Traveling with the TARDIS

traveling tardisNow my training is complete.

Okay, sure, I’m mixing my sci-fi references there, but it’s a free-form blog here at JMD.com so run with it.

I’ve taken up the final phase in my training for my various national park stops on the GNABRT.  I have added the backpack to my daily walks.  This has led to some interesting discoveries, but first, a bit about the backpack.

Over the years in Corporate America, I attended many charity functions, some of which included activities and/or more than one day of travel.

It seems a bit paradoxical to receive gifts for something ostensibly designed for giving donations, but that is likely the “hook” to gain higher participation (otherwise, why not simply donate from home?).

Most of the stuff I received I managed to either give away to family and friends or donate to charities.  One piece that stuck in my closet was a big backpack.  I assumed it would eventually go to one of my nieces, but they ended up picking up their own.  Fate, it would seem, had understood my future better than I.

The first thing I noticed about this backpack is that it was bigger on the inside (yeah, now you’re catching on).  It had pockets galore and the pockets had pockets.  Crazy stuff.

The next thing I noticed is that it was really well-built.  Not like those book bags or knapsacks I had when I was young (with the thin, shoulder-biting straps).  This puppy had a reinforced and cushioned back and thick padded straps.

Trying it on the first walk was different.  It was heavy (compared to nothing), but not so heavy as to be disturbing.  Support or no, though, it definitely was more sweaty on the back.

It was also more restrictive.  Regarding the aforementioned sweaty, there was a bit less freedom of my arms, too, so I could no longer simply swipe my brow or face as I sweated.  I figured out a way to use my other hand to wipe with my sleeve (desperation being the mother, and all that).  Plus, what to do with those straps with the plastic holes?

Also, in between tunes, I could hear the sounds of the backpack and it was surprisingly noisy, from swishes to squishes.

My first tests have been lightly encumbered, just my iPhone and a water bottle.  In my remaining few weeks, I’ll add more stuff (sketchbook, jacket, bags of stuff to simulate food).

Hopefully, all this prep will enable me to concentrate simply on the sights around me and, of course, the structure of the climb itself.

I wouldn’t say no to a sonic screwdriver (the pack has a perfect pocket for it), but that’s likely a story for another time.

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