2023 – The Road Ahead, The Road Behind

Map To The Maritime Provinces
Approximate Map To The Maritime Provinces

A Word On My Recovery

The injuries I suffered from the fall I took from my bike last November that put me in a Trauma Center for a week have largely healed. I’ve been improving daily, and getting my “projects” sorted out and planning my next expedition.

A Word About My Preparations

When I’m not roaming the countryside of North America in my RV, I’m home preparing for my next excursion. I returned last October to my Poway home from my 16,000 mile, seven-month 2022 expedition with a long list of upgrades and improvements to the RV in mind. I wasted no time getting started, but I hadn’t counted on the setback from the bike accident, which brought all progress to a screeching halt for several weeks. But as soon as I could, I resumed my projects. I first chose those tasks that were the least challenging to my strength and endurance. 

One of these was to upgrade the insulating panels I’d been using on all my windows. These were made of panels cut from foil-coated foam sheets. And while not perfect, they proved useful in limiting the intrusion of heat in summer and cold in winter. However, they were ugly, and somewhat frail. The act of putting them up in the evening, and taking them down in the morning, tended to shred the foil. The solution I chose was to laminate an additional layer (taking them from two layers to three layers) of ¼” foam to each panel, then cover both sides with an outdoor quality (tan and textured) upholstery material. I used my rudimentary skill with my sewing machine to get the job done, and the result has been not just better insulation and privacy, but a more pleasing interior environment. I’m no longer encased in an industrial, all-metal shiny interior, but now surrounded and embraced by textured tan walls and windows. It feels homey like never before.

The list of upgrades is long; too long to dwell on here. But the most expensive and challenging one was replacing the generator. The one that shipped with the RV was old technology. It was very troublesome and riddled with reliability issues. And it was loud! Two years ago, the manufacturer (Cummins/Onan) created a replacement with modern technology. They call it an “Inverter-Generator”. And it’s probably 75% quieter than the old unit, because it no longer must run at a constant 3000 rpm. Rather, it does most of its work at idle or slightly above idle. Given the reduced capability of my body after the accident, I hired the local Cummins service center to do the labor. Now I believe my next trip will have fewer unpleasant surprises in store.

A Word About My Next Adventure: 

With my upgrades, improvements, and MacGyvering all but complete, I’m nearly ready to launch my 2023 expedition. This year I hope to meander across the continent to eastern North America, including the Canadian Maritime Provinces (Nova Scotia, Labrador, and New Brunswick). I have several stops I expect to make along the way, beginning with a long and leisurely stay in Arizona. I used to spend a lot of time there, visiting friends, family, and many of its amazing birding destinations. Since I’ve been targeting Texas the past three years, I’ve mostly ignored Arizona. Right now, it is too cold to visit the lands up north, and it likely will remain so for a while. But it’s a perfect time to explore the Desert Southwest again.

A Word About Upcoming Changes To The shadeTree Imaging Website: 

A few years ago (July 2019), I hired a web development team to create the present-day shadeTreeImaging platform. The developers came up with a design that closely matched the features I’d long dreamed of. (Read more about these features <Here>.) Three and a half years later, I find myself wishing for improvements and enhancements to the design. Last week, I submitted a list of changes I want to see. Soon, I expect they will start work to implement the new features. 

I won’t bore readers with the long list of requests, but I can say that the changes proposed to the “HomePage” will be meaningful. Presently, the “HomePage” automatically lists only the most recent blogs (we call them “Posts”) that I’ve put up. Since these “Posts” are only one of several types of content I use for sharing stories, the other types (Galleries, Albums, and Pages) are ignored on this HomePage. All my travel-blogs are entered as “Posts”, and as such, when I’m on an expedition, the “HomePage” looks busy. But when I’m not traveling, I work on other aspects of the site. If one reviews only the HomePage, it gives the impression of an absence of activity. What they see is a list of “Posts”, which are mostly stories about my travels. In times between trips, this area is largely neglected, giving the impression there is nothing new to share. For example, any work I do with gallery descriptions is not exposed to visitors. 

Recently I’ve been extensively revising galleries in the “Birds I Have Known” collection (called an Album). But none of the updated content is evident to anyone visiting the site. By changing the present day “HomePage” to an “Archives” page, and in its place sharing all recently created or edited content, the visitor can explore all the fresh content. Under the present scheme, were I a casual visitor, I would get the impression that only rarely is new content added or updated.

I hope all who are reading this post are well. I look forward to sharing my next adventure with you in the weeks and months ahead.