We're taking off tomorrow! Chad just finished putting his racks on the Surly and the Bridgestone is all set to go (Thanks to Tyler Blake for loaning me this amazing bicycle). We're in the midst of packing and our brains are endlessly cycling through lists. Last night I dreampt of packing bottomless panniers with cycling gear, inflatable chaise lounges, bottles of Pino Noir, strawberry plants, and Mini kitty in a carrier.
Mini is a little depressed that we are leaving, but hopefully she'll be quick to forgive when we return. She will be getting good care-- thanks to Tye and Christine and our neighbors Jason and Staci.
Packing for this trip has been quite a reflection on what I can detach myself from for the next 24 days. The knitting stays at home this time, as does Harry Potter! In addition to packing cycling clothing, we tried to pack a VERY small amount of clothing that we can wear once we are in San Francisco. We have a very lightweight tent, and yesterday Chad purchased this tiny sleeping bag-- it stuffs into a bag that is only 10" by 5", and weights just over a pound. We also bought an extra camp stove so we can cook with two burners at once should we want to make a stir-fry or boil water while making eggs in the morning. We also bought a small cribbage board so we have some entertainment on rainy nights and lazy afternoons. What else? Lots of bike repair tools, batteries, plastic bags for rain and ground covers, Clif Bars and GU, and some other miscellaneous accessories.
Our plan tomorrow is to hop an early ferry to Bremerton, and head on down the road through Shelton, where my mother grew up. If time allows I'd love to take a swing by the old family farm on Shelton Valley Road-- the barn is old and nearly falling down by now, but there will be some excellent blackberry picking to be found across the street from the old farmhouse.
We may just stay in Shelton-- a nice easy 40 mile day to get started. If we feel strong, we'll push on from Shelton to McCleary, where apparently we can camp on forest service land alongside the road just outside of town.
Beyond a doubt, this will be my biggest adventure to date. My chest expands at the thought of rolling off tomorrow morning, leaving from our front door in Ballard and rolling down to San Francisco. A month visiting the great Bike Nation, where we'll be dwelling as we pedal through three states. In what ways will this change our perspectives? We'll begin to find out tomorrow!