Thursday, May 11, 2006


Sunday, May 07, 2006


We trekked it out to Santa Monica this past weekend for the grand opening of another REI store. Managed to drop some Benjamins. Ouchie. To date we have purchased hiking boots, my backpack (tired of borrowing from friends), head lamps, first aid kit, bed liners, walking sticks for Shawn, easy wash pants for both of us, ease wash long sleeve shirt for Shawn, etc. All on sale and the backpack 20% off for members! I know what you're thinking, 'suckers'.

I include this detailed list in the hope that someone --a stranger probably -- who is doing this same trek and wonder what supplies they might need. Or someone else, either stranger or friend, who will laugh at our consumerism. By the end of this trip I imagine I will be able to say what items were unnecessary, what items were completely needed, and what items were stolen. I am reading Robert Young Peltons Dangerous Places currently and it's making me feel like a naive rich tourist-- Which in some countries I imagine I am. But in Switzerland we surely will have the cheapest shoes.

Ahh, shoes. First purchase we made, truth be told. A while back, before my first foray into Europe, I discovered the joy and necessity of well made shoes. I, along with Shawn, discovered the comfort and genius of Merrills. To this day we are still passionate believers in Merrills; yet, recently Shawn and I learned of the miraculous hiking boots produced by Asolo. Expensive, yes, but as my father always says, "you get what you pay for". And nothing is more important then shoes, right? Carry your stuff in a plastic bag, if you must, but buy great boots. The Asolo's are stiffer then Merrills but that is suppose to be a good thing. In our weekly hikes we have been breaking them in (and yes, they did join me in my free fall off the water fall). So far so good.

And clothes. Ever heard the stories about the poor hikers dying from hypothermia because they got drenched while wearing cotton? Although I have never met anyone who knows someone who died of hypothermia I'm pretty sure this isn't an urban legend. The same reason nylon or whatever saves your life is also why it's easier to bring on a hike. It dries faster. Since we are only bringing two outfits each, we will have to wash as we go.

Slowly the realization is setting in that we are actually doing this. When I feel panic I have to remind myself that hiking is essentially putting one foot in front of the other. Surely I will be able to do that....every day for 12 days at 8-10 hours a day? Surely.