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The Aufderheide Memorial Drive was beautiful. Considering the town of Oakridge at mile 0 at about 1124ft elevation, we went alongside the North Fork Middle Fork of the Willamette River. We then passed the old growth area of the Aufderheide at mile 27 about 2880ft elevation. Here I felt sad and mad. Here we had issues of stuff. I already carry weight about issues of stuff. Currently, on the bicycle trip, my stuff was fitting into two borrowed Axiom Monsoon panniers, with a stuff sacked Sierra Designs three person tent, a stuff sacked borrowed sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, and a borrowed Thermarest pad. I had the idea I was carrying necessary items, but also saw that "necessary" is relative.

In researching what to pack, I read of people carrying radios, wine glasses, pillows. None of which I had. Blogs were replete with stories of how this stuff was deemed excessive and sent back home by postal mail. I heard it as a maxim "Stuff will be sent back". I thought differently. I was careful with what I packed. Everything I had packed I choose cause it had had multiple purposes.

On the road, I kept getting told I had too much stuff, yet had no guidance as to what I should consider getting rid off. To this I had a reaction of anger. I also heard in the criticisms there was a sense of care and an attempt to understand what I was carrying. I notice I still feel defensive about my stuff, an indicator to me about the energy I have about my stuff, and the energy I believe I put into having less stuff than most people.

The discussion peaked as we were cresting the small range, at mile 32 at about 3533ft elevation.

We sped downhill along the South Fork McKenzie River into the Cougar Reservoir Area. At Rainbow we joined the eastbound path of the AdventureCycling TransAmerica Trail, along Oregon Route 126.

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December 2012
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