Two, count ’em, two days to go. On Wednesday morning at just about 4:30 AM, the caretaker becomes master of the estate, and my dearest friend and I commence the kick off of the 2015 adventure season with a drive to Las Vegas.
The following morning plus eight hours will find us in Amsterdam. That, of course, is dependent on possible flight delays resultant of weather and a multitude of other potential problems. As none of those are in our control, they are not something we can concern ourselves with.
Instead there is a need to focus on the tasks at hand and the last minute issues requiring attention. Counted among these is last minute packing (details on the single carry on bag theory to be posted soon), the office, submission of the first draft for the new book, following up on books sent but not received, jump starting Barney the Adventure truck (the cold snap finished off the battery), a last ditch effort to locate key images for the current project, and responding to what seem like millions of inquiries and notes.
Needless to say, preparation for the trip, requests for information about our schedule while in the Netherlands, the outpouring of generosity from our Dutch friends and neighbors, the European interest in Route 66 made manifest in the people attending the open house at de Prael in Amsterdam, and the request for me to make presentations at Vakantiebeurs in Utrecht has sparked a great deal of thought in the past few weeks. 
There are the personal thoughts about how blessed my dearest friend and I are for the friendships as well as the opportunities. There are also reflections on the amazing journey that has led  a simple couple from the outback of Arizona on previously unimaginable adventures.
Of course, there are also a lot of thoughts about the magic of Route 66, that highways future, the fast approaching centennial, and the dawning of a new one. In 1927, when the U.S. Highway 66 Association initiated marketing of this highway as the Main Street of America, I doubt if those involved had any idea that they were about to transform a highway into an icon, or that in time people from every corner of the world would be dreaming of adventures on the double six.
Now, lets discuss lessons already learned in regard to the idea of traveling with only a carry on bag. There were two primary reasons I decided to try this. 
One is the simple fact that as this is our first international adventure, it seemed a good idea to simplify things as much as possible. The hassle of checking bags, reclaiming bags, or even a lost bag seemed to be an unnecessary complication, especially as we will be only traveling for ten days.
The second reason had more to do with curiosity than practicality. In general, our adventures are of the driving variety. They also involve a Jeep. So, I seldom travel light but we are prepared for almost any contingency imaginable save for something that borders on apocalyptic in nature.
As flying, especially international flights, prohibit almost any type of preparation for emergencies including the simple packing of a pocket knife, I began to wonder just how light we could travel. Through the miracle of the Internet, I learned that there is an art to traveling with only a carry on bag. 
I also learned that I wasn’t alone in my thinking. In fact, there seem to be a number of travelers who strive to make one bag adventures an art form. Here is but one example.  
The primary problem encountered so far is two fold; it is winter which means sweaters and heavy clothes, and pretty much everything I own is better suited to farming than traveling light. Still, after several attempts, I think everything needed for a week to ten days is currently mimicking a Chinese box puzzle in one carry on sized bag.

As our current luggage was either in need of replacement, or wasn’t suitable for our one bag experiment, the decision was made to try out two different type of bags. My dearest friend will be using a rolling back pack. I will attempt a back pack only that currently weighs exactly twenty-pounds. In addition, she will have a large purse, I will have the large camera bag.
On our return, I will provide reviews of both bags, and details on our experiment in traveling light. Curiosity and an inquisitive nature tend to transform daily life into an adventure.          
Meanwhile, as we begin our international odyssey, out on Route 66 things are shaping up to ensure this is a most exciting year. The Rockbilly event in Tucumcari is shaping up to be one of the major events for 2015. Rich Dinkela is slowly making progress with the Events on Route 66 website and the Gasconade River Bridge preservation initiative continues. Nary a peep from the folks in Edwardsville but with Cheryl Eichar Jett overseeing things I am rather confident that the event being developed for the Halloween weekend this year will be most interesting.
Let the fun begin!

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