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Gearing up for the epic Pacific Northwest road trip

Time on the internet has been mostly about researching, not writing.

Two weeks from today, I will be writing out an epic list of things for my staff to do while I am on vacation for TEN WHOLE DAYS. I will be setting up my away message on my inbox, and perhaps cleaning my desk so it is nice and tidy when I get back. That’s the idea, at least.

Vacationing and frugality don’t go hand-in-hand, but we’re attempting to stretch our vacation dollars. Other than the conference weekend, we’ll be car camping our way up and down the coast. I had to buy my tent new, although I waited until REI did a 30% off all outlet clearance sale and bought the tent for half of its original price. We’re borrowing one sleeping pad, and I already had the other. I got our cooler for free. Another friend is lending us her camping chairs. For the hotel, we’ll be bringing the crockpot and utilizing the fridge and microwave heavily, and you better believe that we’ll be bringing full batches of granola on the road.

My one splurge, which I hope will pay for itself in gas and parking fees, was buying a folding bike. Alex was bringing his and I imagined myself in some of the bike friendliest cities in the country feeling sad and forlorn about having to drive. I went uber-budget and got myself a Citizen Tokyo. I tried finding something used on Craigslist, but most of the folding bikes were either too high end and out of my budget range, or had mechanical issues I didn’t feel qualified to fix, or were not priced competitively with the new bike. (One person was trying to sell a used Citizen for more than the new price!) The few hardcore naysayers were mostly people who had never ridden the thing. Common issues seem to be that the bike is heavier than similar folding bikes, or that taller riders had issues with the frame geometry. Those who tried to ride the bike many miles a day were getting sore. I don’t need it as a commuter, so I’m not too concerned. I just want to casually toodle around and enjoy some new scenery. I got the 16″ size because I’m also excited about the possibility of taking it with me when I fly east to visit my parents.