Camelback Mountain, in Phoenix, Arizona, attracts all kinds of super people. Those that frequent it come to recognize the cast of regular characters appearing along the trail. One of these smiling faces is Kubari Eady, comedian, self proclaimed “Camelbackian”, all around cool cat and the focus of this CamelbackCulture Community Spotlight
Hooked On The Camel
We sat down with Kubari along the Echo Canyon switchbacks; catching him coming down from his sunrise hike. He starts off musing over his very first hike up the Camel, just after he moved to Phoenix, a few years ago (for love he tells us). Solo and, in hindsight, admittedly unprepared, he started up in cooler temperatures on the Cholla Trail (please note Cholla Trail is currently closed by the City of Phoenix). “I didn’t have enough water. I had the wrong shoes,” he continues, “but once I got to the top and looked out, it was incredible and I was hooked from that moment forward.” He smiles as he remembers that first summit selfie. Not a hiker prior to that point, he says Camelback Mountain was his “gateway drug” to becoming an “outdoorsy guy”
A common feeling for those on our magic mountain, is how special a place it is and Eady’s reaction is no different. Returning better prepared for subsequent hikes, he began coming at different times of the day. When asked about his most memorable hike on CB he replies, “my first time for sunrise.” He explains enjoying the whole process of it; “setting the intention the night before,” arriving early and that “hard drive up in the dark” to meet the dawn. So “special and challenging... different every time.” You can regularly find him up with the sunrise crew, greeting the first light of day
Getting To Know Kubari
Kubari was born and raised in San Diego, CA. With a father in the Navy, he had the unique experience of a 3+ year stint in Japan. Coming back to California to study to become a social worker. Progressing into adulthood he combined his desire to help others and natural skill as an orator, he went into the ministry for over 10 years. Through those years he came to “believe in the power of a good laugh” and making people smile. If you’ve had the opportunity to see him in any of his comedic posts or catch any of his pre-COVID live standup, you know he’s got a gift. (Check out his link here to learn more about upcoming shows!)
Through Eady’s life he has chosen people oriented careers, and it is never a surprise to catch him with a group going up the trail. “Coming up with other people is an experience. I kinda take a squad approach to it... no man left behind.” He’s true to his word, even turning back if anyone in his squad isn’t able to continue. It’s all worth it to him for the times his Camel Crew recruits make it to summit. “When you get to the top... you see that look of triumph on their faces. It’s like living it all over again for the first time myself."
Kubari is vibrant spirit along the trail, but occasionally his new initiates are less than convinced on the way to the top. When asked by his newbies “Why? Why? Why?” his response is: “this is one of the best things I've got going in my life and I want to share it with you.” Among his family members who have made the trek, his brother was apparently none too impressed... until reaching that CB summit. He loved it. Sharing that Culture, Eady is most excited about having his son, Arrow, join him this holiday season to visit our very own Camelback Santa. We can’t wait to see those smiling photos!
“Love Is My Religion"
As stated in our name, we believe in the combined Culture created on Camelback. Kubari is another excellent representation of this ideal. He feels the multicultural experiences in his youth have allowed him to keep his “heart open to new and different things.” Often being, what he describes as, “that one black kid” in many situations has made him endeavor to find the things in common with others. “We’re all different but in a lot of ways we’re all the same. Made of the same stuff.” He is now trying to guide his son through similar feelings of being isolated or judged for the color of his skin. Eady encourages Arrow to learn from the challenges and appreciate his own uniqueness. Reminding him “I do stand out but that’s okay… I have something to bring to the table that’s different from everybody else.”
With the recent heightened racial tensions across the country, we wondered if Kubari had or had heard of any instances of overt racism on the trail. Happily, he reports only one recent instance to us, a fellow hiker attempting to make him uncomfortable, verbosely singing threatening song lyrics as he passed. “I felt that was sung at me,” but he continues, that could be tension felt anywhere. And true to his own strong beliefs he says “I feel he has as much right to this place as I do… love is my religion.” The incident has not tainted the experience of the Camel for him. “It in no way takes away from the good feelings, the good vibes, the good juju that I get from this place.”
Make Life Worth Living
With a huge grin, Kubari describes himself as a “card carrying” Camelback hiker. “I’m made on this mountain.” So what exactly does he feel he’s gained the most from the experience of being a hiker on Camelback? “Stick with it... hang in.” Sighting his propensity for summiting for the sunrise, “doing this in the morning sets my day… I have the mentality of sticking with it.” One foot in front of the other, every day, every day. That is the big lesson of the Camel
Beyond the life lessons on the Hump, what does Camelback Culture mean to Eady? Without hesitation, he answers, “its all about the people, man!” Continuing, “I believe the interpersonal interactions we have here make life worth living.” As a beaming grin spreads across his face, Kubari talks about the unique personalities that flow together on our trails, “very cool people here.” He speaks the truth! “Seeing familiar faces in a setting as impactful as this… it can really set up your day.” Many of the regulars do take time to mix and mingle along the trail and on summit. But he reminds us that even just a “hello” in passing can have a positive impact on others. “It means a ton to me to be seen, and to see others here and to be encouraged by them."
We do so appreciate the positive people creating uplifting moments on the Rock. Next time you see Kubari on the trail, say “hello” and share in some of the Mountain’s good juju together! He’ll be hiking in his many fantastic costumes for Halloween toward the end of the month. Until then you can check him out on social media… and live! The comedy stages are starting to open up again and he has a show at JPs comedy club in Gilbert, AZ on Saturday October 24. Super news for him and for everyone in need of a good laugh. Camelback Culture thanks Kubari Eady for his time and for sharing his thoughts on himself, life and our Magic Mountain
Thanks from Camelback Culture!
Thank you for reading and please check back by for future Camelback Culture Community Spotlight Blog posts. Find Super Camelback, Super Piestewa and other merchandise here. Be sure to keep up with the Community by following us on Instagram and Facebook for more Culture - Clothes - Community
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Thank you also to the Community members that shared their photos with us:
Jes Shapiro @jes_plus_az
Jami Salamone @jamisalamoneBenny Shapiro @threehundredsunrises
EdNut Rabouin @babablunte
Paul Porras @lionkingpaul
Seeley James @seeleyjamesauth
Lance Thompson @lancetho
Lourdes Morris @lourdesmorris9
Ron Harper @vegan_ron1969
Meeka Vigue @hikingstylist
Rod Comer @comerrod
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