Thanksgiving Continued: Black Friday, Boots in Boulder, and Zipcar to GoodWill

One of the biggest events of the weekend besides Thanksgiving itself was obviously Black Friday.  We decided to head out to the Mall in Boulder, CO to see what was up.  Some of us in our group were on a mission for specific things so why not go to the mall on the day where everything is a zillion % off?  I expected total mayhem but it actually wasn’t that bad.  I imagine places like Walmart were out of control but we stayed inside the main mall looking around.  I mostly just talked to people who were working at the various stores we went into.  Many of them remarked, “At least I’m not working at Walmart.”  More than a few commented on being there since 4am and that they had slammed down more than a few red bulls since then.  Here’s a picture from American Eagle:

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Mega line, but still not as bad as I had expected.

I managed to make it through the entire day without buying anything.  Previous to Black Friday I joined a petition on Facebook/Twitter for “Buy Nothing Day” where you pledge to lock up your debit/credit cards and not buy anything on Black Friday.  I’ve also heard it referred to as “Occupy Christmas” Day but I think I like Buy Nothing Day instead.  It was relatively easy considering I didn’t really need anything.   Many of the people we were with asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I didn’t quite know how to answer them.  I have most all of the gear I need as well as clothes, books, music, etc.  I just kind of tagged along and took in the scene.  The 100 item challenge definitely helped me to see the commotion on Black Friday through a different lens.

The day after Black Friday, Sarah and I went out on a hike with our friend Nick who lives in Boulder.  We did Bear Peak in the Flatirons.  Surprisingly enough, I only had on 1 article of clothing on that was strictly for hiking, my lower base layer.  Everything else I used either running or just day-day use.  Running at 7,000 feet was definitely a humbling experience 🙂 but we hit our 2nd wind after a while and it turned out to be a ton of fun.

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Nick and I on the summit of Bear Peak in the Flatirons of Boulder, CO.

On Sunday we headed out to Rocky Mountain National Park for a hike out to Eagle Lake.  The hike was in the sun the entire time and the trail had a few feet of snow on it already.  We didn’t make it all the way to Eagle Lake because we hadn’t brought snowshoes or crampons so we turned around because of ice.  Either way, it definitely whetted my appetite for the Rockies.  I’ve got to come out here to spend like 3 weeks just cruising around the mountains.

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Not sure of the summit names behind me, but none the less they're pretty epic.

While in Boulder on Saturday we went to a Mountaineering store called Neptunes.  I have been on the prowl for new mountaineering boots, thinking that I’d eventually get them for next season, but if a good deal popped up I’d jump on it.  Conveniently enough, there was a pair on sale that I’ve had my eyes on. Also, there was only one pair.  Sarah convinced me to try them on, turns out they were in my size.  What were the chances that there would be the one pair of boots in my size on mega-sale at a store in Boulder that we just happened to go to.  I decided to pick them up.  I immediately put my old boots on Craigslist and email spammed my climbing friends.  I can easily get $100 for them b/c they’re in great shape (just a bit clunky for me).  Once I sell them it will be like getting my new boots for 50% off their retail price, score!  Good thing I didn’t find them on Buy Nothing Day 🙂 also they are a replacement item, not a new item so it doesn’t add to my 100 item list.

My new Scarpa boots on their maiden voyage in Rocky Mountain National Park. Now if only there was some ice to be climbed, it was a balmy 50F, not great for ice climbing.

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These are my old mountaineering boots. They are by the same company just a different style and half the price. I definitely noticed the difference in weight and quality by getting a higher end boot. Super psyched to test them out back in the east.

When we got back to Boston I became sick, something about the altitude change, sharing a house with 8 people and a 3 year old, and taking a red-eye didn’t quite agree with me.  So I stayed home from work, slept most of the day and made a trip to GoodWill to offload some odds and ends from my purging this month.

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I loaded up a Zipcar with stuff and drove it out to the nearest GoodWill. Renting for 1/2 hours cost about $15. I did some other errands too so it worked out alright.

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Here's the GoodWill Store. They had a donation bin just on the inside of the store to put stuff. It was fully loaded so I plopped my trash-bag-o-stuff on top and was on my way.

When undergoing the purge this month I first tried to find friends/family to give things to.  Someone reminded me that giving away all of your belongings was a sign of depression and suicide risk.  Let me remind everyone that I am indeed happy about my life and this a challenge, not a cry for help 🙂  My next step was to give it away to GoodWill.  I did three trips throughout this month.  One right when the month started, one at home in Maine (after my brothers picked through it), and one again at the end.  The items that were of high value I tried to sell on Craigslist with limited success.  I ended up putting a bunch of stuff up for free and within hours people came to my house to snag their new something-or-other.

Only a few more days left, I don’t know exactly how many items I have, but I have a feeling I’m pretty close to 100.

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