One of the perks of traveling to my grandmothers 80th birthday party in North Carolina is the opportunity to visit some great vendors and get a first hand look at their operations. Asheville and Greenville are home to some giants in the business like Confluence, Legacy, Astral, ENO and Feel Free USA. Highlights of this week will not only be a reflection of 80 wonderful years of life but an in-depth look at how kayaks are made and the people behind them. I’m excited to see how Confluence handles so many great brands under one roof like Wilderness Systems, Perception, AT Paddles and Bomber Gear. Legacy (Native Watercraft & Liquid Logic) just moved facilities and I’m excited to hear the challenges involved in moving such massive equipment such as the large ovens they use for manufacturing kayaks.

Astral has a new line of shoes that I’m hoping I will get to try on and ENO makes one of my favorite products of all time, the hammock. Along for the ride is my 4 year old who will get to see a first hand look at what daddy does and how he interacts with people. I’ve also got a trail run planned with Werner rep Danny Mongo. These are just all great opportunities to strengthen the relationships we’ve cultivated over the last 6 years and I look forward to many more!

I want to get as many pictures of secret projects I can get as well as meet the people who make the products you love so stay tuned.