A Man of Many Hats--Until Now

posted May 1, 2011, 12:56 PM by Paul Wagner
For years, P used to wear some version of a baseball cap in the Sierra.  He got them free from all sorts of people, and the long bill was perfect for shading his eyes when he was fishing.  Those caps met so many of our criteria:  cheap, lightweight, and easy!
But as time went by, both P and M became more concerned about that bright sun up there...and P got tired of greasing up the tops of his ears every day to protect them.  And so the search was on for a hat with a wider brim. 
Yes, he had a nice straw one from his visit to the Yucatan...but it was very lightweight, and would blow off in the winds of the Sierra.  And a second version, purchased during a heat wave in Buenos Aires, wasn't any better.  But a few years ago he found the perfect hat in a second hand shop.  It was an old fedora, heavy enough to stay on his head in a breeze, wide enough to shade his ears and the back of his neck, and stylish enough to make our children vaguely uneasy. And it was cheap.
And now having worn the hat for many moons, he likes it even more.  He's added a few feathers that he's found on the trail as we've hiked along.  And during our recent trip to Peru, he bought a nicely hand-woven hatband that adds a little color and life.  Each hike seems to give the hat just a bit more personality.
And speaking of personality--the hat was a real conversation piece along the trail to Machu Picchu.  Many of the other trekkers, guides, and porters found that hat very distinctive, and it was a great icebreaker for conversations along the trail. 
Of course, they may have all been laughing at him behind his back...but at least to his face, they greeted him with a smile and nod of recognition.  And M and the rest of the gang noted how easy it was to find P in a crowd, thank's to his hat!
It's a keeper.