Thanks IRS! I got back my tax return from the accountant yesterday and almost had an aneurysm when I saw my tax refund! I could buy a decent dual-suspension mountain bike and still have some change left over to get myself some I9 wheels for my Anthem! After buying tires for my Passat, loaning money to a friend, and then taking a trip to Central America; saying my coffers were getting bare would be an understatment. Two weeks ago I was wondering where I would get the dough to get equipment for my upcoming AT hike, but not now! That temporary euphoria lasted for exactly as long as if took me to realize that I wasn't getting a check from the government but actually a check from myself. This is not a magnamimous Big Brother helping a struggling student and bike addict pay the bills, but a thief who returns part of his haul saying he doesn't want to kill off the golden goose who has so generously provided him with a lavish lifestyle for the past eight years. Before you get the wrong idea I am not anti-government or even anti-taxation. There is no doubt that the govenment needs money to provide us with services such as law enforcement, infrastructure, and schools. I just have to wonder, can't they make it with just a little less? The legislators in Congress can vote on wether they want to get a pay raise or not. I bet that is one bill that has unanimous approval! That just doesn't seem right to me.
Enough grousing about money and politics, I promised to fill out the details of my AT hike. I have narrowed down what pack I want to one of Osprey's options. I haven't totally decided but I will probably settle on either one from their Aether or Atmos lines. As I am going to be with a thru hiking friend I will not have to take along either any water filtration or a stove which will be really nice. I will have to get these items for my bikepacking trip this fall but that is another post. Rapidly I am realizing that the clothes I have in my closet will be totally inadequete for this trip so I will have to get myself some good hiking pants as well as some fast drying shirts; Smart Wool's t-shirts look really sweet! Hiking in Virginia or Pennsylvania during the summer will negate the need for cold weather clothing or equipment, so right there is some more money and weight I will not have to deal with. Further details will be forthcoming as the trip and equipment come together.
Till next time,