Unpacking just to Pack

It’s 5:47 PM on Monday. 

We got home the day before late in the evening. We dragged all the gear out of the car and deposited it in various locations throughout the house. The food stuff got placed in the kitchen, the sleeping/clothing in the home office next to the wash room, all the hiking/rafting gear is strewn around the backyard in various states of being cleaned and/or dried. Anything that doesn’t fall in those groups is anyone’s guess as to where it is. 

There is a beer on the desk as I start to filter through the mess. Clothes get heaped into the wash room and divided into different wash groups. Once the first load is started, I move onto the camping gear. Sleeping bags and pads are unpacked and placed in a loose fitting tupper box for safe storage and moved out to the gear shed. I stop at the several stations of groups in the backyard and check on their state of dryness noting what can be packed up and what needs to be rotated to lose the final bit of water. 

For the next few hours, the beer slowly gets depreciated and the gear slowly gets stowed away. It is not uncommon for the final pieces to get put away Tuesday morning before I head to work.

Music Canyon

This process of unpacking is followed closely, at least it has been for the past few months, by the opposite process of bringing everything back out of storage, re-checking its status and packing it up for the next adventure. It is so cyclical that it is engrained into the unscheduled schedule of my week. Monday/Tuesday are for gear care and storage, Thursday evening is for determining the gear needed and packing it so it is ready to go Friday evening or an early Saturday morning start.

It would probably be easier if we could just leave it all in our packs ready to go.

Mrs. Moose in the Narrows of the Muddy.

It would be much easier… 

I would leave it all packed had I not woken up to snow when I was 16. I had tagged along on an adventure with my brother-in-law that included some young scouts in typical, non-trail worthy gear. We had all pitched tents in a field in Pinto near Pine Valley. The temps dropped drastically overnight and a snow storm hit us first thing in the morning. Almost all of the scouts were awakened by the cold and then by their tents collapsing under the weight. I woke up when the sun broke through and I learned of the snow when I unzipped my tent. 

I was dry and warm because I had appropriate gear in good working order. I’ve made it point since to never skimp when purchasing or caring for a piece of equipment that could mean a great trip or being left cold and wet wondering when the suffering is going to end. So I pack and unpack and pack and unpack…

Entering the Chute.

I hope none of this comes off as complaining. To be able to spend my weekends in the search for the quiet place in my head where I feel at peace, has been huge. I’ve found that the anxiety and twitchiness of my daily life is subdued by spending a day or two night outside away from everything with my phone tucked away, on airplane mode to conserve battery and because there is no service. 

Come this Thursday, some time around 7:30 PM, I will start the process all over again. This weekend the Alliance will be doing bikey things and heading to the Rainbow Rim for a couple of days of pedaling and camping. Feel free to join us. I mean, waking up to something similar to this, is certainly worth all the effort of packing and unpacking and packing and unpacking…

Hondoo Arch

P. L. and R.

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