Tag Archives: bike tour

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.

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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.