The Great Summer Trip – Pack All Your Troubles

Only six days before I leave on my trip (129 hours at the time of this writing, to be exact).  Now I need to figure out what to pack and where to pack it.

Say what you will about Wal-Mart and how they’ve ruined the Mom-‘n-Pop store (though I’d prefer if you said it elsewhere), but when you want to buy a tent on the cheap they’re the place to go.  In addition to five quarts of Shell’s finest Rotella T oil for my mechanical steed,  I picked up a 7’x9’ camping tent for at least a couple of nights on the road.  Total cost: $32.88.  It’s nothing fancy, but then again neither am I.  Plus, it’ll work just fine for this trip, and my sons already have it in their heads that they’ll get to “camp” in it when Dad gets back.

Of course, I had to practice setting it up at least once so that I don’t look like a complete tool on the road.  Naturally, the boys wanted to come out and watch.  Then the dog decided that he wanted in on it.  Then my wife decided that she needed to take pictures.  Pretty soon, my one-man learning experience turned into a personal comedy of errors, complete with an audience.

Eventually I got the tent put up with no outside help (but with plenty of outside advice).



Naturally, the boys just had to see what it was like, though we couldn’t convince Mason (the dog) to come in.  He’d just stand outside and stare at me.


Plenty of room for Daddy and his two boys, so it should be sufficient for Daddy all by himself.

Luckily, I was able to re-fold everything into a small enough package to fit in the bike’s trunk.  I was a little concerned that I’d have to bungee it to the luggage rack.  It’s a tight fit, though – I can get the tent and my riding jacket in the trunk, but not much else.  I still need to find a small pillow.  And a larger touring motorcycle.

I also pulled down one of Mom and Dad’s old sleeping bags from the garage rafters.  It’ll need washing… smells like 15 years of sitting in the garage rafters (go figure).  A good washing should take care of that, and it’s just the right size to fit on the passenger seat and be strapped to the saddlebags.  That’ll leave the two saddlebags for me to carry all of my personal items.  I had hoped to score a magnetic tank bag for this trip, but that’s probably not going to happen.  The fairing will be full of spare oil, windshield cleaner,  tools, and an extra set of gloves.  The bike will definitely be loaded for bear.

That reminds me – I’ve never really christened this bike with a name.  Many of my other vehicles have had names.  I once had a car named Caroline, another car named Christine, I even had a truck named Dammit (it would always stop running on sharp left-hand turns), but I never came up with a good name for this bike.  I’ve always just referred to it as “The 900”, since it’s a Honda CB900 Custom.  If anyone has ideas for a good name, leave a suggestion below.  Proper modes of transportation should have a name.

At this point, the plan is to ride to the home of an acquaintance in Smiths Grove, KY for the first night and camp out in his yard.  Day Two should have me at Mom and Dad’s house in Fountain Inn, SC by dinner time.  I had originally planned on seeing my sister in Wilmington, NC for a day or two, but it turns out that her job will have her in Alabama for a month, so I’ll have to wait and see her another time.  Because of that I’m not sure what my travel itinerary will be for the week, and I’m not even sure that I want to commit to anything.  Part of the idea behind this whole vacation was to have the time and freedom to come and go as I please.

In the meanwhile, I need to change the bike’s oil and start getting all the tools together.


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