Yesterday a father and son were in the shop looking at a backpack. I have to tell you: I love being part of this interaction and the experience of them purchasing the son's first pack. The dad is proud to be passing on backpacking (something that's been a part of his life) and the son is super excited about all the cool packs and is envisioning himself on the trail with his dad. It's just really fun and cool to be a part of it all.
Anyway, this excitement with getting a new piece of gear that I know I'll use a lot is something I forget. Recently I was reminded of this feeling for myself when I purchased a set of new load carrying panniers for my bike. They're from a cottage industry builder called Cobbworks (www.cobbworks.com). These things are made out of reclaimed oyster buckets. They are watertight, durable and made totally from recycled or reclaimed materials. Since we ride to work nearly every day, I couldn't wait for my new buckets to arrive.
As soon as I saw them, I had to take them over and put them on my rear rack. They looked great and fit perfectly. I read all the instructions on how to remove the lids, what to do when you're carrying something taller than the bucket as well as how to attach them.
I think though, the part I am most looking forward to is personalizing the buckets.
A couple of months back, our friend from the AT Tinkerbell (aka Zeb Maharrey) sent me a sticker I had seen with him on the trail. The words on the sticker (in Wal-Mart blue and Wal-Mart typeface) say:
"Mal-Wart Your Source for Cheap Plastic Crap"
I can't wait to put this sticker on the buckets tomorrow. No matter how old we get - we all still love getting a new toy every now and then.