Why I travel ….


I’m back home safe and sound.

For those of you who didn’t even notice I was gone, I’ve been in Verona New York (up State) for the New York State Association of Fire Chief’s Fire 2013 Expo!

As always, I was with Zach Green and my MN8 Fox Fire family. It was a GREAT show!

I always get asked why I travel so much. Why I enjoy going to these shows and exactly what is “it” that keeps me going back. The answer to that is simple …. it’s THE PEOPLE!

We always meet so many GREAT Brothers and Sisters at these events. I guess we call it “networking” now but the opportunity to meet, talk with and share information (and the brotherhood) with these folks is invaluable. I learn something from every trip we take but more so, I make life long friends and get to share and spread the Brotherhood.

Before I even left, I posted on Face Book that I was heading North.

Within minutes, I was getting messages with invitations to stop by this station or that one. To meet this Brother or that for lunch etc. It always amazes me and is very humbling that these Brothers and Sisters openly invite me in.

I did make a stop on this trip beyond my regulars. On the way up I-81 I dropped in on the Riverheads VFD.

Brother Chris Botkin invited me out and gave me a great tour of their station and rigs. I could see the PRIDE these Brothers have for the job by the way they kept the house and their rigs. Thanks to Chris for inviting me out. I wish I had longer to stay by the short rest was needed and very welcomed.

Find Riverheads VFD on Face Book HERE

Follow Ironfiremen.com on Face Book HERE

After the first day of the show, Mike France and the Capitol Region Fools (find them on Face Book HERE) invited us out for a “meet-up”.

This was another GREAT group of Brothers and Sisters that I really enjoyed meeting and spending some time with.

The good news is that I’m going to get to see them again and spend even more time with them. They have booked me and Rhett to speak at one of their upcoming events this September.

We will be delivering an 8 hour presentation on a variety of topics. I should be very interesting and Rhett and I are both very excited to be presenting for this group.

Get me and Rhett to speak at your event. Click HERE

As usual, we were very busy in the booth…. we always are and for several reasons.

“The most interesting man in the world” was there for one reason and that guy from the Dos Equis beer commercials made an appearance as well.

LOL … all kidding aside, we are always busy because the product is that good. For us it’s all about firefighter safety. About increasing your visibility, aiding in your accountability and decreasing your chances of becoming disoriented.

If you’ve never seen the product in person, you need to. We can’t effectively explain what it is and how it works. Contact us through our web site or via Face book to find a dealer near you.

Visit MN8 Fox Fire Web Site and Face Book 

As hard as we work in the booth … we play and rest with just as much vigor afterwards.

There are always a group of old friends and “regular” show attendees / vendors that we are able to catch up with at each show. This event was no different.

Clayton Murphy from Crosstitched was there. If you’ve never seen Clayton’s work, that the time to hit the link I provided. Clayton is a class act and it’s evident in his work. Even the boxes he ships in will make an impression on you … trust me.

Paul Hassenmeier from First Due Tackle was there as was Tiger Schmittendorf. Tiger is well known for his work and many of the web sites he runs such as Fire Recruiter, Run to the Curb, Firefighter Story Tellers and Tiger Schmittendorf.com

He’s a plethora of knowledge and always a BLAST to hang out with.  It was good to be able to spend some time with him once again.

I should also mention Bryan Sypniewski and Dolores Bochenek. They are both part of our “Boots on the Street” team who helped work the booth this weekend and they did an AWESOME job!

Like I said, beyond our team, family and long time friends, it’s always good to meet new Brothers and Sisters for the first time. Some many people came up to speak to me this weekend that I could never mention them all.

Everyone offers words of encouragement, condolences and appreciation. Again I’ll say it humbling… VERY humbling. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to talk to me.

I remember you all and several stand out. One of those stand outs was Dave Hitt from Vestal New York. We have been talking to Dave on Face Book for a while now and we were all very excited to meet him in person.

Dave even wrote a blog post about the expo and our visit. Check it out here … Through the Smoke

Special Thanks to Dave for the “shout out” in his post but more importantly for taking the time to drop by the booth and say hello.

Thanks as well (and again) to everyone who took the time to drop by or hang around and chat. If you took a photo of us, please remember to “tag” me in them if you post to Face Book.

I hated to leave but Sunday was Fathers Day and I made it back just in time.

I got to spend a little time with the Buckaroo before heading out to spend a little with Pop.

I have to admit that even as tired as I was, it was very relaxing spending time with dad and the boys of Nothin Fancy .

The boys were up in nearby Floyd County Va playing a few bluegrass tunes for the folks. If you’re a Bluegrass fan and have never heard of Nothin Fancy be sure to use these links and check them out… you’re gonna LOVE em!

Nothin Fancy on the web, Nothin Fancy on Face Book










It was an outside venue and VERY relaxing. It’s always good to be out with friends and family and it tied up my weekend very nicely.

Besides the great music, there is a very nice restaurant nearby and all sorts of other activities to get into.

Apparently, they even had a face painting booth. Looks like my wife found out where it was. Mustache envy knows no boundaries …. just look at her face … GUILTY!  LOL

I hope you all enjoyed your Fathers Day as much as I did mine. If this rain ever quits, I’ll be back in the hay field until about Christmas. Meanwhile, I’ll try to get back to ya as soon as possible. Until I do … stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines