Friday, December 21, 2007

Pocket Slippers' Grand Canyon Adventure

This is me. Staring into Bright Angel Creek at the bottom of the Grand Canyon... Wearing a biker skull bandana that I bought a few days earlier at the rim (not my usual style, you may have noticed.) Why? So that I wouldn't cry.

See, I figured that since I was representing Zinetic Pocket Slippers, I should probably try and act like I've done something like this before. I didn't want to talk to Rangers and lifelong outdoor enthusiasts about the merits of Pocket Slippers while I was crying from exhaustion, hypothermia, hunger, or pain (you pick). So, I got a safety net. You just can't cry if you're wearing a skull bandana. And it worked!

But, let me start at the beginning...

A couple of months ago, a few of my cousins and my Uncle Ron were planning a backpacking trip into Grand Canyon. They are avid outdoor adventure seekers. Climbing, camping, backpacking, skiing, horseback riding...they do it all. I overhead them talking about it and recklessly asked, "Hey, can I come?" It sounded like fun, not to mention, a great opportunity to do some field research and product testing for our next phases of Pocket Slipper development.

Fast-forward to Dec 15th....and here we are. 9 Sloans in total, loaded up and ready to go down. Do take special note of the snow. Yes, it is cold in northern Arizona in December.

We headed down South Kaibob Trail, an 8 mile down-hill hike, in hopes of arriving at Bright Angel Creek before dark. By the time we arrived, we were all doing the "Kaibob Shuffle," a sad and painful way of setting up camp. My toes were battered, my feet were swollen and all my joints were protesting. The first thing I did, was take off my hiking boots and slip on my PS. Aaaahhh, that felt better. So far, field research was going spectacularly.

Throughout the trip's 35 miles and 4 nights, we used our Pocket Slippers often. They were great around the campsite at mealtimes. We kept them in our daypacks to slip on during lunch breaks. And when we had to climb out of our tents in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, they were quick and easy to slip on.

I'm not really supposed to advertise this, but you may even see some National Park Rangers padding around in Pocket Slippers soon. If you're reading this, Ranger Greg, It was great to meet you. Thanks for your help regarding the attack of the cacti!

This is Abby lounging in PS during a 14 mile day hike to Ribbon Falls... a Cliff bar never tasted so good!

The other side of Kristy's perch is a 50 ft. drop followed by a steep slide to the bottom of the canyon. But, oh, what a feeling! And an awesome photo-op. We couldn't pass this one up!

All in all, it was a great trip. To be honest, I probably won't do it again in December. Sleeping outdoors in 16 degree temperatures, coupled with the snow/sleet/rain mix during our hike out the last day made for a very cold Kimberly. But, I hear October is nice!
Even though I was cold, tired, and in some severe muscular distress, every moment was a memory that will make me smile the rest of my life. I am so blessed to have a family that encourages one another to experience new things, pushes each other to greater accomplishments, and loves unconditionally. If I have to work (and like most of us, I do) then I am glad that I get to do it surrounded by and in partnership with these people, my family.
Have a great Holiday everyone! Next time I write, we will be in the throes of Trade Show Season. I can't believe its almost upon us....

1 comment:

Uncle Ronnie said...

Hey Kimbo,
We had a blast. Thanks for the kind words and I am thinking about maybe the lake superior trail july 4th maybe 2009.
Love Uncle Ronnie, the master planner.