As with my last posts, I'm getting ready for my trip up the Blue Ridge Park Way. I'm hoping to spend a couple nights out on the AP Trail somewhere outside Black Mountain, NC. In the mean time I'm out with my hiking partner checking out local trails around Richmond, Va. It was a little too hot for her this time around, so I'll take her out again this fall.
James River RVA
We are on the south side of the James River near the falls jumping between rocks on pools.
I decided to buy a new pack for the trip up the Blue Ridge. I've been looking for some time at the different style and sizes of packs out there. When I backpacked Europe I took an internal frame pack and was glad I did. The support was a back saver. Since then, when I travel, I have been using an old duffel bag I got free from a girl who worked the cosmetics counter at Dillards. The bag as out lived even its creators intentions. When duct tape can no longer hold something together it is time to give it up.
Last few times I camped I used my dad's old sea bag. Plenty of room but no support. Its a great tough bag but I need something I can fit in the overhead on a plane. My new bag had to function well on short hikes for weekend camping (had to face facts that I would never do more than two days in the woods) I like the duffel style but wanted something I could throw over both shoulders.
I searched several stores and settled on a North Face bag. I thought the bag was a little small but it was rugged and waterproof. I left with out buying, thinking I would just come back the next day. It was gone. I was bummed but then I found a Gregory pack laying on a shelf with no tag. I tracked down a sales associate and he led me to the right place.
So far I have stuffed all the things I plan on bringing with me down to FL and they all fit. Along both sides of the top zipper is a thick padding for when you wear it like a back pack. I can fit a bed roll through the adjustable strap at the top. I will let you know how it worked on the trail once I get there.
So as I mentioned in my last post I will be taking a side trip on this blog and in life. I've been getting ready for the trip in usual fashion, buying a new pack and getting anything I may need out of closets and a shed.
One way to get ready for a road trip is to watch a few movies about road trips. I'm not talking about National Lampoons Vacation or any of that. Instead I chose a select three. Vanishing Point, Easy Rider and Duel. The first two films you are probably familiar with. A guy drives a white Challenger through the desert. The next, two guys ride motorcycles and drugs across the country. The third film in the marathon is a little different. Duel is a great film staring Denis Weaver. While driving home through what appears to be eastern California, cuts off a tanker truck. The truck driver does not take it so lightly. The driver begins to follow Weaver through the winding roads of the desert.
Much of the film takes place in Weaver's car through monologue. He does a lot of sweating as he speculates what the driver wants. Its a great film with a conclusion that can only go one of two ways, someone dies.
So I'm going to get personal on this post and a few coming in the next month. I speak abstractly about my past and my likes but soon I will be taking a trip through the back roads of America in my 1978 Scout II. The Scout was in my dad's barn for six years before I finally had the cash to haul it down to Orlando to a specialty shop for an overhaul. I've had the motor rebuilt and many new parts swapped.
Starting August 10th I will be driving the Scout from Daytona Beach, north to the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to Virginia. I've been planning this trip for some time and can't wait. I hope (and know) my expectations will be exceeded.
Just a quick back ground, because this Scout would not mean as much to me without it. My dad bought the truck in 1986 just after my 7th birthday. I still remember the day we took it home from a Marine named John Glenn. (Not the astronaut) I literally grew up in that truck. When I was seventeen I was offered many options to replace the Scout by my father who was not willing to give her up. Maybe if Craigslist had been around then this story would be different. As things where, Scouts where kinda hard to find and this particular model had everything but a dash clock.
Forthcoming will be pictures from the road as I travel north in my Scout with a friend of mine. We plan to avoid GPS and travel just paper maps and word of mouth. We'll see what happens.
Since this blog is mostly about my writing I will mention a project I've been scribbling down. Its a story about a truck, more specifically an IH Scout II. The Scout will journey over thirty years and exchange hands a few times. I have the outline and a general direction. I hope the open road will inspire me to finish it.