Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road Show

We left Vegas in the dust on Friday, driving to Alturas late for a short rest, then hammered the pavement early Saturday to make a break for home. The show was a huge success as we launched a whole line of economic rolling bags and displayed our new trade show booth for Bluefig. One thing is for sure - Color is king!

I love driving long distance. Road trips have always been one of my favorite activities. It is one thing to fly to a location for vacation, but to really know the landscape and get a feel for it, you have to drive. Passing through small towns, hamlets, disheveled settlements, etc., there are so many unique and wonderful kernels to uncover. These small towns offer so much of America to discover, and an opportunity to learn something about our short history is always entertaining.

On the way to Vegas, we passed many landscape features, man-made landmarks, and assorted oddities that I came home with a list of things to explore via Internet, always considering a future visit. Of particular note:

Alturas, CA.
Most probably pass right through this sleepy little Ag town, but you may want to stop a moment and consider its history. The history so rich and dramatic here, any passerby would be foolish not to slow down and learn a bit. Here the Modoc tribe lived for hundreds of years, and of particular note, Captain Jack's stronghold - a natural fort where the Modocs held off the army for over 5 months. Not far from here, Lava Beds National Monument resides, just outside of town a dozen or so miles and visible from the highway for a time while passing through. Caves, lava formations, and considerable exploration opportunities await.

Tonopah & Goldfield, NV
These two old mining towns were once major population centers, believe it or not. Tonopah, known for it's rich silver mines, and Goldfield, a high volume gold producer, began the 20th century in true prospector style, growing to large populations rapidly before submitting to the ill fate so many boom towns ultimately succumbed to. Of particular note, check out the amazing architecture in Goldfield's downtown, and the cool mining towers overlooking Tonopah. A great place to see history and how the west developed.

Beatty, NV
The Gateway to Death Valley, this little hustle and bustle town lay at the eastern entrance to one of my favorite places on earth. A great place to check in, fuel up, and take a drink before making the grade into the Valley of Death...

While gas prices soar and summer turns up the heat, consider making a trip to the desert this spring to see the many jewels it offers. You won't be disappointed. While I am not a fan of Vegas (no disrespect, of course), I am definitely delighted to have made my way there in a fashion that I could learn a few things along the way.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I try not to play hooky from work often. In fact, I rarely take time off during the week for much of anything, even Dr. appointments. Yesterday was the exception. My 12 year old son and I traveled through the Columbia River Gorge en route to Mt. Hood. We were set on trekking across Timberline Lodge and snowshoeing a few miles on Timberline's dedicated trails, and it was just what we anticipated.

Perfect day for shoeing, light snow falling, temp around 28 degrees, and soft airy snow throughout the trail system. We hiked about 4 miles total, not a huge number, but for Noah's first trip I was thrilled to get that far without complaint. In fact, he enjoyed every minute of it and could have done more most likely. I think I have a partner for this activity from here on out. Word to the wise, it is not flat, and you do share the trail at times with snowboards and skis.

I have to put yesterday behind me now and get ready for a road trip to the VDTA trade show. Packing up the trade show booth today and heading out Monday. Doubt I'll get any snowshoeing in next week! ;)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Saw lots of old friends tonight at the Sportsman Show. Of note, I ran into Dean Crouser - A remarkable artist, athlete, and gentleman. His art can be viewed at Please support his remarkable efforts!

Spent time working with Jeff and Jennifer DuPont at the Youth Outdoor Adventures booth and Wild Winds Ranch. Jeff and Jenn host hundreds of youth in the summer for adventure camps that teach the principles of the outdoors. This hard working team is ceaseless in their efforts to get kids off the couch and into the field! Support them by visiting

From a conservation standpoint, CCA is always at the forefront. I applaud their efforts and hard work to restore and conserve our outdoor heritage. Support theirs efforts at

For those of us that grew up with a backpack on hitting the trail, or those that learned a family tradition in the field, we know what it is to appreciate nature to its fullest. Our natural world is a wonder, and to experience it with family and friends builds memories that will never be forgotten. Time to get off that couch, drop the remote and game controller, and hustle outside for some fresh air, wildlife, and exhilirating landscapes.