Sunday, October 17, 2010

Playing with GPS data...

I've owned my GPS, a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx for a couple years now, and I'm still learning how I can benefit from it. It's taken me a long time to learn the Basecamp software that came with it, mainly out of laziness. I work with frustrating computer programs and work, and that leaves me with little motivation to learn new programs at home, but I've been interested in publishing routes from my GPS to this blog, so I've done a little investigating. I've found a few ways to do it, but the only one I've understood to the point of getting it to work is through the site. I can upload .gpx files from my Garmin, save them as routes, and then it creates programing code that I can copy and paste into a blog entry, and the route shows up here on the blog. Easy enough for me. It seems to default to regular Googlemaps "street" mode, and I'd prefer the "satellite" or "topo maps" modes, but you can view these by clicking the "View Full Screen" link on the map, and it will take you to and expanded page to see those views (once on the full screen page, there's a selector in the upper right of the map).
The whole point of trying to do this is to share rides, runs, and hikes on this blog. Seeing as I don't have recent trips of any sort to show off, I posted a trail run from Yosemite done last February to at least try out the process. In the future, I should be able to share notable adventures and interesting routes via my actual GPS tracks just like this:

Recovery walks...

Well, I'm at Day 95 of recovery. Things have been getting slowly better, slowly being the key word...but also better. :)
I still haven't ridden a bike, other than sitting atop the Karate Monkey in my living room and rolling ahead a few feet to see how it feels. It started out feeling terrible- my pectorals weren't excited about me leaning over that far and putting pressure on a handlebar, but as of this weekend it's feeling tolerable. I may try to go for a very short ride sometime soon, as my doctor told me it should be ok, as long as I'm not feeling pain. We'll see.
Fall hikes/walks have continued to be my form of exercise to get away from all the sitting in front of the TV. MN has been enjoying a stellar fall this year- I'd say the best one since we moved back this direction in 2007. The sky has been largely sunny for a long time now, temps anywhere from 50s to 80s (yeah- 80's; a bit too hot some days), and the colors stayed out for quite a while. Definitely better than last year, when Oct. was just a big cold raining mess (although I did enjoy the raining mess rides as per usual for me.) Just wasn't much for fall colors in '09.
Since it's been so nice out, the Fivefingers season has been longer than normal. It's been great getting out in the North Woods to hike in them so often. It makes me miss running, which I'll have to wait until at least mid-Jan. to try again, but I like the hiking for now.
I also tried something new while outside this fall and in need of a "take-it-easy" pass-time while recovering- geocaching. I think my verdict on that is that it would be fun with kids, getting them out to treasure-hunt, but I don't see myself getting much into it when there is so much cycling and climbing around. I just own a GPS and thought I'd kill some time one day up on the North Shore, and found a couple caches. It's kind of funny to know there are all these silly coffee cans filled with junk buried around the places I've spent so much time recreating in.
Fall will hopefully continue for a while longer, but I can say that I'm actually ready for the winter. I'm enjoying the colder temps and jackets, and progressing through the winter season will mean I'm getting closer to full recovery days. I'm really looking forward to next Spring!

Shovel Point in Fall:
Relaxing at along the Caribou River:
I seem to have some "tree-antlers" in this shot, but I still seem happy to be off the couch...
More scenery along the Caribou River, Northern MN:

Alison at Jensen Lake, Lebanon Hills Regional Park:
Fivefingers in the woods:
Bridge Pond, Lebanon Hills Regional Park:
Trail around Jensen Lake:
Esbit heating up dinner near Stoney Point, Lake Superior, north of Two Harbors: