Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Getting Ready for Departure.

Details, details. It's been eleven years since I last took a month off for a long trip. It gets harder as the years pass by to get disentangled from work and other obligations to hit the road (or trail or waterway) and focus upon the immediate goal.

I am now going to depart Friday, July 6, and head west along the route I took on the 1967 Alaska trip, crossing Minnesota and cutting through the northeast corner of South Dakota before turning northwest towards North Dakota and Saskatchewan.

I will be traveling relatively light, as I did on the 2004 ride around Lake Superior, and as Denise and I did on our 1984 crossing of Europe. I will be testing out a 2.4 lb. Mountain Hardwear 2008 Stiletto tent prototype, and using a 1 lb. down Phantom sleeping bag and 1 lb. ultralight Therm-A-Rest pad. The only cookware I'm bringing are the original boy scout spoon and cup from my 1964 trip; eating ready-to-eat food-- peanut butter sandwiches have always been the caloric mainstay-- and stopping at restaurants once a day or so. The physical effort should be about the same as it was when I sea kayaked around the 1136-mile perimeter of Lake Superior without resupply in 1996; burning about 3500 extra calories a day for four weeks.

With my new Co-Motion touring bike and waterproof Detours panniers, I expect to have far less equipment trouble than in 1967-- no disintegrating rear wheel, leaky tent, or awkward Duluth pack to tie onto the back of the bike.

And with a little bit of luck with my arthritic knees, and the enevitable increase in highway traffic, I'll cruise the prairies and approach the vistas of the northern Rockies. Every three or four days, whenever I can find computer access, I will post updates here. At least it beats trying to stay in touch with postcards and general delivery addresses.

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