Travis Rice Goes On A Legendary Mission in Interior BC

The plan was simple enough: Travis Rice, accompanied by three of the world’s best out-of-bounds boarders were to head deep into the Interior of British Columbia to score some goods and scope some terrain. But with any good plan comes a curveball. Sometimes said off-speed pitch is a blessing and sometimes, a curse. In this instance, it was indeed the former, and the end result was one of the most epic lines ever ridden on a snowboard.
Rice was accompanied by fellow Mervin team riders Austen Sweetin—an all-terrain ball of energy exploding inside the frame of a snowboarder, Robin Van Gyn—one of our sport’s best and most accomplished big mountain riders alive, and Blair Habenicht—a rider who is hard to put into words due to the fact that the majority of his time is spent deep in the Mt. Baker backcountry where he is single-handedly reinventing the art of turning in powder. The crew was epic and the locale was even more so, as they loaded up into the heli and set out into the forest seeking adventure.

Pillow Talk in British Columbia

The terrain in the Interior of British Columbia is arguably the best in the world and the same can be said about the snowpack. According to Travis, “The unique thing about BC is the type of coverage and how much variability there is in the rock and the geology. It bridges this harmonious gap between the Rockies and Alaska. It’s unique because you get a somewhat coastal snowpack and you’re a thousand kilometers from the coast. You have these big mountain ranges that get a snowpack that sticks to them and for someone like me coming from Wyoming where it’s very rocky, I’m like a kid in a candy store because it gives me confidence. You just have to be a little smarter and more defensive about how you’re riding where I’m from but not so much in BC.”

There were two missions within one. First and foremost, it was a Mervin team trip to gather photos and video, but on the back end, it was a chance to check out a little something that Travis has had in the works for a few years now. Twelve years ago, Rice created an event called The Natural Selection—an off-piste all-mountain freestyle event with the best riders on planet earth. He hosted the inaugural event at his home resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In the years to follow, Natural Selection would evolve and eventually head north to…you guessed it, Interior British Columbia. More specifically, a powdercat lodge known by every snowboarder on the globe: Baldface. Just last year, Rice officially announced that the Natural Selection was officially back, but this time, it has evolved again into a full-fledged tour rather than a one-off winter event. The second stop of the Tour will take place at Baldface again, so the crew accompanied Travis to take a peek at the course while scoping other terrain in the

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East End Backyard Opens, Jollof Rice King Debuts Next Week

East End Backyard, 1105 Sampson, opens October 9. The spacious outdoor venue from owner and Houston Dynamo legend Brian Ching offers a bar with a 16,000 square foot dog-friendly patio with a 3,500-square-foot dog park. The massive outdoor space offers plenty of social distancing room for lawn games, relaxing with pod friends and live music. The full bar has 25 beers and ciders on tap, including local selections from 8th Wonder, Saint Arnold, Eureka Heights and No Label plus a cocktail menu. For nosh, there will be a rotating line-up of local food trucks.

Ching, who also owns Pitch 25 Beer Park, launched a NextSeed crowdfunding campaign for East End Backyard last May. In a press release from business partner Nick Scurfield of the Scurfield Group public relations agency, Ching said:  “We wanted to create a laidback outdoor space where people could socialize with friends. Right now, our top priority is to provide a safe, comfortable environment with lots of room for social distancing, and we think it will be the perfect place for that.” Besides Scurfield, Ching has also brought in Jimmy Tzannis as a partner. Tzannis is a former manager at Ching’s Pitch 25 which is a sports-centric bar and beer garden on Walker.

Former Dynamo Brian Ching and son Chase.EXPAND

Former Dynamo Brian Ching and son Chase.

Photo by Wilf Thorne Photography

The outdoor space offers bright-colored furniture such as Adirondack chairs and wood picnic tables with umbrellas. There are also sofas for lounging. The fenced-in dog park features several tables so that patrons can sit and enjoy a drink while watching their pooches play and make new friends. Reservations can also be made in advance for dog parties. Magnolia trees, crape myrtle trees and Spanish sycamores offering shade on a sunny Houston day.

East End Backyard has an interior bar as well.EXPAND

East End Backyard has an interior bar as well.

Photo by Wilf Thorne Photography

The interior bar offers 1,300 square feet of space in a converted bright blue 1930s bungalow. The interior wallpaper brings the outdoor garden vibe inside and seating includes high-top bar tables made from recycled antique bicycles and reclaimed barn wood, made by Inspired Finds out of Des Moines, Iowa.

There are two other 1930s bungalows on the property and Ching has future plans for those, including a taco shop or coffee shop and a merchandise store for artists Donkeeboy and Donkeemom whose studio is in the neighborhood. The mom and son art duo of Alex Roman Jr. and Sylvia Roman is working on a signature mural for East End Backyard’s patio. There are plans for additional murals on the property by other local artists.

Oxtails and jollof rice offer diners a taste of West Africa.

Oxtails and jollof rice offer diners a taste of West Africa.

Photo by Nathan Colbert

Jollof Rice King, 3833 Richmond, opens October 13, as reported by Eater Houston. The new West African restaurant comes from husband and wife Ayo and Tiffaney Odewale who also own Taste of Nigeria and Cafe Abuja. The newest restaurant’s opening was delayed due to the pandemic but the couple saw the chance

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