For most of October, I took Alpine Parrot on the road for our first real adventure: a fit testing road trip, spanning eight different states! Now that I’m back, I still can’t begin to adequately express how incredible the Alpine Parrot road trip around the northwestern United States was, and I am grateful for all of the memories made and lessons learned. Before we dive in, a quick overview of the trip:
Fast Roadie Facts:
- 3107 miles
- 18 days on the road
- Drove through 8 states (CA, NV, UT, ID, WY, MT, WA, OR)
- 19 fit testers in 7 cities
- Most common size: 20M
- 1 bison spotted from very very very far away
- 6 grizzly bears separated by two layers of fencing
- 3 sasquatch/bigfoot sightings
- 0 antelope (do they even really exist in the US?)
I had two major reasons to embark on this adventure: First, I kept hearing that Montana has a really big sky. “How big could it possibly be?” I asked myself. With the pandemic, air travel is a non-starter, so I decided to find answers. Second, I really wanted to get the new Ponderosa Pant Mountain and River Fits into the hands of as many people as possible. And thus the road trip (roadie) was born!
First, let’s talk about the fit testers: meeting 19 people across 7 different cities - especially in the midst of a pandemic - was no small feat. And yet we still managed to stay six feet apart and wear masks, all while laughing, dancing, and being complete and total goofballs with some measuring tape and a whole lot of pants! The weather didn’t always cooperate, but we worked around it. And the feedback I got was SO GREAT - these pants are going to be fantastic, y’all.
As far as the fit testing itself, I got a ton of data that will be incredibly useful as I get ready to go to production. No two bodies are the same, so learning how well a single pair of pants fits across several bodies is critical to ensuring that when you buy the Ponderosa Pant, you’ll be happy with the fit and feel. I also did some A/B testing (a technical term I took from my previous career in software), trying out different variations of colors, features, and more. We can always comment on details in theory, but actually touching and trying on two different approaches to the same feature result in strong opinions!
Perhaps the strongest piece of feedback I got from everyone was just how MUCH they loved the pants! I mean - look at these incredible humans and how happy they are in their Ponderosa Pants 😍
Finally, let’s talk about the unfathomably beautiful land that makes up the American Northwest. We drove through desert, salt flats, alpine woods, rolling hills, and redwood forests. I managed to get pictures of (a single) buffalo (actually American bison) roaming, deer (but no antelope) playing, and grizzly bears chilling. I wanted to visit more than one national park (we stopped in Crater Lake National Park for a few hours) but had the incredible luxury of camping beside reservoirs, rivers, lakes, and the Pacific Ocean.
And through it all, I took a minute in every location to thank the ancestors of those lands for all of the blood, sweat, and tears that they shed to allow me the opportunity to spend time in those spaces. I shared the names of the tribal lands of every place I visited on social media and will share them again below. Please take some time to learn whose land you are on through apps like native-land.ca - learn about their history, their languages, and the treaties that were made (and often broken) as the land was taken. We can’t undo the past, but we can make the future right - the first step is understanding history so that we can stop ourselves from repeating it.
My profound thanks to the following tribes on whose land I spent time: Eastern Shoshone, Ute, and Goshute (Utah); Shoshone-Bannock and Eastern Shoshone (Idaho); Apsaalooké (Crow), Salish Kootenai (Flathead), Cheyenne, Salish, Kootenai, and Ktunaxa (Montana); Palouse, Coast Salish, Stillaguamish, Duwamish, and Suquamish (Washington); Cowlitz, Clackamas, Klamath and Molalla (Oregon); Tolowa Dee-ni’ and Wiyot (California).
All in all, the first Alpine Parrot Roadie was a huge success. Now that I’m back in Tahoe, tired and with more miles on the odometer, I’m preparing for the next major stage in the Ponderosa Pant journey: time to get ready for production! 🙀