In one week, we covered 2, 850 miles (well, give or take a few miles here and there) across Oregon, northern California and the Seattle area. And in all of those miles traveled, we were greeted with sunshine, lush spring blossoms, the cool smell of the ocean, and most importantly, welcomed by our friends and made new RAP connections.
Our last stop on Tour de Pants was in Seattle. We first had a quick and fun visit to the factory where your RAPs are made in Kent, WA. The factory is operated by a mother daughter team, Cheryl Evans and Sheila Brush. And this just wasn’t your typical business stop–both Sheila and Cheryl care very deeply for Red Ants Pants and for Sarah. Although business was discussed, the conversation eased into personal life, asking about family and friends. And Sarah received a very fun miniature beaded red ant from the floor manager, Terry. If you wear a pair of Red Ants Pants you should be quite proud that the men and women who make your pants are truly wonderful people!
After our visit at the factory, we headed a bit east of Seattle to Sammamish (it’s a very fun name to pronounce) to catch up with Sarah’s cohorts from her Student Conservation Association days. Sarah worked as a trail crew leader for SCA and still manages to find time in her busy RAP schedule to cook for their Work Skills week–a week dedicated to crew leader training. Our party host was Sarah’s longtime friend through SCA, Sarah Hanson. We found Sarah’s cozy home nestled deeply in the northwest woods. She’s been busy all winter renovating her parent’s home. And her well worn RAPs show her efforts! Before the party, we made a quick stop to the SCA camp to say hi to friends and show off our RAPs to incoming crew leaders.
For our last night on the road, we couldn’t have asked for any more–we were surrounded by Sarah’s old friends, friends spanning her life through her journies with Outward Bound and the SCA. We all curled up on futons and chairs in Sarah Hanson’s home and laughed our way through the RAP slideshow as many of the photos were of friends at the party. After traveling so many miles, there’s no place quite like where your good friends gather.
With yawns punctuating the night, we said our goodbyes with promises to make summer visits to Montana. Many of our friends are beginning trail crew work on the Pacific Crest Trail, beginning their new job Seattle to practice medicine, and our dear friend Emily is busy planning her wedding this July! So many great things to look forward to!
And we loaded up the truck early Wednesday morning and hit I-90 for the long drive through Washington to White Sulphur Springs. We’re so very thankful to all our party hosts and their guests for truly welcoming us into their communities! And we’re very grateful to all our RAP supporters across the west coast.
Tour de Pants is at a stopping point for the spring. Sarah’s travels haven’t quite ended yet. She’s off to her home in Connecticut to celebrate her parent’s 40th wedding anniversary! Maggie will watch over the shop and the pets while Sarah’s away and then she’ll return home to Whitefish for the summer.
Stay tuned for more adventures with Red Ants Pants as we slide, happily, into summer.