On the Road in Aruba

“It’s too commercial.” If you ever find yourself saying that while in Aruba hit pause on your thinking and consider how you might be spending your time when you travel. There's a good chance there is plenty worth discovering just a few miles from where you are. Determine to dig deeper - you just might strike travel gold .

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That's what we did on our most recent visit to Aruba. Our mission: stray far and wide from the hotel zones we’d come to know well over our years of traveling on business to the island. What we found was extraordinary and completely unexpected.

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If you wonder if you should set off on your own while on Aruba, consider this: you can’t get lost even if you try. When you think you’ve meandered too far afield just aim your rented vehicle in the direction of shoreline and keep exploring. If you are a stickler about knowing exactly where you are at all times, download a compass or just turn on your GPS and carry on. Soon you'll be close up and personal with Arubian culture, rugged landscapes and electric blue waters. On the other side of your adventure there will be time to kick back at one of the island's exceptional resorts. 

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In our case home on Aruba was the iconic Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. The resort was the first on the island and strategically built on the best stretch of beach after renowned architect, Morris Lapidus, (who also designed the Eden Roc and The Fontainebleau in Miami) carefully studied wind and tide patterns to ensure the most enjoyment for future guests.

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After a full day of discovery all over the island we returned to our iconic resort ready to soak in all of its luxe comforts and natural beauty. Moral of the story - always go the extra mile!

outdoors, events

The Great Saunter - When a NYC Walk Becomes 32-Mile Hike

You don't have to do the New York Marathon to feel like an athlete in New York City. Try this instead if running isn't your thing: The Great Saunter, an endurance event that has been bringing tourists and athletes together for a 32-mile shoreline walk around Manhattan for 32 years. This was our first year participating in the event and we're glad to report no injuries - just great fun plus a new perspective on one of the most exciting cities in the world.

The Little Red Lighthouse

Guidelines for getting ready for a 32-mile walk exist - they include training for months by doing progressively longer walks to condition your body for the demands of pounding pavement for 10-12 hours. We skipped all of that. We just relied on a good fitness level (the result of consistent workouts and 4-mile walks year-round), the nutritional knowledge provided by plant-based endurance athlete, Rich Roll, in his inspiring book, Finding Ultra, and on the footwear and gear advice offered to us by our neighbors here at Trading Post - The Running Company of Haddonfield. With that kind of preparation the walk was as close to a breeze as a 32-mile walk can be.

Manhattan Greenway River View

Yes, at a certain point soreness got serious and the walk became a genuine hike (especially when we entered the hilly, forested trails of Northern Manhattan) but the sights - water views all day long as we walked 13 neighborhoods, a forest, beautiful parks, a historic lighthouse, so many bridges and enjoyed the sheer variety of architecture throughout the island - plus conversations along the way with people who travel from around the world to do this amazing shoreline adventure, made The Great Saunter an incredible experience!

Fort Tryon Park

Feel like giving the event a go? We highly recommend it! There were people of all ages and fitness levels tackling this event (the pace is an easygoing 3 miles per hour) and everyone seemed to be doing it in their own way - from Eagle Scouts walking all 32-miles in heavy hiking boots and a father-son team finishing it in walking shoes worn with knee-high argyle socks to a young marathon racer who astonished everyone by speed walking the whole thing in a pair of Teva sandals. 

This autumn we'll be leading a Trading Post walk along much of the same territory covered in The Great Saunter. It will be a day of fresh air and open skies - two things you may not always associate with Manhattan. You'll get an abbreviated idea of what The Great Saunter is like then hopefully join us to do the full event next year - The Great Saunter is scheduled to be held on May 5th, 2018. Let's get walking!

It's Not a Race, It's a Mission - Goliathon

Have you ever watched American Ninja Warrior and said, "I'd like to give that a try!" If so, there's an event here in South Jersey that may grab your interest - it's Goliathon.

Adam at Goliathon

 

Friends of Trading Post, Adam and Devora Peterson are active supporters of the event which raises money for clean water projects in developing countries. "Twice a year, Israeli Krav Maga of Cherry Hill, New Jersey forms a team to compete at Goliathon," says Devora. "It's a five-mile long course that features 12 challenging obstacles."  Goliathon is designed to be accessible to a wide range of participants with a course that features tiered obstacles that range from the moderately easy to the very difficult. 

 

This year, Devora cheered on the local Israeli Krav Maga team which included her husband Adam. "It's both a physical and mental challenge which appeals to my competitive nature." says Adam. "It also serves as a team building exercise."

If you'd like to put yourself through the test of strength and coordination that is Goliathon while raising funds for an important cause and having a great deal of fun doing it all, visit goliathon.com to register for their next challenge, scheduled for October 21, 2017.

 

Geared Up for 600 Motorcycle Miles

The first official ride of the season was a 600-miler.

The five of us took off from Gorshin Trading Post in Downtown Haddonfield thinking, "We've got this." Each of us had  been designated with a role to play (mapper of a scenic route, finder of choice places to stop, reserver of a Catskills dive to sleep in etc.) and we each were carrying gear that would serve the group. Everything was covered and agreed upon except for one thing - the pace.

Four out of the five gentlemen riders in this photo. Our friend Mark would join us later further down the road. 

Four out of the five gentlemen riders in this photo. Our friend Mark would join us later further down the road. 

You don't cover serious distance on your first ride of the season without a little push. That push came from our friend Greg, who builds and races motorcycles in his spare time. It was thanks to him that we found ourselves winding and bending, full out, along the kinds of roads you dream about when you first buy your motorcycle and wish for whenever you find yourself on said motorcycle idling in traffic. Few stops, much scenery, a ton of adrenaline, big smiles all around.

Forty-eight hours later we were back, trying not to walk like we'd just rode into town on horses from the Ponderosa. But there was no fooling anyone - the grins on our faces said it all: we'd gone far and ridden long making every one of the hitches in our giddy ups well worth it.

Our fearless leader, Greg!

Our fearless leader, Greg!

Adventure Begins on The Appalachian Trail

Sometimes you just have to hit the road to seek the adventure your soul craves. John Gordon, friend of Trading Post and one of our original customers, does exactly that. In the couple of years we've known him he's summited Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves and ice picked across glaciers in Iceland, canyoneered in Zion National Park and backpacked through Thailand.

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The man has seen beauty most of us can only imagine. He's endured extreme conditions to reach those epic sights - the kind most people would choose to sidestep. Along the way, he's thrived while satisfying the craving that always hums below the surface of man, that desire to seek adventure, find it, then seek it once again.

Up next for John is The Appalachian Trail - a 2,190-mile trek that stretches from Georgia to Maine. His biggest concern on this 5-month journey? "Mice," he's said. "They can chew through everything to get to food while you sleep."

John began his next adventure on Memorial Day with a humble post on Instagram, "Here goes nothin'." The post was accompanied by a photo taken at the trailhead of him and Panita Thanatharn, a fellow adventurer who will accompany John through a section of Georgia. "My goal is to average 20 miles a day," he's said. He should reach Maine by September.

You can keep up with stories from the trail, images of The Appalachian Trail and pops of inspiration that may ignite your own desire to hit the road, by following John on Instagram, at gordo_unchained. 

A Different Sort of Family Vacation

Can you call it work if it's fun? Can you call it a family trip if it involves of searching for Made in the USA goods to bring back to Trading Post? Yep!

We're back from our week-long road-trip with jams from Vermont, Adirondack-style accessories for the home (from Lake Placid) and fresh orders for hearty food and gear that will make winter a whole lot more enjoyable for you. (American-made flannel shirts and blankets are on the way as are pancake mixes and syrups - all set to arrive well before the holidays.) 

A perfect spot to eat lunch and grab some sun just below the outdoor deck at The Warren Store in Warren, Vermont.

A perfect spot to eat lunch and grab some sun just below the outdoor deck at The Warren Store in Warren, Vermont.

It turns out you can have a great time when you hit the road with zero plans, no reservations and hardly any internet connectivity. We highly recommend trying it. Here's to more adventures!

Your Mancave in the Media

What a summer it's been! We'd planned to close our shop in Downtown Haddonfield for all of August to reboot and go on a few family adventures then some really unexpected things happened. Like this moment.

 

That morning we opened the mail and there it was - Philadelphia Magazine named us Best of Philly for Men's Gifts!

That morning we opened the mail and there it was - Philadelphia Magazine named us Best of Philly for Men's Gifts!

That morning we were standing outside of Trading Post opening mail and found that the genuine arbiters of cool - Philadelphia Magazine - had named us Best Shop for Men's Gifts. Wow!! We just stared at each other then it was high-fives all around. That recognition felt so good. We reached out immediately to the editors with our gratitude. With so many outstanding businesses in this region, being highlighted among them knocked us out.

From that weekend onward we had many, many visitors and customers come in saying they'd learned about us by way of that Best of Philly issue. There was no way we could close our doors for summer then and we were happy to stay and welcome new friends. Then...this happened!

The awesome team at Fox29 Philly spent the morning in Downtown Haddonfield stirring up a lot of fun and goodwill. They featured our shop in a men's fashion segment. Mike Jerrick, Bob Kelly and their team plus all of our friends who came in to wear our goods and make them look great are in this shot.

The awesome team at Fox29 Philly spent the morning in Downtown Haddonfield stirring up a lot of fun and goodwill. They featured our shop in a men's fashion segment. Mike Jerrick, Bob Kelly and their team plus all of our friends who came in to wear our goods and make them look great are in this shot.

The excitement that Mike Jerrick, Bob Kelly and the entire Fox29 Philly team brought to Downtown Haddonfield was incredible. They spent several hours highlighting everything that is best about this historic town - the people, foods, owner-operated shops, the stories, the beauty and the overall peaceful, easy feeling of the town were in close-up all throughout that morning. Trading Post got a nice, long feature too - with the on-air conversation centering on men's gear and our family's favorite (and only!) "villain" - The Riddler. 

We received yet another round of great news - this time from the ultimate guide to and resource for our region - South Jersey Magazine

We're proudly displaying the kind words that have been written about us this summer. Here's a close-up of the South Jersey Magazine feature.

We're proudly displaying the kind words that have been written about us this summer. Here's a close-up of the South Jersey Magazine feature.

They listed us among the very best of South Jersey in an annual feature that people all throughout the region look froward to each summer. "Gorshin Trading post has brought a rugged vibe to Downtown Haddonfield," they said. It was a mention that, once again, made us want to celebrate and work harder than ever to make our customers happy. 

We've taken a few days and weekends off here and there through quiet August since all of these events took place but a long vacation will have to wait and for that we're grateful.

We're officially "back in the saddle" with consistent 10-6 PM daily hours beginning September 1st. Come in when your summer adventures quiet. You can expect lots of new gear, plenty of American made goods and new reasons to explore Trading Post's Pantry .

Happy trails!

 

Gifts for Grads - Our Shop Local Gift Guide

Gifts before they go - our local picks for grad gifts include new, Made in the USA backpacks.

Gifts before they go - our local picks for grad gifts include new, Made in the USA backpacks.

Graduation is almost here and bags are almost packed for college. Our gift guide highlights goods you can find right here in Haddonfield - your grad's hometown:

1. Cooking classes so they'll have skills to cook something great when they're far from home.

2. Downtown Haddonfield Gift Certificates so they'll have even more reasons to come home and shop local.

3. Martial arts classes so they'll feel more grounded before they go.

4. Tickets to upcoming local plays and performances so you can enjoy a night out together (and have extra dates marked on the calendar when they'll be home.) 

5. A professional photo session featuring your grad with family or friends in front of their favorite Haddonfield locations. 

And at Trading Post? Backpacks, Buck Knives, easy-to-store dorm room eats, warm flannels, durable jeans, watches and more.

Rugged, Restful, Golden

We're back from a family trip out West - our first time away from Trading Post in the two years since we first opened. What follows is a close-up on Golden, Colorado which we made our home base between day trips into Denver and over to Breckenridge. The short of it is - we loved Golden. The long? Here goes...beware: travelogue-style writing ahead. 

The next time you plan a trip to Colorado, be sure to put the city of Golden at the top of your itinerary. Golden surrounds you with rugged beauty and Western hospitality only 30 minutes from Denver International Airport. 

It’s where you will find the best of Old West culture and outdoor adventuring in a low-key, authentic setting.

There’s a reason why so many people from Denver pour into Golden the moment great weather rolls in. It’s a historic town (founded during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush) that rewards its visitors with relaxation, if that’s what they need, or adventure, if that’s what they crave. 

Look all around you in Golden and what you see is a town that honors it’s history, celebrates its artists and preserves its architecture. It is a pleasure to explore with unique, locally-owned businesses, small museums and bronze sculptures throughout. The streets are impeccably clean and the feeling of the town is one of overall calm and well being. 

Maybe it’s the wide open skies above this low-profile town (most buildings are four stories and under) but sound seems muted here. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself speaking in a softer voice during your stay to protect the rare quiet you will find in this town.

What do you hear most in Golden? On a sunrise walk recently it was the breeze, lots of wind chimes and the sound of geese calling to each other. The air hinted that it had just been to the mountains. 

Keep your eyes up while in Golden - the panorama changes continuously with colors and shadows cast by the sun.

Clear Creek, at the center of town, offers an inviting place to get acclimated to the area. Along its paved path is where you will find people exercising, walking their dogs, fishing and just generally engaging with the beautiful surroundings. 

Walk in one direction and you will be headed toward hiking trails that lead up to Lookout Mountain. At the very top is The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave and Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Preserve. 

If you would rather not hike to enjoy Lookout Mountain’s scenery you can drive up to some of the best overlook spots or you can do like the fittest do - bike the 7%-grade, 4 1/2-mile winding road, hairpins and all, to the top.

After taking in what you came for - the big sky views, sunset, moon rise, stars or twinkling lights of Denver in the distance - you may want to add a thrill to the ride towards town. Not satisfied with the pull of gravity, many bikers choose to pedal all the way to Golden, eager for greater speed. (Some adrenaline junkies prefer to make the return trip even more daring - they cruise it on longboards.)

Walk along Clear Creek in the opposite direction and you will find yourself meandering toward the Coors distillery where tours and tastings take place daily.

If real adventure is what you’re after, there’s plenty of opportunity for that in Golden. The landscape that surrounds Golden attracts kayakers, hang gliders, hikers and mountain bikers to the area. Rock climbers who are serious about their pursuit also make their way into town - it’s home to the American Mountaineering Center. Go for a hike at sunset and you are likely to spot groups of them coming off the trails - muddied, tired and grinning - to tailgate with a cold local brew.

One of the most pleasurable yet easygoing ways to enjoy Golden is to just walk the town. There is so much variety to the shops and architecture that you can expect a surprise around every corner. At the top of a hill there is a colorful structure - a replica of a Nepalese Sherpa house - that serves as both a restaurant and cultural center. 

On a side street there is a large building made entirely of river rock. Expect to see vibrant murals along building exteriors - each one is the handiwork of artist, Jesse Crock.

There are two practical reasons to add Golden to your Colorado travel plans -- the town’s central location puts you within easy driving distance to Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs and multiple ski areas. Also, at 5,675 feet above sea level, the town provides your body with a relatively gentle adjustment to the reduced air pressure and lower oxygen found at greater elevations. That’s right - the next time you travel to Colorado you can kick off your vacation with little to no altitude sickness.

When plans bring you to the Denver area, remember Golden - a town that glows with the spirit of the Old West.

TIP:

Consider making reservations at The Golden Hotel. It's a warm, welcoming place to stay. The look is Western Contemporary, the location is ideal (along Clear Creek and in the heart of town's key attractions) and the restaurant serves up excellent food breakfast through dinner. Wild game meatloaf and hearty soups were among our favorite items on the menu. The atmosphere throughout the hotel is one of genuine comfort. Arrive knowing you will be in good hands.

*Full disclosure: we were guests of the hotel during a business-related visit but wouldn't recommend it unless we truly enjoyed it. We did, very much.)

When Jonas Hit Town

Snowmageddon hit Downtown Haddonfield and it was beautiful. Sure, it interrupted plans for town's planned Winterfest - the winter storm made driving and shopping impossible - but it made getting outside to enjoy the day absolutely necessary. Take in some of the sights right here then plan to join us next Sunday, January 31st, for Winterfest. You can expect a lot of warmth and hospitality (food, drinks, savings) all along King's Highway and on Haddonfield's great side streets - Mechanic and Tanner. 


David Bowie, R.I.P.

David Bowie was an artist with an inexhaustible imagination. He was so directly connected to the force of creation, it didn’t seem like he would ever come to an end. Even now, saying goodbye seems strange - after a lifetime of so any transformations his death seems not like the end but like one more start. So let’s not say goodbye. Turn up the music and celebrate a life well lived instead.

The Switch

The Christmas tree is down. The new window display is up! Our new window features a Shinola bicycle and a replica of a 1940s motoring poster. Behind it, a switch is taking place - more winter gear, more foods, more small batch tonics for your bar, new Colorado-made Topo Bags and a new line of California-made t-shirts that celebrate manual gear shift classic cars.  

A Place to Shop or Not

Andy, Laurie and photographer, Gary Spatola (in the reflection) on a warm Haddonfield day.

Andy, Laurie and photographer, Gary Spatola (in the reflection) on a warm Haddonfield day.

What do you do in South Jersey on a January weekend when it’s this warm? (Last time we checked it was 64 degrees!). You can do like our neighbors and friends in town do - drop by Trading Post for a laid-back visit. Here are a few reasons to come on over the next time you’re in Downtown Haddonfield: 

Catch up on town news with friends old and new.

Get directions to town’s best hiking trails, playgrounds, scenic side streets and more.

Play a game of chess or checkers in the big leather wingback chairs by the window.

Take a nap.

Bring your dog in for a free snack.

Have a “wee dram” of whiskey or bourbon from our complimentary bar. It’s always open as a nod to the building’s history: Gibb’s Tavern was a lively place for talk and tankards during Colonial times.

See why Trading Post is described as, “The ultimate browsing experience.” 

See you real soon!