Patrick Rollins and I have been burning up the roads in 2018 and our most recent trip to Utah and Colorado was a highly anticipated trip that did not disappoint. We flew into Salt Lake City to participate in the grand opening of Blade HQ’s new facility. The Utah weather was awesome and Blade HQ put together a high quality, well attended event that included multiple vendors, games, and blade related competitions that was fun for kids of all sizes. It was great to meet some of our ESEE fans that are based out of Blade HQ and we hope to return next year.
Once we wrapped up our Blade HQ event we pointed our rental East for a meeting with the guys at Hill People Gear in Grand Junction, CO and Ross Reels down in Montrose, CO. Our friendship with the brothers Hill started through an appreciation of their kitbags and backpacks. Once we met the minds behind the designs we found we shared a lot of mutual interests, which led us to discussions about a joint training class. The Hill’s were great hosts and showed us some of their favorite places in town and in the backcountry. We discussed a class that covers some backcountry travel techniques that will provide our participants with a very cool off-trail experience in a breath taking setting. More on this later as we are adding class dates to our 2019 calendar.
On our way from Grand Junction we made a quick detour to the Ross Reels plant in Montrose Colorado for a quick tour. As a longtime angler, Ross Reels has always been a favorite company of mine for their quality and dedication to American made products. Thanks to Bart at Ross Reels for a great tour and allowing Patrick and I to better understand their products and production techniques. These guys are cranking out state of the art products right there in Montrose and like us, they offer a lifetime warranty.
A few nights in the Colorado high country under clear starry nights led us to the next leg of the journey; Escalante, Utah and canyon country! We met up with Jeff and Wendy Randall to scout for an upcoming Utah backpacking and canyoneering class to be held in 2019. The RAT crew then joined with Jed and Aron, our Utah friends and tour guides for 3 days on the Great Western Trail. Utah offered a different landscape than the mountains of Colorado but it was no less spectacular. Hiking roughly 10 miles a day we traveled through open fields, aspen groves, to high vistas with sprawling views and made camp each night on the banks of a high mountain lake. We camped the last night at 10,200’ and went to sleep to the sounds of elk bugling in the distance, truly a night to remember and one of the most picturesque camp locations I’ve ever encountered.
We will be posting our 2019 class training calendar soon and our friends out West will be glad to see that we will be offering classes in Idaho, Colorado, and Utah with the possibility of adding one more in the southwest somewhere! Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Instagram and Subscribe to your YouTube channel to stay up to date on our travels and upcoming events.