#TakeMeYonder Contest: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner + A Ton of Great Gear! – Osprey Packs Experience
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#TakeMeYonder Contest: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner + A Ton of Great Gear!

#TakeMeYonder Contest: Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner + A Ton of Great Gear!

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Thank you to everyone who entered our #TakeMeYonder photo contest! For this giveaway, we asked you to submit your most memorable photo moments from 2015 and we ended up with thousands of beautiful entries to choose from — it wasn’t easy to select three winners from so many great photographs!

Here are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, each of whom will each receive gear for their 2016 adventures from top Colorado brands such as Osprey Packs, Zeal Optics, New Belgium Brewing, Big Agnes, Voormi, Scarpa, Yonder App as well as two tickets to one of Yonder Mountain String Band’s “4 Nights of New Year” shows at the Boulder Theater,  December 30th – January 2nd. Below are the winning moments of 2015 and the stories behind each unique photograph.

To see the gallery of all the amazing #TakeMeYonder photo submissions, visit: www.ospreypacks.com/takemeyonder


1st Place: Dylan Thompson | Yosemite Valley

“When 2015 started we decided that we would take a summer trip to Sequoia National Park and Yosemite National Park at the end of May. We had an amazing time in Sequoia and we headed straight to Yosemite. We woke up at 3AM to drive to Yosemite and waited in line for 4 hours to get wilderness and Half Dome permits.

On May 28th, we stopped briefly in Little Yosemite Valley to drop off gear and hiked up to Half Dome. Through the switchbacks, blisters, and moments of ‘whose crazy idea was this again?’ we worked through it together. We saw a few people taking pictures on the same ledge and we thought there was no way in hell that either of us wanted to go out onto it. I told my girlfriend (now fiancé), to stand on the ledge so I could set up the camera. I asked a few random guys from Finland to take ‘a lot of pictures’ but didn’t tell them my plan.

I asked her, ‘So, will you?’ and she said, ‘You haven’t asked me yet!’ While I might have originally forgot to ask the most important question, I did ask her something equally important. I said, ‘I couldn’t imagine backpacking and traveling with anyone else besides you. Will you be my adventure and backpacking partner for the rest of our lives?’ In the end she did say YES to both questions.

This was our first backpacking trip together, but definitely not the last. Coincidentally enough, both of our packs this day were Osprey. In a way, we can thank Osprey Packs for contributing to our special moment. Thank you!”

 

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2nd Place: Michael Morton | The Wave, Arizona

“Our hike to The Wave was an easy choice as my outdoor highlight of 2015.  First, I admired this special spot on the map for years and could only hope that one day I would find myself within its open spaces. Second, it had taken almost two years to get lucky enough to win the online permit lottery with the Bureau of Land Management. Third, once we cleared that hurdle, we had to patiently plan and wait three months for our particular day on the calendar.  There was much more waiting, than planning. You don’t really have to plan, you simply show up and experience it!

As soon as you turn off of Highway 89 and head over eight miles south along the dirt road to the trailhead, you realize you’re somewhere special.  This is a land of solitude.  A land deceivingly alive with slow drifting clouds, Edward Abbey, Vermilion Cliffs, slot canyons, dinosaur tracks, hieroglyphs, jackrabbits, coyotes, desert bighorn sheep, roadrunners, northern harriers and too many other smaller inhabitants to name.  In fact, even getting to the trail-head involves fortune being on your side as just enough rain can make the road impassible and could potentially wipe out all of one’s plans!

The Wave finds itself a few miles out on an unmarked path along slick rock and sand dunes located within Coyote Buttes North.  200 million years ago this area was a vast desert containing oasis like watering holes that provided life to dinosaurs among other things.  About 15 million years ago the forces of nature that formed the Navajo Sandstone that you see today began to take shape.  Geological and scientific words like erosion, sedimentary, cross-bedded, laminae, grain-flow, wind-ripple and many others tell the story of what happened here.  Phantasmagoric is how I would describe it. Somewhere along the way as you hike south, you leave Utah and enter Arizona.  It’s a significant line on the map, but it’s irrelevant when you are there. As you walk the approximate three miles towards The Wave, you come to the realization that you are encountering the same natural forces working today that sculpted this place over millions of years.

This is a living landscape beyond description.  The anticipation builds as you approach the area.  The landscape slowly morphs from sand dunes to slick rock to sandstone lines and patterns of red, orange, pink, yellow and whatever other colors you might or might not notice.  Then you realize you have hours to explore The Wave itself. You ask, what is the hurry? I admit that I did not ask that myself but was prompted towards the question with the actions of one of my hiking companions. You start to explore the area and around every hidden corner and wall you find an oasis, green plants, herds of sheep, something or anything that you never expected to find.  Finally, you arrive.  When we arrived we were in awe.  How many times in your life have you planned and dreamed of something and when the moment appeared, you were underwhelmed?  That will not happen to you here and it did not happen to us on November 9th, 2015.  In fact it was probably one of the most specific instances in my entire life when despite the high level of anticipation, my expectations were exceeded beyond words. I can’t think of many other experiences in my life, much less the past year when I felt so alive and in the moment. One moment within 200 million years! It was if I had been right there all along.

The patterns, The Wave, the silence, the sky, the building clouds, the shadows, the setting sun.  It is an experience I will never forget.”

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3rd Place: Ryan Williams | Cincinnati, Ohio

“A warm July 4th in Cincinnati set the scene for a perfect night!  After spending time in the amusement park and watching fireworks, our family went to see Yonder Mountain String Band at a small outdoor venue.  We had set up further back and had enjoyed the first set listening to the band, playing with glow sticks and meeting other families in the same general area.

During set break my youngest son, who was six at the time, mentioned he kind of wanted to go up front and check it out!  He didn’t have to ask me twice, we jumped up and headed up front!  Before we knew it he was at the rail, standing there in awe of the band! It occurred to me that while he has been exposed to music his entire life, he may never have been that close to the music as it was being made on this scale! I stood there in awe with him, I was in awe of the entire moment. There was one of the loves of my life enjoying one of my favorite pastimes with me. He really seemed to understand that night, that music holds a power to make you feel things.  That night we both felt amazed!

Spending that time with my son while we listened to the band together was truly a highlight of my 2015 and nothing I’ll soon forget.”

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The #TakeMeYonder Prizes: 

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1st Place Prize:

Two tickets to one of the four nights of Yonder Mountain String Band’s performances at the Boulder Theater, December 30th – January 2nd. Also, an exclusive “Meet & Greet” BBQ with the band prior to the shows. (Value $84)

(2) Osprey Packs New 2016 Volt / Viva (65/60L) backpack (Value $360)

(1) Pair of Scarpa Crux Shoes (Value $115)

(1) Pair of Zeal Optics Essentials Sunglasses (Value $99)

(1) New Belgium Growler (Value $52)

(1) Voormi Drift Jacket (Value $249)

(1) Big Agnes Tumble Mountain Glo 2 person + (4) MtnGLO Tent Light Accessories (Value $410)

2nd Place Prize: 

Two tickets to one of the four nights of Yonder Mountain String Band’s performances at the Boulder Theater, December 30th – January 2nd. Also, an exclusive “Meet & Greet” BBQ with the band prior to the shows. (Value $84)

(1) Osprey Packs New 2016 Volt / Viva (65/60L) backpack (Value $180)

(1) Pair of Scarpa Crux Shoes (Value $115)

(1) Pair of Zeal Optics Essentials Sunglasses (Value $99)

(1) Voormi Drift Jacket (Value $249)

(1) New Belgium Growler (Value $52)

(2) Big Agnes Hats (Value $30)

(2) Yonder App T-shirts (Value $40)

3rd Place Prize: 

Two tickets to one of the four nights of Yonder Mountain String Band’s performances at the Boulder Theater, December 30th – January 2nd. Also, an exclusive “Meet & Greet” BBQ with the band prior to the shows. (Value $84)

(2) Big Agnes Hats (Value $30)

(2) Osprey Packs Sweaters (Value $70)

(2) Yonder App T-shirts (Value $40)

(1) Signed CD from Yonder Mountain String Band (Value $25)

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