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Week Eight: Home

July 12th, 2015

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We’re back. We pulled into Peterborough, Ontario late one night last week, ending the journey by reversing into the same parking place in which we had loaded up the van one and a half months ago. There was an overwhelming rush of emotion – a strange concoction that never quite revealed what it was, but felt like a bittersweet mixture of relief, accomplishment, emptiness and slight anti-climax. We think they all stemmed from the fact that we never thought we’d actually do it. There were too many variables, too many ways in which something could go wrong. In the end, it all went fine. The things that went wrong had solutions better than the original plan

We last left you on our way to the Grand Canyon. We made it there as planned and cooked ourselves a simple meal whilst watching the shifting light of the sunset slowly leave the canyon floor and then its walls. We returned to Page, Arizona that night but not before seeing the moonrise opposite the setting sun above the eastern side of the canyon. Beautiful symmetry.

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As the sun set in the west, the moon rose in the east. Photo by Sam

 

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The setting sun burns up the walls of the Grand Canyon. Photo by Sam

            The next morning we drove into Colorado, to Mesa Verde National Park. Robbie, our archaeologist had suggested this stop and we are thankful to him for it. Mesa Verde was one of the first UNESCO World Heritage sites. The park is home to some of the world’s best-preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites. It was almost as fun to explore the area and listen to the ranger-led talks, as it was to just watch Robbie walk around smiling. Absolutely in his element and so happy about it, his good mood was entirely infectious. We spent two days at Mesa Verde, a stay that unexpectedly became one of our favorites of the entire trip.

Mesa Verde National Park | Image provided by: http://www.listofwonders.com/mesa-verde-national-park

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Robbie, a happy archaeologist. Photo by Sam

 We left Mesa Verde to begin a journey that was ultimately the last homeward leg of the journey. Almost. First, we had one last stop to make – we had been talking about white water rafting for the longest time and our last chance to do that was before we left Colorado. We got out on the Lower Animas River after a period of extended rainfall. The water level had fallen enough for tours to restart just earlier that day. The rapids were insanely fast compared to how we’d imagined they might be and the water still rose to frightening heights at times. We made it though, thanks to the help of an awesome guide, who despite leading us through the most turbulent sections of water, managed to keep us all safely aboard. It was crazy good fun, a great last activity to do together before we got back into prairie country.

 

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A break in the rainclouds, Colorado. Photo by Sam

 

We zoomed across Nebraska and Iowa to reach Chicago the next evening. It was here that we would be saying goodbye to Dian. She was flying back to Europe ahead of us to take up a great opportunity to work at a Dutch festival that had suddenly presented itself.

 

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Having a quick (long) splash in Lake Michigan the day before Dian’s flight home. Photo by Sam

 

Saying goodbye hurt. It signaled the end of the road trip and the six weeks of fellowship that the five of us had shared. The journey back to Peterborough that followed was not the same, it was something different – it served no purpose other than getting us home.

 

Final tally

The final tally. In a straight line around the equator that’s almost halfway around the world.

 

We’ve all gone out separate ways now. Robbie home to Scotland for summer, Lara to Indonesia for a research project, Sam to Indiana to visit friends and Ciaran to Washington D.C. to meet up with friends for another month’s worth of North American travels. After so much time together you begin to expect one another’s company forever. Now that we’re all apart it’s comforting to think that the journey we shared and unforgettable experiences that came with it will bind us together strongly enough that ten, twenty or fifty years down the line when we’re all grey and old, we can do it all again.

Of course, we plan the next trip to be much sooner than that – hopefully you can all join us when that time comes. Thanks for reading, and thank you to Osprey for the fantastic gear!

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Osprey Adventure Envoys, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Southwest Colorado, travel, Travel , , , , , , , , ,

“Right place, right people, right time.” Behind-the-Scenes on an Osprey Packs Photoshoot

July 8th, 2015

As many of you may have noticed, SW Colorado has been unseasonably wet for the past couple of months.  And I’m not talking a nice and gentle Seattle-like drizzle.  I mean full on thunder-hail, monsoon, wrath of the gods type of weather.  Needless to say, I’ve been chased from the mountains as lightning ripped through savage clouds with my tail between my legs more than a few times this season.

It’s not like I’m not checking the weather reports before heading out on assignment.  In fact, I’ve been studying over weather forecasts like it was my job.  Well, because it kinda is I suppose.  But at the end of the day, you just can’t predict mountain weather.  So if they’re calling for 60% chance of thunderstorms, that’s a 40% chance to catch some amazingly dynamic light.

That’s exactly what Ben Clark, Sam Feuerborn and I were facing when we went out to shoot a video of the Osprey Packs Anti-Gravity series in the Telluride backcountry last week.  As soon as we rolled into town, we found ourselves at the local dive bar, waiting for a glimmer of sunshine to pierce the gray curtain.  Hunkered down by the plate glass window of The Buck, we watched our day’s plans wash down Main Street in the daily deluge.

‘Yet, another shutdown brought to you by Mother Nature’, I thought.  Feeling obligated to be at least somewhat productive, I suggested that we head up to Imogene Pass and scout a little.  We loaded up the truck, put it in four-wheel drive and headed up hill.

It did not take me long to discover that Imogene was not a path for the faint of heart.  Imagine a very technical and frighteningly narrow road strewn with melon-sized boulders which occasionally fall from the crumbling San Juan cliff side.  On your right is an unguarded 1500 foot drop to oblivion.  On your left, cascading waterfalls crashing over your hood. White-knuckled, but grinning ear to ear, we continued on. And so did the rain.

At nearly 11,000 feet, we rolled into the ghost town of Tomboy.  And within moments, the storm that had shrouded us in defeat began a hasty retreat.  We all looked at one another, shrugged our shoulders and without a word, donned our gear.

We knew our window would be a brief one, so we focused on the task at hand and knocked out six scenes in less than an hour.  When the rain clouds rushed back in, we charged back to the truck, loaded the gear and reveled on the fact on how lucky we were to have that window.

Closing the tailgate and about to head home, the clouds decided to part for us one last time.  As they did, we found ourselves wrapped in the some of the most incredibly beautiful, golden light we had ever seen.  Diving headfirst into the truck, Sam soon emerged with an Atmos AG pack.  I grabbed my MKIII, locked on a 70-200mm lens and we sprinted up to an overlook, racing the light with every step.  When we reached the top, we had just enough time to snap this frame before the magic was gone forever.

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Right place, right people, right time.

 

 

Stay tuned for Dan’s forthcoming 2016 Osprey Anti-Gravity Series video — subscribe to Osprey Packs on YouTube and Vimeo to be the first to see the footage once it’s released!

Here’s the first video featuring our award-winning, innovative 2015 Anti-Gravity series:

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My name is holz2Dan Holz, and I have the good fortune of being the staff photographer for Osprey Packs. Photography has been a passion of mine since grade school and I’ve used it as a vehicle to take me everywhere from my backyard in Colorado to the lush jungles of Borneo and the glaciated landscapes of Patagonia. People often ask if I have a ‘specialty.’ It’s kind of a tough question, because while I specialize in active lifestyle and mountain sport photography, I find myself chasing the magic light more than anything else. If the face of a Nepali farmer is suddenly cast in the beautiful shadow of contrast, I become a portrait photographer in that moment. Or if a setting sun embraces a rice paddy outside of Chiang Mai, for an instant I’m a landscape photographer. As a photographer, I am always exploring self-expression and pushing the limits of what I – and my camera – can do. It’s a passion, it’s a job, it’s a lifestyle all wrapped up in a single package. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

 

Active Lifestyle, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, photos, Product , , , , , , , , , ,

Adventure-Journal.com – Featuring Escapist 32

July 7th, 2015

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Hydration packs have come a long way since 1988, the year that a young EMT named Michael Eidson invented the CamelBak by stuffing a pilfered IV bag into a tube sock and safety-pinning it to his back during a century ride. But while hydration packs are ubiquitous today, anyone who has ever attempted a a multi-day mountain bike trip can attest to their main shortcoming: most of them are too damn small. You can’t, however, say that about Osprey’s Escapist 32, which boasts a load range of 15 to 30 pounds.

The Escapist 32 is designed with mountain bikers in mind and if bikepacking isn’t your thing, it also makes for a great day hiking pack…

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adventure, Backpacking, Bike, Gear Review, Osprey Adventure Envoys, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Product, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , ,

Telluride Mountainfilm 2015: Inspiring Films, Panels, Presentations & People

May 22nd, 2015

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Mountainfilm is dedicated to educating, inspiring and motivating audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, adventures worth pursuing and conversations worth sustaining.

Telluride Mountainfilm: The Festival

Started in 1979, Telluride Mountainfilm is one of America’s longest-running film festivals. Through the years, in and out of trends and fads, the festival has always been best described by one unchanging word: inspiring. Far more than any other adjective, that’s how festival audiences describe their experience.

In addition to screening leading independent documentary films from around the world, the festival includes a full-day symposium on a contemporary issue, art and photography exhibits, early morning coffee talks, outdoor programs, a book-signing party, an ice cream social, student programs and a closing picnic/awards ceremony.

Osprey Packs is proud to be an Official Sponsor of Telluride Mountainfilm, taking place May 22-25, 2015.

The 37th annual Telluride Mountainfilm festival brings together a community of filmmakers, authors, adventurers, musicians, activists and artists for a weekend of incredible, inspiring events.

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Read more…

Active Lifestyle, adventure, Events, film festivals, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , , , ,

Celebrating 25 Years of the Sea Otter Classic with Osprey Packs

April 16th, 2015

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“The Subaru Sea Otter Classic will turn 25 next year and the celebrations will take place April 16-19, 2015. The 25th anniversary will feature a roster of time-tested events and activities as well as all the innovative new products that participants go in search of in Sea Otter’s expo.”

 


Sea Otter Classic. photo credit: Sean Cope

Sea Otter Classic photo credit: Sean Cope

 

Osprey has been attending the Sea Otter Classic for half a decade now and we are thrilled to be attending the 25th Anniversary! This week we packed up the Osprey Packs van and made the trek west from Southwest Colorado to scenic Monterey, California for a weekend filled with top bike industry brands, athletes (all-star and amateur alike) and everything else cycling-related. Read more…

Bike, Brand Team posts, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, photos, Product , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Public Lands: Valuable to Our Bottom Line and Way of Life

April 4th, 2015
Dolores, CO

Boggy Draw Trail, Dolores, Colorado. photo via Osprey Packs

 

Public Lands: Valuable to Our Bottom Line and Way of Life,” written by Osprey Packs co-founder & co-owner Diane Wren, originally appeared in the Montrose Press.

 

Twenty five years ago, my husband Mike and I moved from the coastal redwoods of California to the edge of sandstone canyon country in the San Juan Mountains in the hopes of building a headquarters for our homegrown company – Osprey Packs – that would allow us to test our handmade gear in the most inspiring and rugged of places. After settling in Cortez, Osprey quickly became an international force in the outdoor industry, and we’ve been proud to grow our classic American dream in southwestern Colorado. We now employ over 80 people in Cortez and are still growing. Like many other international outdoor businesses across Colorado, we chose to build a business here because access to public lands makes this the perfect spot for our employees to settle down, for us to try out our next idea in the field, and because so many in our community share our love for getting outside and exploring our wild West.

 

The same incredible landscapes that drew us to Colorado, though, are now facing a serious threat. Out-of-state special interests like the American Lands Council are pushing legislators across the Rockies to try to seize our national public lands and transfer them into state control, which could bankrupt our states and lead to massive access closures. Colorado is lucky enough to have 24 million acres of federal public lands within our borders, but the state managing them would cost Coloradans over $300 million a year, and a single wildfire could add tens of millions of dollars to the bill. Our state is constitutionally bound to balance its budget – this additional financial burden would likely force the state to prioritize extractive uses or sell off our lands to the highest bidder for private development. Read more…

Advocacy, causes, Conservation, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2015 Red Rock Rendezvous: Climbing, Clinics, Demos, and More!

March 25th, 2015

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As Spring blooms, so does our excitement for the 12th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous which takes place in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas, NV and is hosted by Osprey Packs retailer Mountain Gear. This year is guaranteed to be a great one — attendees will be coming in from across the nation to enjoy a weekend of climbing, clinics, demos, storytelling and much more!

Those interested in experiencing premiere rock climbing, desert single-track mountain biking, trail running and much more will gather at the mighty red rocks that overlook the event. The crowd will range from top outdoor industry brands to expert outdoor athletes to novice enthusiasts interested in learning more – everyone is welcome and all RRR attendees will leave after an experience like no other!

What’s going on March 27-29, 2015 at

Red Rock Rendezvous:

Clinics with Exceptional Athletes: Mountain biking, climbing, running, or general backcountry skills – you name it and there’s a clinic for it! With over 75+ clinics, you’re bound to find something that interests you. Taught by experts in the field, these clinics provide a unique, hands-on experience in a small group setting.

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Dyno Competition, Dance Parties, Pancake Eating Contest and More! Be sure to check the schedule because this weekend is jampacked with a variety of fun games, on-site events, and presentations. You won’t want to miss the famous Red Rock Rendezvous Dyno Comp. in which participants put their dynamic climbing skills to the test! The same goes for the live music and other games put on by the sponsors of Red Rock Rendezvous — there’s a lot of fun to be had this weekend in the desert!

 Now that you have an idea of what Red Rock Rendezvous is all about, let’s fill you in on what’s happening at the Osprey Packs booth:

NEW for Spring 2015: Come by to check out the latest at Osprey Packs as we will have our select Spring ’15 product such as the Syncro Series and the revolutionary Atmos/Aura Anti-Gravity Series, and much more! Our on-site staff will show you all the latest and greatest and will be able to answer any questions you may have!AG Fit Station_Final_resend

Demo Packs at Red Rock Rendezvous and Feel the Osprey Difference:  We’ve got your back and will have our demo fleet of bike, climbing, and running packs available all weekend! Stop by the booth and talk with our team of expert pack fitters and outdoor enthusiasts who can help you make the best selection for your needs. Available demo packs at RRR include our Endurance/Trail packs, the Rev Series and 2015 Syncro Series as well as our Vertical Endeavor packs like the Mutant Series and Variant Series!

Our Anti-Gravity Fit Station: Revolutionary. Innovative. And maybe a little bit magic: our award-winning Anti-Gravity™ Suspension system provides seamless comfort that contours the body allowing a trail experience like no other.  Combined with custom capability and a full feature set, the Atmos AG™  sets a new standard in ventilated backpacking. Interested in what it feels like? Stop by our booth to try AG for yourself at our Anti-Gravity Fit Station.

Trail Running Clinics with Osprey Athlete Ben Clark: Interested in getting on the trail? Learn from the best at RRR — Osprey Athlete Ben Clark will be available to share his knowledge of trail running with anyone interested in pursing this growing outdoor endeavor!

Wscreen-shot-2014-11-28-at-8-09-23-pmin an Osprey Pack: Have 3 minutes to spare? Great! Couldn’t be easier to enter to win! Take our short event survey for a chance to win an Osprey pack!

“Creme de la Creme” Giveaways: Just another great reason to stop by the Osprey Packs booth — we’ll be giving away custom Osprey hats, coozies for your bevy, organic lipbalm, and much more!

 

Needless to say, it will be a great time in the desert and we hope to see you there! Don’t forget to the visit Red Rock Rendezvous Facebook page for updates!

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Active Lifestyle, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Riding Cancer into the Ground

March 15th, 2015

Riding to work - phto by U of C photographer

I woke up at the usual time, 5:30 AM, on the morning of my last radiation treatment for prostate cancer.

It had been a long haul; from diagnosis of the most aggressive form of what is more typically a slow-growing cancer in October 2011, to surgery in November. Then started the 38 radiation treatments: five days a week for two months during the summer of 2012. I had asked my radiation oncologist, Dr. Stanley Liauw at the University Of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, if I would able to ride my bike to every treatment. It was a 44-mile round-trip from my home in Evanston, a northern suburb along Lake Michigan, to the Cancer Center in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South side.

“Well,” Stan said, “we’ll see how you feel about halfway through.” Read more…

Active Lifestyle, Ditch Your Car, Osprey Life, The Cycling Buzz , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’re Headed to Outerbike in Moab, UT – March 13 – 15

March 12th, 2015

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“Test out the all of the latest and greatest bikes on the world-class trails of Moab, Utah. For three days, the world’s best bike and gear manufacturers will be set up at the Outerbike Expo site. You can walk through and see next year’s innovations, pick a bike you’d like to try and take it for a ride.

Repeat as needed.

There are 20 miles of connected loops that range from fun and easy to technical and gnarly. Your registration fee buys you access to the all the bikes, lunches, shuttled rides, prizes, movies and entrance to our evening parties.”

You heard right – it’s Mountain Bike Season and we are kicking it off in Moab, Utah — a stone’s throw away from our hometown of Cortez, CO! Read more…

Active Lifestyle, Bike, Bikes Around the World, causes, Ditch Your Car, Events, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Product, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , ,

Earn Your Turns: 101 Months in a Row

March 1st, 2015

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From suncups to blower pow, huge peaks to bunny hills, North Vancouver brothers Mike and Andy Traslin have been consecutively earning their turns every month of the year for the past…wait for it… 101 months. They’re not alone in the endless pursuit of ‘turns all year,’ but they sure are passionate about it.

The quest for earning your backcountry ‘turns all year’ is especially popular with zealous skiers and riders in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and of course here at home in BC. With huge peaks holding snow year round, especially the Cascade Volcanoes, it almost makes you wonder why every skier doesn’t do it.

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Like Mike says — if you’re really jonesing for some ski turns in the fall, why wait? Just go do it!

In celebration of Mike & Andy’s 101th month (and hopefully hundreds more to come) here is a quick freeflow of thoughts from Mike, and some image highlights from the last 30 or so months: Read more…

Active Lifestyle, adventure, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities, Snowsports, travel, Travel, video , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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