All photos courtesy of @WhereYouSmoke
@WhereYouSmoke sprouted in a moment shared between a spliff and the great outdoors. Run by an anonymous artist who grew up in LA, the Instagram account and online platform celebrates cannabis lovers who like to light up alongside Mother Nature. In a new-ish column, we’ve asked @WhereYouSmoke to share a few of his favorite Instagram uploads with MERRY JANE each week. On top of shouting out the photographers, he’ll be chatting with his fellow outdoor smokers about the backstory behind each snapshot, as well as what exactly makes cannabis and nature such a damn inspiring combo.
Before we get into this week's installment, which features some majestic snaps from Brazil, the Pacific Northwest, and Colorado, @WhereYouSmoke had this to share with MERRY JANE about why he loves to smoke in the great outdoors so much:
About a year ago, I went out to Breckenridge with a few buddies to snowboard. We rented a cabin and made sure we picked up a gaggle of bud. Once we arrived, we started cooking up dinner as one of our buddies rolled up around a hundred joints. At this point we didn't think life could get much better — beautiful home, cooking up some steak and potatoes with friends, I'm cutting up some veggies and my other friend is playing music and going factory-mode with the J's. After our first night, we woke up at the butt crack of dawn and headed to the mountain with some sandwiches and about two dozen joints stuffed in our pockets. We rode for hours and thought it would be a good idea to light a doob and race through the powdered-covered trails off the cut of the run. Outdoor trips like this make #whereyousmoke ring so clear. Adventure + friends to the power of weed - negativity = whereyousmoke :)
All interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Photo Taken in Vail, Colorado on August 2016
@WhereYouSmoke: Tell me about where the photo was taken, and what brought you to this beautiful wilderness?
@maxdknight: Colorado is like a second home for me. I'm originally from Minnesota, but since I was a kid my parents owned a condominium in a small town just outside of Vail. We try to get out there a couple times a year during different seasons.
My friends Natalie and Kennedy are in the hammock. We had just finished a pretty long hike up to Booth Falls and after we got to the top, it was time to set up a few hammocks and start rolling. But below, at the falls, we took some pictures, played around with the dogs, and simply laid back and listened to the sounds of nature and the roaring water falling behind us. After a while, we decided it was time to hike back down and drive home!
Was this the best trip you’ve ever been on?
Up there for sure. The best trip I've been on is the one I'm on right now. I'm touring India for a whole month.
What aspects of @WhereYouSmoke do you like?
I like @Whereyousmoke because it brings a community of smokers even closer and it gives us a chance to share the pictures we take from all the amazing places we smoke.
What are the best tips you can give for someone who wants to start traveling?
Just start traveling!! It doesn't even need to be outside of the US or your home state. Pack up a car with your friends, head up north to a state park you've never been, or even take a flight to the next state over. Most of the time you can get a plane ticket for around $40 if you do it right.
Photo Taken in Santa Catarina, Brazil in December, 2015
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@faelsartori: It was taken at Guarda do Embau, a beautiful beach in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil.
What is the weed culture like in Brazil?
Brazil has a big history with weed, but since it is illegal, our culture has a dark side coming from trafficking and smuggling. Most of our weed comes from neighbor countries, such as Paraguay, Peru, and Colombia, and the quality is very low given the fact that a lot of chemical products are mixed in to reduce the smell for when they smuggle it across borders. But I like to believe that times are changing and people are realizing the benefits from both the plant and legalization. I spent part of my youth believing that the type of weed we find here was the norm for marijuana. Fortunately, I was wrong.
Why do you find yourself smoking outside?
To be honest, I find myself smoking everywhere! But finding a spot alone or with friends can give the special feeling of contemplating what is around you, the sounds of the city, the colors in the sky. It opens our eyes for the everyday details we normally take for granted.
Can you tell me about your day before and after this photo was taken?
For someone with a pretty weak memory, I feel glad that I am able to remember that day [laughs]. I was with a group of about ten friends who went camping for New Year's. We live in the state below Santa Catarina, which is called Rio Grande do Sul (Big South River). We'd wake and bake every single day and would try not to miss any time the clock struck 4:20. The day the above photo was taken, we went hiking to nearby beaches where I took this photo. After, like in any tropical country, a strong rain started as we headed back to the campsite. Great day!
Photo Taken at Newman’s Ledge in New York in July, 2016
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@acrosb23: Newman's Ledge. North South Lake, Palenville, New York.
How high up is that ledge?
When you reach the top, you're at a max elevation of 2,475 feet above sea level. My longtime girlfriend's ski home is in this region. This is one of the many spots where we can hike and explore.
Were you nervous smoking there?
Honestly, I was terrified. Absolutely terrified. It took me five minutes to actually inch up towards the top of the rock. Trust me, I didn't sit there for too long. We got the shot and backed away. My girlfriend, Danielle Downie, took the photo with her Canon t3i from a nearby ledge. It was definitely worth the shot.
Do you prefer spliffs or straighters?
I personally prefer straighters. Rolling up with tobacco takes away the taste of the herb.
What is your ideal climate for smoking weed?
My ideal climate for burning outside is spring through fall [in the East Coast]. When all the trees and plants start to bloom again, it makes for a perfect walk through the woods. When the summer comes to an end and the fall foliage comes about, it makes for the perfect viewpoints and you can smoke for hours.
What makes smoking outside special?
The euphoric feeling is what keeps me going. The feeling of being that high up on a mountain at those elevations gives you a high to begin with. It helps my mind relax and makes me come to peace with my inner self.
If you could smoke anywhere on the planet where would it be?
If I could go smoke anywhere in the world, I would have to choose the highest point on the Earth — Mount Everest. Being a avid hiker, the thought of summiting the death mountain sends shivers down my spine. I will always keep this is as a goal of mine. The thought keeps me striving for something bigger, something everyone thinks is impossible to do.
Photo Taken in Beck-Kiwanis Park, Oregon in April, 2015
@WhereYouSmoke: Can you tell us about your day before and after you took the photo?
@fuckdaniel: It was my day off that day, so I was wondering what I could do for fun. I live in a small town, so there's not much to do. I just walked to a park and decided to buy a Corona and roll up a shine paper to enjoy the sunny day.
What is your favorite thing about smoking outside?
When the sun hits your face. I love the outdoors. There’s something relaxing about looking at scenic views while smoking a joint, especially if you’re close to running water.
If you like to photograph your outdoor smoking adventures, check out the submission page at www.whereyousmoke.com. And follow @WhereYouSmoke on Instagram.