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Michael Gracie

Tread Lightly Redux

First there was cramming a week’s worth of gear into 2,600 cubic inches. It worked for a while (even on a six-weight).

Later the goal became staying safe and sound; the load increased by roughly 30 liters and [at least] five pounds, dirtbag style. There was big payoff (with moments wishing for a nine).

But alas reversion to the mean is the natural order. Further, if you know that in route to your final destination you’re going to spend a night in an airport, the last thing you want to do is to check a pile of baggage; either it’ll disappear, or you’ll wind up on the wrong side of security when the man heads home for the evening.

The solution this latest go ’round came in the form of fifty featherlight liters of Osprey Atmos backpack, packed to barely 3/4 capacity. Along with a couple of epoxy-reinforced cardboard tubes.

traveling light

That’s all folks

Rolled 22″ X 14″ X 9″, and nary a gate attendant disagreed. And while forgetfulness can rear its ugly head during packing, the only thing left behind on this latest trip was the A-game. In the moments following a popped leader that will haunt for many years to come, the temptation to throw an eight-weight overboard did the wink and nod; then I remembered that everyone blow shots. Still, I’ll suppress the nightmares by counting sheep rainbows.

rainbow over the flats

MG signing off (because a wise man said less is more, but yours truly just needed room for souvenir snow globes)

Traveling Sidekick

Yours truly likes traveling light. There’s method to the madness too: during college I dropped Thermodynamics 101 because I knew I couldn’t pass it, but in order to gain some credits that same semester I picked up Tax Accounting for Surreptitious Offshore Trusts Based in Tropical Locales. I wound up graduating with a degree in Aerospace Engineering passing the CPA exam in 15 minutes; followed that up with a masters in Bimini Ring Game Double Hauling While Hung Over, and the rest is history. I long to reconfigure baggage because I’m not certified to launch rockets.

Further, sometimes you gotta play it safe. Even if you build systems with brick shit-house parts, a client might claim something isn’t working because they live in Colorado hence they are stoned to bejesusthey are part of an email circulation list that includes Windows/Outlook users infected with nasty malware … the tuck pointing didn’t dry in time.

Enter stage left, the Acer Chromebook c670 …

acerchromebook

I’ve intrepidly sought out a reason to charge down the Boot-Ubuntu-Linux-Via-USB path, but have been unsuccessful. The screen can’t touch a Retina display and there is no way to test your latest Python-based machine learning algorithm with it, but you can’t stuff three grand worth of Macbook Pro down the back of your pants while the gate agent for an overbooked international flight is meticulously counting your “personal items” either.

In other words … the little puppy, which will set the average US citizen back a whopping $200, is one superior, high-value, remote work tool.

MG signing off (because the Chromebook is stark white while my attitude is decidedly dark – ultra-sharp contrast is the result)

UPDATE: And prices are dropping.

A traveling note for fly fishing folks

During fly fishing travels I’ve always checked my bags. The last couple of times I flew I found TSA inspection tags on or in my multi-rod tube, and in one case my duffle (which contained fly boxes and reels) was completely ransacked. My rods are too much for carry-on (all three-piece), but during this trip I decided to avoid the reel rumble by toting everything else with me.big fly box

I knew I wouldn’t have a problem with reels and lines, but with my fly box containing slightly more than #20 Griffith’s Gnats I pinged Pete McDonald (figuring he knows salty travel pretty well) to see if there was any risk of my box getting bounced at the X-ray machine. I got a mixed response (i.e. carrying them is no problem but I check mine regardless), so I decided to take the chance that TSA understood big hooks are dangerous to nothing other than big fish. It turned out to be smooth sailing.

I wasn’t planning on seeing any bonefish or permit, but I left the crystal shrimp, Charlies, and other assorted small goodies in the box, hoping I might find a carp or two in one of the twenty-seven-point-nine million retention ponds located in the southern suburban sprawl. That bet didn’t pay off – it turns out you have to jump through hoops to get even triploid clean-up crews into the Sunshine State – despite tromping around a half-dozen developments I only saw one grassie, and it was tucked under the safest of cover.

No need to worry, fans of the crappiest luckiest fly fisherman on the Third Rock from the Sun, a blow by blow of my backcountry adventure is coming forthwith.

MG signing off (to pole around a salty creek)