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Preparing for the expedition: the pre-adventure

In Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, he needed to have an “event? to precede his travels. It was a hurricane, a big storm where his very expensive yacht got tossed around and almost drowned. It was a “pre? adventure. Our own pre-adventure wasn’t a natural disaster, but an event we brought upon ourselves – the MOVING SALE. We weren’t guarding any possessions that we were leaving behind. Rather, we were divesting of everything we wouldn’t really need in our lives of this expedition, except for a little bit of our collective sanity – an aliquot of sanity abandoned as we, two academics, engaged in the unfamiliar (to us) world of selling used stuff. Cameras and knickknacks were the first to go, followed closely by bookcases. The last to go, during the 9:00 to 2:00 pre-adventure was a chess set. Folks we knew and folks we didn’t know all came around to disassemble our material life. At the end, leftover were the art reproductions, some dishes, and my cowboy hat. Among the most remarkable purchases were my deer head, a food processor, and a Chinese carving with two words, the meaning of which now totally lost to me in my life.. Thoreau, in Walden, said that a person shouldn’t measure his or her wealth by how much in material possessions he or she owned, but rather how little it takes him or her to live on. Now, I finally know that I don’t really need a deer head. Just as Victorian writers most of the time spared the reader descriptions of indiscretions, I’ll spare the reader here of just how much money we made from our pre-adventure. Steinbeck’s yacht didn’t sink during the hurricane in his pre-adventure, and I’m still married.