Early this July, we had planned meetings with a few of our vendors in Park City. I joked with friends that I would go on a southern Utah vision quest before heading into a few days of line showings. The plan got put in place: three days, two nights and see where I end up. I’d have to say, it wasn’t a drug induced spiritual revolution, but it sure was an awesome three days in the sun.
I made my way south to Torrey, Utah just outside of Capitol Reef National. I’d been through here on a past road trip and knew that I had to stop at Cafe Diablo, a local restaurant with stiff margaritas and a menu that changes nightly. I found a nice campground across the highway and rented a little cabin for the night, splurged on dinner and watched the super moon rise.
I awoke the next morning and planned to get myself to Bryce Canyon, not without a few roadblocks along the way.
The colors in southern Utah are what strike me the most. Often times I felt like I was driving through a distant planet, and the sight of water was incredible in such a stark, dry landscape. I threw on my suit and hiked up to this small waterfall for a dip. I watched an afternoon thunderstorm roll in and as the time between the flash of light and sound of thunder diminished, I decided I should make my way down the trail and back to the safety of the car.
I reached Bryce Canyon National Park and found a tipi to rent for the night. The town of Bryce Canyon is interesting. I learned that one family owns all of the lodging and most of the restaurants at the entrance to the park. It felt more like the wild west theme of an amusement park than being in a national park. All the hotels had been fabricated to look like an old saloon or a barn; however, none of it could have been more than 20 years old. I decided to leave my stuff and drive down all the roads that looked like they led to nowhere. I came out here to escape, not be hocked geodes from a man dressed like a gold miner.
The next morning I had about a 6-hour drive back to Salt Lake. I wandered through the outskirts of Bryce Canyon, through all the farming communities and finally back on to I-15 – set towards civilization. With the dust of red rock covering both me and the car, I knew that the next two days of work would be just fine.
The trials of working in any sales-based industry are the annual tradeshows. The largest trade show in the outdoor industry, Outdoor Retailer, happens twice a year nestled between the Wasatch front and the great Salt Lake. After a week under fluorescent lights of the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, we often need a few days of desert sun, spiritual searching, and a bit of team bonding.
This past August we snagged some of our favorite Spring 2014 looks, piled in Mark’s Defender and headed out for gear testing in the Capitol Reef National Park. We spent three days exploring through slot canyons, hiking up desert ridges and sleeping under the stars. The landscape in southern Utah is quite shocking compared to the Oregon wilderness we call home. Often times we felt like we ended up on the surface of a whole different planet. From the reddish hues of dirt to the almost pure desolation of life, we found ourselves ohhing and aahing around every turn of the landscape. Enjoy these images from our journey.
It seems everybody loves lists these days. Our facebook feed is crammed with headlines like, “Five ways to do this, ten habits of these people, six ways to yadda yadda.” So we took it upon ourselves to create our own. Over the next few months, we’re gathering a “should” list from some of our favorite musicians, artists, creatives, and changemakers. We posed the same five questions to each person and compiled a list that has just as much grit and intrigue as Ten Ways to Kill a Pig. At least, we think so. First up: Erik Menteer, multi-instrumentalist for the weirdo folk and rock band Blitzen Trapper.
Here at Nau we’ve developed a minor obsession with Instagram, the online photo-sharing service. What we love about it: sharing our daily adventures; and following some of our favorite photographers influencers, and everyday friends who have a phone and an excellent eye.
We figured we would spread the love and share our favorite Instagrammers. From urban ballerinas to traveling musicians, we are thoroughly entertained and often obsessed with checking our phones.
@ben_moon – Ben is a photographer based here Portland who has helped us on numerous shoots, including some of our Spring 13 location photography. His adventurous spirit shines through in the photos of all the places his work takes him.
One of the most scenic landscapes in Oregon spans 363 miles along the Pacific Ocean. The coast is home to sand dunes flowing into cliffs that drop straight to the sea and a rocky coastline that has served as a backdrop for countless Hollywood movies. Yet with all this majestic beauty so close to our daily life, we barely take the time to truly enjoy all this state has to offer. So I am dedicating this Postcard to exploring home, to taking time to stop at every scenic outlook, tourist trap, trailhead and gravel road. Because when you abandon being a local, you notice more about your surroundings.
Unlike your typical beach, the Oregon coast is the most magnificent during the winter months. I find it quite suiting that we don’t call it the beach, but the coast. For the word beach does not describe the natural wonders that live here. From the oversized crushing white waves, to the small fishing towns, high view points and populated tide pools, an hours drive from Portland has so much to offer.
Driving south on the 101 from Cannon Beach to Manzanita, the winding two-lane road creeps up and down a jagged cliff. Though icicles hang where water once dripped, the sun is at its highest point of the day. The radiating heat from the sun hitting the car makes it almost feel like summer. We slam on our brakes to soak in every view of the ocean, slide around corners for signs of beach access, and jump under ropes for a closer viewpoint.
As the evening sun sets, people rush from their condos, cars and storefronts to catch a glimpse of the yellow, then orange, then purple and red skyline. Couples hold hands, kids play in the sand, and the sun slowly fades behind a curtain of splashing turmoil. We wonder to ourselves, are we the last people on the west coast to see the sun tonight? We cheers a toast: Here’s to adventure, to getting out no matter the distance, and taking a finer look at what’s in front of you every day.
Wish you were here.
Located in the heart of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Rock/Creek Outfitters has been named one of the “Top 25 Outdoor Retailers” year over year. They’ve also been a long time brand ambassador and retailer of Nau Clothing. This week in the Thought Kitchen, we caught up with the adventure retailer to find out more about their Rock/Creek Trail Series: an eight-race event benefiting Wild Trails, an organization dedicated to the use, expansion and promotions of trails in Tennessee.
Ten years ago, Matt Simms—a Rock/Creek employee at the time—decided it was time for the general public to discover the wilderness in Chattanooga. So he, and a few others, started a trail race called the Rock/Creek River Gorge, one of the eight races still in the series today.
Needless to say, the races were a hit. So in 2007 Matt, along with a few others who shared his vision, founded the Wilderness Trail Running Association Their mission? To promote the sport of trail running and the preservation of trails not just for runners but for everyone with a passion for the outdoors.
In the months following, the board went through a process of refining its mission and evaluating what would be required to build a sustainable organization committed to promoting outdoor recreation and preserving trails in the region. One of the founder of Wild Trails says, “Trail running will always be our first love, but we realized that the work we were doing on trails was benefiting not just the trail running community but all users of trails. We also realized that to gain the momentum we needed to affect positive change and create a culture of commitment to preservation we needed the support of more than just the trail running community. “
While some of the races are strictly for experienced marathoners, the appeal of the Trail Series is to have everyone enjoy running on trails. As Jeff Bartlett, organizer for the series, says, “Some will start out running 10k races and end up running 50k races, and some won’t, and we think that’s just fine!”
Jeff’s attitude is the epitome of Wild Trails mission, to get the people out and active on these trails while preserving them for generations to come.