Stumbling on a sidewalk while cruising the shopping strip for folk art in Clayton, Georgia on a day trip from Atlanta, I decided I needed a walking stick for “stability” as my well traveled doctor friend, Ernestine, would say. So, I picked out a handmade stick, which really was a lovely piece of folk art. Did I use it? No! It was a piece of art, not outdoor travel gear from a recreational equipment store like REI.
I still needed a walking stick to take with me on hikes and trips to archeological sites where, as the trip descriptions state on some of the website and brochures, I would be “walking and standing on uneven terrain.” I figured that a shopping trip to REI would get this handled as they have travel gear and clothing for all kinds of outdoor adventures. Since I like to browse and try on a variety of items at one time, I am fortunate to live in a city with a REI store. Some of my family and friends, however, prefer to shop online.
I found a walking pole that collapses into a soft case about the size of a travel umbrella, and is light weight. The pole has a metal tip that helped keep me upright during our explorations of moai sites on a recent trip to remote Easter Island (also known as Rapa Nui or Isla de Pascua, above) On the handle is a compass, helpful for truing up locations during nature hikes. Not being a serious wilderness hiker, I thought the compass superfluous for my travels and forgot about it. On my Easter Island trip, I rediscovered it when I assembled the pole before an outing, and I had fun checking the directional bearing of each of the moai sites we explored. Our guide would say, “This site is facing east.” I’d check the veracity of the statement with my walking pole and, sure enough, each site’s direction was exact – true north, true east, etc.
On the handle is a compass, helpful for truing up locations during nature hikes.
Since I knew visiting Easter Island and other archeological sites in other countries was in my future, further travel gear that I also bought were my first ever pair of Merrell walking boots and REI socks for the boots. My REI salesperson spent time helping me get shoes with ankle support for stability. They were so comfortable I wore them on the plane to Santiago, and each of the following seven days in Easter Island. My boots remind me of the lyrics to the song, “These boots are made for walking”; and, they are in my closet waiting to walk on to the next adventure – Norway. The socks are going too, and will be part of my comfortable and practical wash and wear items.
ALICE HAS THE “CURIOSITY BUG”, AND HER FAVORITE PHRASE OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM IS “LET’S GO!” IN THE LATE 60S SHE VISITED MANY COUNTRIES IN WESTERN EUROPE AS PART OF THE TYPICAL COLLEGE TOUR, LANDING IN PARIS FOR A 6-MONTH STAY AND COOKING SCHOOL. HER OFTEN SOLO TRAVELS RESUMED IN 2006 AS VACATIONS FROM MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES IN HEALTHCARE AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS WITH TRIPS TO ASIA – CHINA, HONG KONG, MACAU AND TAIWAN, THEN THE MEDITERRANEAN – TURKEY, MALTA, SICILY, GREECE, AND THE DALMATIAN COAST, AND RECENTLY EASTER ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC. WHEN NOT PLANNING FOR A NEW LEARNING ADVENTURE, SHE ENJOYS GARDENING, READING, AND PLAYING BRIDGE.