After a ton of constructive feed back on the Bicycle touring forum i have decided to "tough it out " ;-)
Ok, it's been decided. I will carry my tent, bag, and Thermarest. It's true, having them may add a bit of weight but will make for less stress if needed. Indeed, as some have pointed out, it may result in a memorable event if it means a beautiful site or the opportunity to spend time with new friends who just happen to be camping not to mention an emergency shelter!
I'm not a complete weight weenie, you know! ;-) I carried all this and much more fully loaded on the Great Divide Canada with ACA. It's just that I REALLY like carrying "nothing" and staying in hippy deluxe B&Bs where they server home made granola with yogurt and fresh fruit, Celestial Seasons tea,....etc.. ;-))
Now that has been settled, on to bigger issues like whether to skip Niagara Falls (been there-crowds and expensive) or to take the ferry (Badger) across Lake Michigan (save milage) or go north to Mackinaw, UP, etc.(beautiful)?