I’m starting the day well rested with at least ten hours of sleep, but I still feel exhausted. As I pull myself from the covers, images of the dreams that woke me flash out of sequence in my mind. I strain to put them in order.

A closet overflowing with stuff. My bike empty and unpacked. The words that make up the pack/gear list on my marker board written in too small of print to read but sprawling off the board and onto the walls, floor, and ceiling. In a single image, everything from the closet and all the different colored words merge, some falling behind, discarded. Tools, parts, electronics, camping gear, and more file nicely in line and march into the empty cases on my bike in a show of organization not unlike the broom and well scene from Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The lids snap shut, zippers zip, and just before I throw my leg over the seat, a very decipherable yet nonetheless annoying pounding noise from the Trunk Road construction outside wakes me.

And so here I sit, staring at a full closet, an empty and unpacked bike, and the most formidable list of my life. All I can do is pack, and so that’s what I do. It’s all rather organized, really. And what does not fit, can’t go.

Staring at an empty pannier, I decide to start with the top case. Weight is restricted to twenty pounds, and it is easily the most accessible of the boxes. I glance at the piles of gear and then the list and think cooking equipment, first aid, and my documents binder are a good start.

And so goes the rest of the day. It’s like playing Tetris with blocks that lack any uniformity, occasionally stuffing a soft blob that just doesn’t fit anywhere else in between. Once something does fit, there’s a reason for it to go elsewhere. The stove should go with the rest of the cooking gear, but the fuel bottle doesn’t fit in this case. My data storage hard drives should be with the computer, but they’re heavy enough to warrant being on the other side. There’s always a reason for something to go elsewhere. Always.

With everything packed, I decide to sleep on it and re-evaluate the weight in the morning.



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