Death, taxes and John Cusack

There are three things you can count on in this world: death, taxes, and the fact that nobody gets rained on like John Cusack.

As we head into stick season in the Northeast, rain season in the Northwest, and DUI season in the Rocky Mountains, you should be prepared with all the rain-friendly gear you can find for the nasty days of November ahead.

All these beauties come with the official Wicked Outdoorsy stamp of approval -- meaning that they've been personally tested and verified in raining-so-hard-I-wouldn't-even-know-if-I-wet-my-pants conditions.

* The Firetrail Winter, from Ahnu Footwear (LINK) ... A Vibram-soled four season trail runner from the Bay Area innovators, the Firetrail Winter is made with hydrophobic mesh, meaning that unless you're standing in a puddle, your toes will stay nice & toasty. Hydrophobic mesh is a huge step up (no pun intended) from waterproof bootie construction that essentially wraps your foot in a plastic bag. Ickie sweaty, if you know what I mean. ($120).

* The Wet/Dry Backpack, from Aquapac (LINK) ... First introduced in a limited-edition test run, the Wet/Dry Backpack comes with my highest personal recommendation. I dig the urban black exterior as well as the internal "dry" sleeve that's the perfect size for my MacBook. But what I really dig is how the thing carries close to your back. The ultimate commuter pack, in my opinion. ($85).

* The Superlight Insulated Jacket from Simms Fishing Products (LINK) ... Yes, I know, this is not a rain shell. It's a LAYERING PIECE. I love it because when I need some synthetic warmth underneath a shell, this is the way to go. It fits under anything, and the Simms designers say it best: "there's no bad weather, only bad gear." ($150).

* The Buffalo Check Shirt, from Woolrich (LINK) ... When I was ripping down chicken wire in the rain last weekend, this was the obvious choice. When I went into the thick and thorny northern forest for an October exploration, this was the obvious choice. And when I do anything where the physical terrain is just as nasty as the weather, this will continue to be the obvious choice. It's wool, it's durable, and it's warm. Damn warm. ($85).


The nasty

There are two kinds of days in Vermont.

There's the ridiculously good kind -- autumn days of explosive color and optimism, staggering lake-effect blizzards, and lazy midsummer days when living barefoot next to the river starts to seem like a really good idea. And on those good days, it's hard to believe that ten million people don't live here, pushing eachother aside to get their own slice of paradise.

But then, there are the nasty ones.

Full of raw cold that splits your fingers, razor sharp rain that makes "waterproof breathable" seem like a pathetic, sick joke, and a remorseless wind that could give a rat's ass about shattering your fenceline and uprooting your pretty little trees.

The nasty is out there right now. Drumming on the roof, whistling and taunting through the leaky windowpane, and making me altogether wistful for a chance to lockdown in front of a world series game and watch somebody else deal with the weather for a few hours.

The weird thing about the nasty -- for me and for most of the other loonies who call this place their home -- is that we love it. We love the unpredictability of it, the force of it, and the not-so-gentle reminder that our group of silly little humans are just passing through.

I'm comforted by the fact the nasty is out there today, of all days. It's a "day of action," after all.

And what better way to celebrate the ideas of a soft-spoken, funny looking Vermont professor, than by getting bashed around by a raw Vermont day.

VERMONT 350 Links:
Waitsfield: 350 Dance Party @ Big Picture Theater
Burlington: 350 Dance Party @ Higher Ground
Burlington: Starline Rhythm Boys, Bike Recycle Vermont Benefit & 350 party
350 Vermont Twitter


Pale Morning Media expands with satellite office in Portland, Maine

Outdoor industry veteran Michael Collin named director of Pale Morning Media-EAST

WAITSFIELD, VERMONT (October 5, 2009) – Pale Morning Media LLC, a public relations and creative communications agency specializing in the outdoor world, this week opened an expansion office in Portland, Maine.

Known as Pale Morning Media-EAST, the new office will be overseen by Michael Collin, a veteran of outdoor industry marketing. Most recently, Collin worked as U.S. brand manager for KJUS Skiwear.

“I have a huge place in my heart for Portland, both personally and professionally,” said Drew Simmons, Pale Morning Media president. “There’s a healthy, wild spirit in Maine – from the spectacular coast to the amazingly pristine interior – and I’m thrilled to have an excuse to spend more time there...."

LINK: Pale Morning Media expands to Maine, full story


Snowboarding with Hitler

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