Here is part one of a ten-part series about my "backpacking" adventure (or misadventure) with my photography friends Dave and Eric. This all happened last September, 2015... but took me up until now to jot it down. Enjoy!
Part I: The Idea
It was supposed to be a two-day backpacking trip through the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area with Dave and Eric. To be honest, I was humbled when they asked me along. Not only did I lack the gear for such an expedition, I also lacked the experience.
“What should I bring?”
“Where am I gunna get a sleeping bag?”
“What’re we gunna eat?”
“What will we do if it rains?”
With all these questions, Eric, the wise and noble backpacking aficionado, nodded his head and said simply, “All will be answered in time.”
Actually that’s not true. But he did say something to the effect of “Don’t worry,” and “We got this.”
“Are you sure you want me coming along?” I asked. “I have nothing. Not even a sleeping bag.”
“Oh you have to go,” he said.
And so I had to go.
The sleeping bag came easily enough. His mom had the perfect one—a bag that was guaranteed to keep me warm down to 28 degrees and would smash down to the size of a peanut. Then there was the backpack. I didn’t have one, and neither did Dave. But Eric had a spare one for Dave and I had $60 credit at Bookman’s Sports. So I went shopping and found the perfect pack there. It was about triple the size of my day pack and had an inside frame. Best of all, it cost me nothing.
When I showed Eric my proud acquisition, he took a considerable amount of time turning it this way and that, examining the different compartments and strings, unfastening and then refastening the clips, scratching his scraggly beard, and mulling. Eric does that a lot. He’s a muller. I’m not sure if that’s a word, but even if it’s not it’s still a good one for Eric. In the 12 months that I’ve known him he’s mulled over nearly everything I’ve asked him to help me with: my car, my bike, filling my backyard pond with dirt, and now this pack.
So after considerable mulling, he turned to me and said, “It’s a little small, but it’ll be okay.” And then he smiled a rather unconvincing smile and said, “It’ll be great.”
He was probably thinking about all the extra weight he and Dave were going to have to carry since my pack wouldn’t fit anything except my personal necessities. The rest would be packed by them.
It was all part of my diabolical plan.