The first day was more about prepping, packing and driving so not much to cover. I'll use this time to list the gear and share some thoughts about the process and trip.
I started early finalizing the gear list, packing the truck and thinking through things to make sure I didn't forget anything needed. Getting the gear together was more about time vs. what to take since it is pretty straight forward about what to take and I had gotten many things together prior to the departure day. It was mainly organizing the small items like batteries, chargers, gear accessories etc... simply because I did not want to purchase things I already had.
This kept me busy and diverted my attention away from the uncertain road ahead because I was feeling a little apprehensive about many things related to taking a trip for a month or so. I did not plan much regarding where we visit or what route to take. I only had a general idea of the route beyond the first travel day. I did know that I was going to make it to Tsali campground near Bryson, NC to meet my son, Steven, which was good enough for one day. I'll worry about the next step as things progress.
The main thing I wanted to do was make sure I found anything mountain biking, kayaking and/or hiking in each place we went. Who really can plan 9500+ miles and 37 days of travel other than having a general idea of the next location and that is even relative. In retrospect, I see the value of planning a little more than I did for the sake of efficiency. Clearly, I could have accomplished more and done more biking and hiking had I slowed down a bit and focused on the nearby activities vs driving my butt off almost daily. On the next trip - already planned for September 12th - 21st I am going to do exactly this.
Each place, especially out west, has so many things to do in the outdoor related arena that it can be overwhelming. But I have been down this road before and I like it. Each day opens up the door for just about anything you would want to do. I had great days and bad but never failed to move on and know that something new is just around the corner. This is really the adventure part - not knowing the next place or what to do there. Sometimes I was amazed how I wanted to return home to comfort and 'safety' only to wake, find a cool hike or a sweet bike trail where I felt inspired once again.
Here a couple shots of the bikes and SUP from the trip + some experimenting with aperture mode.