Comfort zone

Posted by Ken Campbell October 10, 2011 0 Comment 2119 views

I had the opportunity last week to go into a few outdoor specialty shops while taking a little road trip out on the Olympic peninsula. Wildernest and Sport Townsend in PT, and the Olympic Outdoor Center in Port Gamble. Now that we don’t have any legitimate outdoor shops in Tacoma any more, it’s a rare pleasure when I get the chance to just go inside of one and walk around. I look at the items on the shelves, the old familiar things mixed with the new stuff.
It’s like going back to an old school, or watching an old movie, like a reminder of how really good it all can be. I learned so much of what I know simply from working in a shop much like these ones. I learned how Gore-tex works, why sea kayak paddle blades are asymmetrical, how to adjust ski bindings and crampons, what “wicking” means, how to repair fiberglass, the differences and similarities between topo maps and nautical charts. And so much more.
I miss having a place like that, not only as a place to go to work, but just as a destination for the day. A place to get ideas, to dream and to help turn abstract goals into lasting realities. If you live near a shop like this, you should go in soon and say hello, and buy something. Support your local outdoor shop; you are lucky to have one.

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