April 10th marked the beginning of a cross country trip to see our Georgia Bushcraft family and though we've been to every GABC gathering over the past few years, this trip was a first in many ways.
As most of you are aware by now, Wazoo's HQ and operations moved to Longmont, CO in January. Dustin, Roxann, and Noelle have been working tirelessly to get everything back up and running as smoothly as possible in the new facility. Meanwhile, Nick is still down in TX trying to keep all the online processes and digital cogs turning. This trip was a long awaited first reprieve for the tired crew and it started with a solo road trip from Houston.
The First Solo Trip From Texas
Fueled up in a relatively empty 4Runner, Nick hit the road, heading Northeast towards Pearcy, Arkansas. A bit of a detour from the usual route to Georgia, but there's some magic that happens in that sleepy little town. Pearcy is the home of Dan's Whetstone Company. A family owned and operated business that turns a stone mountainside into a wearable work of art we call Viking Whetstones!
It has been 2 years since we shot this original video, but it takes you through the process of how the stones are made and the massive amount of effort involved:
After loading up the latest batch of Viking Whetstone pendants, it was time to pound some more pavement! Another 4 hours or so down the road (totaling 12 hours for the day) was Holly Springs National Forest. Those woods and a Warbonnet Hammock would be "home" for the night. A chance to get a little rest before pushing on to Atlanta to pick up the rest of the Wazoo crew.
The First Visit To Terminus Tees in GA
The next stop was on the Northeast side of Atlanta, this time for T-Shirts! We work with a GA based company called Terminus Tees to make our wickedly awesome outdoor tri-blend shirts. They've got a small space packed with a whole team of go-getters. Their art team helped design and refine some of our shirt designs (with hopefully more coming soon). If you're not familiar with our shirts, you likely wont know about the custom tags inside. Each shirt has a special themed tag hidden inside and they're all printed right here in the USA!
The First Full Wazoo Team Outing
Detours out of the way, it was time to pick up the Colorado crew at the airport marking the start of the first full team outing with the new staff. What was a relatively empty 4Runner soon became a scene from The Beverly Hillbillies. After loading down with all the display materials, products, mannequins, and camping gear we proceeded to the grocery store to stock up for the weekend. This nearly had us bursting at the seams!
The girls hardly had any space in the back seat with all the groceries, T-Shirts, and Whetstones that were picked up along the way. Luckily it was a short drive from there.
We finally arrived after dark on Thursday, set up tents and hammocks, and joined in the fire-side shenanigans.
The First GABC Experience For Noelle and Roxann
Friday kicked off with setting up the booth. Everything after that was a blur of classes and camaraderie!
Basket making with Carleigh Fairchild:
Foraging Bandana walkabout with Carleigh and Kau'ilani Morehead
Flint knapping with Justin Cook:
Poplar baskets with Todd Walker, the Survival Sherpa:
Which inspired Nick's Bushcraft Bark Koozie:
We showed off some new prototypes:
Got a behind the scenes look at Carleigh's crafts from her 86 days in Patagonia for History Channel's Alone Season 3:
And when it was all said and done we got a group photo with a bunch of Wazoo owners at the event:
Oh and did I forget to mention the Fire Starting Challenges?
Georgia Bushcraft Family, we miss you already. Here's to seeing you all again at the next one.