This Is It! By Tim Hodson

Spring is just days away. By now, I am sure your greenhouses are buzzing with activity as you begin to pack the benches with all your latest varieties for the 2008 season.

But March is also a time for many of you to do another type of packing — your luggage — for the 2008 edition of the California Pack Trials. This year’s official Pack Trials dates are March 29 to April 6.

Team GPN is ready, too. We’ve purchased our plane tickets, made our hotel reservations and set up all of our appointments, so at the end of the monthÉ “California, here we come!” It’s a major undertaking for all six of us that go, but the information we gather during our week on the coast is invaluable.

If you are planning to attend Pack Trials later this month but haven’t finalized your plans, we can help! If you still need to make your appointments and aren’t really sure where you need to go, check out the Pack Trials Zone on our newly redesigned website.

Just go to and click the “2008 Pack Trials” zone on the right-hand side of the page. This will lead you to the electronic version of our 2008 Pack Trials Companion.

In the Pack Trials zone, you will find everything you need to navigate the Golden State, including all of the addresses, phone numbers and maps to this year’s locations. We have also included listings for some of the hotels near these locations along with some dining options to consider.

Our Pack Trials Zone also contains links to all of the articles on Pack Trials that have appeared in the pages of GPN since 2002.

Keep an eye out for the GPN staff on the California highways, at the breeder display sites or at some of the hotels and restaurants listed in the Pack Trials Zone. The editorial staff would love to hear from you while you are at Pack Trials. I am curious to know what you think of Pack Trials this year, so send your thoughts, ideas and anything else that crosses your mind during your California adventure to [email protected]

We also want to add to our restaurant and hotel listings for next year. So if you find a delicious restaurant or a hotel that really makes you feel at home, feel free to send me your recommendations. We will try to get them into the 2009 Pack Trials Companion and the website’s zone.

Travel safely, and maybe we’ll see you in California!

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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