Up Too Early

My computer’s clock wouldn’t lie to me—3:48 a.m. After widening a ditch along the driveway yesterday I went to bed early, barely eight o’clock, and that’s just too early for me, beat or not. So, nudged from bed by my cat, Bebe, and stepping gingerly over my dog, Elsa, I heat water for a cup of tea (we always say cup, but drink from mugs), wake up the computer (why should it sleep if I can’t?) and flood my mind with important (i.e. self-centered) things.

These are entirely related to my impending trip. Next Wednesday looms mightily— it’s the fox rousting all the chickens details into the barnyard, the better to see them. There! That one!

Make that three. If you’ve followed my packing adventures (so tempting!), you’ll be relieved to hear that my longest and heaviest lens, the 400mm, is staying home. I’ll use a 1.4x converter on the 70-200 instead. A good compromise, and three pounds—that’s real relief. And after making multiple coin tosses (maddeningly democratic) and reading a slew of reviews, I obtained a Zeiss 35mm lens last week. Sold the 17-40 zoom to someone who will use it. And put the 50 macro back in the closet—the Zeiss trumped it, too, in the way I’ll be using it.

The 100mm macro is burrowed in the bottom of my daypack, though—there are a couple of locations where I may want its close-up look.

As I’ve winnowed my equipment I’ve become a fan of cubes, those soft organizational containers that go inside luggage. I bought a Rick Steves Packing Cubes Set and was instantly amazed—all my clothes fit into my gym bag. The now-emptied duffel holds a small pack, hand bag, and laptop case, reducing the amount of pieces I have to schlepp to two.

As I refine my gear selections a faint voice says that if I were truly brave I would take only one lens, my tripod, sleeping bag, and pack. Liberate yourself, it implores. Travel light. Be free. Et cetera. It’s not easy, but I’m trying—and that fox is always hungry.


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