The halls of a high school are packed with nostalgia that can unleash countless memories for a ruminating graduate. Some might picture quartz tiles reflecting a bland row of lockers and an occasional mangled poster. Others might remember the friends, teammates or smile of a favorite teacher.
Chances are, if you went to high school with Colby Adamek, reminiscing might awaken a memory of the Alpaca that spent a day roaming the halls of Wenatchee High School.
The school’s guest that day was compliments of Colby and his buddies, who spent months forming a relationship with the school janitor. Simple conversation one day, a morning coffee the next helped them form the relationship they needed to pull off the school’s largest – and likely most welcomed – prank in their school’s history.
“Me and a couple of buddies released an Alpaca into the school as our senior prank,” he said. “Luckily, the Alpaca was welcomed with open arms and spent the day roaming the halls and making appearances in classrooms before we safely returned him at the end of the day.”
The months-long relationship with the janitor eventually led to an unlocked door the night of the planned heist.
“Our relationship with her helped us pull off our prank,” Colby said. “She even attended our graduation later that year for a picture with the crew!”
After his efforts to bring nature indoors that year, Colby’s high school friends wouldn’t be surprised to learn where he ended up – working for Stone Glacier, a brand that has established itself as the premium preferred choice of backcountry hunters, outfitters and guides.
In 2014, he turned down a fruit sales internship to accept an internship at Stone Glacier. As an intern, Colby developed skills in customer service, product assembly and order fulfillment. He is now the Operations Director for the company.
“I had no expectations of this becoming a career. I saw it as a temporary excuse to stay and play in Montana in an industry I was passionate about,” he said. “Working at Stone Glacier has proved to be one of my best decisions, thanks to the team we created along the way, the experiences I’ve had, and the growth opportunity as an employee. Stone Glacier is more than an organization. We’re a family.”
Colby was Stone Glacier’s second hired employee. He has been with the company for 8 years.
Like most at Stone Glacier, hunting is a passion for Colby. Most of his free time is allocated accordingly. Mule Deer hunting is a favorite, as is hunting in the mountains.
“I enjoy the solitude and the added adventure that comes with being in the backcountry,” he said.
Hunting is the passion, but Colby says he loves any opportunity that gets him to the mountains or on the water. This includes an annual tradition he has with three of his buddies: a 4+ day river trip in the summer – a 12-year tradition that has turned into one of his favorite annual adventures.
Colby also loves backpacking and spending time with his wife, Jackie, and son, Larkin. The family ventures outside often to bike, fish local rivers, take weekend camping trips, and otherwise take advantage of the outdoor activities that Bozeman, MT offers.
I wish I had a more intellectual answer to this question but if I’m being truthful, it was Gary Paulsen’s, “the hatchet”. Yes, the book that most commonly is found on middle school reading lists across the country. If there’s any justifying this, I took it with me on a recent hunt and thoroughly enjoyed the read from my backcountry camp. No shame here.
Go-to meal when you’re cooking?
I enjoy running the grill but I stay out of my wife’s way when it comes to the kitchen. She is an excellent cook and spoils us with fantastic meals. We are fortunate to keep a stocked freezer of wild game from season to season, so some fashion of elk, deer or antelope steaks usually accompany whatever my wife crafts up.
Advice to the younger you?
I would encourage my younger self to spend more time traveling out of high school and through college. It’s a rare time in life when you have few responsibilities or restraints and the memories, experiences and life lessons gained are invaluable at that age.
How you’d spend a day off with no obligations:
That would have to incorporate a road trip to small town Montana with a mid-day adventure followed by a cold beer and lunch. I have a nostalgia around early morning pit stops at the gas station in the dark hours of the morning, grabbing a coffee and a sleeve of chocolate hostess doughnuts, and ideally enjoying them on a dirt road with the window cracked as the sun rises. Pair that with a hike or bike ride with a post adventure appetite at local small-town diner… can’t beat it!
What decade do you love the most?
The 90’s. This was the sweet spot for access to modern technology before it totally controlled our daily lives and changed how we socialize. These were the good ole days where roller blades were king, frosted tips were cool, and puka shell necklaces were even cooler.
What a person needs to be happy in your opinion?
Family, friends, and the outdoors. Creating experiences with friends and loved ones is all a guy can ask for.
Key “must do’s” in your daily routine?
A cup of coffee while watching morning cartoons with my little man is an absolute certainty to everyday.
I went through a spell in college of touting around a camera pretty frequently. In the early days of Stone Glacier, I handled a lot of the product photography and was sent with a co-worker to document a sheep hunt in Alaska. A couple of those photos landed in our catalog, including the cover shot which I was very proud of!
Beverage of Choice
Breakfast: Black Coffee. Gas Station go-to: Strawberry Milk. Brewery Beer: Mad Mile Cream Ale (Bridger Brewing)
Lifelong Bucket List item?
In my late teens I got way into backpacking and even spent a summer working on a trail maintenance crew on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in which we would get sent out for 1-2 week stints cleaning, clearing and repairing trail. The trail runs from the Mexican border all the way up to the Canadian border. It has always been my goal to hike the entire trail.