Even on the Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Canada to Mexico you will find a wide variety of personalities and styles. It added a little interest to my recent hundred mile walk on the trail to observe trail styles.
There are 4 categories of hikers on the trail:
- Section hikers
Their gear and outfits tell a lot about them.
Throughers are attempting the whole trail either north or southbound. You can usually tell them by their stick thin yet muscular figures (eating enough calories to walk 20-40 miles a day is a tough job) and smaller packs. Most of these folks wear low hikers, running shoes or (hard for me to believe) sandals. Attire and personal hygiene varies greatly. There are the folks who embrace the trail and leave behind the razors and combs (which is my personal trail style). This year I saw a fair number of long hair and long bearded men and one woman who had chosen to leave the razor behind – she had the most bold style with a lovely shade of purple hair and long leg hair that had a marvelous striped pattern.
Then there are the people who are nattily attired in their lightweight camping shirts, hats and pants that screen them from the sun and bugs. Most carry a packable down coat for the times when it is cold. And they can probably leave their bug juice and sunscreen home. I admire these people and may even try out their style one year. When I see them they look freshly laundered and groomed no matter how deep in the woods they are.
Section hikers (like myself) and lashers (long ass section hikers) tend to dress like the throughers only the beards and hair are shorter.
There is a catergory in the section hikers who are brand new hikers. You can tell them because none of their equipment is dirty or worn yet and they may be traveling slower than I am! There were a lot of these folks doing the timber ridge trail this year. Welcome! May your packs get a lot of use!
Dayhikers also have varied attire. There are the spandex suited running crowd carrying no packs and timing themselves on their 50 plus mile runs. (I will never be in this group).
There are more camp shirts and pants and there is the general tourist crowd wearing cotton shirts and jogging shoes.As they are Freshly showered and shaved and have a cold beer waiting for them at the end, I envy them.
Here is what I saw that was different on the trail:
- Neon sleeping bags – I only saw two and that may be because they had chosen to sleep under the stars and were quite noticeable in the meadow as we hiked by. I can see this would be a big advantage in a snowstorm or other weather event. It would be much easier to find you and your bag. I found some similar bags here at Moosejaw. Neon green sleeping bags
- Purple hiking boots
I found these at hiking boots .com purple hiking boots
- Retro style – back to the camp shirts and zip off cargo pants for hiking. This long sleeved women’s shirt with pockets also has built in sun shade to protect you from the sun.
I found it here at REI.com sunscreen camp shirts and found some zip off cargo pants with insect repellent built in here cargo pants with insect repellant
Last bit of eye catching trail style was the mother of the bride dress we saw while inadvertently semi crashing a bridal reception at Timber Line Lodge.
It was similar to this dress
only sleeveless and with silver instead of black detail worn by an elegant woman with a glorious head of silver hair. image from https://www.ebay.com/i/273013350286?chn=ps
What is your trail style?
In January we went to a portion of the West Seattle Art Walk. We started a little late and only made it to three businesses. After the event I marveled at the way these small business owners, artists and musicians had put themselves out there, exposing themselves and bringing their gift out into the world.
Our first stop was Viscon Cellars https://www.visconcellars.com/. This small winemaker has been producing wine since 2004. I believe this tasting room on California Ave has been open since 2014. The tasting pours were presented by the owner himself. A very personable and talented wine maker Ben was enthusiastic and described in great detail the blends used to create the wines we were presented. The one I remember the most is the Rhyme/Reason Syrah which used co-fermented viognier 5% and Syrah 95%. It tasted fabulous but the reason I remember it is the fact that I had never heard of a white and a red blended together. It apparently is a technique used in France but not used elsewhere very often. I love learning something new. We went home with a bottle of viognier to go with our salmon dinner.We also bought it because of the very attractive label and the story behind it.
Artist Greta Musland http://www.gretamusland.com/ was displaying her work at Viscon. She is currently using acrylic paints on one side of the canvas and an encaustic (wax process) on the other. Her portraits of urban wild animals were delightful. She has been allowing herself to be an artist for about 10 years. I find it fascinating to consider what would happen if we all allowed ourselves to be what we want to be instead of what society, family etc thinks we should be. One CAN dare to dream.
Next stop was http://cannawestseattle.com. They were displaying beautiful photographs of a wandering traveler. The one that caught my eye was of a camel in front of a beautiful body of water with arid mountains on the other side. There was a horizantal stripe effect in the composition that was dramatic. Unfortunately I can’t tell you who the photographer was since there is no link on there website to the artist and my memory is not that good. A traveling photographer journeying to exotic locales and a cannabis company taking a chance in the current state of legal affairs are both putting themselves out there.
Final stop of the evening was at C and P Coffee where it was open mike night. We caught the last 4 performances of the evening – all guitar and vocal performances. The first one wrote their own songs and the other 3 played cover songs from a wide variety of known artists. I am so glad they shared their gift with us that night.
What is your gift? Are you sharing it and putting yourself out there or are you keeping it bottled up inside?
If you have been reading this you know that this blog is like the impromptu speeches I have given at Toastmasters. A challenge to myself that I don’t always succeed at, that meanders all over the place with no point. It’s purpose has been to explore my style and figure out what to do when I grow up.
Along the way I wondered if I wanted to be a personal stylist (I know pretty odd considering all those awkward photos of awkward outfits). I wondered if I could teach classes on finding your style (but that has already been done in a much better way than I could do it). Could I be a blogger that links to items I like and gets a small return? (Now we’re back to the awkward photos). For a while I experimented with a sewing blog thought. With patterns and instruction. Then I asked myself could I design women’s clothes and or patterns? Maybe but there is still a lot of learning that needs to happen there.
Then there is the question of the guilt over adding to the mounds of products we already produce and consume. I really couldn’t bring myself to add to it. Or else it was that secret fear that always lingers in the back of our heads of “I’m not good enough”.
I decided to go with the guilt. At last after a year plus of awkward writing and exploring I have decided to launch a line of up cycled and refashioned bike bags that are pretty enough to use everyday even if you don’t ride a bike. They would also work on a stroller handle or walker handle if life has taken you there. They can carry your bike equipment or your life equipment. They are designed to be easy on and easy off and bring joy to your life.
Most items are made from pound store purchases (rejects from even the thrift store) on their way to be turned into rags. I LOVE the challenge of looking at something that was once something else and turning it into a useful well loved item again. Everything gets thrown in the washer and dryer and put in a stack for future creations. It is a slow process that provides unique items.
What isn’t a pound store rescue is a remnant from a project in my life or someone else’s life. Buckles and webbing are new and I am exploring which options are most eco friendly. I recently purchased some past their prime leather coats that may provide handles or other bag pieces.
With this launch I am officially changing my blog page name to The Weekly Ride. Yet another way to walk my talk.
I’ve finally found my joy. I hope it brings you some as well.
What have you found to bring joy?
Who would guess at 59 I would still raid my dad’s closet. He is 92 and has kept everything he ever owned even though he admits he is overwhelmed by it. He is of the generation that kept everything. Even things his dad had kept and things other people gave him even though it didn’t fit him. I asked him if he wanted me to give items to the thrift store and he was pretty adamant that “no all the relatives need to be asked if they want things first.” So I dug in to see what I could find. Unfortunately I had already raided all the bowling shirts when I was a 20 something.
I did manage to find this vintage cotton bomber jacket and this spiffy vintage nylon shirt both in pretty good condition and sizes and colors that fit me. I also took an old hunting suit he wore 60 years ago and a lovely black wool overcoat that were both in sad shape. I ran them through the washer and dryer and am in the process of re purposing them into bike bags. Photos of that project next time.
Vintage shirt from dad’s closet
Vintage blue bomber jacket
I guess I am lucky to still have a dad’s closet to raid at my age.
Did you ever raid your parent’s closets when you were younger (or today)?