Day 3

Miles traveled: 101
Overnight in Panama City, Florida

On learning how to be a good guest. I guess the bottom line is to make as low entry as possible, recognize and move within the energy of the house and leave without a trace. I think every one of those rules were violated when we stay at Bill’s house in Tallahassee.

Everything we have is on the back of the motorcycles and we can not go into any house without bringing most if not everything into where we are staying. We pack with the intention of setting up a camp which means the ground cover and tent comes out first from the camping bag with sleeping bags and air mattress come out of the bottom when staying in a house. In either case, there is the C-Pap machine. All of which requires lots of space when laid out. Looks like a small package but when unrolled takes a lot of space.

Then there is the computer work and that requires table with lots of plugs to charge camera, cell phone and run the computer and portable hard drive. However, most places don’t have wifi and my newly acquired cell phone can act as a Wifi hotspot for up to 4 computers. We have only run two computers off of it and they work without any noticeable slow down. Bill gave us his entire dining room table and that we needed.

It may seem a little presumptuous to be taking up so much space but the truth is riding and talking are only a part of the tasks we have. There is the adjustments of presentation that goes with almost every presentation. There is coordination for the next stop. There is email to answer. Blog entries to make as well as thoughts to put down on paper.

While on the road, there is a mini desk that sits inside the T-bag on the tail of the bike. This a simple affair that works on the road for things like registration, insurance papers, storing receipts and notes with this and that. It is also a handy work space of sorts when in a tent.

My own sense is that once the activities of the say are done I will need a minimum of two hours of quiet time for end of day tasks.

In Day 1 photos there was a tent and black tarp on the side. This is tarp number two. Tarp number one goes under the tent and serves as a vapor barrier to keep the bottom of the tent dry. However, tarp number two serves as a rug, if you will, to sort out stuff and pack it in the hopes of getting a full accounting for everything as well as its state of repair. In this photo you see everything that is going in the camping bag.

From left to right in the bottom row you will see a power extension for either camp sits or where we may put on talks. Then is the camp stove which can heat two cups of water in two minutes. Inside is a coffee press. Then on the right is what you can call rations (rice and oat meal) for ten days. There are some tins of meat to mix with the rice and peanut butter and honey for the oatmeal. On the second row is some small parts for the tool bag, bedding and tent and tent poles. The big bag in the center is where all the camping gear goes. The little roll bag to its right is for foul weather gear be it rain or cold weather. It sits on top of the T-bag and is theoretically easy to get at so that when entering rain showers the rider can do a quick change. In reality, the change is not always as quick and elegant and you may be led to believe.

Now you see the the reality of packed bags. There is the roll bag and big bag along with the tent polls. These are just too big to fit in any bag. They could be inserted in a bag but all the bags have zippers and zippers that are not closed all the way can come unzipped. The consequence of zippers coming unzipped at highway speeds are a disaster with a capital D. Also, the bags have rain covers and tent poles would prevent the covers from doing the job they are designed to do.

On this our third day we arrived in Panama City and overnight-ed with Rebecca. She has a nice house in Panama City about three blocks from the docks. Last night after the talk, Jack was telling me how the fishing industry has been savaged by regulations and the BP gulf spill. He was telling me that he knew of no young men that were not going to prison and it had become almost a righ of passage into manhood. There is a lot more to that story but my batteries are wearing down and it is a long ride tomorrow to New Orleans. Know I wish each and every one of you well.

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