STUFF

Our first blog post from the road! After…

a full 24 hours on the Amtrak Starlight—Oakland to Seattle;
a late-night ride to our wonderful friend Josh Mahar’s place in the Berkeley-esque neighborhood of Wallingford; one day of finishing our Pedal Inn mailing in a neighborhood café; another spent touring the commodious and varied bike trails of Seattle with plenty of stops for food and frivolity; followed by a Sunday brunch whipped up at Chez Mahar for some new and old friends (more on all of this soon); and a few strategic errands before our first big day of actual touring…

I think we’re finally feeling away.

May was a life lesson. A study in adaptability. A time of constant shifting of stuff, weighing our belongings both literally and figuratively, deciding what’s worth it, what’s not. The stuff vs. the Stuff.

And we’re not even talking about touring preparations yet. For those of you who don’t know, Nick and I had to move in May—four times. Yes, four. And while I can’t say I recommend moving four times in the month before a big bike tour, it was perhaps just the preparation we needed.

We purged a lot of stuff. And we found some new perspective on what we think we really need—not just to survive, but to feel comfortable, happy, at home.

And now it’s just four panniers to manage. What a relief!

It’s surprising in some instances which stuff is Stuff. Nick’s harmonica. My powder brush. Scoff if you will, but I realized how much this little luxury means to me when faced with the possibility of living without it. It’s a small, daily self-care ritual that’s worth at least 30 grams.

And then there’s the extra gear for developing and testing our recipes and photographing our food adventures on the road: our “spice rack” and mammoth camera, two stoves, foraging guides and fishing pole, utensils we might otherwise have done without, and the Pedal Inn matchboxes we brought along to hand out to new friends we make along the way.

Ask us again in a week or two, but right now, we’re feeling quite good about our load. How interesting it will be to see how our stuff vs Stuff judgment evolves…

So here’s the Stuff that made the cut at the outset of our journey: