The Top Hat Mystery
It fit my head when I got married. It fit my hat when I rode out the front gate. It doesn’t fit my hat any more. What the hell’s going on with my top hat?
Some Top Hat History
The mules and I travel light. There’s very little we carry that’s not essential: a few pounds of food, one pair of spare pants and not much more.
Okay, there is one non-essential piece of gear I’m carrying. It’s the top hat I got married in.
For psychological reasons I don’t need to pay a head shrink $100 to solve, I brought my top hat on my current mule ramble. Moments before I rode out the front gate and headed West for the summer, I strapped it to the top of my pack saddle. It has ridden there ever since – over the Smokey Mountains, across the Great Plains and through the first Rocky Mountain snows.
A Brief Top Hat History
I bought my top hat in February 2019. Here is how it spent the next 6 months on my Mules West ramble.
And Then It Stopped Fitting
Some days I wear I wear my top hat. Most days I don’t. Lately, I’ve noticed it doesn’t fit my head so well anymore. It’s taken on a front-to-back stretch I can’t explain.
It’s like some man with a skull much longer and skinnier than mine has been wearing my top hat while I’m not looking.
But that can’t be because I’m traveling alone. Maybe what’s stretching it is the way it gets strapped on top of my bedroll every day. Maybe it’s the scorching it got this summer. Or the rain and snow that beat the shape out of a hat meant for the high life, not high adventure.
Whatever’s deforming my top hat remains a mystery to me. And I need to solve it soon.
In a week or two, I hope to ride in to Hailey Idaho, final destination of my Mules West ramble. It would be a shame to slap my top hat on my head and miss the final moments because I passed out due to lack of blood flow to the brain.