I opened the National Geographic to a spread of the Grand Canyon wall, and scared myself. To get a grip, and keep my promise, I adopted the mantra, "I think I can."
As word of our hike spread throughout the community, gear appeared: a pith helmet, WWII spats, a knife made from a downed B52 bomber, an aluminum backpack, a canteen, a sleeping bag, and a thinsulate pad to put under it. Papa made my most valuable tool by stripping and shelacing a four-foot pine tree, affixing a rubber tip on one end, and a leather strap handle on the other.
Someone asked if I would carry a gun. What if we ran into a motorcycle gang? The trail is for hiking not biking. No, I wouldn't carry a gun. With a twinkle in his eye, a friend brought a coonskin cap complete with tail and horns and a small bag of wheat. The cap was a bear and buffalo repellent he'd had for years and it worked, but what about the wheat?
copyright 2005 Red Convertible Travel Series