Everywhere in the house things are lying on the floor: tent, sleeping bag, maps, some spare parts for the bike, cameras, a ridiculous amount of cables and wires, batteries, tools, clothes and some food. All these things I somehow have to stuff into five bags: two small ones on the sides of the tank, a small tank bag, two 1,200 cubic inch waterproof bags on each side of the saddle, and a big duffle bag on top.
The amount of clothing I can take with me is reduced to the bare essentials. Only the things I’ll absolutely need the next few weeks, divided in half.
About a hundred times tonight I’m standing in the room with two things in my hands that I have to choose between: flipflops or sandals? I can’t take both. My favorite sweater? Or should I choose a warm one instead? Shoes or boots? Can I pack my little camping chair? Or is a tripod more than enough? Decisions, decisions…
Two books have survived the rigorous selection procedure: Gregory Franzwa’s The Oregon Trail Revisited and Traveling the Oregon Trail, by Julie Fanselow. Two excellent reference works I won’t be able to do without. Harper Collins Complete North American Wildlife will have to stay at home. I have to be strict.

The bike is all set, fortunately. Besides changing the bearings and collars of the swing arm, Anne managed to do a million other indispensable little chores on the XT, in record time. The bike is waiting patiently (and a little surprised about what all the fuss is about, so it seems) in our garage, unaware of the fact that tomorrow it will be mercilessly loaded like a mule.

Another hour or so of packing, collecting, selecting, and then off to bed. Tomorrow around noon I hope to have loaded the bike and start my trip.
‘It giet oan!’ (Untranslatable Frisian saying that means something like: ‘It’s time. Let’s do it!’)