It takes, all kinds…. We hiked the portage trail for the third time. You know, out, in-out, in-out, to remove everything we hauled in for our combined six days of winter camping. This is like the end of deer season for us. The winter trout treks are over for another year. There is more season, we just won't have time. So we try to end it on high note with a lengthy stay. So now, all the gear is out of the boundary waters. The last trip out, the final leg of our trip we had a buddy coming at noon with his snowmobile and snow sled in tow to take the gear four miles to the parking lot, dump it by our vehicles, and then we will spend the afternoon hiking out on foot. It's a clear breezy day and we as usual have that lethargy about leaving so to prolong that agony of ending a great trout trip we linger. Now in retrospect that wasn't such a good idea. Hindsight, sometimes that word really bites me in the hind a bit too hard. My own fault of course. So, just so you know, and you know who you are, the four inch slash through the flap on the larger Duluth pack was made by a very sharp axe. I set the pack flap open against a log to stabilize it while I'll dug some camping gear out back in the late 70's. My buddy finishing cutting kindling on a crisp fall afternoon just turned around and buried his hatchet through the pack flap and into the log accidently slashing the pack flap. Also that same pack you have, when my baby girl was little, I used to stuff it with a sleeping bag and she would be all bundled up while I duck hunted. She was four years old and that little pink faced blonde haired cutie would love to crawl inside the pack, kinda nest, and sleep right through my duck marsh mornings. I think of that every time I'd touch that pack. Everytime. Those two packs, I owned them for over thirty years, yup, faded green with black and brown bruises and have many a reminder in them for me. But you probably don't care. I have my two new packs. I'm kinda in sticker shock at how expensive they were. There isn't anything wrong with the leather or the tump lines. The buckles are bright and shiny. Both packs have no fireplace ash smudges or scrapes. They also have no experience and they carry no memories. But those two packs you stole from me did. The trout whisperer

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