Super Dave and the air mattress mistake

I was shaken down again in Mt. Laguna by Keith, who drew another, larger, similarly interested crowd.

Everyone was hot and putting off leaving, so a shakedown was welcome change. Keith saw me walking up, and we both looked forward to me getting taken advantage of – in fact it was one of my bucket list items for this hike: buy something against my will at Super Dave’s. He had me right off the bat. He had put a beautiful green SixMoon Designs tent out in front, sparkling in the sun and flapping in the gentle breeze. Story goes he was sealing the seams, but he knew what he was really doing. As soon as I walked up I knew I was going to let him talk me into it. But we started with the shakedown.

This time I didn’t have to ask. He looked me up and down as we small talked,

checking out my pack. He was eager, dying to look inside, to sell and to eliminate. There is something about being out there, becoming more and more minimalistic and resourceful, shedding any and everything you don’t absolutely need. He got his hands on it, spread out a tarp and took things out like treasures.

One by one things were held up for scrutiny. One by one they passed. I was teased gently for my enormous journal and large backup battery, but otherwise, he kept uttering encouraging sounds and saying good, great, yes, nice. Warmth washed over me as I realized I had done a good job researching. First Scout and now Keith, edifying my choices. Felt so good. Hikers wandered off one at a time, bored because there would be no rookie-hiker roast today.

As I mentioned I ended up shedding a few ounces with the new tent,

and he talked me into sending home my oh so comfortable although crunchy and loud air mattress in lieu of a folding pad (a moment which I would contemplate with regret the rest of the trip). I sent home my sunglasses, which I hadn’t needed yet but would almost as soon as the packing tape sealed the box. My pack was triumphantly weighed. Altogether, I shed a total of 11 ounces. He gave me a double high five. Proud moment – my base weight was a little over 15 pounds. Not bad for a runaway suburban stay at home mama.

We saddled up and hit the trail again, the sun gentle on our faces.

Keith had showed me the proper way to adjust my pack, and I had high hopes it would help a few of the issues I had developed up to this point. A nice breeze flickered past and a bird whistled free-form up in a tree, like a cheerful person making up his own tune. While we shopped in the Mt Laguna store, everyone stood around chatting and agreeing that Paint Yer Wagon was a unique guy, and talking about the snowpack, and whether or not the water report was correct over the next few miles. Through the store window, Super Dave waved shyly on his way to the post office with my box of gear on its way home.

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