Thinking and Gathering

Are we there yet? That is the underlying question Jim continues to ask.

As of today, we have two and one half months until our trip. Jim is expressing more interest as we near departure date suggesting different items we may or may not want to take.  Our train trip from Paris to St. Jean Pied de Port was booked this past week. Now to hope there will be no train strike on departure day. The only transportation link yet to be booked is the trip to Barcelona. That will be done when we know the approximate date of arrival into Santiago de Compostela. Little by little it will be done.

There is still quite a list of items to be completed prior to leaving. This includes finishing areas of the basement and organizing the Storage Building books to turn over to our wonderful friend to manage in our absence. Jim has diligently been hanging and finishing the drywall in the basement and I have painted the four closets that were ready. We are trying to finish a section so the guest bedroom items can be stored. The guest room needs to be cleared so Jana will have closet and dresser space for her two month stay. Currently, we (I) have a great number of sleeping bags, backpacks and other camping/hiking gear stored in there. The basement finish will allow us to put those items away in an organized manner.

We have found a great service that places people in your home to “sit” at the house to have it occupied and, in our case, take care of our three cats. Jana has agreed to spend our time away refreshing her memories of Western Kentucky while we travel. For the curious, we went through Housesitters America and found quite a few people interested in visiting the area. We even had an inquiry from a Danish couple looking to explore the United States, one location at a time. This arrangement should prove to be mutually beneficial.

My current small project is figuring how to attach clips to my backpack shoulder straps to allow me to carry my umbrella hands free. I have located clips that should work and now just need to figure the best way to attach them to the straps. The umbrella will do double duty of not only allowing me to walk in the rain without a rain jacket but will help on those bright days of sun. I have not yet used an umbrella hiking but the reports of those who have is very favorable.

If my calculations are correct, we will be running 12 pounds +/- per pack. This will, we have decided, include our iPads. They weigh 1.1 pounds and will allow us to check email and transfer funds for bill payment, a place to transfer photos from the camera, as well as books for evening reading or, podcasts for Jim. I have restrained from totally packing as that is close to obsession. I am sure it won’t be long before it happens. My Purple Rain hiking skirt has arrived and it looks to be perfect for the trip. Nice sized pockets and a stretchable waistband for the weight loss expected, not to mention lightweight and quick drying.

Jim has, sadly for him, given up a motorcycle trip to Sturgis in August. That would take up two weeks and there is much yet to be done. Next year I am sure he will make the trip. Right now we have a weekend trip to Missouri, a few days in Portland for Crystal and Emily’s wedding, a trip to Kansas for my nephew’s bride’s shower and then another Missouri trip in August. Is it any wonder Jim decided to cancel Sturgis? There are still houses to sell and close tucked in and around those dates. Time surely flies!


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