Tag Archives: bicycle touring

Travel Journal – Day 53

I’m still up here in Mentone Alabama, and I’m feeling quite a bit better. After the initial shock and confusion of finding out about my dad’s cancer I luckily came across some peace of mind after taking a lot of solitude time, meditation time, and then some community time at a local swimming hole. I’m very grateful that my mind has been at peace most of the way through my trip so far, and when it hasn’t, I have been able to find the circumstances and/or practices to allow it to return. May it continue to be that way forever forward, and for each of you too for that matter.

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It’s also been a great time getting to know each of these awesome and dynamic people as we spend all this time in close quarters together.

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Alongside this I’ve also been working on completing my food forest garden design by researching the heck out of local and climate friendly plants, testing soils, designing the layout, and digging a bunch of damn holes.

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Not to mention I met some alpacas,

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crawled through some small holes,

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and of course, got weird.

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Travel journal – Day 49

I’m into my second week here at Tranquility Campgrounds and I’m honestly feeling a little rough. I’m very low on energy and I slept from 6 pm last night to 6 this morning. That, combined with the hour long nap I took this afternoon should have done the job, but I still feel drained and a bit asocial. It can’t be helping that my dad was diagnosed with cancer two days ago and I’ve been corresponding with my family about the situation while trying to process the information and figure out what to do about my trip. No doubt this has taken a toll on my piece of mind and has also changed my trip plans, so I’m trying to feel out what I should do once I get back to Florida and how I can best support my family while still focusing on what is here in front of me.

So, to give you a little detail on my dad’s exact situation, he was just diagnosed with stage four “blue small cell cancer” which started in his tonsils and has moved to the lymph nodes in his neck. There is an 80% survival rate beyond 5 years when treated, which includes 7 months of chemo and radiation. First though, my dad will be trying a natural remedy I got from a friend’s father who administers natural cancer treatment in Canada using a Marijuana salve. He was kind enough to give me the directions to make it, so stay tuned for the results from that experiment.

I really just wanted to fill everybody in on this new turn off events, so I will keep you all up to date on his condition and what I will be doing with my trip.

Much Love,
Matt

Travel Journal – Day 32

So it’s day 32 of my trip and I have parted ways with my wonderful hosts, Wendi, Jayden, and Kaia Bellows,

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and headed toward the off-grid homestead of Mycol Stevens, located 30 miles or so North in Brooker Florida. Mycol wasn’t there when I arrived, but I was greeted by Brian and Genina two of the most humble and natural people I could hope to encounter, and theyfit so naturally into the farm that I could hardly now imagine it without them, and luckily I didn’t have to.

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So, I settled in, set up tent and got the tour. Finca Mycol is a 20 acre off-grid homestead, which serves as a permaculture experimentation laboratory, and, thanks to the efforts of Mycol, a native restoration land and keystone species habitat.

So once again, despite my efforts to move on and find my way out of Florida, I have found myself pulled to stay and learn. Both Mycol and Brian are inspiring sources of knowledge and passion on all things plants, so wow, what a great place to hang out, gain knowledge, build relationships, and be of service. There is one drawback though from being off-grid and so far out in the country – there’s no internet connection. So, any videos I take will have to be put up later, and pictures and other blog posts and communication have to wait until I can catch a ride into town. But hey look at the perks:

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a beautiful outdoor kitchen,

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fresh greens from the garden in a coconut bowl,

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fresh cooked snake (don’t worry, we didn’t kill him. He got run over on the road 😦 Poor little guy),

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a beautiful pond and great company,

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and another pond, and more great company,

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and more great company,

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and artists making art.

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Simple living and high thinking. Awareness. Consciousness. Intentionality. Choice. Walking toward what’s right. Nevermind the odds.

Bicycle touring electronics

Figuring out the best combination of electronic devices was certainly the most time consuming and research intensive part of the preparation for my bicycle tour.

For my particular trip, the needs I was faced with consisted of the following:

Keeping up with a blog

Taking pictures and videos

Uploading videos to YouTube

Linking YouTube videos to my blog

Linking blog posts to Facebook

Access to electronic maps and GPS location

Hardware for solar charging

Making phone calls

A few additional things I was being cognizant of were:

Size and weight of devices

Cost and quality

Durability

After a few errors and product returns I ended up with the following hardware:

Nexus 7 tablet:
I chose a tablet over a laptop because of cost, size, and weight, and I choose the Nexus 7 over other tablets because of cost and it’s GPS capabilities, which most small sized economical tablets don’t have. $160

Panasonic HA03 handheld digital camcorder:
I choose this camcorder because it was inexpensive, it takes high quality video, 12 megapixel pictures, is waterproof up to 15 ft, has a removable SD card, and it got good reviews. $150

Straight Talk LG440 prepaid phone:
Straight Talk uses either T Mobile or ATT/Sprint service, depending on which phone you get. Make sure not to get a T Mobile phone or you will likely end up with inferior service. I only use my phone for calls and texting, no internet. $30/month

Voltaic 4 KW travel solar panel and 10,000 mAh model V39 battery:
Voltaic has amazing customer service and excellent products.

The next issue was software and figuring out how everything would work together. Here were the problems and their solutions:

P: Transferring videos from camera to tablet.
S: Use an SD card to USB adapter, followed by a female USB to micro USB adapter (which plugs into the tablet), and then download an app called Nexus media importer to transfer videos, pictures, our any other files from USB to the tablet

P: Uploading videos to blog.
S: Upload to YouTube, then retrieve the “embedded” code from YouTube video and paste it in blog post. In order to get the embedded code you must sign into YouTube from the browser instead of the app, then you must choose “request desktop site” from the menu, find the uploaded video, click “share” tab, click “embedded”, and copy/paste link to blog post.

P: Linking Posts to Facebook.
S: For whatever reason I’m not able to get the website image and post title to pop up on Facebook using the Facebook app, so if you want an automatically generated picture, post title, and website address on you Facebook posts then you may need to use the browser rather than tproducts. $160

P: Using electronic maps without internet.
S: I cached (stored) areas of the map I needed using Google Maps. You can Google how to do this.