Super-Fancy.

Yeah, I guess I’m super-fancy. But I’ll circle back to that. First, this:

tow-622

Clearly, that’s my motorbike on the back of a tow truck. To make a long story short, I had my first road trip planned, so I was prefunctioning for it – had the new leather chaps and all my gear on, and the silly thing conked out. No idea why. Checked all the obvious stuff, asked the Google – nothing. So, I called Flo and had their awesome Roadside Assistance pick it up and take it to the shop. Now, I play the Waiting Game (“No, the Waiting Game sucks – let’s play Hungry, Hungry Hippos.” – Homer).

Now, this is how I do things. Motorbike craps out, so I…buy a new car. More specifically, a new Jeep. Even more specifically, a new Jeep Cherokee Latitude 4 X 4. Hello, adventure!

click for larger

click for larger

So far, I just love it. Love. It. There are so many awesome things about it, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Of course, now the real fun begins – I have to get a hitch receiver added so I can add a bike carrier for the MTB, I need to add the components to the roof rack to carry the kayaks, maybe a trailer for the motorbike for my next trip to Southern California (there’s no way I’m riding a motorbike 2200 miles cross-country, but having it in Cali would be great), and I want to get some larger wheels with appropriate off-road tires (which I suspect is going to be a pain – the tires have pressure sensors in them that displays the current tire air pressure in the onboard computer, so I’ll have to figure that out). Speaking of the dash, it’s like the Starship Enterprise:

I'm pretty sure one of those buttons launches the space shuttle.

I’m pretty sure one of those buttons launches the space shuttle.

I’ve just started scratching the surface of the electronics. The backup camera is awesome, as is the navigation system. Of course, it’s fully integrated with my iPhone, and the uConnect system allows controlling of all the gadgetry via voice. There’s a camera in the rear view mirror that senses oncoming traffic so that if you have the high beams on, they automatically dim, and the app on my phone allows me to unlock it, start it, flash the lights or whatever from anywhere in the continental US (sorry, Alaska & Hawaii). Really, it’s just awesome. So, I am, indeed, super-fancy. Deal with it.

rugged-smallTo inaugurate the Jeep and my ongoing adventurous lifestyle, today, a hike. First hike of the season, and it showed. I headed up to North Chickamauga Creek Gorge; I’ve hiked along the Creek to the blue hole, but never up on the ridge. It was…intense. Only did 9.5 miles, but it was possibly the hardest 9.5 miles I’ve ever done. Very rugged ascents/descents, and many downed trees (mostly due to last year’s wildfires in the area) to climb over. Took more than 6 hours. Part of the issue was that I don’t have my “hiking legs” back yet – despite “leg day” in the gym every other day, hiking is different than squats. Also, I crammed my pack full – at least 40 pounds – to condition myself for hiking season. Still, it was a great trek. Beyond hiking a new trail, I found an abandoned coal mine, just begging to be explored. I only went in about 75 or 100 feet, because I wasn’t properly equipped for spelunking. In addition, the mine shaft split off in different directions, so without glow sticks and rope to mark my path, I was a little afraid of getting lost. I’ll return, and explore it more fully – and I can’t wait. But there are lots of new places to explore, since I now have the 4-wheel drive capability to get to some of the more isolated areas I’ve heard about. Yep, hello, adventure.

"Working in a coal mine, going down, down."

“Working in a coal mine, going down, down.”

I only ran Movescount on my Suunto during the hike. I had Endomondo running, but my phone died, and I didn’t realize it to connect it to the extra battery. No matter, this is why I run two devices. And, of course, both devices lost the signal down in the mine. Probably nothing I can do about that on the future trek.

click for larger, or Movescount data

click for larger, or Movescount data

Tomorrow, I think kayaking. Because I don’t have the kayak rack for the Jeep yet, I’ll take the truck (which I kept, just for this reason – also, having a big-ass truck comes in handy sometimes). So, Jeep to the gym (natch), truck to kayak. If my motorbike wasn’t in the shop, I’d take it out as well, for a nice little vehicular hat-trick. Oh, well – next time.

Link:
North Chick Creek Gorge Hike Photo Album on Facebook