Monday, May 17, 2010

An Unplanned Day

Well, well, well.  This day didn’t turn out anything like what we had planned.  Those silly weather people changed the forecast to 100% rain.  Now you know how I feel about hiking in the rain.  I can tolerate a little bit, but I’ve had plenty recently to last a while.  Even Gene, who will usually go no matter what, chose not to hike today.

So what to do on a rainy day?  Go shopping, of course.  All this hiking and fingering the merchandise at the vendor’s booths got me to wanting a new day pack.  The Kelty pack I normally carry is just a little large for summer hiking.  It’s great for winter--it’ll hold all kinds of jackets and fleece pants and extra shirts.  But in warm weather, I don’t need all that space.  Besides, that pack is old and all the waterproofing is worn off the inside fabric.

View from Humpback Rocks

I like Kelty packs (I have 3 of them) and I was dismayed to see that the small day packs don’t have a waist belt at all.  Gotta have a waist belt.  The next size larger has a real weight-bearing waist belt, but it is a Redwing--the same thing I have.

View from Cedar Cliffs

This morning, we went down to Rockfish Gap Outfitters to look at packs.  I pushed and pulled, zipped and unzipped just about every day pack they had on display.  I found a Vaude that felt good, had several pockets for organization, was half the size of my Redwing, and even had that new air flow through back webbing that is so popular now.  We bought the Vaude and came home.  I immediately unloaded my Redwing and packed my new pack.  The minute I put it on fully loaded, I knew I didn’t like how it felt.  I put all my stuff back in the Redwing and tried it on.  Ahhh, what a good feeling.  I switched back and forth between those packs 3 times to be sure I really didn’t like the Vaude.

Back to the Outfitter.  This time I took my Redwing with all my stuff.  I tried on several packs.  Found an Osprey that felt good fully loaded with my stuff, however, it was just too large for me.  In the end, I settled on a new Redwing.  I’m a Kelty girl, I guess.  Just love all those pockets.  It’s the same size as the old one, but at least it isn’t peeling off the waterproofing inside. It has a few new “features” which my old one doesn’t have--mesh side pockets, a water bladder pouch inside, and a map pocket.  And it’s a pretty mauve and gray.

That’s what we did today.  It was almost as good as hiking.  By the way, it has rained all day long.

The photos posted today are of views we didn’t get last week.  Last Tuesday, Gene hiked past Cedar Cliffs overlook and also over Humpback Rocks in the rain.  There were no views from either place on that day so I dug out my photos from 2008--a bright, sunny day--so you could see the views from these too fine overlooks. The AT doesn’t actually pass over Humpback Rocks.  There is a short side trail over there, but it is definitely worth the extra effort--on a sunny day.

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