“Periods of rain.”
Perhaps the three most devastating words ahead of an impending backpack. Other than the single, four-letter epithet: “Rain.”
What to do? You can forge blithely ahead, hoping the forecast is wrong or exaggerated. But extensive experience has shown me that simply “rubbing one’s nose in it” leads more often to misery than delighted surprise. A misery exacerbated when the trip involves a long drive or an expensive flight to get there.
Thus the importance of having a Plan B, especially if you’ve already arrived on the trip’s doorstep. Rather than simply return home, take the opportunity to explore a new area. It might even buy you enough time, if you’ve got some flexibility, to wait out the bad weather, perhaps camped out on a forgiving friend’s or relative’s floor.
This strategy paid off beautifully recently on a backpack along Vancouver Island’s west coast. Where waiting three days resulted in a lovely, largely dry hike, with the bonus of some fine day trips around the north-central part of the island near Courtenay. Of course, there was also the chance to investigate some great places to eat and drink.
More about that in subsequent posts. In the meantime, here are some photos of lovely diversions.
There are times on a long road trip when you want to wipe off the grime, comb your hair and go out for a nice dinner—the kind where the chefs have trained in high-end restaurants and where the utensils have some heft and are wrapped in linen, not paper. And you want to do so without breaking the bank. Restaurant 415 in Fort Collins, Colorado delivers all that, in spades. The retro-modern dining space is elegant but relaxed, with subdued lighting on the brushed aluminum tables and the stylish chairs, which have leatherette seat cushions and slightly springy wooden backs.