Ten hours into the white knuckle, whiteout drive from Jackson Hole to Denver en route to the Crested Butte GORE-TEX Backcountry Basecamp a light came on, accompanied by a discomforting ding. With two kids in tow and 5,000 lbs. of gear in the trailer, that little check-engine icon frayed some already frayed nerves. After a headlamp consult with the operator’s manual we limped on in to Sedalia, the home of former Marmot execs John and Neide Cooley and our bed for the night.
In the morning, after an hour on the phone with several Dodge dealerships—both in the Front Range and in Vermont—I’m getting nowhere (and going nowhere)…fast. So, Neide calls her guy Scott at Pit Row Auto in Littleton. A snowmobiler with 30 years in the car biz, Scott pulls us in, hooks his computer into the Diesel brain on our Dodge 2500 and gets to work. Three hours and a few calls to his inside guys at Dodge and the light is off. When I offer to pay, he refuses. “Come on,” I say chasing him into the first bay of his garage. He stops short, gingerly spinning on an injured knee. “Anyone who runs a GORE-TEX logo on his rig is OK with me,” he says. “I run the heck out of that stuff with my KLIM.” He’s talking about that iconic sled-neck apparel brand out of Idaho.
I know better than to push the pay issue, especially with no cash, beer or maple syrup on hand. But I have inside guys, too. And the Gore team just got a request to send Scott a new KLIM jacket. I’m thinking something in blue.