Monday, March 02, 2009

"One New Thing....."


This winter I found myself checking out yet another new piece of outdoor gear. It has become very much a tradition of sorts . I like the anticipation of what new equipment may be introduced, the possibility of adding it to the 'collection', and enjoying the wonderment of planning where, and when, and how it will be utilized.
Then... I also found myself at home holding my old wood ice axe. To me, its age, scrapes, and beauty seem to represent it all... every step, each adventure, every mountain...
Here too is one of my scarred paddles from travels through northern lakes and over rough waters and storms. Over there, at the bottom of a stack of them, is one of my very first in a long line of packs and their descendants. Hanging from the doorknob as well is an aged piece of rope; first used when out ice climbing, and now in everyday knot practice...
Beside me is a wooden trunk where pair after pair of boots lay; from old leather to the newer fabric ones, all with so worn treads and so many stories to tell. Here too is that small tripod, first used when caving as we captured images both in depth of earth and emotion. Mixed in with the others of their kind are my compasses, used across deserts, valleys, around mountains, and over the Continental Divide many times. A few have grown those pesky bubbles inside from many cold winters breath. Standing in a corner are a few staffs - carved old wood ones and new collapsible metal ones, all with their own earned scrapes and scuffs.
In this gear room I can also feel and smell my neoprene sea kayaking stuff, and remember its comforting if damp warmth. There is my candle lantern from the latest winter camp, with the same mostly burned candle still within it. Here too are my old leather glacier sunglasses side shields used upon the Columbia Icefields. Further back on the shelf is an old stove from dog sledding among others I have saved and cherished for their reminders of places wandered and musings wondered...
Lots of old gear... so many journeys... so many memories...
And then... here too are a few of these age old cobblestones; some just cleaned, ready to be painted, others waiting patiently to be passed forward.
So that one particular new piece of gear will rest respectfully among its many elders, as I'm sure much of your favorite equipment does also, Dear Finders, all waiting patiently for their time with us out upon their own adventures.....
DSD

3 comments:

Ruth said...

Someone else is as sentimental as myself, lol. I prefer the memories and history that come with old things rather than the purchase of new things.mollano

Stewart said...

What do we do with all that old gear? We can recycle it I guess. Companies like Green Guru turn ropes into fabric and stuff. But I'm like you...I have all kinds of used gear stuffed in various bins and a trunk. Like my original Kronhofer shoes I bought in 1968, and an Edelrid rope from 1971 that saw me up the 6th ascent of Castleton, The Diamond, and El Cap, and a Joe Brown helmet that I'm wearing in a photograph from the 3rd ascent of Standing Rock. And the list goes on. Some historic gear I sold to Marty Karabin in Phoenix for his museum collection. The rest? I'll just keep them as talismans, as touchstones to take me back to another time, another place...

SummitStones said...

Just like us Ruth. :)
Recycle and reflect as like you too Stewart... Talismans, I like that!
DSD