Project Z Revealed
Several days ago I arrived home from my trip to Sedona, AZ and the Grand Canyon with Columbia Sportswear. I’ve attempted mutliple times to gather my thoughts and emotions from the entire experience. I must admit that nothing I say or write can explain all that we experienced. Yes, it was that amazing from start to finish. This week, and maybe even the next, I’m going to shift gears on my normal blog schedule to tell you all about it. Let’s face it, I’m a blogger, not a journalist. I’m going to cover this to the best of my ability, but I’d like to invite you to check out Trek Tech Blog and The Gearcaster for their fantastic recaps.
Let’s start at the very beginning (cue the Sound of Music soundtrack…..)
After an uneventful flight I was greeted by Columbia folks and quickly swept off in a Cadillac Escalade with Rhonda. Before I know it I was receiving a hug from a fellow Omniten Jon and we were off to Sedona.
The entire ride to Sedona was a blast. Having two midwesterners (Jon’s from Indiana) I’m sure we were quite a hoot with our random outbursts of “Mountains?!” Yeah, we don’t see those type of things where we’re from. We made a couple stops including a scenic overlook. About halfway to Sedona Rhonda pulled off the highway and we sat while she received further instruction on where to take us. Waiting on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, with this sign,
I can understand why Jon and I were a bit hesitant and wondering if we were about to be dropped in the middle of nowhere. I believe Jon’s words were, “I watch Bear Grylls, I know how this works.” But no worries, just a few steps away we encountered Columbia’s Oasis In The Dessert. Yes, an ice cream truck set up in the middle of the desert serving ice cream. This was the first of many surprises to get things kicked off for our adventure weekend.
Soon we found ourselves entering the Red Rock region of Arizona and were delivered to the Hilton Sedona Resort. Whoa. Not my typical accommodations. Each of us were given our own separate suite and were greeted by these packs upon entering our rooms. The packs then exploded and we found a ton o’ gear to cover us for the weekend. Woohoo!
After settling in a bit I headed down to the pool area for free drinks and munchies. Slowly Omniten members slowly began to trickle in and I can only compare it to a MTV Real World scenario. Although we had all interacted through the internet it was about time we actually met face to face. I think it was at this point all of us realized how big this event was going to be. While Jon and I knew magazine editors were to be present (something the rest of the Omniten had no idea about) we didn’t realize the extent of this event. Columbia didn’t provide a ton of details prior to our arrival, which is how I think they wanted it. We soon began to realize that this was HUGE…not necessarily in size but in experience. Self Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, ESPN Magazine, Running Times, Outside Magazine, Competitor…the list goes on. And this doesn’t include the individual websites that were also represented.
BeCore took care of the event planning for our entire time in Sedona and knocked it out of the water. It only makes sense that Columbia, a class act company would choose another company that does the exact same in their profession. Every part of the experience was well thought out, planned to a T, with no stones left unturned.
Within a few hours it was time to head out to dinner. After a small bus trip we found ourselves in a pristine location known as Rancho Los Lagos. We were going to eat outside with this as our backdrop?! Was I dreaming? During the cocktail hour we had the opportunity to converse and meet many individuals. It wasn’t until AFTER meeting people that I realized just who they were. For instance, Tim Boyle. Oh yeah, he’s just the CEO of Columbia. No big deal But that was the cool thing about the experience. Not knowing who people were allowed us to be ourselves. Even better, everyone was warm, welcoming, and down to earth.
After eating our fantastic meals we slowly made our way over the bridge crossing a creek to find ourselves once again under the stars to finally hear about the main reason we were in Sedona…..the big Project Z reveal.
Enter Omni-Freeze Zero. The innovation behind Omni-Freeze Zero is that it not only wicks away sweat, like every other “technical” fabric, but claims it cools you in the process. You see, the fabric has these small rings of polymer embedded in the fabric that absorb and slightly e expand when exposed to moisture, producing a prolonged cooling effect.
I remember when I was first introduced to Columbia’s Omni-Heat and wondered if it really worked. I quickly found that the products delivered exactly as they stated. So, would Omni-Freeze Zero do the same? Over the next several days the Omniten along with a handful of journalists would be testing the technology to the max through yoga, mountain biking, and hiking in, around, and out of the Grand Canyon in triple digit heat.
Stay tuned….more adventure recaps coming your way…..
In the meantime want to see more photos?? Follow this link.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
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