The day is upon us! Someone told me that if I wanted to do a bike tour, I had to pick a date and stick to it, otherwise it might not happen. September 1 seemed like a nice round date, and boy did it sneak up fast. The past few days have been a bit of a scramble. Packing, assembling, checking, double checking, triple checking, fitting, adjusting, testing. Just a few last minute trips to the hardware store.

Nit picking every ounce: do I really need this book cover? How many pairs of socks can I really get by with? And yet, every cycle tourist has his own indulgences. Mine: a hammock (it only fits one), and prayer flags (though some might argue they're a self defence device against bad spirits). Lluc: an inflatable pillow (a man must have his comforts).

And then there's the essential kit. Spice, not first aid. Arguably just as important.

Still it's hard to believe, starting tomorrow, we'll be on our bikes daily for two months. Guess it'll get into my head when I get my first saddle sores...

Today's plan: wake up bright and early, load the bikes on the car and send it put to the coast. Destination: the very Northwesterly point of the continental United States. Hope to get our first glimpses and camp by the side of the mighty Pacific this evening.

You might notice a little head peaking out behind the car. That would be Liam, not the troll of the Hood Canal bridge. Big brother is joining us for the first couple days, along with our moms, who will camp with us for a few days to give us a send off. At least our moms still think we're cool.

This trip does feel different than my last across the country. The main difference I can identify is my choice to do this over other things. Last time, it seemed like a fun thing to do over a Summer and a cool way to get home from school. Now I'm a real adult choosing to do this over steady employment or other worthwhile pursuits. Still, I have to remind myself of all the times some wise folk told me to do 'it' while I'm young. So here we are, seizing the day. I'm reminded of a feeling I had on my last tour, waking up every day and thinking 'I have no idea what's going to happen today, and I'm so excited.'