It’s 930 miles from Whitefish, Montana to Fruita, Colorado.  We left, as has become habit, around 800pm.  730 is close enough to Little Bear’s bedtime to ensure a tranquil transition to sleep, but M forgot her snowboots and he had to go back.  All night drives south may be a habit, but even with this being the fourth such in a year the departure seems un-natural.  I drove two hours to Missoula, where M took over and I slept until the lights of Dillon, and took over for her a little north of Lima.  I made it through the heart of the night and Idaho all the way to Tremonton before cratering spectacularly.  M resumed driving and I patted LB back to sleep, getting there first myself, and we both woke up in haze, the sun still hidden, conveniently next to the McDonalds in Lehi, Utah.  The playplace got LB back in a good mood, coffee did the same for me, and it took two breaks for walking and much backseat toy action before he succumbed to naptime not far from I-70.  Him staying asleep as we gassed up in Green River confirmed that fortune shone upon us, as by noon we were in our future home, walking in the park and having lunch.

Little Bear acquitted himself well over the next six days, house hunting, filing rental paperwork, meeting soon-to-be not-strangers at my new job, living in a hotel and then camping along the scenic trip home.  We’ve built a good life for him here in Montana, but every thing points to our promised new life in Colorado being more relaxed, more fulfilling, and happier.  Returning the a dark October of record rainfall only enhances the promise of desert sun.


M and I met and fell in love in Iowa, but our early years in Utah and Arizona built the strength we’ve put to such good use over the last 15 months of parenting.  Returning to a land of harsh blue skies, pinons and junipers, soft canyons, and ugly badlands feels correct.  It’s the right place for us, and the right place for the rapidly growing kiddo.  Hopefully he’ll quickly learn about cactus, his initial (repeated) meeting with goatheads along the banks of the Green River doesn’t give too much cause for optimism.

Needless to say I never intended to become part of “the industry” but given that my parents met in an outdoor store, and how much time I’ve put into this hobby over the past half decade, this change in careers is pretty damn rewarding.  Nothing but two weeks, some delicate case transfers at my old job, and a whole lot of packing (and a sheep hunt) between us and saying a long-term, maybe permanent hello to the Corolla of western states.  It almost cannot happen soon enough.  We have big plans.


33 responses to “Next”

  1. Dave- Congrats on your new job (and new home) and wish you and your family the very best. I’m certain Seek Outside was tickled to land you!

    Montana will miss you, but hopefully you’ll get back to visit every now and again :)


  2. I’ve enjoyed your writing and even learned a thing or two ever since a friend turned me on to it last year. Sounds like this will be a great fit for you and the family, best wishes for the road ahead!

  3. I’m psyched for you Dave, hope that means we can cross paths out there on the plateau soon. Congrats on the new gig!

    1. When you have a minute drop me an email about your presumptive schedule for Jan/Feb. Once trade show season is over I hope to have some protos that need wringing out in the Grand, and would like to finally do a trip together.

  4. Cool stuff. What’s your role at Seek Outside? Head dispenser of free gear? ;)

    1. Pack design is my primary mandate, along with research and marketing, but I’ll be involved in just about everything.

      1. Cool stuff. I’ll put my request in for a 3500 cu in, 2 lbs version of the Divide.

  5. Exciting developments. Wonderful to hear you’re joining the Seek Outside team!

  6. Congratulations, Dave. Exciting time!

  7. The fact I will be supporting LB will increase my happiness by at least 5% when I buy some more gear from SO later this year!

    1. :)

      It will be much appreciated. He goes through lots of yogurt and xtra chedder goldfish.

  8. So very cool. Really happy for you, M and Little Bear. It really does sound like a great decision. Although, if you start doing product development I don’t know how happy my wallet will be with your move :) Seriously though, congrats to you and to SO!

  9. Congrats, man. This is very cool. I’ll be based out of Durango starting in December.

    1. Sounds like we need to work up a turkey hunting scheme.

  10. Congrats! I’ll be curious to read your thoughts on the culture of CO; at least you’re on the west side.

  11. Congrats Dave! I’m actually in the market for a new pack so it seems it might pay to wait for a while to get the perfect product. ;)

  12. Lots of ideas in the works. Can’t give details or guarantee anything, of course. Ideas and wants are certainly welcome.

    Shrinking and lightening the Divide is problematic for a variety of reasons, some not immediately obvious, but if we could do 50 liters for 2 pounds I’m quite aware it’d kill most everything short of Zpacks. Definitely on the radar.

    1. Good luck with the process. I’ve been mulling over the Divide vs. other ~2 lbs packs for my 1600 mile yo-yo of the Canadian Rockies next year. I love the design but with hipbelt pockets the Divide is ~50% heavier mostly for functionality I don’t really need (74L size, ability to carry over 40 lbs) so its hard to rationalize. Still undecided on this…best argument for the Divide is that it would serve me well beyond for other trips (e.g. winter). If a 50L Divide existed it would be a no brainer.

      The 50L/2 lbs market might be big enough to warrant a new S.O. frame platform, as opposed to tossing a smaller bag on the regular unaweep frame.

      1. Agreed. The frame creates dimensional restrictions (14″ wide base) that make creating packs below a certain size awkward, and the loss of function when you try to save weight on frame and suspension components in my mind quickly gets out of hand.

    2. Well done on the new job and move Dave. I am sure your multi outdoor sport experience will shine in the designs. Hiker, packrafting, mountain biking and a hunter gives you an insight on the functions of kit design and limits I expect few have. Look forward to seeing the results.

  13. Congrats to all of you. Good things are ahead.

  14. Nice! Excited for you! Sure hope we can meet up for some trips!


  15. Enjoy the Fruita area. A great location.

  16. Congratulations and good luck on your next adventure.

  17. I’ll add my congrats to the rest Dave; although I’m bummed to lose you as a neighbor. Always figured I’d run into you again on the trail (or professionally) someday. If (when) you get homesick for the Bob, I’ll try to be available for a shuttle to the trailhead!

    1. Much appreciated. We’ll be back at least occasionally.

  18. Congratulations Dave on the new job and cool news on the move south!

    And I hope to see you and Seek Outside then next July at the OutDoor Fair in Germany!?

    1. 2017, probably not. 2018, perhaps.

  19. I am late to this but congrats.

  20. I am late to the party too but congratulations, I look forward to more writings and the new packs. Fruita is a great place, one we considered many moons ago.

  21. […] short time ago we were all set for a new adventure.  I’d been a fan of Seek Outside since I reviewed […]

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