This past weekend, two friends and I ventured into the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa to get away from the city and our busy lives. As it was a short trip, I wanted to pack as lightly as possible. We decided to risk the bugs and enjoy sleeping under the stars, bringing a footprint tarp instead of a tent. The weather was nice, so I decided against my warm sleeping bag and instead brought my summer weight bag (which, despite its 45 degree rating, is always guaranteed to leave me shivering in the night). Food would be good, but nothing extravagant. Even if I smell, one set of clothes should do it. Might go swimming, but I can just do that in my zipoff shorts or whatever else I feel like swimming in.
After checking to ensure I had everything, I decided, at the last minute, to throw in a pair of running shorts “just in case.”
Rational Question: Just in case? Just in case what? Why would I need a pair of nearly-embarrassingly short shorts?
Irrational Answer: Who knows, and who cares, they are small and lightweight, not a big deal to bring them along even though I will not use them.
Very glad I am not always a rational thinker.
As soon as we got to our campsite, the cool, rushing stream could not be resisted. I shed my shirt and shorts (pant legs unzipped and tucked away in my backpack) to cool off in my skivvies. A few minutes later, I look back at the rock and see only my blue t-shirt. No sign of my green shorts. I ask my friends, and they are as perplexed as I am. I jump on a boulder, hoping to see them somewhere nearby. Nothing. I boulder hop downstream a bit, thinking for a moment I see them being swept over one of the mini-waterfalls we were camping by, but seeing nothing emerge downstream. A few more hours of looking for my shorts swimming in the stream, and I gave up on ever seeing the shorts portion of my REI convertible lightweight green zip off hiking pants again.
Long story not exactly short, I was extremely thankful that I had my tiny little running shorts with me. While short, it was really, really nice to hike in them the next day rather then trek 5 miles on a fairly busy trail in my beloved-but-not-quite-appropriate-to-wear-as-shorts REI boxer briefs.
So, it is with sadness that I say goodbye to my green shorts. Here is an ode to those shorts:
Purchased at an REI.
Lightweight and comfy.
Worn in and worn well.
Holes in two right side pockets
right hand oppression
Stuffed in garbage bag, thrown in trunk.
Delivered and washed
the aisle of misfit paints
Dave, Goodwill shopper
Elated, outdoorsy find!
Purchases, wears, loves
long hike, beautiful
Cold water, thrown on a rock
Gust of wind, damn’ed gust of wind
Into the vortex
Swirling, dark, and lost
Shorts lost forever
useless pant legs stuffed.
in pack, watching, with horror.
too, lost forever