Gondola Greg here, reporting in from Kansas City after a day of travel.
Elisa and I took a few hours today during a layover in Dallas to take a look at the handiwork of our manager there and grab a bite to eat.
Once again, I have to hand it to Matt Schenk - he's really shaped things up in Irving, Texas.
As promised, I've included my packing list below.
Many thanks to those who commented or sent me input via e-mail or phone.
I must admit - I'm afraid it's not nearly as exhaustive (or funny) as some of the suggestions I received.
things to be provided by Texas operation:
forcola - gotta have that
remo - and that
100 feet of rope - you never know when you'll need it
bungee cords - for years I've said that "if it can be solved with bungee cords, zip ties, duct tap or a little bit of cash, then it's not a real problem"
spare forcola - like having a spare tire
Crisco - also known as "American forcola lube"
wedges - to set the forcola
hammer - to whack the wedges...and anything that tries to invade my boat
trashbags - makes a good emergency float, waterproof container if the gondola should sink, cut the corners off and it's a nice rain coat, and then there's the remarkable idea of, um, putting trash in it
fenders - to fend
carpet for poppa - looks nice, and eases the feet a bit
life jackets - for luck
duct tape - see above statement on bungee cords
boombox - for blasting "motivational music"
flashlight - duh
bucket to pee in - no explaination needed
sunscreen - because I'm a total white boy and sunburn like an albino cave salamander
maps and charts - to help find launch ramp, and avoid taking a wrong turn
zip ties - "bungee cords, zip ties, duct tape..."
moleskin - good for the unexpected blister. I don't normally get them, but according to Murphy's Law, if I don't bring the moleskin...
VHF radio - "Hey, you in the gigantic barge! Don't hit me!"
GPS - 'cause I've got to have just one more gadget
shorts - to change into if it gets hot
fleece - if it gets cold
...and maybe some red wine