Here I am, in Denver two days before the
exhibition floor opens. NWFly and I have arrived on Tuesday so we can be
at the Convention Center for the seminars which begin Wednesday
Our hotel is only 3 blocks from downtown
so we walk to Denver's 16th Street Mall. This is a street which
has been closed off to traffic and is dedicated to us, pedestrians. The
street's middle strip has tables, benches and cement blocks to sit on. The
sidewalks are wide and clean; they are also cement . . . feet killers.
NWFly and I walk down 16th street
looking for a place to eat . . . the length of about 15 long city blocks. We
find a nice sports bar with multiple televisions hanging from the ceiling
that display 3 different sports channels. I'm getting dizzy trying to
keep track of the three different events, at one time (No, it isn't the
beer making me dizzy). Afterward, we walk back to the hotel.
Wednesday morning, the first Band-Aids go
on my poor feet. We take a nice leisurely walk to Starbuck's for
coffee. Then, we to walk the mile to the convention center for the first
seminar. We walk back to the hotel.
After lunch, we walk to the center for the second
seminar, then completing this... we walk back to the hotel, again.
For an opening reception, we walk to the Marriott's. We
walk back to Lady and Castwell's hotel room. We walk to our
room. The show hasn't even started and I've walked more in these last 24
hours than I have in a year!
Thursday morning I run out of Band-Aids
for blisters on feet . . .yikes! We join Lady and Castwell for yet another
walk to the Convention Center . . . and the walk goes on!
On the first day, by the time I get to the
door of the Exhibition Hall.. I'm hobbling, like a 90 year old . . .What a
whimpy guy? Do I spend too much time at the computer? I ask
Now... what does one do in an exhibition
hall...? WALK!!! The four of us quickly become separated when I lagged
behind. For a few hours, I'm lost in awe looking at all the fabulous
booths. It's like a state fair but all about fly fishing.
Then, it happened. Eureka!! My eyes,
catch sight of colorful, soft-looking fleece socks hanging from hooks in
one of the booths. I'm mesmerized . . . My feet ache. I stand motionless in
the pathway, in awe for the longest time. People have to walk around me.
Finally, I hobble slowly to touch them and shamelessly drool over them.
These, I am told, are for demonstration purposes only . . . NOT for sale
until after the show. But, I continue to touch and obcess over these
wonderful socks, anyway.
During the remainder of our time there, my
sore feet keep taking me back to these nifty looking demo socks (my socks)
again, and again. And, when, for the sake of my work, I must be
elsewhere . . . I find myself looking for socks in EVERY booth in the
Letting my feet do the thinking, none of
the other clothing booths encountered, look as attractive as the fleece
ones. The most attractive of these fleece clothing booths is Black
Mountain Outdoor Gear, a company from Pinellas Park, Florida. I spoke
with the company's representative, Jay Wenzel, about this line. Their
products have the greatest range of thickness, colors and designs
displayed at the show. Jay tells me that his outdoor wear is available
nationally, as well as, in Europe and Japan.
Black Mountain sells high-quality
products made from the lightest materials, available. These extremely
comfortable thermal materials are made into everything from socks to jac
kets. There are also pants, vests, hoods, hats, mittens etc . . . all,
sturdy outdoor items for the fly fisherman. In addition to these choices,
there's a range of thickness the company offers along with a wide variety
of colors and designs which include solids, prints and plaids. The plaid
line is one that "Al Borland" (of the TV show "Tool Time") would die for!
Finally, there's a camouflage line in 6 different color tones. I love the
softness and obvious quality, as well as, the broad array of choices.
A few hours before the show officially
ends, on Saturday afternoon, I finally get fleece socks to cover my feet
(which by now also wear Band-Aids on Band-Aids). My new fleece socks do a
great job of getting me through the last 10 hours of our walkathon!
In addition to the soothing socks, I got
lucky with a coat from Jay's line at the Black Mountain Outdoor
Gear booth, to use in my upcoming Chum Salmon fishing adventure. The
one I chose has nylon on the shoulders for extra wind protection. I've
never owned a jacket that's so light and warm, at the same time. I'm
really looking forward to using it on future fishing outings, especially
since the chilly fall weather in the Pacific Northwest is here to stay for
Have YOU had any good experiences with
fleece wear? I'd be pleased to hear from you if you've got any thoughts
on the subject. Just get back to me by posting a message on the
Bulletin Board or catch me in the
Look for Their Logo When You're Out