Patagonia’s Winter Clearance Sale

People, one of my favorite companies in the whole world is putting its discontinued fall and winter stock on sale. This Friday through Monday, Patagonia, founded by visionary Yvon Chounard, is clearing out its stores at the heavy discount of 50%.

I’ve written about Patagonia before, but I just had to write about it again as the Denver Examiner.

P.S. I tried mountain biking yesterday but it was too muddy. I’ll try again this Saturday. Green Mountain again.

SheSpoke Wants to Know

Farewell, Arches


Thanksgiving evening found me back at the Motel 6 after my third turkey sandwich of the day.  I bade farewell to Arches, inquired about the guided hikes through the Fiery Furnace section:  Friday and Saturday were sold out but Sunday’s hike–the last one of the season–still had spots available.  I passed.


Foggy Fiery Furnace section of Arches
Foggy Fiery Furnace section of Arches

One the way out I hiked into Sand Dune Arch.  The hike in was sandy surrounded by slick:


Hike into Sand Dune Arch
Hike into Sand Dune Arch

Also on the way out–the famous Balanced Rock, which perhaps inspired episodes of Wile E. Coyote and his archnemesis, the RoadRunner.


An unusually dimly lit Balanced Rock
An unusually dimly lit Balanced Rock

And I kept driving out of the park, drawn to the promise of a hot tub, warm bed, and more episodes of The Closer (oh, yeah, and another turkey sandwich).  Arches National Park is so spectacular, so massive, that it can be enjoyed from the road.


Monoliths from the Road
Monoliths from the Road


 Is that Nefertiti in the upper left-hand corner?


Nefertiti in a different desert?
Nefertiti in a different desert?

The plan for Friday: wake up early, hightail it to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands, and hike around.  The trails would be too wet to mountain bike, I surmised.  I was right.


SmartWool Riding Socks

I’ve written a short blurb for on SmartWool’s motivation to keep me riding this winter:

Why I Buy Patagonia Products

A small sampling from the author’s closetActive adults usually buy activewear: moisture-wicking shirts and shorts, thermal underwear, wool socks, fleece pullovers, wool hats, snowgear–the list goes on. Extensive research and development go into sportwear, making it spendy, with the price passed on to the consumer. And yet, folks always seem to notice how much Patagonia gear I own. Am I a label-monger? No, that peer-pressure habit went out with Jordache jeans. Am I wealthy? Not on a teacher’s salary. If I need something–a new fleece, running shorts, or even everyday, casual clothes–I try to buy Patagonia.

Here’s why:

They care. Patagonia is committed to saving the planet. Even before Google came out with its “Do no harm” motto, Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, was thinking of ways to make money and save the planet. They use scraps. They cut down on plastic packaging and opt for rubber bands instead. They donate 1% of their profits to environmental causes. They will recycle your underwear. Ok, that last one’s weird. But still, they try to make smaller the footprint they’re leaving on the earth and are literally willing to pay for it. And they walk the walk by being politically active on environmental issues.

They last. I have a pair of Patagonia fleece pants that I cross-country ski in, take camping, and wear under my snowboard pants. On frigid nights they become pajamas. These pants are still rocking after a decade of use and abuse. No pils, holes, or tears. They’re not even stretched out. (Amazing, considering the weight I’ve gained.) The sports bra and cycling tank are on their way out, but only after a decade of faithful service.

They’re affordable. Patagonia catalogs are shiny and pretty, but I never look at them because I can’t even afford the hats featured there. Instead, I wait for sales. When I lived in Denver I would make my annual pilgrimage to its retail store downtown, where prices were slashed up to 60%. Those $80 hemp jeans are now less than $40 and are hanging in my closet, looking as fresh and clean and new as the day they were born.

If strolling down to your neighborhood Patagonia store is not an option, may I recommed the internet. Sierra Trading Post, which specializes in discount activewear, has become my favorite. I shop in the Bargain Barn section and do a search on Patagonia products. No ancient Chinese secret here. For the best bargains, buy out of season. I just bought a pair of Patagonia snowboard pants for $56; they even match my parka.

Or, attend any SNIAGRAB sale you can. These summer and Labor Day blowouts are the brainchild of the ski industry, who lure customers into their stores with ridiculous savings, usually over 50%. If your local outdoor store carries Patagonia products and you want to test my theory about how durable their products are, inquire about their yearly blowout sale, SNIAGRAB or not.

I don’t work for Patagonia, and I don’t get nuthin’ for extolling its virtues. I just think they’re a company that’s doing it right: putting out quality products that are attractive and functional (imagine), and always with a mindful eye on the planet. I don’t just want to buy their products, I want to hang out with these people.

Maybe the Jordache analogy wasn’t so far off after all.