Prepping for the Sojourn

I have done a lot of travelling in my day, and I have never been the type to pack in advance. Last year, at the end of my sojourn, I wrote up a list of items that I wanted to be sure I would pack for this year—like a camelback backpack for on-mountain hydration, a video cable to hook my computer to a monitor or TV, a shovel. But still I felt I was packing too much. I use laundry bags to pack. Leggings and t’s separating jeans; then underwear; socks (yes, a bag just for socks); and the suitcase zippered compartment just for neckerchiefs/scarves. I have a hard-sided zippered mid-sized suitcase for it all. My makeup, jammies, slippers and one change of everything, just in case, are in an overnight bag.

I have a ski bag with boots, boot heaters, helmet, gloves, and various and sundry scarves, extra gloves, goggles. In another zippered compartment I have hand warmers, extra eye glasses, iPhone cords, sunglasses, extra goggle lenses, ski lock and hand warmers. The ski bag is a 26’ rolling duffle bag, pretty big by itself. It has extra layers of clothing and ski pants.

I got my Ford F-150 serviced, a few minor issues taken care of. I got new tires, and continue self-doubting whether I chose the right all terrain tire… I also got the truck interior detailed. Over the course of the past three years that I have owned it, it’s gotten pretty dirty, and as my son would say, “Look good, feel good, do good.” I wanted my truck to do good.

I got my prescription meds ordered up—I don’t take much, but the few that I do I didn’t want to be chasing down over the course of the next three months—and I had my gear sorted by “frequently used” that went into my suitcase, and “seldom used/emergency items” in a large bin that I put in the truck bed.

I also have a large bin with the following: jumper cables, tow rope, tire chains, collapsible shovel, sleeping bag. I have a first aid kit, and a survival kit that my nephew Rob gave me last year for Christmas. That kit has band aids, a window breaking tool, a door alarm that you wedge under your door, a crank radio. My first aid kit is the same one I had as a ski patroller 30 years ago—bandages, scissors, tape, gauze, reflective heat blanket, matches… the only thing it doesn’t have is a flask of whiskey. I got a Canadian insurance card in case I need it. And I checked to make sure my “unlimited” Verizon wireless package indeed included cell, text and data for Canada.

I double checked that I had my passport.

In my extra stuff bin (extra ski coat, extra ski pants, snowboard boots, gloves…) I put in warm weather clothes (in case my book research on the California coast materializes) extra hair color (yes, my fading black hair is doing so intentionally), and laundry detergent.

I have two full boxes of LET ME IN books, and a box of 10 each of LET ME IN, Solo Ski Sojourn, and Musings of an UnGeisha. There are two file boxes, one with my receipts from last year if I am inclined to do my taxes on the road, and one with current files (unpaid bills, stamps, return labels, insurance papers, mom’s diaries, writing materials) that I bring in with me on any stay of any length.

And then there is my backpack—that has my computer, most important papers, extension cord, extra plugs, books, checkbooks, iPad. It weighs a ton.

There is a food bin (right now filled with snacks like chips, crackers, Cheetos, spicy Fritos, paper plates, napkins, corkscrew, Whoopers) and an ice chest (with cheese, eggs, salami, beef sticks, Diet Coke Feisty Cherry and Lime). And a couple bottles of wine.

Someone today warned me about the dangers of being caught on the road unprepared.

Unprepared? Me? I don’t think so.

I don’t take Mother Nature lightly, and I believe in the Boy Scout motto, Be Prepared.


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