Thursday, November 09, 2006

Northern Turkey...

We're not actually going to Turkey, though we are headed to North Carolina during the week of Turkey Day. Personally, we have a lot to be thankful for, living in a free society, having money and food, the ability to travel and extend our outdoor experiences. We also enjoy the privilege of responsibility, trying our best to reduce our carbon footprint for this trip, conserve as much as possible, and be fiscally sound... which is tough these days.

The trip we're taking will be a fully-loaded tandem touring ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We're considering the Bike Inn near Bakersville, NC as our starting, middle and ending point for the trip. We haven't worked that out with the Inn's owner yet, but that's the way we're leaning. Most of the campgrounds along the parkway are closed for the season, I assume because things die down once the cold emerges.

This will be the first time that Kelley and I have done any touring together. It will be especially challenging since we're hauling such a large quantity of things. I was amazed how the list and weight began adding up once we start writing it all down with actual weights. The first bit of frivolous weight was expelled last night. That was our roomy 10-pound Eureka Tetra 8. In it's place, we're taking our Eureka Timberline XT2. Without the bags and ground cloth, it's pretty much 6 pounds. The lightest two person, 3 season tent we've seen has 25% less space than this and still weighs 4.5 pounds. To have room to change clothes, sleep comfortably, run a heater, and cook inside in inclement weather - well, it's probably worth the extra two pounds (or as she says, why don't we just drop four pounds and that will make the tent seem half as heavy).

We're trying several of the Dr. McDougall's dry soups and Mary Jane's products. We've been sampling the Doc's soups and they're very good. It will be our first shot at Mary Jane's stuff. I have to say that although the Doc has many fewer calories in his stuff, which we'll need lots of, I think it's some of the best 'add hot water' meal stuffs I've ever had. Plus, a lot of his dishes are available natural & vegan... which is great ! And, they're Made in USA ! You might wonder, why's that such a big deal... well, pick up a bag of frozen soybeans (or four different bags) and notice Made in China. I can't help but wonder, why are my Edamame coming all the way from China when Kelley's Grandpa grows the things in Central Missouri. Has China somehow gotten closer to us than the 'Show Me State' ?

Our driving will be carbon offset with our TerraPass. We buy more miles than we use driving to work each year, and save up our extra travel & leisure miles by using the Cut20 formula. Every day you ride to work, you cut your consumption, mileage and emissions - 20% !! Won't you join us some time ? Be sure to check back for pictures once we've returned after the 27th. And we wish you all a safe, happy and organic Thanksgiving. See you out there, on your bikes of course.

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