Friday, August 22, 2014

I came, I saw, I got lost and I made it home!

My day at the OR Show!

Nope, it’s not in Oregon. OR stands for “Outdoor Retailer”.  I had heard about it because a friend of ours was attending and he was staying at our house as the show was in Salt Lake City. He had flown in from Boulder and was spending all day meeting potential clients and collecting cards.  I had heard of the OR show but I had no idea how big it was….and that curiosity is what fueled my fire.  “I should write a blog about it. For Deer Valley. I could show all the new ski and snow stuff!” Great idea, right?  Hmmm, maybe not.

I arrived at registration and found it was extremely difficult to get in without some REAL clout…or previous registration (aka advanced planning).  I brought with me a piece of paper with my Deer Valley blogging bio and handed them my ID. That wasn’t going to cut it. I tried to pull my blog up on my computer. That didn’t work. This was tougher than I thought. Now my curiosity was off the charts…what was behind those convention center walls? I had to find out. Thank goodness, my blog popped up just in time and I was cleared. I had my badge and was ready to depart.  But, I paused and asked them where the ski and snow toys were….(rookie mistake) “No, this is the Summer OR show…the winter OR show is in Feb.” I couldn’t play it off…the cat was out of the bag.

All of registration knew I had NO CLUE what I was doing. And away I went, with a smile.


First stop, the comfiest neck pillows in the world. Well, in the moment, that is what I felt their name should be.  But, Cocoon makes sense. They are furry and compact and if I hadn’t felt the need to regain some sort of pride, I would have walked around the rest of the day with this sucker cuddling my neck region.  See that little pouch I am holding? That’s how small they are when deflated!

 I turned around from Cocoon and found myself  looking straight at my husband’s pants. Well, more specifically, his favorite pant company. Kuhl. Erik, in true ski racer form, has a little extra muscle in the trunk and these pants make it okay for him to move with some freedom! He loves them. While writing this, I needed to confirm my story so I shouted down, "Honey, why do you love Kuhl pants?" And he said, "Cause I have a big ass!" There you go!

All this OR’ing was making me quite hungry so I stopped by Clif Bar for some Before, During, After and On-The-Go fueling.

This could be my favorite gadget.  It caught my eye right away because, I LOVE coffee. But I REALLY LOVE coffee when I am camping. I don’t know why it tastes better.  Maybe it’s all the extra effort it takes to get a perfect cup at camp that makes me appreciate it more.  Bottom line is, this gadget is sweet and cute and looks like it could pull off a mean cup ‘o joe! Mama Like!

Remember Croakies? I don’t have to think back that far as I was in search of them for our white water rafting trip last summer.  I found them and I was flooded with memories from my youth. Who didn’t have croakies attached to their fake Vuarnet’s? Ok, maybe it was just a Nor Cal thing. But, these belts caught my eye. So cool. The colors they are coming up with for men’s socks and belts is blowing my mind. I love it. And guess who makes these babies? That’s right…Croakies!

Nothing is truly complete without Zombies. Check. Honestly, I had no clue what company they were representing or what they were selling, but I love me some Zombies. Plus, it's a great opportunity for me to make THAT face. Excellent.

Naturally, I was feeling tense from hanging out with Zombies, therefore, I felt I needed/deserved a 10 minute loosen up. No wonder it was so difficult to get into this place! Lot’s of hidden treasures.

They basically featured a blow-up version of almost every water vessel except for a speedboat. Now, you are not limited by the size of your car! You can fit a large tandem kayak in your mini-cooper! This absolutely amazed me. These are from Innova.

I had to show you SUP boards as they make me happy and they were everywhere. I love everything about these boards and now, I am loving these beautiful colors. When’s the last time you SUP’d?  If you never have, here is a great link to get you started!

I voted LIFE IS GOOD as best booth. So homey and cute. And, frankly, I strongly believe you cannot spread their positive messages enough. Life IS good!

Ok, WAIT…my favorite, for biased and obvious reasons, was……SPEEDO.
And, ahem, we just happened to win “Gear of the Show” with these awesomely elegant flippers. I put my “flippers” into the awarding winning flippers and it was quite a scene. And then I wore them for the rest of the day.........just kidding.

And speaking of flippers, thank you FEETURES for upping the sock game! My feet are thrilled with your vibrant and exciting take on the under-footwear.


I stopped by this booth and asked the obvious question. Are you guys based in Chico, CA? Instant family. They ARE based in Chico which is very close to where I was born and raised. We had a moment and then I took a moment to understand their message. See all those plastic bags, people? The average person uses that many in a year….that’s 500! GULP. Let’s change our ways!

Cutest dog at the show. (wonder how he got thru registration? just saying.)

This product stopped me in my tracks. Yup, those are iPad’s in a fish tank. Loksak’s are the coolest zip-lock bags for your smart stuff. Phones, tablets, etc. They have got you covered up to 100 feet deep. And, it still senses your fingertips thru the plastic. There is some seriously cool technology behind these baggies that makes them incredibly different than the zip-locks you have in your kitchen.

Kayak’s were King at this show. They came in every size and every color. My kids are obsessed with kayaking and I understand why. They are just small enough to handle and just big enough to be great. The perfect vessel.

From what I saw at the show, I am sensing a serious shift in wheel size for everyday outdoor gear. People want to pull and lug their stuff onto and thru any terrain! Anything from off-road to deep sand, it looks like this guy has you covered.

This was, by far, my favorite activity at the show. This fella and his machine were on the back wall. And, by this point, I was so lost that I had no idea where the back wall, itself, was located. But it was AWESOME. I hit so many floating/levitating balls that I created a gallery. I finally caught myself having too much fun and gave up the bat. This ball is hanging out at the end of and strong stream of air. It's a bit expensive at $350, but it sure was FUN!

Cutest backpacks. These are from Hook & Tackle. I wanted to scoop up a ton of these packs for the little dudes in my world but I must wait. They come out next year!

Parting gifts were endless magazines from Shape to Outside. And I took a moment to say HI to Meb. Well, not the actual mega-star marathoner but his picture and that amazingly awesome moment when he won the Boston Marathon 1 ½ hours before I crossed that same finish line. This photo never gets old. Thanks Meb!

I survived and I loved it. My husband scored some new shoes out of the day and his feet have never been happier. Thanks Cushe!

And, thank you, OR, for letting me in. See you in Feb for the cold stuff.

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