2018… A Good Year

Its New Years Day and we are welcoming 2019 with open arms.  Its easy to get caught up in all that “new beginning / new year, new me” nonsense, and I’ve seen enough “Top Nine” posts on Instagram to make me puke.  Truth is, I can’t complain much about 2018 and I though it was a great year for me.  I did neglect this blog over the course of 2018, and I even archived my cycling related blog “Bikin’ Bric” earlier this year.  I just wasn’t feeling the passion to write anything and I could care less about sharing my experiences.  I’m not sure if that will change in 2019 and I make no promises, but if 2019 is as good as 2018, I’ll be a happy man.

The year started off with me at a new job and not turning wrenches for the first time.  It was odd to be in a desk job after many years on the shop floor, but I’ve adjusted well and am enjoying it.

I did a good deal of cycling this year.  Not a ton of miles, but I enjoyed what I did.  I revisited some places that I had no been to in years including Dufferin Forest and Hardwood Hills.  I even took my 6 year old son to Hardwood Hills and he did great, super proud dad moment for sure.  I also visited a few new riding areas (something I have not done since my “road tripping” days in my early 20’s) such as Northumberland Forest and McCaulay Mountain.  While these places are not ultra-epic locations, they were fun and interesting enough to keep my appetite for adventure satisfied.  I also built a custom gravel / adventure bike and did a great deal of exploring on it this year.  I’m going to chalk that all up to a win!

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We got out on three family camping trips.  While that isn’t much, or nearly as much as we usually do, it was fun.  We did our tradition on Port Burwell Provincial Park on Father’s Day, as well as Thanksgiving.  We also took some time off and went to Bass Lake just outside of Orillia for 5 nights.  I had stopped in at this park many years ago while “mountain bike road tripping” and remembered that it was a quiet, small park with a nice waterfront trail and a beach.  Good times, but now our 1996 pop-up camper is getting tired and needs replacement.  We are saving up for an upgrade in the spring to continue our adventures, and hope to visit Bon Echo this year.

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I only got out in the canoe a handful of times this year, which was disappointing but better than nothing.  I even sold my 18′ sea kayak this year.  I just couldn’t get used to the seating position (I prefer sitting up and being able to move about in a canoe) and the inability to toss the kids in along with me pretty much sealed the deal.  In the future I wouldn’t mind trying one of the “Rec-Touring” style kayaks for touring rivers and the Lake Erie shore, as I doubt that I’ll even get in water big enough for an 18′ kayak.

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This year I also rediscovered hiking.  Back when I was a kid on summer break, and before things like a job and money were a concern, I would take our family dog, Zeke (an American Cocker Spaniel), and walk down the train tracks in town to the Big Creek valley and hike the trails.  I remembered how fun it was this year so took the kids on a few little hikes over the summer to see if it would stick.  It did and I’ve been hiking plenty of miles lately.  Sometimes its nice to not have to load up a bike and all the related gear, I just show up at a trail and grab the boots and trekking poles stored in the back of my truck.  Easy peasey.

I also started on YouTube.  Not sure if this one will continue as it takes a lot of time and energy to create short videos.  I’m enjoying it right now but have already realized the limit of my equipment.  My cheap Activeon CX camera and under powered laptop make shooting and editing tough.  I also run into hardware issues that cause frame-rate problems on the exported video.  But enough technical nonsense, if you want to see some very amateur film making, head over to the Sasquatch_Of_Norfolk YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtUkTTFEUGU-s8Yh5iOX0JQ

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So that’s my year.  Doing what I can while still having injuries to my shoulder, back, and knee (which I’m sure are permanent at this point).  Now, in the spirit of “hopes and dreams for 2019” I thought I’d put up a list of points and goals for my 2019.  Here it is (I’m even going to bold some stuff and use a bullet list to make this look official):

2019 Bucket List:

Points:

  • Keep up the hiking and cycling
  • Do more family camping this year
  • Take the kids on a canoe-camping adventure

Goals:

  • Overnight Backpack the Abes and Essens Trail (need to ease into backpacking, things like Algonquin Highlands or the La Cloche Silhouette Trail will wait until I have more experience, 2020 goals?)
  • Three day canoe trip on Big Creek from Delhi to Lake Erie (might not be possible due to an ongoing natural gas well leak in the area of McDowell Road)
  • Family car camping at Bon Echo Provincial Park

 

That’t its, that’s all.  No big expectations or “new me” crap.  Just a few simple goals to continue enjoying life and my family, and getting out on new adventures.

More blogs posts to come… (maybe??!?!?!??)

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