Mara challenged me to keep my Le Tour Adventure fun and easy. Here is an update. I took K2's advice and ordered the Rick Steve's luggage: both the daypack and the roller/backpack. The size forces you to pack light; however, I will not miss the second pair of jeans when I am carrying it from train station to my hotel and back. Still to do: a practice pack and walk around town this week.
My friend Jim narrowed down where Uncle Frank likely died. I will double check on any available websites I can find. The Germans made a big push into France in Spring of 1918 and the French and American forces pushed back in July 2018. He likely died in Chateau Thierry and the Second Battle of the Marne. When I am in Reims I will be as close as I will get to the area where he likely fell. If time and bus schedules allow I will go to Chateau Thierry. And if they do not, I will light a candle and remember him at the Cathedral in Reims.
Dust in the Las Vegas area kicked my sinuses up. And this weekend I have had tummy troubles. So I have some training to do on Trixie the road bike to regain some form.
Ray helped me clarify my stake for the trip: Enjoy a once in a life time adventure and meet amazing people. Some people I would love to meet: Mark Cavendish, Jens Voigt, Fabian Cancellara, Greg Lemond, and any amazing person Providence puts in my path. Like the Canadians I met in Givors last year who inspired this trip.
I discovered the Imperial War Museum will reopen its galleries with a special exhibit in London July 19. I will make time to visit on my way through London at the end of July. Right after I tour Buckingham Palace's state rooms.
I discovered a great author--Australian John Baxter. He is the author of many books on Paris. A exemplar storyteller, his books are a delight to read. What I really love is he encourages you to be a "flaneur" -- to walk without necessarily any purpose. So instead of making lots of notes while reading Paris at the End of the World, or The Most Beautiful Walk in the World, I am going to let go of an agenda for my free day in Paris.
Yesterday my friend Bill Reid gave me a photography tutorial during an Ag & Art at Chowdown Farms in Esparto. His help was greatly appreciated after giving up in frustration with the official "Blue Crane Digital" instructional video. It may have well as been in French. There are also many excellent videos on YouTube. (Hooray YouTube!)
With just a little over a week before I leave, I am getting very excited. I cannot let my mind wander yet! First there is some more consulting work to do and some more prep.