Oh days off. Beginning with my flight to Salt Lake City on Tuesday and through my return trip on Saturday evening, the middle bits are a bit of a blur.
As expected the sudden rush into crowds of people, lights, and noise were a bit overwhelming, but as I had been to the Outdoor Retailer Show before I knew what to expect…and for that reason I don’t think I was as freaked out as I might have been if it was my first time. In fact, I loved being able to tell stories, talk trail, and see the wonder that lit up in people’s eyes when I explained I had been walking for the last 3 1/2 months and had covered almost 1,900 miles. Wonder at my sanity for sure 🙂
I connected with the CDTC crew: Teresa, Jabba, and Pete and we spent most of the show talking with present and future hopeful corporate sponsors, talking about why this trail was so important to support and protect, and also spent a bit of time in support of our other long trails: the AT & PCT.
In fact the Appalachian Trail Conservancy put on a sneak preview of the new movie A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson’s bestselling book about a hike on the AT. It was pretty funny, and was a hoot to see Robert Redford in a comedy.
I got to reconnect with Bearclaw who had come with her sponsor, Backpacker’s Pantry, and other hikers like Snorkle, Trauma, Zach from Appalachian Trials and many of the UL gear owners like Ron from my own Six Moon Designs, Grant and Glen from Gossamer Gear and Ron from Mountain Laurel Designs. The long distance hiking community really is like a big family, even gear competitors like to get together, share a meal and tell hiking stories. I think our niche in the market is quite unique in that way.
I was able to check in with some of my sponsors: Oboz, Point6, Sierra Sage, Six Moon Designs, Bronwen Jewelry, and also was stoked to cultivate new relationships with Backpackers Pantry and Chums.
A lot of magic happens at the OR Show…we went to go see the Yonder Mountain String Band, I met amazing climber and photographer (and really nice guy) Jimmy Chin, got Scott Jurek (the speed record holder for a supported AT hike) to wear a hikertrash hat, saw my good friend Adryon from Bend, and brushed elbows with lots of amazing people on the floor of the show.
I even had another of my blog readers who lives in the SLC area, Gail, contact me and invite me to lunch! I’m very grateful we connected because just as she arrived to pick me up I realized my wallet was missing. I knew where I must have left it, but when I got back there it was gone. Nothing was turned in, and after retracing my steps 10 times and checking in with security I had to admit it was probably gone. Drat! The week had been going so well.
We went out to lunch for some amazing Mole, and then she dropped me off at the airport early so I could see about getting through security without a photo ID. She even gave me some cash to tide me over. Thanks Gail!!!!! I truly appreciate your help!
I blocked all my cards, filed a police report, and was able to get through security without too much trouble. Still a bummer that I’m now without ID and I’ll have to get some replacement cards sent ahead to myself on the trail. Ugggg!
It’s been a long week, I’m tired, not so much from the miles I must have walked on the show floor, but the constant buzz of people and conversation. It will be a relief to be back in the trees.
So close to Montana, maybe I’ll get there tomorrow!!!