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.
Each week, we’ve asked @WhereYouSmoke to share a few favorite Instagram uploads with MERRY JANE, and so far it’s been nothing but picturesque snaps and chill-ass stories to boot. For this week’s edition, we decided to focus on smokers lucky enough to find themselves blazing underneath a magestic-ass waterfall. Whether in Costa Rica or Colorado, the concept is genius and the following stories pretty much prove that waterfalls are la crème de la crème of smoke spots. Before we dive into some interviews, @WhereYouSmoke had this anecdote to share:
When I was in high school, a homie and I went to Maui with my family. If you’re not familiar with the Hawaiian islands, they are basically a case study in nature’s beauty. Lush, bright green forests, the sounds of birds and land critters maneuvering the greenery, waterfalls at almost every turn… it is a truly magical place.
On one particularly perfect afternoon, my buddy and I decided to take a long hike through the mountains. It can be somewhat easy to get lost, but I knew this hike from previous trips, and was eager to share it with my friend. We marched through what was essentially jungle, until we got to my favorite spot on the hike. We sat here for a while, smoking one of the doobies we’d packed for the journey. I had never been beyond this point, so was pretty surprised to notice that the trail continued. Curious as all hell, my friend and I continued down the path until we came to a massive waterfall with a huge swimming hole beneath it. A group of kids were diving off the cliff of the waterfall into the pool of clear, blue water below.
I’d never gone cliff diving before, and neither had my friend, but nothing seemed more perfect than to try it for our first time together in Maui. So, as we made our way up to the top of the cliff, we found a few other kids smoking just behind the stream of the waterfall. It was so cool behind the falls, and the roar of the water was practically deafening, though there wasn’t really a need for communication at this moment. My friend and I joined the group, lit up our own J, and started a double rotation between the entire group.
Once we were all decently faded, we continued to the top of the cliff. Peering down at the rapids as they flowed into the water below, I remember feeling anything but nervous. Sometimes heights can spook me, especially when I am planning to jump from said height, but this was just all too peaceful. Taking one final look at my friend, I turned back to the falls, closed my eyes, and took a leap. Hitting that water, I felt a rush go through me that I’ve never felt before and never felt since. The power of that moment — of feeling so truly present and alive and one with the people and nature around me — was truly unforgettable.
All interviews have been edited for length and clarity.
Photo Taken Monteverde, Costa Rica in 2014
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@lavender_grl: This photo was taken with my dear friend who I met while staying in Costa Rica for three months after graduating high school. He lives on this little mountain and took me to this secret waterfall hidden in the trails behind his house. It was pretty early in the morning, maybe around 9AM, and we went walking in the beautiful rainforest, sat in the sun, and dipped our toes in the waterfall. It was really magical, I swear there were little fairy worlds hidden there.
What’s something you love to do while lifted in nature?
Something I love to do after smoking in nature is to sit in the quiet of wherever I am, listen, and write about what I experience. I like writing down everything I can see, hear, feel, smell, and touch. It's very grounding for me. I love smoking in the great outdoors!! The sites you see are so much more enhanced, the air is fresher, the sky is beautiful and vast. I think I just appreciate these things more.
What was the waterfall like on this trip to Costa Rica, especially being faded?
I love being around water/waterfalls. Listening to water trickle and flow is so calming for me, and being able to swim underneath a waterfall is the best. It doesn't get any better than smoking a nice joint with a beautiful view. You're getting to experience all the best things Mother Earth has to offer at once!
Photo Taken in Telluride, CO in June 2017
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@braydeeznuts: This photo was taken at the top of the Bear Creek hiking trail in Telluride, Colorado. This hike has been a part of my life since even before I was born. As crazy as this is, my mom actually hiked this same trail the day before I was born! So, as I’m spending the summer here in Telluride, I will definitely make this hike multiple more times in the next few months. But, this was the first time I was able to go since we got here so I wanted it to be special. I planned to wake up early, listen to all my favorite music on the way, take my dog with me, and, obviously, roll a perfect joint. It was perfect weather, just cold enough for a wind breaker but warm enough in the sun to keep from getting too cold. As I rose higher and higher in the mountains (physically, not mentally yet), I realized how long it had been since I had done this hike. A river runs alongside the trail the entire way and it is currently rushing with melting snow. With good music and the sound of the river as my background, my dog and I made our way up to the giant waterfall at the end of the trail.
Tell me more about the waterfall!
This may have been the coolest place I’ve ever smoked. When I first got up to the waterfall I was worried I wouldn’t be able to smoke because of the wind and mist. The waterfall is particularly powerful right now because of the snow runoff. It was amazingly loud, too. As I got closer to the falls, though, I was able to find a rock that was just close enough and off to the side to be out of the water spray. Smoking a joint with a giant waterfall to my right and the view of the whole valley ahead of me is definitely one of the cooler experiences I’ve ever had. As I smoked, I spent a lot of time studying the waterfall and seeing just how high water was spraying off of the nearby rocks. It was really amazing to me how loud it was, and just the sheer volume of water that I was witnessing blew me away.
When you smoke, do you find that you’re more creative?
In general, I would say weed does make me more creative. It feels really good to think of things you’ve never thought of before, and I feel like this is becoming more rare as we fall into long-term patterns in our lives. A good example of this is after I returned from my hike, I somehow came to the decision to braid three smaller strands of rope together to make a larger, stronger rope. As strange as this may seem, it was so relaxing and interesting to braid this rope together. The whole purpose of this project was to make it easier for myself to get onto the roof of my condo (another pretty quality smoking spot). If I were sober, I may have just blown off the idea of improving my method of getting to my roof, but thanks to weed I was very intrigued by the concept of trying to improve my process. It’s always fun to do something out of your norm and sometimes weed helps me do that.
So then what’s the best high-dea you’ve ever had, besides the rope?
The best high-dea I’ve ever had was actually a concept I came up with a little while ago. It’s just a sentence, but it really blew my mind when I came up with it. The idea is this: "thinking thoughts is like reading words to yourself that haven’t been written yet.” I know, pretty crazy right? I was just thinking about the process of how our brains generate thoughts and it’s almost like we’re reading to ourselves, but not quite because we don’t know what the content of a thought is until we process it. It’s like we’re reading words that don’t exist until we’ve read them.
Photo Taken In the Ruby Mountain Range in Nevada on 4/20/2014
@WhereYouSmoke: Where was this photo taken?
@zancasterr: This photo was taken in Lamoille Canyon outside of Elko, NV. I have family that lives near there and I happened to be there on 4/20 a few years ago. The Ruby Mountains are a little known but beautiful area, and I had spent a lot of time there before. But on this particular day it was warm and the snow was melting, so there were many waterfalls coming down the canyons for miles. I went out on a solo mission with a few joints from spot to spot, and this was one of my favorites stops!
What do you love most about blazing as you visit different spots in nature?
I'm a man of nature. I'm a big fan of checking out both well-known tourist attractions and little known secrets, and most of the awesome places I find are from my friends or a good ol' fashioned Google search. I smoke as much as I can when I travel, and traveling with weed is getting easier and easier these days. But it is always awesome when you can get some from the locals. I usually find like-minded individuals in the same fun places I like to be.
What does your average nature-sesh look like?
Most of the time I burn in nature I'm with my girlfriend. We love rewarding a long hike with a fat doob. But I love it all: smoking with the homies and just being by myself. Smoking at a dope spot in nature just gives you a chance to chill out and take a second to realize how beautiful the world really is. That is the best feeling to share with friends and can also be the best meditation.
Ever been to any other amazing waterfalls?
I've smoked beside many other waterfalls, but this one was special because it only flows some years when there's a lot of snow, and even then for only a couple of months. My favorite place to smoke beside waterfalls would be on the island of Maui. There’s literally a waterfall around every corner there.