What’s in and What’s out.

So, this is the official end of free fishing week and I have to make a decision on what I will do. It wasn’t really all that hard to decide, truth be told. I used way more gas than any value added by fish caught, so fishing for food, and added nutritional content in my diet was definitely a bust.

Therefore, I won’t be buying into the bureaucratic tax of a fishing license anytime soon. If I live to be 65 years old, then I will take advantage of the free fishing endowment, so graciously bestowed upon us by our generous government. The same government that closes off public lands to be enjoyed by Americans, and keeps us Canadians, who actually have rights to these lands, out, so that we don’t infringe on the wilderness experience of those cash generating outsiders.

It is what it is, and I’m not one to take up a fight against anything because, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter all that much. Life calls the shots, and we all reap what we sow in the end.

Anyway, I did enjoy doing a bit more exploring while I was looking for suitable fishing locations, so all was not lost. Now I will concentrate on other things that are more practical, and do add value to my quest of enjoying life as much as possible while I am still here.

I went for a nice walk today, up to the Lookout Tower. As usual, I hadn’t intended to go up there, but I just ended up there somehow. It was a sunny, warm, day and I’m not a really big fan of too much heat, but I walked in the shade, as much as possible, and there was a nice breeze, so it was quite tolerable.

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I walked along Milliken Mine Road for a ways and, as I passed the Fire Tower Lookout Road, I just made the turn and headed up. I didn’t know if I was going to walk all the way to the top or not, I just headed in that direction.

Of course, I was taking pictures all along the way, and I had my little music player going as I walked. There weren’t all that many people around today, even though it was a weekend. All the attention was on the big event, which was the annual drag races over at the airport. Elliot Lake doesn’t have all that many ‘big’ events, so the ones they do have tend to draw most people in the area to one location.

That was fine by me, since I’m not one to frequent crowds, and I was very content to just walk in the quiet wilderness and take in all the natural beauty.

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Now that I’ve made a decision regarding a possible practical addition to my lifestyle, which turned out to be not practical at all, I will turn my attention to something that seems a bit more promising.

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This is my bicycle, which I picked up for $15. and rebuilt, from the ground up. I’m looking at getting more use out of this very economic, and physically enhancing way of transportation. I haven’t used it all that much since I rebuilt it, and I’m feeling that it’s getting a bit upset with me for the lack of attention.

The last time I used it was when my truck broke down at the Quirke Lake boat launch, and I was glad to have on that day. But, I quickly found out that I was not in the best of shape for riding a bicycle. So, I kind of avoided it since then. However, I now feel that life was trying to tell me something, that I needed to get some real exercise, so that I could continue to enjoy the relatively good health that I’ve had to this point.

I’ve been toying with the idea of adding electrics to my bicycle, and this seems like a much more constructive way to add value to my enjoyment of life rather than putting money into a bureaucratic fishing tax.

It would save me money on gas, which is a big consideration these days, and it would also introduce a more physical aspect into my explorations, that I feel would enhance a more healthy lifestyle.

I’m not a health freak, by any means, but I do try to pay attention to the little nudges that life gives me, like the slight bulge forming just above my belt. I think that it’s trying to tell me something. It’s time to take the bull by the horns, and give a little bit, to get a lot more.

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However, it’s not like I’ve been some kind of slouch. I did walk up to the Lookout Tower today, which is no easy task. I met a guy at the top, who was walking with a cane. He asked me how long it took me to walk up there. I said that I just took my time, and I wasn’t really paying attention to how long it took. He said that he wishes he could do it himself. I just looked at him and said, “Well, we all gotta do what we gotta do I guess.”

Still, it made me very grateful for what I had. I may end up like that myself and, if I do, I will just allow it to be what it is, and take my own advice to do what I gotta do to continue. However, I’m not like that yet, so maybe getting a bit more in shape could extend my physical abilities for just a bit longer.

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Actually, walking up the hill to the tower today, didn’t seem all that difficult to me. I was more concerned about the hot sun beating down on me than walking up the hill.

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I always enjoy the view from the top, and the few people that were there, left soon after I arrived, so I was all alone to take in the magnificent vista.

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Anyway, getting back to my idea for the bicycle, it is my intention to convert this bicycle into electric this winter. Sort of a winter project, which I so desperately need. I’ve decided, after much research, to use a 24 volt, 350 watt kit to do the conversion. I’m not really interested in speed, which would require more volts, I’m more interested in range. I want to be able to go as far as possible on a single charge, or with multiple batteries.

This is not a cheap conversion though. The conversion kit will cost me around $300. and then the battery will cost at least that much again. But, unlike the fishing license, I do feel that the added value this conversion would bring to my lifestyle would be well worth it. Also, this cost would be a one-time expenditure, not an ongoing cost that needs to be renewed annually.

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A raven sitting on top of the old fire tower looks over the land, as free as a bird. Every form of life has it’s advantages and disadvantages. We just need to realize that life is what it is, and make the most of what we have.

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This is the cupola that once sat where this raven is sitting now. Things change, but life still goes on.

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Wild roses are blooming everywhere, and they are there for us to notice them. Still, most people just drive by, not even being aware of their existence.

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These yellow flowers are everywhere, but if you stop and take the time to look at just one, it has rewards that go beyond the collective view. It all begins with ‘one’.

So, I’ve picked up some materials to construct a form fitting box, that will sit inside the frame of my bicycle. This box will hold all the electronic components required, and also will provide a space for water bottles etc.

I’ll be purchasing the required items for the conversion, as I can afford them. After it’s completed, I can add batteries to extend the range and, in the process, save major amounts of cash on gas for the truck. So, with the savings on gas, this conversion should pay for itself in a very short period of time. Now that’s what I call practical.

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