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My OR Adventure: Trying to Get There

by Alicia MacLeay
August 9, 2007

In just a half hour (9 a.m. SLC time) the doors to the Salt Palace will open and throngs of gear hounds will push their way inside in the hopes of cool swag and general gear excitement. What will be the buzz at Outdoor Retailer this year? I can hardly wait to find out.

Unfortunately, I will not be in that throng this morning. I'm back at the Portland, Maine, airport this morning, for the second time in 24 hours. I could sit here and grouse about thunderstorms and spending six hours at an airport and three in a car to find myself back home last night. But I won’t, really.

Instead, I’ll share a few observations (on gear and otherwise) from the last 24 hours:

  1. If your name is Bush and you fly on a large white and blue airplane emblazoned with “United States of America” and want to visit your family in Kennebunkport and have lunch with the French president it doesn’t matter what’s happening with thunderstorms in New York. You’ll get wherever you want to go. Sure beats JetBlue.

  2. The best electrical outlet is in the first pay telephone, which no one uses. It has a seat and a little table. It’s like my own office cube, except for the kid throwing paper airplanes at my head.

  3. The right gear is important in all of life’s adventures. I really like my Osprey Astro messenger bag. Osprey’s recycled packs and bags were an exciting find at last winter’s Outdoor Retailer. I’ve been putting the Astro through its paces and it is holding up quite well. It also looks good.

  4. My L.L. Bean Quickload Upright Duffle rolls quite nicely and has a conveniently huge opening, so TSA can easily look through it and find the box of business cards causing trouble on the scanner.

  5. Patagonia's Inter-Continental Pants are excellent, for hiking or travel.

  6. Pack a pillow for traveling. It's better than buying an over-priced one at an airport shop and there are lots of camp and backpack ones to choose from, so you can use it on the trail too. I've got the Kelty Luxury in my carry-on.

Here’s hoping I’ll be part of the throng boarding a plane very shortly and that I'll have some OR gear news for you very soon. Stay tuned.