Technology

A Retail Story in the North Woods

RR_Deb_Zappos_1We are closing out the summer in the Adirondacks. It has been a place our entire family has loved since our children were small. They learned to water ski on the lake, and we went boating every summer day in a series of classic wooden boats.

The other day, we docked at Commission Point for a picnic while our younger son created a piece of nature art he titled the “Mushroom Tipi,” made of found materials in the woods. Then we took a hike on the lakeshore pathway, heading north on the eastern side of the lake.  It was a beautiful day, puddles of sunlight streamed onto the soft, silent pine needle pathway. The lake dazzled to the left of us with its brilliant reflection of sunlight. And the forest we were walking deeper into was a thousand shades of green; the white and grey granite boulders proudly bordering the path.

We walked for a couple of miles to Black Mountain Point, a popular place to pick up trailheads to the challenging, but extraordinary hikes up into the mountains.  At the Point, we sat on the rocks overlooking this amazing glacial lake with its verdant tree laden shoreline dipping into the water.  It is God’s country.  For us, it has been a place to be our best selves, when we are connected to the only thing that really matters, the natural world.  But prosaic ideas aside, we just looked at the lake, mesmerized by the setting sun behind the mountains.

We finally roused ourselves and prepared to hike back. Our son, sitting on the picnic table in the shade, showed us his hiking sandals.  They had totally, completely and irrevocably fallen apart.  We were miles from our boat, and the thought of walking back barefoot, the Mohawk and Seneca aside, was not a great idea. My husband volunteered to hike back to the boat and then motor up the lake to retrieve us.

We agreed. We waited. My son and I admired the lake.  Boaters came and went. We had no idea it would take him so long to walk back to the other Point.  But were in such a beautiful place, we forgave him our normal New York City mantra “what took you so long?”

A family arrived by the tiniest boat ever. All four people looked up and down along the shoreline.  The grandfather had lost his Fitbit and the find-me app had no idea where the device was. They took five enormous logs, each the size of a two-year-old boy, and placed them into the bow of their dingy and took off to their campsite.

So while all this was happening, I went onto Zappos on my phone and ordered my son’s replacement sandals.  They said they’d deliver them to us the next day, in the somewhat middle of nowhere on the eastern shore of Lake George, via UPS.

How is that possible? But it was, and that’s what has changed the game forever.RR_Deb_Zappos_2

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