February 23, 2011 – One week until departure

At this time, one week from today, we’ll be on the road. We got another couple inches of snow this morning, and I had to go out and blow it off with the leaf blower once again. This routine is getting old fast. The temperature is forecast to drop to near zero here on Friday, with half a foot or more of snow on the way. Weather like this really makes us yearn to be headed for warmer places.

We’re in pretty good shape with preparing and stowing. I’ve got all my boat projects completed, and have tested systems and sorted through all the miscellaneous spare parts and repair kits. The boat cabin is freshly cleaned, and I’ve begun stowing gear into lockers, drawers, and the king berth area. Sandy has done a terrific job with the provisioning, and is now assembling food into our plastic storage tubs. She’s put together the ingredients, with pre-measured quantities, for various specific meals. Complete meals are separately bagged and stowed in plastic tubs. The tubs are inventoried, labeled, and logged on her menu sheet. This system should minimize having to dive into the back of the king berth, in search of a missing ingredient that we’ve just run out of. With so much food stowed on board, it’s critical to be able to access things with a minimum of hassle. Crawling around in the back of a congested king berth when its 88 degrees outside is the last place I want to be spending time.

Sandy has been testing out recipes for things we can bake in our Outback Oven. This reflective oven sits on top of a single burner propane camp stove. She baked up a pizza with a new crust recipe for last night’s dinner. It came out great, so we’ll be bringing pizza crust fixings along. This evening she tried out a scratch bran muffin recipe, and they were outstanding. She’s prepackaging packets of muffin mix, so we’ll be able to enjoy muffins around once a week. Tomorrow she’s going to experiment with foccacia bread. If successful, it will provide a good source of sandwich bread when our loaf bread runs out.

My checklist is down to details such as canceling the paper, reducing insurance on the car which will be parked for the next 3 months, arranging to forward mail, canceling garbage service, and temporarily discontinuing TV service. Tomorrow I’ll clean the truck and have the oil changed, and then I can start packing things in the back seat area.

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