words :: Brett Tippie // photo :: Marcus Riga.
The nice thing about backyards is that they are never indoors. For the most part, the backyard is where our first outdoor adventures begin—out the back door, past the patio, into the grass (and hopefully trees)… and beyond. The backyard is the gateway to nature, the elements, and the feeling of getting rad and sporty.
I grew up in a house on the city limits of Kamloops, British Columbia that had no fence and the hills rolled away for hundreds of kilometres from the back door. I could play frisbee in the grass or I could take my bike and pedal far into the vast, magical world searching for adventure, fortune and fame… as long as I was home for dinner.
Not everyone has a backyard, but your backyard can also be the front yard, a park, or the street itself (that’s where most of the best 1980s plywood ramps were built). According to at least one dictionary, the backyard can also be “anywhere in your area of interest or activity.” My backyard got huge when I bought my first 4×4 after tree planting all summer. Harper Mountain, Sun Peaks, Whistler… anywhere I could walk, pedal or drive to—chasing down my interests and expanding my universe.
Technically, the entire province of BC could be your backyard if you wanted, the whole country even—why not the entire planet? If you were travelling to Mars in search of perfect big mountain slopes and you met some shredding aliens you could brag about the trails and freeride lines in your backyard: the third planet from the sun. Then you could send them postcards with a picture of Earth taken from space and on the back it could read, “Wish you were here.”
That reminds me of a joke from Mitch Hedberg. He said, “If you get lost in the woods, just build a house! I was lost, but now I live here. I’ve seriously improved my predicament!”
That reminds me of another joke by Steven Wright, who said, “I’d like a map of the world… life-size.”
Which reminds me of another joke by Mitch Hedberg. He said, “I’d like to stick a thumbtack in a map of the world of every place I’ve ever visited. But first, I’d have to travel to the upper two corners of the map… so it wouldn’t fall off the wall.”
It’s all relative I guess, but that’s the fun—every season we get to decide how big our backyard is gonna be (well, almost every season). Just remember, it’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it.