The original vampire, Sava Savanovic, is from Serbia. He's not who you think he is. His story has a bizarre connection to covid. I drive into the dark forest to investigate a story of horror and hysteria.
Where can we travel right now and what is it like in this new era? That's a question I've set out to answer with my diminished passport and a modicum of trepidation. I'm currently on the road exploring destinations that I can enter without restriction. Two videos are up now. More are coming every week. Subscribe to the Youtube channel and hit that notification bell to get the freshest news from the road so you can plan your next trip.
I produced this video is SW Washington state after discovering my favorite berry was just out of season. Could I find a fruitful bush somewhere in the lush forests around my parents house?
Campgrounds are the solid space between civilization and nature. If you take a deeper step towards the wild, the risks get higher, and so do the rewards. It's possible to find a secret campsite miles away from any other human being. You and your group can be totally immersed in the nature and free to do whatever you like; mindfully respecting the environment. In this video I'm sharing my technique to spot a potential secret campground on my computer at home and then going out into the field to find it. If you like to camp and are ready to take your camping game to the next level, this video is for you.
*Warning* There are two sides to isolation. You won't be found, which is great for privacy. However, if you get hurt, you won't be found. You must be confident that you can get yourself and your group out of this spot, even in a worst case scenario (car won't start, someone breaks their leg, etc.) If you are not 100% confident in your ability to handle an emergency, stay in an established campground. Leave no trace. Sweep the site for garbage before you leave.
Fires can easily get out of your control. This would be a terrible thing, possibly resulting in your death and the death of others. I'll address this in a follow up video, but look up the resources you need to do this properly.
Have an amazing adventure!
In Serbia I drove a car from a country that does not exist. That car, the Yugo (from former Yugoslavia), led me to some interesting destinations and a warm-hearted realization about the resilient nature of humanity.
Featured are the towns of Novi Sad, Zrenjanin, and Belgrade.
Filmed and co-produced by https://maximilian-sperber.com/
Special thanks to:
Aniko Kovač Krnjajić (and her father)
Podrum Šukac Winery - https://www.facebook.com/podrumsukac/
Sambansa Samba School - https://www.facebook.com/Sambansa/
Sri Lanka has some of the most iconic railways in the world. Sri Lanka also has experienced the greatest train tragedy in history. I briefly explore this story along the scenic coastal rails south of Colombo. It's a story which you too can follow in your travels. Although it's a devastating tale, grasping the fragile nature of life can open up a deeper appreciation for this brief moment we have to enjoy, savor, or squander.
This filming was shot and co-produced by Maximilian Sperber
One night 500 Californians were killed and thrown into the ocean. There were smashed and drowned by a fifty meter wall of water as it tumbled violently down a series of valleys. Bodies were recovered as far south as Mexico. The catastrophic collapse of the St. Francis Dam was the second biggest tragedy in state history, and the epic downfall of California's favorite son: William Mulholland.
Despite the dramatic story and stunning setting this spot is rarely visited. Southern California's grand disaster has become a traveler's secret spot. Here are my recommendations if you'd like to discover it:
1. Hike Up the Abandoned Road: Take San Francisquito Canyon Road about a hundred meters north of San Francisquito Motorway. On the east side of the street you'll see this abandoned road barricaded off. Walk towards the lush forest growing where the old lake water pushed against the dam. Emerging from the forest there will be piles of rubble to your left and a small hill to your right. These are both worth exploring.
2. Scramble over the Rubble to the Left: Climbing over big chunks of the old dam notice metal pipes and other curiosities poking out of the ruins. Once you surmount the first pile you'll find a serene little creek and pool on the other side. It's a good spot for a tiny picnic. I took a dip on my first visit, but saw an unidentified snake slither off in the deep. There may also be more concrete with metal attachments underwater, so I'd advice against leaping in unless you thoroughly explore the depth.
3. Climb up the Ridge to the Right: After scrambling around the rubble to the left of the road, go back and scale that ridge on the other side. It has very clear remains of the dike which was a 3 meter extension of the old dam. From the top it's easy to see the exact placement of the doomed structure. Also, looking north, you get this gorgeous view of the forest, dramatically lush in contrast to the dry hills around. Notice your parked car off in the distance by the new road.
4. Head for the Big Rock in the Distance: From the ridge, looking across the rubble of the old dam, a prominent rock is visible. To get there drive down San Francisquito Motorway about 1.3 miles until a fireroad appears on the left. From there it's a fairly easy climb up to a T junction. Go left on the narrower trail which will lead straight to that rock. From the top one can see the remains of the entire old dam and trace the path of the water as it plowed down the valley before hooking a right around Castaic Junction, following the Santa Clara River Valley to the Pacific Ocean.
5. Extend your Exploration: To make a full day of the St. Francis Dam story, follow the water course down towards Ventura.
Before going, read the dramatic story of the St. Francis Dam and the rise and fall of Mulholland. It's a doozy of a tale which will make this adventure all the more impactful.
Do you feel anxious? There is a high amount of anxiety during coronavirus, but even before covid anxiety was a thing, it was pervasive in modern day life. I actually felt more of it pre-corona and the slow down of life during the pandemic helped me (forced me) to recenter. There were 5 things which helped me get a grip on this dehabilitating emotion, which I'm sharing in this video.
In future vids I may dive deeper into these specific topics. If your feeling coronavirus anxiety, or just high anxiety in general, these will help.
The best camera work in this video comes from:
Good books on Roman stoicism:
Guide to the Good Life
Marcus Aurelius' Meditations
I've divided the hike into degrees of difficulty (below). If you get to a point that seems to be bumping against your limits, the next phase is going to exceed them and put you in serious danger. Once you pass the first Horton Lake you can't count on anyone coming to the rescue if there is an accident. I'd guess the last Horton Lake sees a human once every two weeks at the most.
A few years back I was filming content in Serbia with my friend Max Sperber. It came to our attention that a unique situation was unfolding on the Danube river at the border to Croatia. Investigating this story landed us in hot water with two bodies of law enforcement. One of them is dogging us still to this day. What do you think about this whole hullabaloo?
I'm Jonathan Legg
The road has been my greatest teacher.. challenging stagnant beliefs, disarming prejudices, and developing understanding of others. I hope the content on this blog will bring a sliver of that juju to you.