While researching for our book, Leaning into the Curves, a lady Harley rider, Cindy Gillman of Scottsdale, said she'd done some research on handcart pioneers and learned that they could bring along only 17 pounds of personal items. So on one road trip she limited herself to that amount of things. That was very interesting, so we had our main character, Molly, try to keep to that amount when packing for her first long motorcycle trip.
It worked really really well in our novel. But we didn't think of doing the same ourselves when we packed for our road trip to Boise, where we're attending the Temple Riders 2010 rally. Oh, no. We packed suitcases, garment bags, computer bags, bags of snacks, emergency supplies, and Native American Flutes and songbooks. To say nothing of Audubon reference books and binoculars. And then there was the DVD case, the CD case, and the cooler of Dr. Pepper and diet Coke.
Oh, yeah. I shouldn't forget the case of bottled water!
We didn't think there was anything odd about this until we passes a string of TRA riders on the freeway about a half hour away from Twin Falls and realized how man had managed to pack everything they needed in the hard cases on their Gold Wings and other cycles. Granted, some did have tagalongs--cute little matching trailers, but we might have had trouble fitting our load in the smallest of the trailer.
As we passed the line of cyclists, we wonder what in the world we'd been thinking. Okay, we wanted to be sure we had the perfect outfits and accessories for travel, our book signing, church and temple attendance, planned social activities, speaking, and going to an outdoor theater. But looking at the couples who didn't have trailers, it was obvious we'd overdone it big time.
We spent the next fifty miles laughing at ourselves and the overabundance of things we felt we needed to bring. That brought up some questions:
What did we really need?
What did we need to be prepared and comfortable?
Since we just arrived last night, we're still wondering how much of what we brought we'll actually use. We have already used both of our computers. Nancy has played her double flute, one that provides a drone to the melody. We've changed clothes once, and are glad we've got jammies and clean underwear. And when we go to see Thoroughly Modern Milly in Garden City, we'll be glad to have our jackets and the lap robe that was in the emergency box.
The thing the TRA people brought with them that has impressed us the most--wonder cycles aside--is their joi d'vivre.
Oh, the things Nancy didn't bring that we're really missing..... driver's license (we think it may have been stolen), two credit cards (also under investigation), and the jack for her new Kodak camera that has to be charged. So much for pictures to accompany our blog.
None of the above, whether what we have or what we're missing, is going to change our thorough enjoyment of our day. The TRA folk are off on rides. We'll be working on current projects and signing books at the Boise Deseret Book. The sun is shining, and life is good.