we’ve decided to take advantage of it’s amazing outdoor recreation and stay for a bit. The rivers here are amazing, the scenery just as amazing, and there is enough rock to last a lifetime. No doubt we’ve found our mecca!
Check out more of our whitewater photography!
See what it means to live the dream from a fellow dirt bag!
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