36.5677° N, 118.0898° W
Vast range in temperature:
38°F - 72°F
Unforgiving, abrasive rock
“No man steps in the same river / twice for it’s not the same river / and he’s not the same man.” Sure, there’s no water to be found in Alabama Hills, nor was Heraclitus remotely close to referencing Lone Pine, California, but — somehow — this quote has metaphorized each and every experience I’ve had thus far on my Walter Sky journey.
I’ve been to Alabama Hills before. I’ve been captivated by its otherworldly terrain, silenced by the colors of sundown. I’ve cowboy camped and bouldered and kindled fires amongst narrow alcoves of granite. But, my recent trip to this indescribably Mars-esque locale was different. We packed up a 1972 Scout, thanks to New Legend 4x4, and headed for the Hills, underestimating the vehicle’s capacity to make this trip — a river I’ve stepped in prior — so wildly transformative.
There’s undeniable power in returning to one’s roots. To reconnect with one’s most primal sense of existence, to see the unseen and shed oneself of modern constraints. The Scout allowed us to do just that. To strip away the frills and explore with grit and newfound integrity. For me, modern vehicles are a pure distraction, taking away from each small, beautiful aspect of our surroundings. The Scout, on the other hand, allowed us to fully see what was right in front of us. Rough, loud and durable, the Scout’s brazen ability to bring us off road, to the seemingly unreachable highs and lows that sit beyond Mount Whitney, was unmatched.
Inundated with rich memories of the past, the Scout told us its story. Its fearless stature amidst the desert hills communicated strength. Over each bump, listening to its reverberations, we felt supported by calloused, capable hands. We discovered Native American pictographs within concave boulders, slept beneath the stars upon a knoll we’d never before seen and meandered the hard-to-reach ins and outs of a terrain witnessed by few. While embraced by its history, we made our own.
Like I said, there’s no water in Alabama Hills. Just as Walter Sky isn’t a fashion brand. Whilst freeing ourselves of newfangled needs, we become more authentic versions of ourselves. The Scout inspired us to live boundlessly, and the Walter Sky kit facilitated that quest. The river will likely never be the same, but we’re stoked on the men we became while flowing amongst it.
The above Field Test is a firsthand account of Walter Sky Co-Founder Nathan Andersen.