Random Gear: Gossamer Gear Mariposa Backpack

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Stopping to smell the roses on the Camino

When you spend five weeks hiking nearly 500 miles through Spain, your gear becomes an important part of who you are.  Throw in eight weeks of sightseeing all over Europe in addition to the Camino, and you have the perfect testing ground for what works and what doesn’t in your selection of gear.  In an ongoing gear series, I will be talking about some of the items that became indispensable both during our European trip as well as on our current North American road trip.

The first bit of kit I want to talk about is our choice of backpacks.  Not only did these packs have to carry our load during the Camino, but they filled in as our suitcases for our entire 13-week journey.

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West Texas: The Davis Mountains

View of the Indian Lodge and Davis Mountains State Park
View of the Indian Lodge and Davis Mountains State Park, taken from a vantage point during one of our hikes

The Davis Mountains hold a special place in our hearts.  Roughly equidistant between Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks, the Davis Mountains are situated in the huge, sparsely-populated area of deep west Texas.  We came out here many times in our 20’s and early 30’s.  The first time we visited, several years before we we were even married, it was with Dale’s parents, and we returned numerous times after that, mostly to camp.

Our return this year was our first visit in probably fifteen years, and I have no idea why we ever stopped coming.

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We’re off again! Our North American road trip begins

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Our new car, parked at a south Texas rest stop on the day we started our journey

We encountered an enormous thunder storm rolling across the plains as we neared Davis Mountains State Park in West Texas.  It was awesome to watch the lightning in the distance.  The storm was on full display, and, since the land stretched out far before us, there was nothing to impede our vision of it.

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