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Olympia USA Hawk 20" Outdoor Backpack 32L

  • Very popular among zipper enthusiasts.
  • It’s a bag!
  • Plenty of zip pockets for all your stuff and high quality water resistant polyester to keep it dry.
  • And if the weather gets really mean, use the multi-use cover for extra dryness.
  • Seriously, they should call this brut, cuz it’s dry AF!
  • Model: BP-3003, which is a really fun model number to sing.
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The Ascent

As I strode confidently into basecamp at 4am, I thought again of the correspondence that brought me to this place, that set in motion the adventure I would soon embark upon:

Due to maintenance, the elevator bank will be down for the morning of July 10th.

There followed a note about accommodations and working from home for the first few hours of the day, but I paid those no mind. I was already crackling with excitement of the hike ahead of me. I would be the first ever (among my coworkers) to summit the Grand West Building('s eighth floor).

After using my badge to get into basecamp after hours, I sat on one of basecamp’s leather chairs and tried to acclimate to the brisk air-conditioned air. I knew there would be surprises along the way, things that all my practice hikes to the second floor of my house couldn’t prepare me for. My stairs were carpeted, for example, whereas these would be cement. Would my knees be able to take it?

I’d decided to forgo my typical briefcase in favor of my Olympia USA Hawk Outdoor Backpack, so I had at least that much peace of mind. The compression straps would keep the bag stable on my back as I made my ascent. And the many zip pockets could hold my work materials and the nearly twenty hard boiled eggs I’d packed to sustain myself. If I were to set off the sprinklers when I set up camp and built a fire somewhere between the 4th and 5th floor, I knew that the high-quality water resistant polyester would keep my things dry, and if the sprinklers persisted (or worsened!), I had a hideaway multi-use cover.

In other words, my bag was set. But what about my mind?

As I said, I expected obstacles. What I didn’t expect was to be one myself. And yet, there I was, staring at the water fountains on the far end of basecamp, feeling shaky and nervous. Which was when I decided to spend some time in basecamp getting myself mentally ready for the strenuous climb ahead of me. I tried giving myself a pep talk but it was ineffective, so instead I closed my eyes and visualized success: of taking the final step, of bursting through the door, of marching to my desk, of pumping my fist in celebration of man’s (my) victory over nature (a building).

It was glorious to imagine, and felt almost real, or at least out of my control. Then one of my nearby cube neighbors pointed and screamed that I wasn’t wearing any pants.

When my eyes shot open, the darkness of the early morning had given over to bright light. The lobby was teeming with people. I did not know how long I’d been out; all I knew was that, based on the steady stream entering and exiting the elevators, I’d slept past the required maintenance.

And so it was with my head hung low that I hoisted my Olympia bag over my shoulder, made my way to the elevator, and pressed the ‘up’ button.

On the ride to the 8th floor, someone behind me said, “What’s that smell?”

To which I replied, “Defeat.”

“Smells like eggs to me,” he said.

“It might also be all the eggs,” I admitted.

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