|Photo cred to Rebecca|
After I solved the mystery of who to go with, the group of us loaded ourselves into waiting Cadillac Escalades and headed off for Sedona. Naturally, Columbia couldn’t allow us a 2 hour drive without any suspense or excitement, so I can’t say that I was super surprised when our Escalade exited the highway at “Bloody Basin Road.” What was waiting for us at this dry, dusty and wicked hot parking lot? ICE CREAM OF COURSE!
|Photo cred to Heidi|
By now, I’m sure y’all know I’m not one to ever turn down food! I scarfed that ice cream right up like the little pig that I am!
We all loaded back in the car and started to chat, getting to know each other. It was during this car ride that I realized this trip was not just about Columbia and the OmniTen like I had originally thought. Half of the Escalade seats were filled with reporters from various publications. I even had a reporter from Outside magazine in my car! THAT IS MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE MAGAZINE. Just saying. Meeting all of these writers made me realize that Columbia and Mountain Hardwear were about to announce something huge. Y’all, I seriously could.not.believe that I was getting to be a part of this whole thing!
Because I had to go into work on Friday morning, I caught a lunchtime flight. This meant that I was one of the last members to arrive at the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa. I quickly checked in and wandered up some stairs to check out my executive suite. The room was absolutely beautiful, but even more awesome?
The fantastic amount of gear that was waiting for me!
The packs were exciting enough, but when they exploded? I about lost my cool. Good thing I was in a room by myself because it may have been one of my top ten most humiliating moments!
I quickly tried everything on to ensure that it fit properly, and then I headed downstairs to meet up with the rest of the OmniTen for dinner.
As per (what I came to realize was) the norm, Columbia took us to dinner that first night in style. Our shuttle whisked us into a canyon and dropped us at this gorgeous location:
|Of course I had to take pictures of the flowers. Would you expect any less?!|
|Katie (an OmniTen member) and Will (freelance reporter for Backpacker)|
After a spectacular dinner, we all headed down to a wooded area for the Omni-Freeze Zero presentation. I was fascinated by the walkway to the seating area because, let’s face it: lights and flashy things catch my eye!
|Photo cred to Heidi|
After the presentation, the OmniTen and all of the reporters headed back to the Hilton in Sedona, all chatting excitedly about the new Omni-Freeze Zero. Quite a few went out to a bar afterwards and had a few drinks, but I headed back up to my room. Why? 1) Because I am like a grandma and incredibly lame and it was way past my bedtime 2) Saturday was slated for mountain biking and I NEEDED to go to sleep immediately to make the day o’ fun arrive sooner!
To be continued…!