Saunters With a Backpack

Part of me actually seems to think I am backpacking in the desert on the weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), though what I am really doing is sauntering with a backpack and then going back to my room and collapsing. Makes me wonder: if I am fulfilling some masochistic need to wander carrying an extra twenty-five pounds, will I still want to go on a wilderness trek by myself when I take my trip to Washington state this May? I mean, if I’ve already done it, what’s the point, right?

And yet, I’ve already walked a hundred thousand miles in my life, and I still like walking, so I imagine it’s just a matter of continuing to get used to the backpack. And besides, all it takes is one little thing to get me all excited about adventuring again. (Adventuring beyond “my” desert, that is.)

And I am excited. Today I received the loveliest gift — a travel journal, but like no travel journal I have ever seen. Some of the pages are lined, of course, but some pages are blank, some have a pretty border, some are a brown kraft paper (is that redundant?), some are gridded like graph paper, and intermingled among all these different pages are glassine envelopes and storage pockets.

I tend not to use fancy books with empty pages because I like the promise the blank pages seem to make, and if I do decide to use such a book, I will write a few things then get bored with it, as with the diaries I used to get occasionally as a little girl. In fact, my travel journal for my cross country trip ended up being more of a ledger to keep track of mileage and expenses than a journal. Not a fun memento, but a valuable one for keeping track of dates repairs and maintenance were done on the car. (In my favor, I did keep up my blog, so it’s not as if all those adventures when undocumented.)

But this travel journal feel different. It seems to urge me toward adventure. And oh, what fun I will have trying to fill all the different kinds of pages! If nothing else, finding joys to fill the journal will force me to look at things in a different way. And if by chance I don’t fill the book on this spring journey, I will simply have to plan more adventures.

It will give “work in progress” a different meaning. Instead of sitting at a computer trying to finish my novel, I will have to go out and see what I can discover to add to my travel journal.

Sounds like fun.

Meantime, I have my saunters with a backpack to keep me busy


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

5 Responses to “Saunters With a Backpack”

  1. LordBeariOfBow Says:

    Your enthusiasm never ceases to amaze me; joie de vivre personified,
    I get exhausted reading what you have done and what you propose; have you no mercy? 😀 😛

  2. Kathy Says:

    You’re stoking the flames of dreaming of a future as full-time RVers in retirement instead of these bi-coastal job-related moves. Ah, the freedom of the road…

  3. We’ve Got Spunk | Bertram's Blog Says:

    […] told her about my travel journal, and on the way back, she asked if I’d put our trip into the journal. I said yes, of course […]

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