At first blush, the idea behind Pat’s Backcountry Beverages is genius. You don’t want to carry in beer on a hiking trip. It’s heavy, and it gets warm and flat by the time that you’d actually want to take a swig. But you’d also secretly love to be that person that pulls out a cold one at the end of the trail. Pat’s Backcountry facilitates this fantasy by saying, hey, listen, don’t sweat it. Here’s a tube of goo that will MAKE beer. Just add water. Oh, and this activator packet. And don’t forget the carbonator. Oh! And maybe a mixer?

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Yes, I acknowledge that it’s ridiculous, reductive, and totally unrealistic to try to represent all the beautiful scenery on a continent in one post. I am not an expert. I don’t pretend to be an expert. That said, these photos of the crazy mountains that inspired Avatar’s landscape, a real-life stone forest, and yes, RAINBOW MOUNTAINS are …

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After four short months here, I harbor an intense appreciation not just for the music that this city was built upon, but for the pervading spirit of musical innovation. Before I moved to Nashville, I kept receiving warnings from people that “I better learn to like country music.” These people were not from Nashville. It’s not just about country music anymore, people.

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“It’s rare to have an experience that’s truly your own, where there’s no evidence of it,” says Balaconis. “It’s scary to people to do something without proof — but it can be awesome and so refreshing. That experience becomes extra special — a little jewel that you can carry around with you for rest of life. It’s like a secret power.”

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