“You’re Not Going to the Moon”

You’re not going to the moon, I remind myself as I’m pilot-testing* packing for Round America with a Duck.

You don’t need to bring five months worth of everything, I tell myself. There are drug stores. Thrift shops. Amazon.

I’ll be connecting with hubby after the first month or so (see current route here) and he can re-supply me with a few things or take away others that prove to be useless. I’m seeing a daughter on each coast, and they have stuff and access to stuff. I don’t need to carry months of Clif Bars, a stack of books, or more than a handful of outfits165 supergreens gummies? Stop it, Pattie. Just stop it.

However, I do get damn proud of myself when what I’m carrying is suddenly needed. I’ve been a backpack-on-bikeshare kind of traveler, and yet, you name it, I have it. Need cashews or a Q-tip? Got it. Duct tape ? Duck brand, of course 🙂 Zip ties? Tweezers? Chalk? (That’s for drawing ponytails on cyclists depicted in bike lane markings. A habit I’m trying to break. Bare with me.)

I even intended to use my usual red schoolchild backpack (pictured above during a past trip that included Boston, New York, Megabus and a stay at a fantastic hostel — which inspired me to book a night at a hostel in Philly during Round America with a Duck). However, truth be told, it proved to be too heavy for comfort on my 2-week WWOOFing pilot-test (although I didn’t realize it just yet when I made the following TikTok on my 24-mile bike ride there):

I was sharing my packing challenge with my Appalachian Trail neighbor Alan (you may enjoy my post about him titled “You Take What the Trail Has to Offer”). Helpful as always, he zipped up his stairs and came down with this larger, lumbar-supported backpack for me to borrow (thanks, Alan). I road-tested it yesterday:


Pilot testing packing and riding the folding #bike with the backpack in preparation for #RoundAmericaWithADuck I’ll show u the products I’m taking soon. #travel #slowlife #bikes #buses #trains #wwoofing #booktok #authorsoftiktok

♬ Good Vibes (Instrumental) – Ellen Once Again

I love it. And I love you to the moon, team. Thanks for joining me on this journey, and for all the private messages. I’m getting nervous. Excited. Curious. And maybe even in some ways, peaceful. One day, one to-do item to check off, one nixed thing from the packing list at a time.

*You know how I love to pilot test! You may enjoy my two-week WWOOF pilot test — featured in the FREE first chapter of Round America with a Duck, titled Tiny House, Big Idea (read or listen to it at the link here) — as well as the post about my recent pilot test of Greyhound with my folding bike. Oh, and I almost forgot — I also pilot-tested visiting a Hare Krishna temple in preparation for my one-month stay at one during Round America with a Duck.

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