I have quirky ideas. One was prompted yesterday by the knowledge I have three weeks to get used to the backpack, and to carrying items in it. So I couldn’t think of a better way to continue my ‘training’ on days I don’t hike by carrying the pack into work. My office is used to my being ‘weird’ – after all, I spend my free time outside instead of getting drunk or watching television like normal Americans do – so I didn’t get a second glance when I wore the pack to my desk. It was a light load, consisting of lunch, a few books, headphones and MP3 player, and a shirt in the bottom of the pack, but was a load and I feel it helped. My back is bad, and very bad at times, and those muscles need to get used to my Atmos.

I tried to have the pack match my attire. For some reason I couldn’t find my orange tie, so I had to coordinate with my socks. I think it worked.

Still, good as I looked, and comfortable as the pack was, I long for the day I’m not wearing a tie and loafers, but my hiking shirt and boots, and earning the description “backpacker.” That day is in three weeks.