Farewell to faithful friends: Our rolling backpacks

You have carried us around the globe more times than we can reckon,

You were our perfect bags: Lightweight, rollable, presentable enough for a decent hotel, equipped with sturdy backpack straps that allowed us to haul you up the stairs of a Santorini cave house on our honeymoon and into a raw wood hut on our trek through Cameroon. When flights were delayed, you served as backrests, card tables, pillows. Your dusty exterior belied your value, thwarting theft.

From Irian Jaya to India, Mali to Mongolia, Uzbekistan to Alaska, you were our unfailing companions. In your caring folds you hauled eaglecreekbagstrekking boots and little black dresses, underwear and socks, dry sacks and charging chords, carpets and ceremonial crowns from Tibet and and Ethiopia. The handicraft gifts so carefully chosen from far away places came home in your canvas holds; you kept them safe despite the knowledge that the relatives who would receive them would scratch their heads and wonder, why?

Airlines did their best to rend your wheels, your straps, your handles. You held steadfast, with the aid of rare visits to the Eagle Creek infirmary. When Eagle Creek declared that your lifetime guarantee was not a warranty for our lifetimes but some arbitrary “lifetime of the bag,”  we were forced to relegate you to storage. There,  humidity and mildew wreaked the irreparable damage that no chicken plane or baggage conveyor belt ever delivered.

Today you go to rest, For decades of dreams and miles of memories, you have our enduring thanks. Fare thee well.

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