I am making my own pack for the AT. And it started today! I already have the pattern cut, the instructions read and the excitement settled in my heart. I might have to get my sewing machine serviced, and I need to get a straight ruler. But, a start is a start …
And so it begins … Through the paced alchemy of the sewing process, the pile of shiny fabrics and its precise (albeit somewhat cryptic) instructions shall become a pack. A pack that will carry my whole life as its predecessor has. Starting right here, in the red dirt of Sedona, to the New Hampshire 4000ers, on the entire length of the AT, to Cuba (likely by boat – round 2) and along on all the surprise destinations in my linear future from this spot. I will sit on it and cry sometimes. It will bounce on my back as I jump for joy sometimes. But in all cases, I know I will love it, as I loved the last one, but in a different way, for its own sake, not as a replacement. Oh little pack! I cannot wait to meet you.
This will be the second Ray-Way pack I make. Here is an account of my experience with the making of the first one (excerpt from Crazy Free – Chapter 18 in Part IV: The Intensive Sunday School for the Rebellious):
“The sewing of my backpack for the PCT fell under the category of “blind trust and faith” lessons. Because I had minimal sewing experience, I ordered a kit containing all the ultra-light fabric and notions necessary and a booklet of instructions – nineteen pages of detailed step-by-step instructions but not one photo or sketch of the finished product. I sewed my backpack, one step at a time, one seam at a time. Sometimes, my patience failed and I rushed ahead to get to the finished product faster, only to spend that evening de-stitching my anxious renegade seams.
Once I learned to trust and get out of my own way, the pack came to life effortlessly. It was a thing of beauty – sturdy, electric blue and less than eleven ounces in weight.”