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Hats off to you

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

One of the things I’ll be doing in Peru is a 5 day, 62km hike to a set of Inca ruins called Choquequirao.  When I emailed one of the guys who offers guided trips to Choquequirao, he passed along a number of tips about doing the hike.  One of those tips was “bring the widest brim sun hat you can.”  The guide wrote that, “it is ferociously hot during the day if the sun is out. Stress ferociously!”

So that’s how I ended up at REI in downtown Portland shopping for sun hats.  Now let me tell you, wearing a hat in the blistering sun of the Andean Mountains is one thing.  But trying on sun hats in an urban Amercian city is another thing altogether.  More to the point, it’s impossible to wear a hat like this at REI(or your dining room) and not feel like a jackass:


The purchasing process inevitably comes to that moment where you ask the person next to you, “how do I look in this?”  And in this case, there is no good answer to that question.  You simply press on, comforted by the fact that you will be shielded from the sun and reassured by your knowledge that the photo above is already how Peruvians view Americans.  You’re just part of the status quo.

Gearing up

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

What was it the Boy Scouts were always preaching?  “Down with the gays!?”  No, not that one.  “Be Prepared?”  Yea, that’s the one.

Well, it’s always struck me as a bit odd that when you’re gearing up for a trip, the smallest discoveries seem so exciting.  Just when I thought I was gonna have to lug a half-used roll of toilet paper to South America, today Fred Meyer introduced me to “Charmin To Go.”


I’m not entirely ready for the trip, but it’s pretty safe to say that my ass is ready to go.