So a little back story - sorry for the wall of text.
My Dad is 59, though if you ask him, he's been "26" for as long as I've been alive. His knees are shot from years of running so he started road biking more about 5 years ago and that led to becoming a hard core mountain bike addict. He lives in an awesome place for it, the cabin is on the Wolf River near Langlade, WI and a short trip down the river is the Bear Paw Resort (kayak and mountain bike heaven) which has tons of single track not to mention access to the miles upon miles of fire lane in the Nicolet National Forest. Needless to say he's a regular, he's even got a sandwich named after him at the Bear Paw's restaurant.
Anyhoo, its not uncommon to head out the cabin to visit and there will be a note tagged to the door: "out on the bike -- Van Alstine Rd trail --be back before dinner." He's always been good about giving us the general location of where he's headed and about the time he'll be back. But there was one time last summer where he didn't and my mom flipped her shit. No note on the door, and he wasn't home by dinner time --very unusual for my Dad. Mom checked the usual places - Mike's Gas Station, the Bear Paw office, The Wild Wolf Inn --all the regular stopping points. Most of the folks had seen my dad earlier in the day, but not in the last few hours. Long story short, he rolled back home just before dark, and doing fine other than being tired from a long day of riding. Mom lost it on him. Its one of the few times she was really pissed at him --the kind of pissed that only happens when you are worried sick about someone you care about. She even swore at him, which though my mom's vocabulary is anything but PG, she very rarely swears AT someone. But she did and we don't blame her -it was super dopey for my Pops not to check in with her at some point in the day.
So last Christmas the kids got together and bought this GPS Messenger called The Spot. Its by far one of the best things we've ever given my dad as a present and my Mom is a much happier camper. Basically its an Emergency GPS locator. When you exit the trail for the day after your ride you push the "OK" button and it sends either a text or an email to your contact list that basically says "I'm OK, heading home" follow by Coordinates for his location. It also has and "SOS" button for trouble. So if he ever busts himself up bad enough that he can't ride or walk out one of us can pick him up wherever he happens to be-- especially useful because the spotty cell coverage up there.
Luckily he's never had to use the "SOS" button, but with as much time as he spends in the woods, the family has a bit more piece of mind that we can always find him if we need to. There's days I find myself thinking that we're "too connected" as a society, but things like this SPOT do-hickey have changed my mind.
Anyway, that's my story for the day. I'm not trying to be a shill for the SPOT thing, but its pretty fucking rad if you're an outdoorsy type and you'd like a life-line to the outside world. It's been Poppa Motor approved --no small feat.
Badgers, Packers, Mallards. Paddling, running, golfing. And bikes!
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I'm too tired to read all this. Will have to get back to you.
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