I feel like we turned a corner to the start of summer this weekend. The weather was great, PirateFest happened and the annual call of REI dividends and coupons was answered. While I am not the best in the world at delayed gratification I do like to see how things can evolve some times. Several years ago I started walking/jogging/running to get off the couch and loose some weight. I then decided I had a bunch of AmEx points from countless expense reports so why not trade them in on a bike. And then if you are running and biking, all you need is a place to swim… see how it goes?
A couple years ago I found the wonder that is REI and had a grand time with Mary (probably my favorite salesperson ever) and got kitted out for car camping. Honestly, I am not the ultralight/through hiker type. Beer is too heavy to carry and too precious to leave behind. (Which reminds me of a good AT story. Remind me and I will you about that some time.) So for the past couple years I have been having fun camping around eastern Carolina, out on the Outer Banks and random other places. But lately the pull of evolution has been felt. I don’t want to hike the mountains to coast trail (well, yet, anyway) but a hike here or there might be nice. And some thing to carry some change of weather clothes and my cameras might be nice. And lunch. And… well you get the picture.
And so, dividend and coupon in hand I was off for pack shopping. And I feel like I got a good deal. I picked up a nice Osprey Kestrel 38 liter pack and stopped off at Umstead State Park for a test hike. I stuffed cameras and some extra clothes in the pack and headed out on a nice 4 mile loop. I think this is going to work out just fine. So this year I intend to range a little farther from the camp site (which I am now calling base camp in my head), head out for some day hikes and explore more. Maybe even get brave and try an overnight. Or maybe I will leave that for next summer.
What are you expanding too this summer?