The travel bags have been taken out of storage and are now parked in the living room, awaiting deposits of software and hardware - clothing and gear. Every now and again an item gets tossed on them, at them, near them. An attempt to assure its inclusion in one of the bags. But of course, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. When it comes down to the final pack, some previously deemed essential items just don't make the cut.
The old blue-green travel pack, having passed the test pack with flying colours a few days ago, does have a secured reservation on this journey. It may look like just any old fabric suitcase, but unzip the backside and there's a sturdy backpack frame with all the requisite pads and harnesses.
This intrepid traveller could tell a tale or three about the places it's been. From atop a shelf at Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) in Toronto, this Canadian made rugged beauty began its adventures with me in 1996 with an epic family trip to Europe.
Vienna, Innsbruck, Munich, Koln, Amsterdam and London were followed in subsequent years by Mexico, St. Lucia, Alaska, and Spain before hibernating for a few years while newer luggage took up the duties. But the blue-green bag was never forgotten and when another epic journey came into view in 2008, it was once again pressed into service. This time it was a land and sea voyage via the Panama Canal to South America, including Nazca, Cusco, Machu Picchu then around Cape Horn to Buenos Aires.
Now here we are once again getting ready to head out on a trip of a lifetime, this time to Darwin's playground, the Galapagos Islands, and of course old faithful, the blue-green travel pack, will hold all - well most at least of my stuff. From wet suit, fins, mask and snorkel to drug bag and first aid kit; from collapsible trekking pole, bug spray and sunscreen to my clothes for three weeks and a bottle of biodegradable laundry detergent, all will find the perfect spot within the fabric grotto.
The sturdy zippers sing with delight as the old bag murmurs, "miles to go before I sleep; miles to go."
©2015 April Hoeller