My packing is similar to Martha’s but a bit more optimistic in terms of the weather in that my only rain cover is for my pannier to keep my spare clothes dry. No ponchos for me. If it rains, only my head will stay dry with my bike helmet. The day’s dirty shirt is my nightie, and both pairs of pants are the zip off type. In my personals, I remembered Ron’s sickness on the Great Allegheny Passage and the Cumberland & Ohio in Pennsylvania and Maryland and threw in a few peptic acid and anti- diarrheal tablets, along with several Ibuprofen in case “the old’ body ain’t what it used to be.” I do have a clean short sleeved shirt for every day of the ride and two long sleeved shirts for layering. And of course I brought my baby blue windbreaker nylon shirt that I’ve had since spring skiing days in college and that I take on all outdoor adventures because it squishes up nicely to fit in my pants front pocket. Only in one category I think I am more extensive in packing than Martha, and that is in bike tools. We do not want a flat tire! So I have a patch kit, two spare tubes, a hand pump, and the tools Tommy gave me for Mother’s Day for changing the flat, turning our handle bars, and removing the pedals for shipping the bikes to and from Missouri. So, we are set to begin out journey, knowing that we don’t have to decide each day what all to take with us because everyday we are hauling it all in our panniers.
Before we embark, though, I want to record for the record a good philosophy of a lifestyle, taken from the shirt I’m wearing today from Volcano National Park in Hawaii. “Advice from a volcano: Stay active. keep your inner fire burning. It’s ok to let off steam. Go with the flow. Be uplifting. It’s all a matter of time. Have a blast.” I try to live these in a spiritual sense as well as a physical sense for I am grateful for the blessing of good health and an active mind.