Homer's Travels: Weekly Ephemera #47

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Weekly Ephemera #47

  • On Monday the Wife and I went shopping for Camino gear.  We started at Cabellas and were very disappointed.  Their selection was okay but during our visit no one ever asked us if we needed help. 

    After eating some lunch we went to the 'new' REI outlet (not sure how new it is but I didn't realize it was here) and had an incredible experience.  As we approached the backpack section a representative came up and asked if he could help.  The Wife tried on four backpacks that the rep had filled with our desired weight so she could easily compare how they felt.  She ended up with a Osprey EJA 58L which should work well on the Camino.

    While she walked around the store with a pack on to get the feel, we looked at socks.  Once again a rep asked if he could help and he helped us find some non-wool socks the Wife could wear.

    On the way out we purchased a sleeping bag liner (we will not be carrying sleeping bags on the Camino but the liners are good sheets/covers for the hostel beds and can be treated with permethrin to keep the bugs off).

    Our experience was so good that I bought an REI lifetime membership for $30 and was pleasantly surprised to get a $30 gift card so ... free membership.
  • Continuing on the Camino gear topic, I purchased a set of trekking poles for the Wife.  She's never walked with poles and I hope she finds them as helpful as I do.  They came this week and they looked so nice and shiny that I ordered a new set for myself.  I feel a bit guilty since my old poles are still working but they are all scratched up and there is some corrosion and cracking on some of the quick locks - the Appalachian Trail was tough on them.  When they arrive I'm sure the guilt will quickly evaporate.
  • After the Robins returned over the last few weeks, the Red Wing Blackbirds (along with other types of blackbirds) started to show up.  When they get here in force they will empty our bird feeder double speed.  Of course, that's what the bird feeder is for ... to feed the birds.
  • I contacted the Government Office of Personnel Management this week to confirm my eligibility for my retirement annuity.  I remember thinking when I chose a deferred retirement annuity back in 2008 how far my sixtieth birthday was.  Now it's just a few months away and I wonder where the time went.  The form I need to fill out is pretty straight forward but I had questions on when I could submit it.  The ideal time will come while we are on the Camino but it looks like sending it in a few weeks early is no big deal.  I'm not sure exactly how much this annuity will be but it should cover some of our travel expenses and help extend our savings.
  • I walked two times this week for a total of 21.6 miles (34.8 km).  I am now easily covering ten plus miles per hike and I feel surprisingly well.  This is making me feel optimistic (is that what this feeling is?  I think so) that my third Camino will go well for me.

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