Fall blew in this weekend, both on the calendar and in the feel of the weather. Dog and I took advantage of the cooler temperatures to get ready for our hike, in two weeks, of Pa.’s West Rim Trail, a 30-mile walk. Now that I’m an older backpacker, Dog carries some of the weight that I used to. So he’s carrying his food and the water, which should, I hope, make the trip a little easier for me. So this weekend Dog practiced with his pack—weighted down this time—and I started centralizing my backpacking equipment. This means everything that I’ve centralized so far is sitting in a pile in the middle of the cabin.
In addition to my aging body, I also have an aging brain, and I’m afraid if I don’t have the pile in front of me, I’ll forget something. Even though my hiking poles are by the front door, I’m afraid that if they’re not on the pile, they will be forgotten when it comes time to load the car. So for the next 12 days I’ll be walking around the pile, until I’m satisfied that I have everything. Then the pile will go into the backpack. The only other alternative is to pack now, forget what I’ve already packed, and then dump everything out of the pack multiple times until it’s time to leave. I have done this trick before, and I think the pile is preferable to the time wasted plunging into the depths of the pack. You see? I am trainable!!