In this modern outdoor world, people and things come and go. Some stay for ages where as some pass like leaves on the wind. There are a few who stick it out, stay with you through thick and thin and will always be there when you need them.
It is one of the later to which I refer. We first met over 20 years ago. At first sight, I knew this one was special and we would have many adventures together.
We have travelled all over the place, Spain, France, Morocco, Scotland, Mountain Leader Assessments and many places much nearer to home and many more were planned. It had been up mountains and down caves and was even used by the then girlfriend to drag herself through and out of a massive cave system in the French Pyrenees
It is difficult to find a reliable traveling companion and I thought this was the one, then one day, as quick as it started it was all over.
Who is this reliable and trusted lost friend I speak of? Well, gladly it wasn’t a living being, but my trusty 1 litre Sigg bottle. As far as a piece of outdoor kit goes it was pretty near perfect, the sort of kit you just use over and over and don’t even register its brilliance and simplicity. These days there’s a trend towards bladder packs and fancy bottles with this feature and that, but this was just blue bottle that held water and nothing more.
It was a simple day on Dartmoor, a DofE assessment back in the summer. It was quick and simple. It slipped through my hand, hit the floor and landed awkwardly onto a small piece of granite chipping. At first, I didn’t notice, but then I saw a trickle of cold clear water running down the outside from halfway down. This can’t be right??? Then it was all over.
Now a useless piece of metal sits in the kitchen window reminding me of the adventures we shared. I can’t get rid of it, so there it will sit like a stags head on the wall of a shooting lodge reminding of what has been and what there is still to do. I have a new bottle (that has already been exploring the highlands of Scotland) but I don’t think we will ever bond in the same way but who knows?