I'm hitting the road. Six days, all Iowa, all the time. And oh man I just can't wait. Even for the fishing. (Don't repeat that. I like skirts and heels and markers. And I like how calm I feel when I can hear and see the water ahead of me. But don't tell anyone.)
There will be lakes and fish and an out of office reply on my email. But what to pack? I mean really. What to pack? It's no secret I'm not super outdoorsy. Once I asked if there was such a thing as a camping dress. And, well, HBF, he is pretty much great at being outside. He even has "outdoor eyes" or at least that's what he tells me when I can't spot the deer in Jester Park directly outside my car window.
As we go from one western lake to an eastern stream, I want to make sure I'm prepared for whatever this all-Iowa road trip throws at me. So in addition to the sparkling flies and a midge, I have to stock my Filson bag with the essentials. (And yes, I do think it would be a great idea to garnish a glass with a feathery fishing fly. Perhaps one "themed dinner party" will be all about fly fishing.)
In our house, remember I'm a roommate, Martha Stewart Living sleeps next to Field and Stream so on this 6 day adventure all reading material has to include a wide range of truly important topics. (ie: how to cook the summer's fresh tomatoes AND which fly to use to catch a river monster.) On this year's list, for the fourth year in a row, I set a goal to read books... and I continually read recipes, watch The Newsroom (aw man I'm semi-obsessed with this show, and with cable, but we've been over that), head to happy hour or fall asleep more often than I pick up a book. So this trip I'm packing a couple.*
As I write this I'm working on the most essential of road trip essentials: Stocking up on episodes of This American Life. I've learned so much from Ira and have been saving up this summer's most recent podcasts to entertain us from one coast of Iowa to the other. I'm also trying to decide if a full American flag swim suit is too much, or just right, for the weekend. (I'm leaning towards just right.) I was told by my fisherman that long pants are a must ("we might be walking through tall grasses and weeds on our way to a stream") and I packed my favorite shorts. I didn't think I'd say "favorite shorts" after the age of 16 when my runner legs were small and I worked at the pool snack bar. But shorts with an XO pattern? I had to have them. (I remind myself often that no one thinks "I look so so skinny when I sit down in shorts." No one.) Also. I plan to pack outdoor dresses. Obviously.
Plenty of snacks, gatorade, a cooler, a whole bunch of sunscreen, bug spray that is Dr. Gretchen approved and 5 fishing rods round out the list of essentials. I sure hope when we return my pepper plans have itty bitty jalapenos growing on them. And that I packed the right shoes. I hate when I screw up the footwear. I seem to do that often. (Better pack a gold pair just in case.)
Happy Fourth of July friends! Hope your day of American independence is packed with the right gear and lots of adventure.
And 80/35, I'll miss you, but keep rockin.
*You have some great reads for a summer road trip? Please share. I need recommendations.