So I set out on June 1, 1973 with my bike piled high with essential stuff. I had a goal for night one, a Mississippi State Park across Lake Pontchartrain and into Mississippi. It was to be short ride and an early night. Percy Quin is 106 miles. Easy, right?
I soon found out that many things I had tied to my bike were unessential. So much so that they flew off my bike as I crossed the 26 mile Causeway across Lake Pontchartrain. But the time I got to Percy Quin, my pile was considerably smaller. Who needed a book of maps? See what I mean about learning along the way. I had no destination in mind except Rocky Mountain National Park via Kansas, avoiding Texas because I didn’t like the state.
So I figured if I just headed sorta northwest, I would get there eventually. Took me until July 4th, but I got there.
Back to Percy Quin. I had to do a new inventory when I arrived at the park. I got rid of many articles of clothing. Who needed all that stuff. Got down to one small frying pan, one sauce pan, a sharp knife, spoon and fork. Sleeping bag stayed, so did the tent and air mattress. I had a foot pump to blow up the air mattress. Best investment I ever made.
The first huge obstacle was starting a fire at the park, so I could fry my potato. I swear they treated that firewood with a fire retardant so they would never have a forest fire. Took me hours and lots of matches, but I got it going. It was dark for dinner, but that potato sure tasted good. Up with the tent, up with the air mattress, out with the sleeping bag.
And so to bed, finally.