Simple Leather Backpack
The second time I killed my dog was on December, 15th 2002 at 2 a.m. I had just come up out of Mexico with my first 8 backpack briefcases and was carrying them back to Oregon when I did it. I had decided to go through Wyoming this time since I wanted to see what it looked like in the wintertime. With it being 8 degrees in the ice storm, it looked like what I imagine Hell would look like if I ever started liking onions. It was frozen over. In fact, it was so cool that they closed that stretch of highway shortly after I started on it. And who knew how many days I would have been stuck in Rawlins with weather like that if I hadn’t risked it.
So, on I went down the road with my backpack briefcases in the back of my Iron Pig, which I thought meant the ice would respect me like the mud and sand always did. My 1971 FJ55 Four Wheel Drive Toyota Land Cruiser even had 33” mud terrain tires (sadly not studded ice tires) on it. I thought I was invincible until I found myself cruising down the highway... sideways.
When we finally stopped rolling in the median, I pushed the backpacks and tool box and dog food aside and found Blue laying there lifeless. I grabbed him up in my arms and his head just hung limp with no signs of life. I desperately yelled out a few desperate and pleading words to God and immediately Blue came back. Maybe he wasn’t dead and maybe it just seemed like he wasn’t breathing, but either way, he was alive and he was with me.
After the tow truck pulled my Land Cruiser back over, we drove about 75 more miles to a motel where Blue and I licked our wounds and went to sleep. I didn’t have any seat belts in the Land Cruiser and Blue had gotten the toolbox full force. The next day we drove almost all the rest of the way home to Portland. And it was cool because the rig strangely looked better than it did the day before.
Those Land Cruisers are over engineered to last. You can bend ‘em, but you can’t break ‘em. Nothing fancy. Just designed to get you there and get you back. That’s it. The scratches and the scrapes only added character and made people wonder what the story was. I pretty much used that same thinking to design this Simple Backpack. It’s the kind of leather backpack that can take you around the world and get back looking better than it did before you left.