The Snow Sports Industry Association Trade Show

Last week I attended the SIA show in Denver. I’ve been to several “Outdoor Retailer” sporting goods trade shows, but this was my first SIA show. About 1/5th the size of the OR show, the SIA show focused only on winter sporting goods; Snowboarding, Skiing, Backcountry gear, Nordic gear.

The trade show follows a similar format to the OR show, several days of trade show expo, followed by a couple days of “on the snow demo” at Winter Park Resort. About 900 brands were present at the show, displaying all their new gear for this season, and while the sheer quantity of gear was overwhelming, when I broke the expo floor into market segments (snowboarding, skiing, backcountry, etc…), it was much more manageable to make my way around from booth to booth to learn about all the new gear that interested me most (mainly downhill and backcountry ski gear).

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Desert Road Trip

December 26th, one day after Christmas, we hopped into the car at 4:30 a.m. and started driving south on what was to be a 3,000+ mile desert road trip. The road trip was initially planned for 2 reasons, 1-because we needed a vacation and 2-to visit my grandma in Phoenix.

Although driving from Helena to Phoenix and back is long enough in itself, we decided to extend the trip a few days and add a few stops in the Utah desert. Below is our day to day itinerary and an account of memories that will last us a lifetime.

Dec. 26th Day 1 was by far the longest day in the car. 13+ hours, 900+ miles from Helena Montana to Las Vegas, NV. We stayed at the Hilton, “just off” the strip. Apparently “Just off” the strip to someone from Vegas is WAY different then what I was expecting.

Never having been to the strip, I had no idea of the massive size of everything and how far apart everything really is. We explored the strip this night, and even managed to win a couple bucks in a penny slot! (more…)

Tips for Running While Traveling

With the temperature falling and snowflakes flying, winter has come early to Minnesota. It’s hard to believe that just six short weeks ago we had temperatures in the 80s. Doesn’t summer seem like it was ages ago? So read on to learn more about Tips for Running while Traveling.

Like so many people, you’re probably already thinking about a winter vacation to a warmer climate. Winter vacations are a great way to escape the frozen tundra and frigid temperatures in favor of a warm beach or desert oasis. Sometimes we need to get away from the snow and ice just to keep our sanity. We’ve all been there…

If you’re like me, however, you aren’t willing to give up running…even for a few days while on vacation. Not only am I not willing to give up running temporarily, but I actually get excited about running in new places. I love exploring parts of cities that I’ve never seen before, running trails that I didn’t know existed, and spending time really getting to know a city on my feet.

Running is a part of every trip I take. I have to plan for it. I have to pack for it. It’s not always black and white – so I thought I would share some tips on how to make the whole process go a little smoother. You’ll be able to enjoy your travels, and even better – enjoy your run!

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Maine Bucket List

Maine is the northeasternmost state in the U.S. Maine is known for the state’s beautiful and spectacular rocky coastline, its nature, maritime history, lighthouses, and Acadia National Park. You can find plenty of moose in Maine’s Baxter State Park where also Mount Katahdin is foud, the Appalachian Trail’s endpoint. This post offers you some beautiful destinations to cross off your Maine Bucket list The following video shows you 30 of Maine’s more than overall 60 lighthouses.

Beautiful lighthouses are spread out along the state’s coastline, so check out, for example, Cape Neddick Lighthouse, one of America’s most photographed lighthouses, or Portland Headlight Lighthouse built in 1791. It is situated on the south entrance of Portland Harbor in Cape Elizabeth. Visiting Portland Head Light is a must when you’re visiting Maine. The lighthouse has a very rich history going back all the way to George Washington. The following are on my Maine Bucket list. See if they’re also on yours!

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TransRockies Run – the Six-Day Run

As the sixth and last stage of the TransRockies Run (TRR) came to a close today I thought about what I wanted to close my coverage with. LOTS of cool topics came to my mind, such as what “camp life” is like for an event like this; or what is it that brings some competitors back year after year while others are content to run it once and move on to other challenges and other adventures.

There are certainly dozens of inspirational personal stories I could tell, such as the couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary by running a 125 miles race together after the doctor said he would be lucky to walk again a few years ago after getting T-boned in his car.

But, as the race draws to a close I’d like to reflect on just three quick questions I’ve been asked recently:
1.)  What’s with all the stuffed animals on peoples packs?  Do they really need the extra weight?
2.)  A tow rope, really? Couldn’t you find a partner that was equal to your athleticism?
3.)  Why on earth would someone pay any amount of money to get their ass kicked for a week?

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GrizzlyMan & Black Bear Challenge Adventure Race

Last April, roughly 100 racers assembled in Greenough, MT at the Paws Up Resort to compete in the annual GrizzlyMan and Black Bear Challenge Adventure Race. This year’s race proved to be MUCH harder than any previous version. The race includes trail running, orienteering, mountain biking, and for the GrizzyMan, whitewater navigation.

Racers are given a sheet of coordinates, a map, and a “passport” the night before the race. During the pre-race meeting, organizers stressed the rules, shared the course safety info, and explained the open format of the race. Racers had the evening to plot their points on their maps, and plan their route. At 5:00 a.m. the GrizzlyMan racers started out in the pre-dawn light, and at 9:00 a.m. the Black Bear Racers headed out on their course.

This year I competed in the Black Bear Challenge with my cousin Adam, on team “Just Cuz”. We drove up together Friday afternoon, got registered, and staged our bikes at the bike “Transition Area”. We had just very little clue what to expect. We were told there would be running and biking, but beyond that, we had absolutely no idea what to expect.

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Triathlon Training Week 2–What am I doing here??!!

In the middle of the timed two-mile test I was running for the Triathlon clinic, a girl next to me asks, “So are you a mountain biker or a road biker?” Taken aback by the fact that she was able to think of anything other than the burning in her legs AND could muster up enough oxygen to utter a complete sentence, I shook myself out of my running trance and answered, “Not really either.” Then I thought to myself,  ”Actually, I don’t bike, I never learned how to swim and I’ve never been a distance runner…what am I doing here!”

One week later, as the “Adaptation Phase” of our training comes to a close and we’re finally getting the hang of things, I feel much less out of my element.

You see, the beautiful thing about a multi-event sport like a triathlon is that everyone has a component they are confident with and everyone has a component they struggle with. For example, someone can be holding their own in the pool workouts, fall behind and hate the run days, but then when you see them in the spin room…they are in their element, in the zone. Personally, I come out of swim class like a drowned rat, am so-so in a bike workout, and am (to my own surprise) loving the run workouts.

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Flashback, flash forward

 

Flashback, flash forward. Earlier this week I was tagged by Jana, in a roundabout, Sesame Street sort of way. I gave up trying to post this yesterday when it became clear early on that all I was gonna get from Blogger was a big screw you.

25 years ago I was all about My Little Ponies, ballet and jazz lessons, pretty dresses, Anne of Green Gables, the Mini Pops and playing school in my driveway with my best friend who lived down the street.

10 years ago I was on the cusp of my 22nd birthday. I was into vintage clothing, Ani DiFranco, rolling joints and Southern Comfort.

5 years ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I’d just started talking to Dave on a regular basis and although I knew the potential for our friendship to really take off and become serious was there, I told him straight up that I couldn’t focus on him because my priorities were my mother and school, in that order.

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Ranking Stumblin’ Sunday

A while ago I began doing Stumblin’ Sunday posts. Well, that’s a lie. I did one post about the best site’s that I’d come across using StumbleUpon that week.

Well, the good news is that now that I have constant computer and internet access I can start posting again, wooh! Aren’t you so very happy?!

Improve Page, Alexa and Technorati Rank at ImBloggingThat.com is a great guide to how to increase your PageRank, Alexa Rank and Technorati Authority and Ranks. A great read if you’re obsessed with your site’s numerous ranks.

Humeros Bathroom Signs from around the world – the last two are the best and most imaginative I’ve ever seen.

TeeVsTee.com is a simple voting site where you pick your favorite out of two t-shirt designs. Since I’m a sucker for cool t-shirts, I love this site and there are a good few shirts that I now must have after voting for around 5 minutes. Simple, silly and addictive.

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The Lap of Luxury – a preemptive critique

Luxury fonts were originally designed by Christian Schwartz and available via Orange Italic. I was excited, my family business is jewelry and these typefaces are intended for the upscale market.

The type family names are Diamonds, Platinum, and Gold, a cinch that I would want to use them. In 2011, House Industries purchased the rights to sell them (at least I think) and added a 3 text weight in the deal. Well, this is a partial review…

Why Do Chickens Fly?

I am not sure that the original set of Fonts, the Display faces, were meant to be a serious attempt at a typeface. At first, I imagine it was conceived as the typographic equivalent of “sprockets” from SNL.

I, however, was enthralled at the simplicity and the utility of 3 display faces, all aligned and weight matched and looking like they stepped out of a Gucci ad. Joke or not, I was obsessed with having them, and even e-mailed Orange to request an update about when and where I could buy them.

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