In the “Golden Ticket,” I told you about my continuing quest for the perfect sleep while backpacking. (That was two blogs back and needs to be read first to make any sense of this one.) My air mattress has to be light enough to pack for several days or weeks. Maybe even months—who knows? But it also has to be comfortable and, most importantly, wide enough for both my elbows.
The fact is, I never did actually use my new birthday Klymit Static V sleeping pad. Shortly after trying it out on Dad’s floor, my one sore elbow flipped a switch in my brain. Pain usually does that to me. I suddenly remembered that this wasn’t the mattress I had bookmarked on my computer six months earlier. The one I had really wanted was the Klymit Inertia X Wave, a 3/4 length sleeping pad. It is shorter than the Static V but wider. More room for my elbows. I called the outfitter to see if they had the one I wanted. They didn’t carry that model, but they were happy to special order it for me.
Fast forward four weeks. I was going to be on a hiking trip on Father’s Day, so we made plans to take my father-in-law out to eat three days early. Like me, he enjoys the selection that Golden Corral offers, so the decision was easy to make. Since the outfitter store is on the way, I called to see if my new mattress was in. It was, so we left early enough to make the stop on the way. Bonnie and her dad took a big chance in letting me go in the store by myself. They must have known I was too hungry to stay in there very long. I exchanged the mattresses and we were off to Golden Corral.
I asked Bonnie if she still had the Golden Bucks that were given to us on our last visit. She dug them out of her purse. I asked if they were still good. We had a good laugh when we discovered they had expired the day before. We could laugh because this time we had already planned to arrive at the restaurant after 2:00 pm for the senior discount that we couldn’t have used the Bucks on anyway. We carefully checked the posted signs for the times of the special and held our breath until the meals were actually rung up. You never know when they will change the times again. Yes, we got our senior discounts! And Bonnie got the drink she didn’t want—but this time it was free!
Back at Dad’s house, I unpacked my new sleeping pad. I still could hardly believe how light it was. The weight is minimized partly by areas of the pad being removed where the body isn’t expected to touch the sleeping surface. The package insert referred to these areas as open spaces. Bonnie calls them holes.
It took all three of us to figure out how to inflate it. The directions didn’t have any pictures. There were, however, written directions in 18 languages, none of which were “Dog.” If that one had been included, Sugar might have been of some help. As it was, she busied herself in other ways: snatching the directions (we managed to get them back before she ate them), jumping all over the mattress (testing its springiness), and trying to eat the mattress (no holes yet). Then came the bartering. She dropped her beloved pig frisbee next to the mattress and ran off with the dry air pump. In her defense, it looks a whole lot like a funny-shaped rubber ball, and just the right size for a pint-sized poodle. Bonnie sprung up from the floor, where she had been testing the mattress’s comfy claim, to chase Sugar. I took off another way. Together we cornered Sugar behind a chair and recovered the pump.
That pretty much ended the excitement of my new mattress for the day. We had to quickly pack up and leave so we could stop at LensCrafters on the way home. While chasing Sugar, I had stepped on Bonnie’s glasses that she left lying on the floor when she chased after Sugar. The verdict isn’t in on the mattress yet. It seems to be wide enough. I hope it proves to be thick enough. And I also hope my elbows don’t fall into the holes. Of course, if they do, I guess I can always stuff the holes with expired Golden Bucks.