We all agree that the anticipation we feel prior to the trip comes close to matching the excitement of actually being on the road. A whole lot of work goes into these 41 days long before we hit the road. In fact I’m sure our trips have very little in common (on a lot of levels) with the road trip my mom took in 1974 when she hitchhiked to Colorado. Same location, definitely a different approach. I still don’t know a lot about her adventure, which is saying a lot, because my mom and I share EVERYTHING with one another. I do know my parents have a really lovely, gigantic 5 foot by 7 foot oil painting of her in the back of a pick-up truck, arm around a black lab, hair blowing in the wind that was painted on the road. I have a lot of questions just thinking about that painting, which hung in our basement my whole childhood, but know there are probably a lot of stories best untold.
Anyway, we plan and plan and prepare and prepare, all the spontaneity is very carefully outlined, allowing freedom, but controlled options. Part of the preparation is the setting up of the packing table.
You probably don’t remember the post from last May titled The Packing Table, so I’ll refresh your memory. Days before we leave we set up a large table in our small family room and start organizing all the stuff that needs to get packed. The table was set up on Sunday and the event marked the reach to the next level of anxiousness. We had had a long day at the NRA and at my folks, so we didn’t place a single item on the table that night.
However, there was no gymnastics or soccer on the agenda for Monday night, so we began going through our piles that evening.
We started with watermelon cucumber vodkas. Seemed like an appropriate cocktail for the event.
Then Zak went through some of the items he’s purchased in the last few months. Headlamps that needed batteries inserted into the very stubborn to open battery pocket. Glad we got that done before we needed them in the cave we’re hiking through. The camp pillows that needed to be washed and tumble dried for maximum fluffiness. The rain jackets/wind breakers/ultra-lightweight/very expensive coats.
We, of course, took the much debated bear spray out of the packaging. Zak noticed it hadn’t come with a belt. I reminded him that I haven’t worn a belt since 1997 and wasn’t going to be starting now. So we agreed to attach them to our packs, making sure they are within arm’s reach.
A few other things were added too, like the 24 count pack of beautiful fine-tip Sharpies in a plethora of colors for our journal and our dozens of pairs of hiking socks. And other things that I have absolutely no idea of what they are, their purpose, or the expense, but I figure Zak made another good, necessary decision. Like this item. No idea what it is.
So there we are, 14 days away from departure and the packing table is up and running!