Lou knocked on the van. “With the hiking you’re talking about doing, you could probably use this. I got some of these to help wade in streams when I fish. The middle section doesn’t slide but you can probably fix that with some WD-40 or something.”
I thanked him and fiddled with the pole for a while. I took a break to sit in the sun, then fiddled with it some more. Presto, the middle section freed up and now it works as it should.
It isn’t a fancy new carbon fiber pole, just aluminum. The color has faded and there are scratches and dings, but it’ll make me look a little like a veteran hiker instead of the rookie I am.