So this weekend we hit the road and got the hell outta dodge.
Our first stop was the Toledo Museum of Art where we were immediately distracted by the Gehry Building (The Center for the Visual Arts - it's one of his early designs from before he jumped the shark).
And the giant “tire swing” sculpture:
And the Guimard Subway station… which is odd b/c isn’t that supposed to be in Paris?
But whatev – art nouveau pretty!
Before making it to our actual destination – the Glass Pavillion:
Very, very cool building. There’s a great article on how they made it here (scroll down). Sculpture that is also functional with almost no visible structure –before I read the article I just figured it was held up by invisible sky hooks and structural paint because we couldn’t find more than like 4 columns in the entire building. Crazy.
Plus we got to see a glass blowing demo! I so want to try that sometime….
Then it was on to the real purpose of our trip. The Cabella’s Store.
Our mission was to find backpacks etc. for our upcoming adventure and we thought this would be the perfect place to find everything we needed. We expected equal parts red/crunchy. Meaning equal parts rednecks who are into “hunting” but are really more about the guns & dirty hippies who are really into nature and the…. nature, man. What we need for our trip falls somewhere dead in the middle of those two so it seemed like this would be the place to go…. Yeah not so much with the crunchy. Turns out Cabella’s is a great place to go if the sortof camping you’re doing involves camo underware, an outdoor turkey fryer, and a blow-up mattress for your truck bed (seriously) but not so great for the technical backpacking equipment we were looking for. And I mean, really, is there ever a need for this much camo?
We did find some of the other things we needed - like zip-off hiking pants and water purification tablets- so the trip wasn’t a complete waste. I have to say, though, I was more than a little annoyed at the size/focus of the women’s section. It was all “camper chic” skirts and cute little tank-tops with very little actual useful gear. While Matt had many, many options for a light-weight jacket to cut the wind up at high elevations that is also water resistant and close fitting so that it can be worn under a backpack I had one. And it was hideous. I mean I’m going on the same exact trip as he is! I need the same clothing as he does! So why is the women’s department less than half the size of the guys? Ugh.
Also, I feel I should warn you… If you ever go to a Cabella’s there are dead things everywhere:
Anyways the third destination on our little adventure was supposed to be a campground outside of Oak Openings Preserve. The plan was to camp Sat. night and hike all day Sun. Uh huh. You know what’s very un-fun? Camping in the rain. Which we remembered as we pulled up to the campsite and the skies opened. So we cut our losses and just headed for home – and even had time to stop at one of Matt’s projects on the way (of which I sadly have no pictures).
So then Sunday… well… we still didn’t have packs and that was the one and only goal for this weekend… so we did what we should have done in the first place. We googled “backpacking equipment, Cleveland”. Duh. Always start with Google. I so need to remember that next time I’m doing anything. Always Start with Google!
So yeah… we found The Backpackers Shop. It is literally only 20 min from our house, is incredibly awesome, and had everything we needed and more. Plus - and this is my fav thing about specialty stores – everyone there knew their stuff. I mean really, really knew their stuff. The guy that helped fit us for our packs used to work out at Yellowstone and had done some serious back country packing. Awesome.
In cases you’re interested in this sort of thing here’s my pack, and here’s Matt’s pack. Both Osprey’s, both the same pack, really I just got the girly one. Both have the detachable hip pack and the separate sleeping bag compartment, and water bladder holder etc. etc. They seem big… until you realize that that will be all we are taking with us for a 16 day trip…. But back in the day I did 5 weeks around Europe out of a glorified bookbag. I can do this.
So from there we still wanted to get some hiking in so we went to French Creek Reservation which was right by the Backpacker Shop. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much… but it was actually a really nice park. Check it out:
So yeah… I still need a few things (like a frickin’ jacket. Why is that so hard?) but we are definitely getting closer to being ready… now I just have to keep up the training…