Reflections on 2012

Tuesday, 24th July 2012; 9:44 pm

The trip’s not over, so this is a little premature, but there isn’t much to do here at the campground, and I’m too tired to go anywhere, so… a few thoughts about how it went.

I brought some new gear this time. The tent (Sierra Designs Light Year 1) is new this year (it also went to Indiana earlier I the summer), an update of the one that went missing last year. It is just slightly roomier than the old one, which I appreciate. I can actually sit up in it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not sold on some of the other design changes, but there are no show-stoppers.

The good camera (Fujifilm Finepix HS20EXR) is new this year too. The bulk and weight is a little more of a pain to carry around (as if my bag weren’t heavy enough already), but it’s performed well. The autofocus is frustratingly hit-or-miss (my kingdom for full manual focus!), and the exposure makes some odd choices, but it’s pretty easy to override the exposure, so that’s not a major problem. It lasted until today on a single set of lithium batteries (I brought spares). None of the pictures posted on the blog so far are from that camera; they’re all from my iPhone, which does pretty well for snapshots.

Last year I brought my Nook, in case I got stuck anywhere I the rain without Internet. It came in handy instead when I got stuck in a Motel 6 with only TV. I brought it this year for the same reason as last year, but I haven’t used it. Which doesn’t mean it was a mistake; I haven’t needed most of the stuff in the first-aid kit either.

The air mattress – taking its first trip ever this past week – was a smart purchase. I really should have gotten it right after last year’s spine surgery. I’ve slept better this year than with the foam pad, and haven’t had any problems with my nerves being pinched. I’m not crazy about the waterbed-ness of it, but I like being able to sleep in more positions without it hurting. I kinda wish I’d gotten the wider version, though; if I lie flat on my back, my arms fall off the sides, which feels awkward.

I think the Frogg Toggs rainsuit may have seen its last ride. I’ve had them for 10 years, and they’re starting to wear and rip in a few places.

The scooter is far from new. It’s going to be close to 17,000 miles when we get home. It amazes me how well he’s held up… Getting the same gas mileage and going even a little faster than he did the first couple years. If you want a good scooter: buy Genuine.

I’m not new either. But I’m definitely in better shape than last year, and also more fit than the previous two years. I’ve put on a bit of weight in the past several years, and it was showing in the level of physical endurance, flexibility, and just the ability to climb a sand dune without gasping for breath. I’ve been working seriously on that this year. I still have a ways to go (another 20 pounds off would be good), but I’ve gotten better.

Most of the route I took this year was “leftovers”: counties I didn’t choose to ride through on previous trips. But they really shouldn’t have been. Today, for example, was great, and the ride north was pretty cool too. And the remaining counties in the UP should be good as well.

Aside from the rain on the way to Petoskey and the wind yesterday at the Straits, the weather has been cooperative. That’s about as good as one can hope for. There’s a chance of rain tomorrow, but if I get wet… I can fix that when I get home.

(The above is a rare image taken by me using flash. Of Flash. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

One Response to “Reflections on 2012”

  1. MOM says:

    Keep an eye on the weather. It might be stormy.