Packing and What to Take

With less than a month remaining before departure I'm still struggling with what to take and what not to take.  Other than some miscellaneous stuff, here's how it looks:

The sticky backed metal on the tank is to hold a magnetic tank bag. We'll see how long that lasts... probably until the first fuel spill.

I made up an 8 foot steel cable, that I'm passing through some latches on the dry bag and will also use to lock my jacket and helmet. Use the bike helmet lock as the lock. If they want it they'll take it, but it's a deterrent for the opportunists.

In the dry bag I have my tent, sleeping bag, blow up pad, extra shoes, first aid kit, some extra clothes, and other stuff I still need to fit in. The tent and large mosquito net will go on the seat behind me. The tank bag I can take with me whenever I leave the bike.

All this of course points at the obvious... if I didn't have to worry about fixing the bike and flats on the road I could dump a bunch of weight.

I also just bought the case and oil filter cover armor from Perry Gray, so need to install those.
I tried the T-Rex engine guards, but they didn't fit with my bash plate.

On a personal note. It's been quite a few good months here in CO. Spent some quality time with the older daughters family, including my two grand kids. Certainly came at the right time for them, helping out with baby sitting, a move they just went through, and my daughter is days from graduating with a masters. It's been a long road for her... going to school, two jobs, dealing with two kids. Don't know how she did it, but damn proud of her! Shameless plug... She specializes in women's issues and has her own practice... So, if there's any crazy women out there that need their head examined... ah... am I being politically incorrect again? I have to stop that... right?...

On a even more personal note, a romance has brewed. She's not a rider, but we each have our path for the next few months, with plans to see each other as the trip progresses, so we'll see what happens. We've talked about her learning to ride, or maybe doing a Ural (less likely to tip and carries more, or driving a support vehicle. Her dream is to sail around the world, so... bike the land, sail the seas? I'm up for that! Who knows what the future has in store.

On a even more personal note. I consider myself a healthy guy. Try to eat right, exercise, and here in CO it's been snowboarding, bicycle, hike, walks in the sunshine... just a playground. But I actually started developing some kind of intestinal issue... pain when I eat certain foods, some lightheadedness on standing, even weight loss... not good symptoms! After a couple doctors visits and some consulting with some knowledgeable people, I've been eating macrobiotically. Totally changed how I eat, and found I wasn't really eating that healthy in the first place. With all the chemicals and pesticides and GMO's in our foods, it's good luck... I seriously started wondering if I was going to be fit enough to do this trip. You know, how many times do you hear of someone retiring and dropping dead months later? That very fact was one of the reasons I retired early; I saw that happening to guys at work... literally drop dead months after they retire... You never know. I think I have this under control, but goes to show you... if you have something you want to do, and have been putting it off... maybe you should go do it...