LA ROUTE M’APPELLE!

C’est le jour du grand départ! Nous sommes prêts, les sacs sont prêts aussi …

Comme toujours, j’ai un poids sur le coeur de laisser certaines personnes, pendant que je serai si loin. Mais LA ROUTE M’APPELLE! et c’est plus fort que tout. Tout à l’heure nous serons dans le feu de l’action : pousser, tirer, s’informer, faire la queue … et puis le bonheur d’être dans l’avion … c’est encore entre le rêve et la réalité … et je rêve!

Cactus Killer et Silly Squirrel arrivent !!!

posted by Cactus Killer in On the Road and have Comment (1)

4 months to go…

Today is the 9th of March, and in exactly four months we will be hitting the road!!!! (i am actually hitting the road — well, the air, to be more precise — today on my way back to NY from Paris, btw)

Excitement is building… the new tent… the more concrete planning… getting down to the practical questions…

And with good planning thus far, we can coast a little bit, doing our preparations at a leisurely pace from now until departure… Am feeling really positive!!!!

posted by Blue Coyote in Anticipation and have No Comments

Our new tent…

So we went to the store to look at tents in person today, and Cactus Killer and I came back with our backcountry tent. A 3-man Quechua 2 second tent. (The base tent of the same brand was just not practical in the end, because it had a separate floor, and there was a huge gap where water could get in, if there was much rain/flooding….)

And when we got home, Silly Squirrel was anxious to try it out… and so we took it out of the bag and started setting it up in the middle of the living room, but then decided to take it out to the terrace, and truthfully the set up WAS quick and easy! The two of us went inside to check out the space and comfort, and it seems like a fine tent for the hike-in days! Cactus Killer was “practicing” for the hike-in by carrying the tent with us all over Paris as we did some other errands as well…

Anyway, getting the tent back down and in its bag was a bit more complicated, but i think with a little bit of practice we will be able to do it all pretty quickly…

So a toast to the new tent!!!!!

And after buying the tent we headed up to Barbes to look at fabric… We wanted to get some very light comfortable fabric to transform into camp bedding for those hot nights when the sleeping bags will be way too hot… And so we did a tour of the fabric shops, and spent a really nice afternoon looking at different options, both in terms of colors and fabric types. I had originally wanted some kind of camo pattern, but after looking at the fabrics in that pattern I switched to a lighter, more comfortable batik, and chose a psychedelic green/pink combo that looks fun and feels inviting… Cactus Killer choose some very light weight cottons in the blue purple shade for Silly Squirrel and a beautiful desert color combo African pattern for herself…

We left Barbes with smiles on our faces and packages in our arms… It was a really good day!

posted by Blue Coyote in Planning and have No Comments

The hill remains the objective…

Am laughing to myself thinking of all those stories of military campaigns where the objective is to take a hill, because these days my objective is to take a hill in a different sense — Cactus Killer Hill…

Have been pretty faithfully going up there when the weather is not too awful, and I do feel like I am getting a little more accustomed to the steep climb. Not sure I am doing it all any faster. Though I guess I make less stops along the way, or maintain a more stable pace going up. In any case, I do feel like I have made some small progress after only two weeks (it’s too bad that once I am back in NY I will no longer have this challenge to help motivate me! oh well, I will have to continue training in the gym, like “normal” people do… anyway, it’s been fun while its lasted!)…

On another note, they say that there will be a big storm here tonite — with very strong winds. The local media have been talking about it for a couple of days already, so I am guessing it will be unusual. Am wondering if it will be anything like that storm almost ten years ago that tore up all the trees in the parks around the city… Today when I went up the hill I couldn’t help wondering if I would have the same view in the park at the top after the storm passes. We will see…

For now we are still in the calm before the storm, though the first raindrops began falling as I walked home from the store a little while ago…

posted by Blue Coyote in Shaping up for the Trail and have No Comments

A few comments on Paris interlude…

This has nothing to do with Route 66 or the upcoming trip in any way, but can’t help feeling a bit inspired by my morning today. Am in Paris, and have been staying with Cactus Killer and Silly Squirrel in the suburb of Sevres. But this morning i had to run some errands in the city itself, and it just felt so good to be back in a city. Amazing as it sounds (considering I am planning this massive trip through the backcountry of the USA where our focus is on nature and remote locations), I find the city full of energy and inspiration.

Even riding on the metro, which we all find annoying most days, today seemed like a breath of fresh air (and you KNOW it doesn’t smell “fresh” down there)… the visual stimulus… the pace… the activity… it brings new ideas… thoughts that flash through my mind with the same rapidity that the train speeds from station to station.

Exiting back up to street level in the 10eme, I felt strangely at home again, though the facades of the street continue to change. New cafes replace old ones, or just open up where before there were none. More of the old favorites have closed up, but the energy of the new places seems inviting and I just enjoyed having those familiar streets under my feet once again…

posted by Blue Coyote in Other thoughts and have No Comments

Sunny day brings warm thoughts…

Am actually in Paris, and the trip is far off (139 days to go), but today is the first day since winter snows and freezing cold weather began that i can even feel like we are getting closer to spring and then summer and departure day!

The sun has come out here and the Paris skies are blue, and it is just a little less cold. No need to wear my silly snow hat or a warm liner inside my jacket! The air is fresh (well as fresh as it can ever be here in a polluted city) and i am feeling a bit of energy…

It is like a great relief to be able to imagine spring! (This has been a very harsh winter, as the Big Weasel says over and over…)

Now i’d better get busy with next phases of logistical preparation for the trip. We have our route plan completed, and briefing books are done. Time to turn thoughts to the more quotidian aspects of determining what equipment or supplies we need to purchase before departure. And also need to devote some time to figuring out what will fit in the jeep, packing lists, checklists, and so on…

And a maintenance schedule/plan for the Jeep itself covering the run up to the trip, as well as during the trip itself.

posted by Blue Coyote in Other thoughts and have No Comments

Cactus Killer’s Hill…

So am still following up on my idea to get into better shape for the grand adventure, but here in Paris I don’t have the gym, nor the routine that could keep me on program…  However, there is Cactus Killer’s Hill!

Actually it isn’t exactly her personal hill, but it is a big steep hill that goes to the park where she runs regularly (even when she is NOT preparing a marathon), and it is two minutes from our location here — so there are no excuses… up that hill I go! (and I keep telling myself that I will have to be doing this in 125 degree heat in Death Valley, so I’d better become really close friends with this hill during my stay in Paris!)

posted by Blue Coyote in Shaping up for the Trail and have No Comments

Les jours sont courts …

C’est la fin de l’automne, les jours sont courts et sombres. La grisaille du bassin parisien. Et pourtant ce matin malgré la pluie que c’était beau, le parc de St Cloud. Même la tour Eiffel avait du mal à se tenir debout dans ce gris !

Dim et son copain ont pris quelques photos … j’espère qu’on pourra bientôt les voir !

Oui je sais … rien à voir avec “Route 66″ mais on peut voir du beau là où on se trouve aussi !

posted by Cactus Killer in Other thoughts and have No Comments

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