While on the Allagash we were conscientious about keeping our possessions from getting wet, our clothing and sleeping gear packed into large dry bags which, when closed properly, would remain watertight should we overturn the canoe. We also had smaller day packs made of the same material with the same closing system in which to carry things we might need while paddling -- binoculars; camera; an extra warm layer; sunglasses (not really a necessity on this particular trip!), hats, brimmed or warm depending on conditions; gloves.
In my day pack I also carried our set of Allagash Wilderness Waterway maps, my journal and pens, and a copy of "The Allagash" by Lew Dietz, the Dietz in its own zip lock bag and the journal, maps and pens in a second zip lock. Both of those bags went in a nylon, waterproof bag with a roll top which traveled in the larger day bag. Sounds a little like overkill, I admit, but I didn't want to risk losing any of those items.
Yesterday afternoon, to my astonishment, as Tal and I rolled along I-81 through West Virginia and I finished writing in the journal, methodically I put each item back into its proper bag, zipped them both closed, put the bags back into the nylon bag and rolled and clipped the top.
"What am I thinking?" I wondered to myself, when I realized what I had done. Truth is, I wasn't thinking at all. Just doing, following that -- on the water -- necessary routine. A deluge inside the car is highly unlikely, but one never knows ... At least I won't have to go rooting for a pen the next time I need one.