Rusty to Rest

Sep 18, 2002

Somewhere between the middle of seventh grade, when my family moved from Idaho to the island of St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands, and the start of eigth grade (so 1983-1984), I bought a backpack. I followed the crowd, I’ll admit; my new classmates at Good Hope School had these cool backpacks, and I wanted one, too. So my mom took me into Christiansted to the shop, and I bought an orange Wilderness Experience backpack (the High Country day pack, shown in this catalog). I’ve used it ever since: nearly 20 years, at least 24,000 miles (it went with me around the globe) and at times 20 pounds of books and magazines and t-shirts and soccer gear and trail mix and more. Even with just two compartments – a main compartment and an outer pouch – it has served me well.

But it’s now time to put Rusty to rest. I’m a student again, with many more pounds of textbooks. While Rusty offers the comfort conforming to my back, I need more support. So, last weekend I went to REI and purchased a new pack. This one even has a name already affixed – the Undergraduate. (Sure, I’m a graduate student, but what’s wrong with wanting to be younger?) – and many more zippers and pouches and mesh holders. Like a 13-year-old again, I wore my new pack today for the first time and hardly took it off. Boy, do I feel cool.

Anton Zuiker

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