John - I was just going to post a reply saying ' you guys are right, it is downright Victorian to worry about food in this day and age. Better to live a little and trust that it will all work out'.
I will eat the crap and I will enjoy it. Pig hearts, here I come.
You should do what works for you, and it sounds like you are on track for figuring out what that is for you on this trip.
Sorry, but even given that I can't resist making or restating a few suggestions. Again I realize you need to do what works for you, but I think these comments are worth considering.
- There is a middle ground between eating just anything you find and being so selective that you reject eating everything that is available. I'd suggest that the middle ground is a reasonable choice for most people.
- If you want to, it is possible to eat very selectively on the road. We met a guy who was 85% finished the Trans America when we were 15% in going the opposite direction. He had managed to eat a strict vegan diet the whole way. He was very fussy about the quality of what he ate. He said it involved a little effort but wasn't that hard. It probably helped that he was an excellent cook and also very resourceful and determined.
- I'd recommend sampling some of the local cuisine where ever you travel. I don't feel like I have really experienced an area if I haven't eaten the local food.
- I have to say that I am a little baffled by the whole mailing Cliff Bars thing. I could see mailing something that would be hard to find on the road, but I really doubt that cliff bars are that hard to find. A high percentage of places that you are likely to be buying other food or beverages will also have Cliff Bars. It seems to me that dealing with the vagaries of advance schedule and route planning combined with the short and sometimes strange hours of many post offices, would be more of an effort and problem than finding the bars on the road.
Given that I'd suggest that if you have someone at home willing to help that you start out with maybe one package of food mailed out and have them mail additional ones at your request. That would have two advantages. First, you would be better able to pick towns that you are more sure of arriving on a day and time when the post office is open. And second, it would allow more flexibility in the size and frequency of the packages. That flexibility would allow you to adjust to larger quantities, smaller quantities, curtailing the mailings altogether, or changing to a different food item when/if you get completely sick of cliff bars.