June 13, 2023
When our newly appointed EVP of Marketing, Slate Olson, joined the crew we knew he’d fit right in with his spontaneous adventurous spirit. He proved it almost immediately when he stumbled across a classic ‘86 Suburban for sale in Denver. Long story short, he bought it sight unseen. He called up Matt Peterson, Slate’s longtime friend, and the current creative brains behind our brand and advertising to roll in the passenger seat, along with friends. Daniel Pasley and Justin Heslop to film and photograph the epic journey. We had a chance to sit down with both Slate and Matt to discuss all things road trip. Your article content starts here...
Slate: Knowing LOGE’s plan and expansion into the Southwest, I’d been working with Matt and his creative team about how to bring it to life. It’s a part of the country where LOGE hasn’t really lived before. Sure, we know the area, but we didn’t really know it-know it. So, it became my mission to get to really know these locations. Meet people, go places, and just figure it out.
We wanted to hit South Fork, CO because LOGE Wolf Creek is opening this summer, and since LOGE St. George is also in the works, a plan started to form. All we needed was a catalyst to get us from talking about it to doing it. So, I bought an ’86 Suburban in this classic red (and with that, Big Red became its official name), but it had to be picked up in Denver. That was the kickstart we needed.
Matt: One day, Slate texted me, “You want to take a road trip?” Opportunities like that don’t come around every day. I couldn’t say no. And I knew we needed to start meeting people and checking out this new LOGE territory.
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If you want to get to know a place, you start with the people, the local spots, the dirt, the air, the stories. Check out a sample of our first (and definitely not last) journey to the Southwest.
Matt: If LOGE was a car, it would be Big Red. Bright, social, and always up for an adventure. On the trip, we would be chugging up the passes at 11,000 feet getting passed by semis, but it would never quit. We always made it to the next stop, where locals would inevitably comment on the cool ride.
Slate: Todd, our General Manager in LOGE Bend, has a classic Suburban. Black, racked, beautiful. That era of Suburban was the epitome of the adventure mobile, and they’re total classics now. They were 100% capable of adventure, could haul tons of gear and people, and they were nice, but not too nice. Kind of like LOGE Camps in a lot of ways.
Of course, anything that’s a classic will have some quirks. The steering wheel is thin, you have to lock the wheels to get into 4wd, and it isn’t exactly fast. Especially over mountain passes. It’s funny because I deplore driving slowly, yet somehow didn’t really mind topping out at 55-60. It was a nice reminder that we’re on a long trip–just take it in and enjoy the ride.
Slate: I got to spend some quality road time with good friends. There were four of us, two I’d known for a long time, one I didn’t when we started. But, we had so much fun–lots of laughs, some real-life conversations, and we got to have this unique experience together. But more specifically, what stood out was the powder at Wolf Creek. Wolf Creek Ski Area’s tagline is ‘the best snow in Colorado’. They ain’t lying.
We also met a few amazing folks, like Rachel. She’s the owner of Rachel’s Keep On Keepin On & Coffee, which is right across from LOGE Wolf Creek. She claims that her coffee ‘fucks out loud’ and generally managed to blast us with humor, sass, and local-badassery. We got to hang out with an old friend, Ned Overend, and check out his bike shed–surrounded by his trophies–and hear all his stories of Colorado, World Championships, etc. Priceless. We had some pretty amazing Japanese food in Durango. Mind blown for being in Small Town, Colorado in a Safeway parking lot.
Then, on the way to LOGE St. George, we hit Zion. I had never been. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I had a couple moments where I teared up, genuinely in awe of my surroundings. Zion is breathtaking.
Matt: Zion is ridiculous. Mouth firmly agape the whole way through.
We also got to meet the head of the ski school up at Wolf Creek. He has a sweet, big mustache that was frozen with icicles, and he doesn't wear a helmet. You know, old school. So, he showed us around and took us on the greatest tree runs. That was pretty special.
In South Fork, we ended up talking to the mayor at the Mexican restaurant, Ramon’s, where it seemed all the locals hang out.
And of course, Rachel. She was probably the most memorable. Do not order decaf (as Daniel did) or you will be berated.
Slate: I loved getting to the Chuckwalla Wall in St George. My kid recently got me into climbing, but I’ve spent all my time indoors on walls. To get onto the rocks is just a different feeling. I get it more now. Talking with Bo at the Desert Rat, I can see the draw for climbing in St George.
Matt: Skiing was amazing at Wolf Creek. Worth the white-knuckle driving in the blizzardy conditions.
Matt: Going over Wolf Creek Pass had us spooked a bit. The weather and roads the day before we left weren’t good. Some locals told us they don't really drive the Pass in the winter, because of the hairpin turns. So, we were looking at other ways around just in case, but it was going to add 6-7 hours to the drive. Luckily, everything seemed to improve overnight. We talked to a woman pulling a horse trailer who had just crossed it that morning coming over from Pagosa Springs, and she gave us the confidence to go for it. We lived It was amazing.
Slate: The ‘Check Engine’ light was a constant companion on Big Red. It got to the point if it was off for too long, we started to get worried. But, not as worried as I was when semi-trucks were bearing down on us while Red was barely doing 35mph over some mountain passes. There were a couple close calls there.
Slate: LOGE Wolf Creek is going to be cool. The café was almost done when we were there and it’s going to be a great spot for getting good food and coffee before heading out on an adventure or two. It was exciting to see it come to life with the community spaces outside, hot tubs, firepits, and more.
Matt: The rooms look great. There are also the old signs from the original motel that I think LOGE will be incorporating in some way. Ya know, each LOGE is unique in their own way since they always try to make a nod to its past, so it’ll be cool to see how this one turns out.
Slate: 1000%. If you’re down in the Southwest, you’ve got some awesome road trips to put together–with new LOGE Camps as your basecamps. You could ski Wolf Creek and Taos in the same week.
Matt: The road trip is definitely alive and well. Why wouldn't you want to have a kickass place to stay along the way? This trip is actual proof that LOGE understands the journeys people take. We got to live it, feel the local dirt, smell the air, and sample the local goods.
Matt: Don't be in a rush to get somewhere. Take a road that might be a little bit longer. Take the detours or the scenic route. That's something we did often. We’d go down dirt roads instead of the main roads just to see interesting things, and we never regretted it.
Slate: People are awesome. You just need to get out and meet as many new folks as you can. And make the effort to spend quality time with the ones you know. We’re all busy, we have crazy lives, we’re working, have families, etc., but sharing time and experience is important. Do more things. Live more life. Also, Zion–do it.
Wow, right? Let’s all do more things and live more life. Let’s have more adventures. Do you have any big road trips planned? Hit us up on social and let us know if you have any questions that might help make your next adventure the best one yet.
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