Tim, part of what you're seeing is honest disagreement. If you want a single approach, ask one person. Otherwise, you run into the situation first described (I think) by Mark Twain: A man with one watch always knows precisely what time it is. A man with two watches is never quite sure. When you post an open-ended question in an on-line forum, you're likely to get any number of responses from some of the thousands of people who've ridden that TransAm with any number of approaches, from piling stuff on a trailer pulled by a mountain bike, to training for a year and then putting an extra pair of gloves into the saddle bag with a credit card for lodging. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to integrate all the disparate advice and come up with your own approach.
(Another part of the discussion is probably winter storms across the country keeping many people off their bikes all weekend. You get that, too, when you ask a question on an on-line-forum.)