Sunday, June 15, 2008

It begins...

So far this trip has had several beginnings, one start of this journey began years ago with the spark of an idea to ride a horse across the Silk Road, then it morphed into sailing around the world on a 45' Ketch and now it is Denver to the East Coast of the US to New Brunswick, Canada to Prudhoe Bay, AK then onto Ushaia, Argentina and back (or beyond). 

This is probably the best of the three choices since I know where to put the fuel on a motorcycle and would be hard pressed to be able to keep a horse fed and watered and my sailing experience is just a 24 day trip from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia as "crew". That meant that I did everything to support the trip except actually sailing the boat. Sure, I held the wheel, trimmed the sails and learned tons, but I know about as much about sailing as I do about horses. Perhaps one day I will own that boat and sail around the world, but not is all about day 1.

Short version of my planning is that from the time I got a new bike, to replace the one that my brother "lost" one year while I was away, until now, I have been trying to find the most multi-purposed items to take that will streamline what I bring. I feel as if I am bringing the bare bones stuff, but when I look the bike fully loaded I have to question that. In the next few days I have to repack, review and pitch if I can't use it or is duplicate (not to be confused with redundant).

I need the tent and sleeping bag. I need all the camp stuff. I need clothes. I need the tools and spare parts I put together. That is about 3/4 of what I am taking. What I don't need are the cameras and my fishing gear. I don't need the two books I brought with me. I also don't need the computer and the MP3 player. I just can't imagine not taking pictures, not fishing in Alaska and Patagonia and Maine and Canada and Belize and... I also can't imagine having a book to read or music to listen to. I suppose I could chuck the computer, but it allows me to edit the photos I take and write. I have also copied all the manuals for the cameras onto the hard drive. I have videos of a tire change, a clutch overhaul, tune up and other maintenance needs in lieu of a shop manual. It is also my map.

It is funny to think that this is all that I will have for the next 9 or more months to keep me entertained or keep me warm and dry. When you look at it like that, I am not bringing much. Some people would skip the SLR camera and stick with the compact point and shoot - after all, some point and shoot cameras are solid cameras on their own. I wanted the SLR because I don't have to get close to the bears in Alaska or Jaguars in Central America, I can stand at a safe distance and "shoot" them without scaring them off. No sense in becoming something's lunch by getting too close. 

The fishing gear is for those once in a lifetime fishing holes that I might find in Maine, Canada, Alaska, Patagonia or even Belize for bonefish. 

There is one thing that I would like to point out among what I am bringing along. It may be the most important thing in my kit. If you focus on the upper right hand portion of the top picture you may see...and no, I am not talking about the toothpaste (although oral hygiene is high on my list).

(One note about the photos - you should be able to click on them to enlarge them.)

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