Behind The Cover – Issue 19.2: Father and Son at the Fountain of Youth

Behind the cover, but still above the water with Mike Dawsy.

Dawsy is tough to wrangle these days. It seems like he is always just getting back from Burning Man. His cellphone has about the same service as someone in the desert, he hasn’t shaven in months, and he always is drinking green juice preaching its healing qualities. I was with him in a condo in Colorado when the cover was announced last week and he was still too busy to sit down for five minutes for a quick story on how the whole thing went down. But, a week later, now states away instead of feet, he finally texted back (after many expletives hurled at him via my iPhone 8) without answering most of the questions but still enough to warrant a quick behind the cover interview. He scored a handful of covers last year, and it looks like he is doing it again. Dawsy is climbing fast up the ladder of snowboarding photogs, which is scary to the rest of us so during our texts I tried to convince him to quit. I hope you enjoy reading it much more than I enjoyed texting with him, because it was a hassle. – Mark Clavin

Another pool close to the Fountain of Youth somewhere in California. p: Dawsy

What is the story behind the Fountain of Youth? 
You really should be interviewing Chris Gallardo for this.

Don’t tell me how to do my job.
Chris found the Fountain of Youth, idk like 15 years ago or something crazy like that and has been going out there ever since with his family and friends.

When did you first go there? 
I think I’ve made 5 trips out there at this point? Every year our crew gets bigger and bigger and Chris shows everyone the ropes first hand. It’s seriously such a special trip for everyone who goes. It’s just amazing to see how different the pond looks every year. There’s a photo of Skyler, his dad, and sister from their first family trip out there somewhere on the internet, you gotta check that out it’s such a trip, Skyler is such a grom in it haha.

How long have you known the father-son crew? 
I’ve known the duo since 2017. Skyler and Chris are so rad.  

I bet you text them back rather promptly. 
Yep! It’s just you I don’t. 

Chris enjoying his annual trip. p: Dawsy

Did you pond skim it yourself?
Hahaha this past year I didn’t, too many humans in the line up. That day was absolutely amazing though, being so far out there with zero service, only your homies, sunscreen, snowboards, and just enough food to survive… yet enough weed and tobacco for an entire village…the experience is everything and it wouldn’t be the same without the company of everyone there.

So you just turned thirty, time to hang it up huh? 
Haha, just getting started!

Would you consider this your first surfing cover?

You like spring boarding better than mid winter?
I like them both. Probably more banger shots happen in the spring for some reason lol. 

Yeah all of your covers have come in spring. Maybe you should quit and shoot wakeboarding full time.
Maybe. Can’t thank snowboarding and everyone enough though. Best community in the world and I am blessed beyond belief to be a part of it.

Nate Haust getting in on the action. p: Dawsy

How long of a hike is it out to the spot? 
15-20 mile round trip depending on how lost you get.

Who has a worse beard, me or you?

I disagree. Have you ever gotten your own beard hair in a photo?
Yes, fisheye shooting, under the jump.

Gross. What’s the worst photo job you’ve ever had?
Shooting foreclosed houses in Vermont, they were all haunted. One of my first gigs.

Maybe you should go back to that. 

Plans this year?
Dominate everything.

That’s a little intense.
Grow up. 

The hike back up. p: Dawsy




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