AHHH!!! So after months of intermittent electronic correspondence with three of my friends from college, I’m finally at the airport on my way to LA to meet up with them… And by them I mean, Davide, who I visited India with last year, Noah, who’s known as my “Pop’s” in some circles (even though he’s younger than me), and Tom, who’s best described as a modernized version of George of the Jungle.
I’m not sure what else to say or where to start, probably because so little is already planned. We know we’re going to Peru. We’re going to hike Machu Picchu. We’re going to go to Lake Titicaca and hang out with some Uros on ancient man made reed islands. And after that we should find our way to some UFO landing strips known as the Nazca Lines. Other than that… We get there on the 21st… Come home on the 7th(?)… And are going to have a blast.
We’ve had lots of talks back and forth over the months on how much gear we want to bring. We’ve all agreed that we want to stay on the cheap, so avoiding hotels and even hostels when we can in favor of camping, so there are definitely sleeping bags in our packs. We’ve talked about going a light weight as just bivvy sacks and a single tarp for the 4 of us, and contemplated using tents. All of this probably would have gone really smoothly but Dave and Noah were on tour for the last month or so (just getting back tonight!), and so its been hard to get a hold of them, and so I haven’t a clue what I’ll need on this trip. Which leaves me with a dilemma.. What to pack?..
My answer? EVERY THING! Hah. I don’t think that I’ve ever packed this much stuff. At the check in counter I weighed 2 bags and a carry-on at a little over 100 lbs! I doubt I’ll take even 1/3 of this gear, but its best to have it all with me and be able to choose what to take from LA. I’ve got a tent, a bivvy, a tarp, 3 big packs, and 2 day bags, 5 water bottles, a camel back, stove, pots and pans…. you’ve got the picture. A lot of stuff.
Speaking of the stove. My fuel bottle for this was probably 1/2 full from my last camping trip, and when I got to my house I asked my dad if it was ok to dump it into my gas tank since I wasn’t sure if it was gasoline or Coleman’s white fuel. He basically called me a fool (rightfully so) for chancing risking ruining my car for a dollar’s worth fuel, and so I was going to dump it out. This is when I got side tracked of course and thought it’d be a good idea to take a picture of myself for the side of the milk cartons in case I go missing, and help my dad out with emailing some images to someone.
So there the bright red bottle is on the side of my bag as I ride to the airport, still 1/2 filled with fuel. I think of the best ways to dispose of this petroleum based liquid, but most of them end up with me getting arrested for trying to plant a bomb in the bushes outside the entry way.
When I got off of the bus, there was an elderly airport security officer in his bright yellow rain jacket and thick glasses, who I’m hesitant about asking what to do with this in fear that he might take it the wrong way and think I’m trying to pull something fishy. I figured this was better than lugging the bottle all around the airport with me and so I made up a small white lie and said that I was just going home after a camping trip and needed to get rid of it. I asked if I could pour it in a trash can or on a street drain, but he said that people throw so many cigarettes around there that that wasn’t a good idea. He said not to say that I heard it from him, but that I could just dump it down the drain in the bath room, which was what I had come up with as well, but also saw the off chance of someone thinking I was pulling the old ‘cherry bomb’ in the bathroom trick, so was glad to have someone that if worst came to worse that I might be able to fall back on to verify that I wasn’t a terrorist.
That was about it for excitement thus far. But that’s not a bad start for a rainy afternoon in a small New Hampshire airport. The people watching’s been good. Most entertaining has been a woman in her late 20’s/early 30’s who was sitting across from me. She was holding a magazine open and a bag of chips in one hand and stuffing them into her mouth with the other, the crumbs of which would fall onto her baby which was securely tied around her neck. This and the free wireless internet available here (WOO!) kept me entertained as I talked online and told my friends about the woman with the baby necklace.
All this while I’m supposed to be writing my last spec for work before leaving for vacation. Not as productive as an afternoon as I was planning but pretty good all the same. I’ve been so stressed about everything lately that it feels good to be able to sit back, relax, and just enjoy the little things in life. I made a few phone calls, heard from an old friend from high school, who I’ll unfortunately miss tonight (he’s just home for the holidays), and squeezed in a small amount work to boot, (not to mention writing this post).
And now they are boarding for my flight so off I go!