Lately we have been playing little leap-frog down the Mosel. Sarah, Benjamin, and I pedal while Andrea and the two invalids, Ella and Anna, take the sight-seeing boat. They get to enjoy the scenery as we pedal, and then we meet at the next town that has a campground. We are pedaling loaded bikes, and they are carrying loaded bikes. When we show up at the town we have a bit of a logistical challenge trying to get 5 loaded bikes to the campground. Sometimes the camping platz is a mile and a half away, and neither Ella nor Anna can or should pedal. Sometimes we shuttle the cripples back and forth on the tandem. Sometimes we walk the bikes together. Sometimes Ella convinces us to let her ride a single while Anna sits on the tandem, but this scares Andrea and me. Transportation is quite an ordeal, but we manage.
I remembered how much I enjoyed the simplicity of bicycle touring. On my first trip I brought just 2 sets of panniers and a handle bar bag. Now, we have 18 sets of panniers and 4 handlebar bags. Things are a bit more complicated. We pull into the campsite with all the bikes and are quite a sight! Campgrounds here primarily host RVs and trailers. When we start pulling all our gear off the bikes and out of the panniers, we are a like the clown act when they all tumble out of a small car. We have a six man tent, sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and cook gear. Our Mountain Safety Reasearch stove is great and uses un-leaded gas. We filled up our fuel bottles for only 88 cents! We have been boiling water for coffee and cooking our meals on this little stove and have had no problems.