Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I'll tell you what, I never expected to get trail gear at church.

Sunday was the day after Valentine's Day. The pastor made mention of love and gifts and flowers and such, and then at the end of the service surprised us (or maybe just me) by saying that they had gifts for the ladies. (Don't men get Valentine's gifts?)

Anyway, they handed all the ladies these nice little drawstring pouches made of a sturdy sheer red nylon fabric. Always alert to such things, I thought, "Ditty bag! I could use that for toiletries in my backpack!" (I'm not taking, like, a full makeup kit or anything, but toothbrush, contact solution, antiperspirant, a few things like that.)

It's even the same color as my backpack.

I saw that it had candy and a couple other things in it. I waited till I got home to look at the loot. I gave Steve the chocolate and kept the peppermints. Then looked at the rest of it.

Someone must have been collecting hotel freebies, 'cuz there were things in Crowne Plaza packages. There was a black satin eyecover (or maybe that was for Valentine's hanky-panky) and, of all things..... a pair of ear plugs!!!!

Now, if you don't know the Appalachian Trail and its shelters, let me tell you ear plugs are pretty much essential. Most of the time I'll be sleeping in my tent, but if the weather is really bad, I'll stay in a shelter. These are 3-sided lean-to's where everyone just sleeps side-by-side on the floor. Men outnumber women (as in just about any endurance athletic sport) and men snore. So anyone planning to use shelters at all generally packs a pair of ear plugs. And then there are other night sounds..... one hiker counted a whip-poor-will's reps of its piercing call at 180 before it stopped for breath. Personally I'm anxious to hear whip-poor-wills but at close range it could get tiresome, I guess.

I got a neat little drawstring ditty bag and EARPLUGS in church!! Is this God's nod of approval for my hiking plans?

Next there was a little spray bottle of something, and I said to Steve, "What's this? Bear repellent?" But it was linen spray. I won't take that.... bears like sweet-smelling stuff.

Never expected to get cool trail gear at church. Gotta wonder about that. Again.... was it a sign?


Steve said...

Coincidence? Probably not.
A creative mind at work? More likely. They call you MacGyver. God's approval? Certainly.
You mention the shelters. The ear plugs would be a real sleep saver. Another saver is a short piece of wire. 8 inches long with a loop on both ends. Use it to hang your food sack. Shelter mice won't climb down the wire to your food. At least I didn't have that happen. Whatever you heard about the mice is true. They are bold and numerous.
Sounds like you are at the final details.


A Wild Celtic Rose said...

I vote for "it's a sign"!


ShirleyPerly said...

Ha, my husband brought me home one of those little red Crowne Plaza bags. I didn't know what to do with the linen spray either. Glad you'll be making good use of the bag and earplugs.

Boots said...

so when ya leave? I know its coming up soon right? well I am getting excited for you. your backpack is great.

Anonymous said...

Na, not a coincidence! God knows you'll need those earplugs.

Great tip about the mouse proofing wire hanger. I'd be inclined to rig it up so the entire pack can hang from it. I've had chipmunks chew through zippers on a backpack to get inside.

Sunshine said...

So.. Godspeed, for sure!!