Ever met someone that's always on the move, with two feet in? They're present right where they stand. And before you know it...they're off on the next adventure? Those people can be frustrating to keep up with, but are also the most inspiring. At Urban Barrels, we're all about these rad individuals! Jesse Wyatt Morgan is definitely one of those…Traveler, photographer, frequenter of the Last Frontier. A bit of luck let us catch up with JW in a summer lull..
Where are you currently?
Right now, I'm on Playa Boquilla in Oaxaca, Mexico. Been posted on the Oaxacan coast for about the last month, but here in a few hours I'm hopping on a bus up to Mexico City. Got a flight to Colorado, USA next.
Tell me about your most recent expedition to Mexico and Central America..
I'm just ending a three month trip bouncing in between Mexico and Guatemala. Started by exploring Mexico City and staying with friends. Spent a lot of time in Oaxaca. Good surf here in Puerto Escondido and Zipolite (also the best mangos I've ever eaten in my life). Took some Spanish school on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, did some volcano hiking, Even explored San Cristobal and Chiapas for a spell.
Rainbow into the Pacific, Oaxaca, Mexico
Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico
Giant cactus, Arroyo Cruz, Mexico
Volcan Fuego, Guatemala
Give me a few of your favorites:
Form of social media – I wanna go on record about my Snapchat account!
Food - Mexican street tacos & Alaskan salmon (smoked, grilled, baked, ceviche)
Music - Grateful Dead, Real Estate, Mac DeMarco, Sturgill Simpson, Dirty Projectors, Lil B to name a few
Pieces of Clothing - my denim of choice is Wrangler's Cowboy Cut® Slim Fit jeans. Plus, I’ve usually got a pair of New Balance on.
He’s not lying about the sneakers. When we first met him, JW had on a pair. Good for just about anything, they fit Jesse's nomadic, freestyling months. His roaming, multi month expeditions bookend the portion of time he's gotta protect his feet a little more. You need something a little more waterproof aboard a fishing vessel in the middle of the Alaskan Ocean.
Tell me about your occupation...
I have worked the past four summers in the Prince William Sound of Alaska fishin' for wild Copper River salmon. I'm a deckhand and the cook on a 54 foot fishing vessel (The Rafferty). We're one of the most sustainable fleets in the world, all the fisher(wo)men work hand in hand with the hatcheries and Fish and Game regulations. The office is beautiful and each day is just as exciting as the next. I'm 23, and have a degree- but couldn't think of any other way I'd rather make a living at this time in my life.
What's on your packing list when you leave for Alaska?
- 90 liter Osprey backpack, filled to the brim.
- Digital and film cameras with a couple lens changes
- Xtra Tuffs (Official boot of Alaska... It's the cowboy boots of Texas if you will)
- Tent, sleeping bag and rainjacket (Cordova, AK is a constantly wet climate)
- I usually try and pack clothes for an assortment of different climates because I end up hopping around to different places pre or postseason.
What drove you to take up such a lifestyle?
It's a combination of adventure, risk, raw nature, reward, hard work and unknowingness that keep me doing unconventional things. My parents really emphasized the importance of getting out and seeing new things. My siblings are living really crazy, beautiful lives which inspires me to not settle for comfort.
The best part of all the miles JW's covered, and places he's been...is that he’s usually got a camera on his hip for it all. All the experience lets him find shots many would look past, or never see. Check out his self named website, Jessewyattmorgan.com for even more sick photos, or follow him on instagram @Jessewyattmorgan
When you're taking photos, are you focusing on mechanics of your craft or just going with the flow and hoping for the best?
My photos are just visual reminders for my future self of where who I've been with.I don't focus much on mechanics (the most important things to me are lighting and framing).
What's better; the places you go and places you see, or the people you meet along the way?
I think the people just make the places that much sweeter.
What's the next place you want to travel to and photograph next?
I made some really cool Norwegian friends in Guatemala that I'm trying to visit in 2017. I owe a visit to one of my best friends living in Kenya.
Dejnandi, Westfjords of Iceland
Casa Grande, Big Bend, Texas
Canon Beach, Oregon
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Salmon season is on the horizon, and thankfully we caught Jesse before he sets out for Cordova and another run on the boat. You'll have to keep an eye out on social media if you want to keep up with this guy.
Good luck out there, JW….and as always, Stay Barreled!