Sunday, 14 September 2008


T minus 1 day...

I was typing the itinerary up all evening, until 12.30 am, when I was too tired to see straight. I finished it at lunchtime. Woo hoo! A complicated four-page document – and that’s with 8 pt text. It lists the 77 days, from where to where each day, mileage, who I’m playing Scrabble with/staying with + address + phone number, and time of arrival. There are lots of blank sections, some of which may be filled as I go along.

Just weighed myself (after cutting my toenails) and came in at a whopping 11 st 13 lbs/167 lbs. Get some exercise fatty! You want to cut down on your pork life, etc, etc.

It’s teatime the day before I embark on the biggest adventure of my life. As I’m leaving dear old Blighty behind, I’m quaffing a celebratory (or is it commiseratory?) dry sherry – just a small one. Yesterday my neighbour Tony helped me to box up the trusty old Trek in a cardboard box, which was actually a complicated operation as the bike had to be disembowelled, hung, drawn and quartered, then virtually reduced to aluminium filings. Definitely should have bought a bike in America… The whole trip seemed to be unravelling in front of my eyes. I saw myself at Seattle airport, covered in grease, not able to put it back together again, no one helping, passers-by giving me dirty looks… I would just blow all the travellers’ cheques on the next flight home.

There was a power cut while I was typing this (great timing!)

Including what I’m wearing, this, then is what I am packing :


1 pair trousers
2 pairs shorts
1 pair leggings
1 long-sleeved shirt
1 jumper
5 T-shirts
5 pairs socks
5 pairs underwear
1 bright yellow cagoule
1 woolly hat
2 pairs plimsolls
1 pair overshoes

Bicycle equipment

Water bottle
U lock
2 spare innertubes
Adjustable spanner
Tiny screwdriver
2 allen keys
Gaffa tape
Rubber bands
Puncture repair outfit
2 spoons
4 rags
4 pairs disposable gloves
Bum cream


Electric razor + recharger (for my head)
Wet shaver + 10 blades
Shaving gel (75ml)
Dental floss
Tiny pair scissors
Cotton buds
Nail clippers
Canesten Cream
Toilet paper
Survival bag


1 Mars Bar
1 portion Nuts & raisins
3 portions Liquorice Allsorts
Tic Tacs
Small jar Marmite!


Flight confirmation
Travel insurance documents
Laptop + charger + manual!
Mobile phone + charger
Sun tan lotion (factor 15)
Magnetic Scrabble board
Scrabble score sheets (not enough)
US word list + UK word list (to see what isn’t included)
Spiral-bound US road map (with lots of pages torn out)
i pod
Digital camera + batteries + cable + manual!
3 notepads
Greetings card samples (for me to sell)
Business cards
Stamped addressed postcards (to send Anthony, my brother in Boston)
Scottish postcards (if Americans want to see where I’m from)
2 pencils
2 biros
2 rubbers
1 pencil sharpener
Travellers’ cheques
Credit cards
Directions to some people’s houses
Plastic bags (lots)
Freezer bags (lots)

There are probably things I’ve forgotten to list and there’s even more likely to be things I’ve forgotten full stop.

That’s all this side of the Pond. More soon from the good ol’ US of A…


nathalieanderson said...

Hi Adrian

hope the journey went well & that the start of your journey has got off to an exciting start:)

Take Care


Veritas said...

Adrian, the use of the word rubbers in the US may not be the same as in the UK........ unless of course I have completely miss-read you when you write 2 pencils, 2 biros, 2 rubbers........
good luck and sory I didn't get to say goodbe x

DCT chair said...

11st 13lbs, I've not been that weight since my mid-teens, so stop moaning. Sorry about the daft alias, but you know who I am, and there are already enough google-located tracks of me moaning on about something. I don't want to add to them.

DCT chair said...

Did you have to explain Marmite to US immigration? Remind me to tell you my marmite sandwich story when you get back.