Our Names Will Be Synonymous With "Adventure."

August 24th, 2007

Ren's RantsOn one of the other forums, [IndyGear: "RAIDERS GOLDEN DAYS,"] a member "Dr. Seuss" asks this question; now that we have vendors that are supplying perfect replicas of the fedora worn by Harrison Ford in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," (and countless other heroes from The 1930's and 1940's - real and imagined.) "What's Next?" Here's the exact quote...

"If we are indeed at the summit, what next? Where do we go from here?"

I'm not sure if I got the context of the question right. It could be that he was asking where does the "IndyGear" hobby in general go from here, or just discussions about fedoras in particular? I'll answer to the former...

It's kind of ironic or perfect timing how this topic came up now. Last week I had the job of cleaning out my old Gateway2000 machine that ran Windows98 and I had a file named "Gearheads." In it were files that I had saved when The IndyGear Forum moved to the server it’s on now and when I started this hobby in earnest, but more towards the generic "1930’s Solder Of Fortune/Everyday Hero" attire.

I was looking at a lot of the pictures that I had in this folder and thought that I could make a great article about what I’m seeing and how I felt when I saw some of the long-lost faces after a long time. There are pictures of folks that I really miss that aren’t on "Club Obi-Wan" any more, and there are some folks who are in some of these pictures who’s names I can’t remember any more.

Not trying to be controversial, but I think that there was an aspect of IndyGear that might have been better back then since people didn’t have screen accurate stuff, many folks wore their stuff on real adventures and wore their gear because the didn’t care too much what happened to it since it was "close enough." A perfect example – does anyone remember when Ken went to South America and on his tours way to Machu Picchu, they were held up in a city over-run by rebels and anarchists… it was a pretty dangerous situation that he survived and then was able to come back and tell the tale. I think that's a bit more exciting then "My new item just arrived in the mail, NOW WITH PIX!" [Pictured on the right, that's really Ken, who really was in Machu Picchu... the real deal.]

I got to the point before I started The Fedora Chronicles when I started to ask what’s next? What’s next after I have every gear item I ever wanted? What about after I got three of every gear item I ever wanted.

Some of the people that are in the pictures I mentioned used to ask that, "What do we/I do now that I have every item I've ever wanted?" I think that's why they no longer post any more on "Club Obi-Wan." What more is there to say in a hobby that's all about collecting, and you've collected everything you want? And have duplicates?

I'm not knocking IndyGear or Club Obi-Wan. It's been around for about as long as The Internet's gone main-stream. I spent a week with someone I've known for ages through this organization, and then the two of us spent the weekend in Hammondsport, New York with even more people from IndyGear... These people are my adopted family, and they're part or some of the reason why I started The Fedora Chronicles. I digress... now getting back to asking "where do I go from here..."

That’s when I started to go hiking with my favorite gear items and started taking pictures of myself in these items. Then I started my own site to host stories about my adventures, and other people’s. This summer I've taken up the task again of "Chronicling" adventures and moving away from Current Events and Politics.

I think that’s part of The Next Big Thing, once you get everything you’ve ever wanted, it’s time to go places, see and do things that capture that spirit of adventure, including Summits like the one we just had in The Finger Lakes Region in Hammondsport, New York.

When we all start posting about finding obscure maps to abandoned locations and we hike there and back with pictures and stories, I think THAT is going to be the pinnacle of this hobby. When people start threads on our forum that begin with the sentence "I always wanted to go to a particular place… and now that I’m back, here is my story…" Those are going to be exciting times. This up-coming movie (The Fourth Sequel To "Raiders Of The Lost Ark...") is a mere warm up…

And there won't be a "pinnacle," there won't be a "peak" except for the ones we reach in real life. That'll be what keeps these websites and hobby alive, striving for adventure in the real world. It’ll be the end of this age and the beginning of a new one, one where our names will be synonymous with "Adventure."

Pictured on the above-right, me walking an abandoned road called "The Blueberry Run" on The Massachusetts - New Hampshire State Line.

Your thoughts? Drop us a line on our forum. More articles from Ren can be found here: The Rant Archive