with respect to bike selection, the Volpe is more of a light touring bike, if you are going self-supported, camping & cooking, you might want a more fully-loaded touring specific bike.
Here are some of the usual suspects, very roughly in ascending price order:
Fuji Touring / Windsor Tourist
Novarra Randonee (REI house brand)
Surly Long Haul Trucker
The Surly is the "cool" one right now.
RE: Your route, (you may already know this) the Utah section includes some very remote, mountainous, high altitude riding, so starting your first tour there might be a bit of a slap in the face. Make sure to do some test riding fully loaded and be prepared to do some long sections without services (including water!). I'm not telling you not to do this, by ANY means, just be ready for challenges right out of the gate.
For high-quality relatively inexpensive Panniers, try Lone Peak (www.thetouringstore.com
), or the REI or performance house brand.
is where people post their online tour journals, many of them include equipment lists so you can get an idea of the range of stuff people take with them. You can also look for riding partners and used gear and maps there.
Happy planning, happy touring!