Akubra Upgrade!


My Akubra adorned with my grandfather’s hand-tied fly

Towards the end of college, working long hours in lab and in the library, I came to the realization that I needed to spend a lot more time outside. I could not be indoors for 8 hours a day and be happy. After I graduated, I took my very first cross-country road trip west and ended up in Oregon, working outside all day everyday on an organic farm.

Nearly a decade after I came to my realization about the Great Outdoors, spending most of my time outside is still a major factor in my well-being and my decision making process. In fact, one of the things I love most about living out of the Teardrop is that I’m always outside!

Living outside is good for the soul,  but bad for the skin. I have sensitive skin and hate putting sunscreen on my face. So I’ve taken to wearing a hat. I got into sun hats on the farm, but it took me a few years to find my perfect hat: an Akubra Snowy River hat. Akubra is the National hat of Australia (Aussies know hats!) and Snowy River is the style the hero Jim Craig wore in the Man From Snowy River, my all time favorite horse movie.

Crossing the swinging footbridge over the Maury River at Goshen Pass, Va.

Crossing the swinging footbridge over the Maury River at Goshen Pass, Va.

To read how I found my first Akubra and then lost it, check out my posts: Akubra Love and Akubra Lament. This past fall, I finally replaced my lost Akubra, with a $14 eBay steal (not bad for a $200 hat!) but it didn’t come with a feather. While I was home last week, my mom fixed that problem by giving me one of my grandfather’s hand-tied flies for the brim. Now it’s perfect! Here’s to a great hat!

Bee fly, hand-tied by my grandfather Clyde "Pinky" Smith

Bee fly, hand-tied by my grandfather Clyde “Pinky” Smith. A work of art!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
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9 Responses to Akubra Upgrade!

  1. Stylish AND sensible!

  2. beeseeker says:

    Great tie, my respect to the maker … and what a lovely idea!
    My grandfather always reckoned a stick and a hat improved a walk beyond the ordinary.

    • Haha sounds like a wise walker! Somebody recently sent me a photo of an old man wearing a sweet hat with the caption, “Why would you take a photo of somebody not wearing a hat?” So true.

  3. Gunta says:

    Pure perfection. Our dog ate my husband’s Akubra. He very nearly did not survive. 😦

  4. Great hat and I really like the photo of you wearing it! Carol

  5. forkinriver says:

    Wow. Smokin’ eBay deal. The hat looks great on you.
    P.S. I followed the link to read more about your work on an organic farm in Oregon. I’m surrounded by organic farms myself. Your photos made me smile, because they look so similar to where I live.
    Very hard work that farming business. But a ton of personal rewards for living a more quality life. What a fantastic experience for you back in the day. Great way to spend your youth.

    • Thanks, Jenn! Most 20-somethings (really, all ages) could benefit from a season on a farm– hard work and lots of time to think about what you’d rather be doing! That farm is in Philomath, Oregon, so not far from your corner of the world!

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