Repost from Women, Be Wild, originally posted on 11/16/16
Just over a year ago I joined in on a volunteer tree planting project near Lake Tahoe. During the project one of the other volunteers noticed my little day pack and said "Wow, I really love your backpack." I thanked him and told him how much I love the pack too. It is the type with no internal frame so you can squish it down into your backpacking pack so you can have a day pack if you want to go on day trips during your big backpacking trips--awesome!--and the reason I bought the pack in the first place. I also love how small it is, yet I can fit everything I need into it. I use it all of the time...
As I was waxing on, he said "I mean I love how faded it is. It has really seen the outdoors. It's so sun bleached. I just bought the same pack," pointing over to a beautiful mauve pack that I couldn't believe is the same color mine once was, "I can't wait for it to look like yours!" "Wow," I said, "I guess it really has!" I had never really looked at or thought about my pack and how worn it had become over the years. Thinking back though, it has gone on many outdoor journeys and spent days out in the sun and solitude of the Nevada wilderness. My pack in it's own way is like a journal. It tells its own story of the adventures we have shared together.
Later I was thinking about my pack and what my new friend had said and it made me feel proud. It is a pretty awesome compliment and a good reminder that I have had the opportunity to do some pretty awesome things in my life. Now, when I look at my pack, which over a year later is even worse off for wear, I see it as a symbol; a dusty, stained, faded reminder of all the wonderful adventures my life has brought me. Unfortunately, I have not been so kind to my pack, but from now on I'll try to be less careless with a thing so great!
So thank you pack, for carrying me and my stuff through this crazy, wonderful journey! I'll wash you one day. Maybe.
And yes, I totally did a photo shoot with my pack at Washoe Lake!