The Mill

Over two years have passed since the release of the Expedition — our first collaboration with Rogue Territory. A milestone for the Los Angeles brand, the Expedition marked the first unsanforized jeans produced by Rogue Territory, as well as the most textured. These two characteristics became hallmarks of the Expedition Series, alongside the signature ocean soak — a tribute to traditional Tenpi wash treatments of Japan. The second installment builds upon this legacy with an incredibly textured unsanforized indigo-grey fabric, custom collaboration detailing, and a soak location deep in the heart of Washington’s Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

With the Blue Owl showroom and offices closed for the day, we packed up 40 pairs and drove North into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Upon exiting the freeway, we trekked down winding forest service roads until we arrived at our destination. Baker Lake sits in the shadow of Mount Baker, southwest of the North Cascades. Nestled in the heart of the valley, the picturesque lake is a popular destination for fishing and camping, and serves as a regular setting for Boy Scout troops looking to earn their merit badges. Despite its scenic reputation, we arrived to find the beach clouded in fog, punctuated by stumps of recently cut trees. Foregoing all common sense directing us to find a spot more easily photographed, we stayed, and once the jeans were being prepped on the beach the fog started to lift. Seeing Mount Baker emerge against a bluebird sky was jaw-dropping.

One by one, each of the 40 pairs were tossed to Alex and Nate, the two Blue Owl employees brave enough to endure the frigid alpine water. While summer may have been ideal for swimming, the autumn colors provided the landscape with a spectacular character. As the soaking concluded, the jeans were laid out in the sun to dry, until they were packed up and stuffed in the back of Jay’s trusty Jeep Liberty.

We began the drive back up along the forest roads, admiring how much the change in weather had transformed the forest. Through Alex's knowledge of the surrounding area, we found our way over to The Net — one of Western Washington’s premiere roadside burger spots, where the milkshakes are pure artistry. After gulping down a seemingly never-ending supply of onion rings, we made the long sleepy drive back to our Seattle offices. Upon arrival, the jeans were rinsed in the shower and hung to dry, turning our office bathtub an indigo color dark enough to be mistaken for squid ink.

As with the first installment in the Expedition Series, these special pre-soaked jeans come with a number of additional items to commemorate the release. This package pulls inspiration from classic Boy Scout uniforms through a series of three custom embroidered scout style patches, a stainless laser-engraved RGTxBOW camping mug, a commemorative art print featuring the Baker Lake landscape, and of course, the gratitude of the Blue Owl Workshop team, who’s soaking efforts nearly resulted in two employees with hypothermia. We hope you enjoy the Rogue Territory x Blue Owl Workshop Expedition 2.

PS. While Alex's wading gaiters confined him to shallow depths of the lake, Nate’s neoprene wetsuit made for infinite amount of swimming possibilities, allowing Nate to take his love for denim deep underwater. While typically thorough, our post-soak count on the beach yielded something peculiar; a count of 39 pairs, one pair short. We insisted our count (Alex) to be wrong and headed home, only to confirm that we were in fact short one pair — a size 32 SK at the bottom of Baker Lake. If you'd like to take a plunge, the pair is all yours. Happy hunting!
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