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Packing For The Islands

Packing for the Islands

I’m packing for a no-car trip to the San Juan Islands.

I did it 4 years ago, for my 60th. That trip started from Orange County, CA. This trip is more compact, but hopefully just as much fun, this week-long, no-car, bike getaway.

What makes it more compact, besides starting from Portland this time, is a new ferry option out of Seattle. In 2012 we ferried from Seattle to Victoria, B.C. then the four of us rented bikes for an 8-day island-hopping junket. This ferry takes us direct – party of two. It may feel like a direct flight, only there’s no planes on this trip either, but we’ll be in the San Juan Islands pretty quickly this time around.

Swapped a not so old Brooks leather saddle for this slate colored Brooks Cambium C17. It rides a lot different...

Swapped an old Brooks leather saddle for this slate colored, weather-proof Brooks Cambium C17.
It rides a lot different, but I got used to it quickly.

Father’s Day brunch at home then we hop on the bikes saddled with just enough gear for a 7-day getaway.

“Gear,” might be overstating things.

My wife is taking a spork. I’m packing a mini tripod for the iPhone. Everything else is apparel – mild weather is forecast, but the ferry will be chilly. It’s credit-card touring, with all the comforts, except a car.

I read once that it’s best to pack into small panniers,

If you get out the large panniers you’re likely to be filling them.

Great for everyday use and the week-long vacation: the Bontrager Interchange Rear Trunk Deluxe Bag

Great for everyday use and the week-long vacation: the Bontrager Interchange Rear Trunk Deluxe Bag

Instead these are nice and trim with an all-in-one top bag and shoulder strap to boot. On AMTRAK and the ferry we have to strip the bikes, so that shoulder strap will come in handy. Four years ago, without straps and without bikes, we walked across downtown Seattle hand-carrying bulky panniers. This time it will be a breeze.

We wanted to bring our own bikes this time. We’ve tuned and tailored the whole bike: custom wheels, the luggage and more – it’s all just the way we like it, so why not take them?

So AMTRAK gets us out of town and into Seattle for a quick over-nighter.

Monday is a big travel day…

It's time for a change of scenery

 

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