Posts Tagged ‘home’

2021: Let’s try this again….

Saturday, 23rd January 2021; 2:29 pm - Location:

It’s time to start planning for 2021! Last year’s scooter trip didn’t happen, for obvious reasons. There are no guarantees for this year, but there’s plenty of reason for optimism, and I’m choosing that.

The basic plan – visiting a few places I’ve missed on previous trips – is the same. In brief: Ride the scooter up to NW Michigan. Spend a day hiking South Manitou Island. Take the scooter to Beaver Island for a couple days. Visit the Wilderness State Park and/or Headlands Dark Sky Park on the Straits of Mackinac. Scoot home.

It’s premature to start making any reservations, but for the sake of Making A Plan, I’ve picked a week: the second week of August. That should allow plenty of time for my number to be called in the vaccine queue, while still getting it done before the weather starts to get cool/wet in the Fall.

2020 may be cancelled

Wednesday, 20th May 2020; 10:28 am - Location:

When things started going sideways in March, I was making plans for this year’s adventure. I chose to put off a return to Isle Royale until next year, and decided on a ride up the west coast and back for this Summer. Highlights were to include a day or overnight visit to South Manitou Island, a day or a few on Beaver Island, and a night at the Headlands Dark Sky Park near Mackinaw City… all places I’ve skipped on previous visits to the area, because I didn’t have time to include them.

That’s still a possibility. The number of Covid cases in the Fingertips region has remained low, and Governor Whitmer has relaxed restrictions in the area, so it’s possible that by July or August things it will be practical and safe for a lone scooterist who mostly keeps to himself to travel there. On the other hand, it’s also possible that won’t happen, so I’m uncommitted.

The biggest risk posed – either to me, or by me – would be at campgrounds. When I’m on the road I’m practicing social distancing by default, and I can get take-out instead of eating at restaurants. But the shared bathroom facilities at any campground would be a problem. Those would require extra precautions to be safe, and because people are stupid and lazy… they might not be.

With that in mind, I may instead borrow a page from a few years ago, and just do some day trips. That limits my range, and misses out on some of the fun of pitching my tent and exploring a park, but it would be a good way to get out of the house, and still stay safe.

No lands left to conquer?

Friday, 19th July 2019; 5:43 pm - Location:

I’m not finished riding.

Riding the highways all the way around Lake Superior was going to be more aggravating and stressful than fun. And I’m not likely to add a lot of new territory to my map, because it takes increasingly long to get beyond it. Besides: riding in Michigan is the best. 🙂 I don’t have anything planned at the moment, but I will be doing another big ride.

In the meantime… one of the things I do regret about cutting short this most recent ride are the destinations I didn’t get to. The Apostle Islands have been on the fringes of my exploration for a while now. And I was looking forward to popping in for a few hours on Isle Royale.

I was tentatively planning a more substantial visit to Isle Royale in 2022, on the 20th anniversary of my first visit. But now I’ve decided to do it next year. I’ll leave the scooter behind, and just take the car across to Wisconsin on the Badger, check out the Apostles, then drive up the coast to Grand Portage.

I’ll take the Minnesota ferry across to Windigo on the west end of the island, as I’d planned to do this week. But instead of taking a 4-hour hike, I’m going to explore some substantial trails that I’ve missed in my previous visits: the Feldtmann Ridge Trail, the Island Mine Trail, and the Minong Ridge Trail. That’s at least 4 days of hiking, probably more like 6.

One of the reasons I was thinking of doing it in 2022 was to give myself time to get in better shape for it. I did a couple days of fairly easy hiking on Isle Royale about five years ago, but the Minong Ridge especially is pretty challenging, and I know I’d be unhappy trying to do it in my current condition. So I’m going to need to get started on training.

I’ll keep y’all posted as plans develop. I’m off to the gym.

Give me a home, where the internet roams…

Saturday, 8th June 2019; 2:49 pm - Location: ,

I already knew from 5 years ago that T-Mobile had none-to-poor service in the UP, but I figured I should check again. But when a company representative admits that they don’t have coverage in an area, no roaming deals, and no plans to add it, that’s a pretty good clue to look for alternatives. 🙂

Both AT&T and Verizon claim adequate service in the US areas around Lake Superior, and a cheap option for roaming with barely adequate service in that part of Ontario on one of the Canadian networks. AT&T’s coverage looks a little better (they were my barely adequate carrier on my first ride through the UP in 2009) and they offer a pre-paid plan with more data than Verizon, so I’m going to swap in a month of AT&T service for $50, then cancel it afterward. This means my regular number won’t work, but my secondary VOIP number (which works over any internet connection) should still work (at times) if anyone needs to contact me.

Packing addendum

Friday, 8th June 2012; 8:52 pm - Location:

My packing list for the three-day ride I’m starting on Sunday is essentially the same as I used for the longer ride last year, but with fewer changes of clothing. But there is one item I’m adding: a belt.

I wear jeans when I ride, because they provide a measure of protection in the event of a spill. But the jeans I wore last year are getting too big. You see, I’ve lost 15 pounds in the last several months, and when I walk around in those jeans, they tend to slide off my hips, and I have to tug them back up. I do have some older jeans with smaller waist sizes, which are better for walking around in, but I haven’t lost quite enough weight yet to wear those comfortably for hours on a scooter. So I’m bringing the fat jeans… and a belt.

Southwest attempt #3

Thursday, 31st May 2012; 1:34 pm - Location:

I’m beginning to feel a bit of deja vu here. But I just made reservations for the southwest-Michigan ride, which begins 10 days from now. I’ll be staying at Pokagon State Park in Indiana on the 10th, and VanBuren State Park in Michigan on the 11th.

I made pretty much the same reservations (different sites) last year, but had to cancel them when my tent disappeared. I didn’t actually make reservations for the ride I planned a few weeks ago, since it was before Memorial Day and the campgrounds were wide open. Neither campground is even close to being fully reserved at this point, but the selection of sites is certain to narrow between now and then. Also, I may be arriving fairly late in the day at each of them, which would probably limit my options even further.

So now I’m committed. The long-range weather forecast for the 10th through 12th is currently sunny and temps between 60F and 90F, which should be nice enough. But forecasts for nearly two weeks out are notoriously unreliable, so for all I know I’ll be riding in 45F rain.