Log In
Get Started

Thanksgiving Memories - The Backpack

by Story2 Guest Author, on Nov 28, 2014 2:00:00 PM

I lift the pack onto my knee and slide it on gently so as not to twist my back. I buckle the waist strap so that my legs hold the weight rather than my shoulders. Fully loaded it weighs 65 pounds, but I once walked 18 miles down a remote stretch of Pacific coastline carrying this pack. The frame is molded to my torso.Thanksgiving vacation is always a great opportunity to take my laundry home to my parent’s house, rather than having to haul it up and down five flights of stairs and four city blocks in order to pay $7 to do it at a New York laundromat. So I run home from work on Tuesday, and fill my 75L Osprey hiking pack with the socks scattered across the floor of my room until it is taller than I am.

My mom bought me this pack ten years ago, as a going away to college present. In the store I had fought her.

“What am I gonna do with that? I already have a backpack!” I had argued. “I don’t need any fancy gear.”  She rolled her eyes. Our shopping excursions always led to fights, as it is one of my least favorite activities.

“You can’t hike with your LL Bean school bag,” she shot back. “You’ll look ridiculous.

She was right. She usually is. This pack has been everywhere with me. As the Metro North train pulls into New Haven, I swing the pack down from the overhead rack, taking care not to knock over any commuters. I look down at the waist belt. The strap is frayed where it had been strapped to the back of a motorcycle that I rode over the Peruvian Andes. One buckle is missing, lost somewhere in the Indian Himalayas.

My mom meets me outside the station. “When are you going to get rid of that old backpack?” she asks.

“Nice to see you too!” I answer, and give her a hug. I am grateful for her. And the backpack.


This is the second post in a three-part series where STC team members share their Thanksgiving memories. Share your story at