When a Columbia Sportswear rep first asked if I wanted to participate in an exclusive spring field test of a new waterproof jacket, I was elated.
“Not sure about testing for rain-proofness since I live in San Diego, where it likely won't rain again until this fall and our woods aren't moist,” I wrote back. I explained that if they changed their minds about me, I’d understand.
Then on Friday UPS delivered this beautiful turquoise Peak Power Jacket, featuring Omni-Dry fabric to transfer moisture away from the body while the outer shell keeps wet stuff from soaking in. It had all kinds of cool pockets too.
I started thinking of where I could travel in the next few weeks to truly test the jacket’s rain-worthiness and how many miles away it might be. 100? 200? I even asked if maybe we could go to Yosemite while there was still lots of mist from the falls.
It turns out I only had to go 2 feet.
I woke this morning to steady rain, the first time I can remember such weather on Memorial Day weekend here. The rain and wind might have poked holes in some people's plans, but it instantly made mine better.
I ran through Black Mountain Ranch feeling on top of the world, well protected from the downpour and subsequent winds that whistled through the canyonsides. I saw only two other runners, both men and both looking liked drowned rats in their flimsy windbreakers. Me? I looked like a princess. Yes, my wet hair was stuck to my head, but only because it took me awhile to realize the loose jacket hood can be cinched to create a protective brimmed hat.
This really felt like a special morning, even if to anyone out at that hour I was just this woman in a bright blue jacket who didn't dodge the gushing gullies and who didn't stop smiling as she ran through town in blood-soaked socks.