The Jackson brothers make it out of Alaska in this episode and it's beyond jam-packed as they hit the road hardcore, covering ground all the way to LA. There's misty fly-fishing in Oregon, a one-of-a-kind volcano climb 'n' ride with Jeremy Jones, and the usual musical shenanigans in the custom rigs that look like Wolverine fabricated them himself.
The heart of Ep. 6, though, involves Eric and John stopping by Baldface in Nelson, BC, home of the Red Bull Supernatural and the snowcat op where the late -- and truly great -- Craig Kelly plied his guiding trade.
In the grander scheme of things, both brothers grew up admiring Craig Kelly, a four-time World Champion and the first high profile pro to ditch the contest scene for a life and career based in backcountry pursuits. Kelly died in a massive avalanche in BC in 2003 and snowboarding lost its finest ambassador.
"Craig was such an inspiration to John and I growing up snowboarding," explains Eric. "[He] was the man -- that was who started it all! And he's the one who brought backcountry snowboarding to what it is. He made that and was the soul of it. Just to be able to follow in his footsteps a little bit, to follow the bread trail that he left, it's just so rad. Something special, for sure."
Over a decade ago, Craig and his partner Savina also embarked on a similar two-continent journey to the Jackson Bros' AK to Chile drive-a-thon. The Kellys even had a child in Chile on the way, calling her both Olivia and, "the best souvenir ever."
In honor of this double inspiration, the boys meet up with Kelly's wife and daughter and swap stories over dinner. The crew also hiked up to the Kelly Cross memorial at Baldface and enjoyed some fine scotch as thoughts of Craig swirled in their minds:
"He created the path for all these guys [Ed. pro snowboarders] back in the day, so, it was a really great experience at Baldface..." says Clark Fyans, Lead Guide and mad string puller on both BOTR, Supernatural and "TAOF'.
John explains why it was important that the brothers travel to Baldface: "The first day I started snowboarding, Craig was a pretty big deal back then. He's always been just, like, the man snowboarding. He totally paved the way for people like us to go out there and do what we want to do. He was just like the pioneer, crazy cowboy, I think, who wasn't afraid to do what he loved... He just seems like one of those good dudes all around who'd have your back and I feel like he really knew what was important in life."