So my iPod turns into my surrogate friend for a few months. I throw a few upbeat songs onto a playlist and pretend there's a happy hipster band running beside me. Here are my top three in YouTube form.
Check them out. Don't pirate their music.
In other news, I recently purchased my first honest-to-god hiking pack for my big New Zealand trip from Exkursion Outfitters in Monroeville, PA. Other than the name of the store being hard to spell, this is a terrific shop. All the merchandise is really well organized and the sales people were willing to spend almost half an hour fitting me in a good pack (while I stumbled around dropping things and demanding to see everything in a different color). Plus, the guy who sold me the pack even said he'd just gone on a backpacking trip to Tibet. I trust that kind of experience. It sounds super legit.
So I got a Gregory Jade 34 (in blue). It fits my narrow, un-muscular ladyshoulders really well and cinches tight around the hips with a comfy padded belt. And unlike the 60-70 L packs, it didn't make me look like this:
The 35's just about big enough for carrying on to the plane and taking a few long day hikes. I'm not sure if it's large enough to haul the One Ring to Mordor, though. I'll have to find nine other people to help me with that...
In closing, I'll leave you with an image I found while Googling "New Zealand"
Do they all look like that? Half of me hopes so. The other half is scared.