Friday, September 11, 2015
I made it home with no serious hiccups but my big rolling duffle went walkabout. PenAir decided that they needed to lighten the load by a couple-hundred pounds before we lifted off from Dillingham and I won the “left behind” lottery. It’s a sick feeling to be left standing at the luggage conveyor, watching that last sad bag (someone else’s) circle over and over and over again.
Sud'bá, my friend Will would say. My destiny.
After leaving my forwarding info with Baggage Control, I moved on with just my carry-ons, back through security, and settled in at the gate for my next leg. With a couple of hours till liftoff, and my confidence shaken in luggage logistics, I started a list of the contents of the REI duffle. Just in case.
It turned into a challenge, a game, to remember it all. Exercise for this old brain. And since I’ve written it down, I thought I might share it here. Just for grins.
So here's what came back from Alaska:
Simms G3 Waders – Lived in them. Friggin’ bulletproof.
Simms Guide Jacket – See above
Simms G4 Boots – See above
Redington Sonicdry Wading Pants – Seriously Comfy. Wear them whenever I can. Didn't.
Simms Vapor Boots – See above.
Patagonia Stormfront Roll Top Pack – Best piece of new gear of the trip. Stuff stayed dry.
SmithFly Digi-Pouch – Kept the SLR handy and dry
SmithFly 3X Pouch - Catch-all for small gear. Solid.
Simms Guide Vest – Didn’t use this trip. Guides had it under control.
Folstaf Wading Staff – I don’t leave home without it
Socks (REI, Wigwam, Swiftwick, Simms) – MUST have fresh socks. Carried a wad!
Quick-dry underwear (REI, Patagonia) – Absolutely critical
Boxers (Old Navy) – Comfort around the lodge and when sleeping
REI Midweight Baselayer Pants – Because it’s good to be warm
Select Soccer Warmup Pants – See above
REI Light Poly Baselayer Shirt – See above
Redington SonicDry Baselayer Shirt – See above
UnderArmour ColdGear Baselayer Shirt – See above
Simms Merino Wool Light Sweater – See above
Northface Windwall Fleece Jacket – See above
Allsport Heavy Fleece Pullover – My son’s. A very special warmth, and a tear or two.
Orvis Fingerless Fleece Gloves – Keeping the digits warm
Manzella Light Gloves – See above
Fleece-lined Stocking Hat – Keeping the ears warm
Columbia PFG Quick Dry Pants – Because I generally don’t travel/fish in anything else
REI Sahara Shirt – See above
Levi’s 527 Jeans – For kicking around the lodge
Howler Brothers Longsleeve Loggerhead Shirt – See above
Fiberglass Manifesto Retro Fly Longsleeve Shirt – Sleep shirt. Best logo in the industry.
Tilley Hat – Old school. In case of sun. It could happen.
Nylon Belt – No sagging allowed
Bathroom Kit – Travel necessity
Fireball Cinnamon Whisky (2 bottles) – See above
Those were the things I remembered and wrote down. I’m proud to say that I only failed to recall three items:
Book – Corman McCarthy’s Blood Meridian
Sony Digital Voice Recorder – You can’t always write shit down
Nestle Hot Chocolate Packages – Good with a little Fireball in it
Not bad for an old man with mush for memory. But I must admit, as long as it took me to decide what to take, and to pack it, I should have been able to recall it all. And though the list is long (and I carried more than a few “splurge” items), I stayed under my fifty-pound limit. Given my penchant for over packing, that’s pretty amazing.
So. What’s in YOUR bag?
Note: It all worked out in the end. No need to haggle over the list of items. The duffle made it's way home, a day later. Just long enough to insure that everything inside smelled plenty ripe.
Another note: Of course, I carried-on my fishing gear. You can take my clothes and leave them where you will, but the fly rods are coming with me. Maybe I’ll post the contents of that carry-on too, if anyone happens to be interested.