September 12, 2012 Buzz: Outdoors News Shorts

OutdoorsFEST Wrap Up

Photo at right by Hilary Meyerson

The Mountaineers OutdoorsFEST last Saturday was a big success! Thanks to everyone who came out and visited our tent and signed up to win a host of great prizes. We’ll be emailing winners directly so keep your eyes on your inboxes. Thanks to Washington State Parks, Osprey, Detours, Salomon, SUUNTO and all of our other great partners for providing prizes!

Footzone closes its three stores

The three King County Footzone stores, under the ownership of Kyle Cross since 1999, closed their doors Aug. 31.

The stores, located in Bellevue, Redmond and Issaquah, were among the top running stores in the country, according to Cross. Footzone was the number one seller of Asics in Washington state, and among the top 10 sellers of Brooks shoes in the nation. Footzone employed up to 40 people during high season.

So what happened? According to Cross, there were five new running stores that opened up in the area last year, many carrying the same brands as Footzone.

“We had a very good business and were invested in the local communities and gave back to the schools,” said Cross. “Now, that’s all gone.”

Cross is in the throes of finishing up loose business ends before he considers his next move.

“I’ve been in the running shoe business for over 20 years,” an upbeat Cross said. “I’ll be OK.”

Oregon Coast Beach Cleanup

Thousands of volunteers will pack Florence-area beaches for the state-wide Annual Fall Beach Cleanup Day Sept. 22. This year’s cleanup will look a little different. Beach debris from the Japanese Tsunami is already showing up on Oregon’s shores. A massive 66-foot dock washed up near Newport in June. Based on reports and oceanic currents, scientists project the bulk of the debris will arrive this winter. Agencies around the state are working together to prepare for it.

Volunteers are asked to come out and help. Official collection bags are available at state parks and visitors centers and can be disposed of at Lane County disposal sites for free. If beachcombers find a potentially dangerous item, the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department is asking them to take a picture, remember where they found it and call 211. Scientists also anticipate personal items to wash ashore. In that case, parks staff, along with the Japanese American Society of Oregon, hope to help connect and return the belongings back to the rightful owners.

R.A.W. Retreats

Photo courtesy of R.A.W. Retreats

Local cyclist Tracey Gramenz has been leading luxury bike tours all over the world for years. Luckily for us, she’s focusing closer to home these days, and has founded R.A.W. Retreats, putting together cycling and yoga retreats for women. Cyclists are coming from all over the country to attend these three-day retreats, which feature yoga, a guided exploration of beautiful Vashon Island, farm-to-table food, and time to just be in community with other women in a gorgeous setting.

“R.A.W. Retreats are a chance for women to relax and reconnect: they eat organic food, drink local wine, get into the outdoors and are taken care of for a few days,” says Gramenz.  “Women need this.” There are still a few spots open for her Sept. 21-23 retreat. Grab a girlfriend and go.

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