Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lazy Mountain

We had intended to go geocaching, yesterday - but it would appear that my Magellan Sporttrak Pro GPS unit has gone to electronic heaven. It worked just fine last week, but yesterday the display turned to vertical lines and little squares - this pisses me off, as the Sporttrak is an expensive unit and I expect better quality and longevity out of Magellan. I don't know why, the company has been going downhill for a number years, making one bone-headed decision after another, (example: their PC interfaces are still based on a serial cable), their website stinks, and their customer service is practically non-existent.

I'll be looking at Garmin units today.

Anyway, since we were geared up, we went hiking anyway. Up Lazy Mountain outside of Palmer.

Lazy Mountain

The trail was a little muddy in spots.

Lazy Mountain 2

It's pretty much straight up, and we're seriously out of shape after a long winter. Well, I'm out of shape anyway, Becky and Jimmy were doing fine and had to keep stopping to wait for me and the dog.

The view was spectacular. That's the MatSu Valley and our little town of Palmer below. You're looking down on some of the original colonial farms and the Matanuska River. Those are the Chugach mountains across the valley, Mount Eklutna is dead ahead, and Pioneer Peak is to the left just out of frame.

Lazy Mountain 3

The mosquitos pretty much left us alone and it was sunny and warm. So despite the GPS unit failure we had a good day.

What did you do with your weekend? I hope you didn't waste it.


  1. Michael is on his second Garmain GPS. The first still works and was given to my cousin, the second is a combination GPS/PDA, which I don't think is available anymore.

    Both were purchased for the street navigation software.

    I got him a second because he had so little memory on the first it wasn't good for long trips.

    I got this because he needed a PDA, and I was looking at GPS cards for the PDA, but this was a much better deal.

    He's always been pleased with the operation of the Garmain, and likes the way the it creates routes on the fly and has a "detour" option. But have allowed us to easily find our way to unfamilar places

    The only think I don't like about the new Garmain as much is that it's not as easy to switch between the map view and the map view and the elevation information as it was on the earlier model.(I like to compare the elevation on the GPS with the elevation on the road signs.)

    Then again, I don't get to actually spend a lot of time using it, so maybe I just haven't figured it out. :)

  2. Michelle,

    Well, I've always used Magellan and am partial to their menu systems and ruggedness. Or was. The company seems determined to put itself out of business - and the sudden, inexplicable, and frustrating failure of the Sporttrak has convinced me to go elsewhere.

    I'm looking at the Garmin Summit HC or Venture HC - probably the Venture because I really don't need the electronic compass or barometric altimeter.

    But, I also happened to look at the Delorme Earthmate PN-20 today at Sportman's Warehouse and was seriously impressed. Plus it comes with the full topo mapping package - delorme's topo maps are second to none. 75mg internal memory and 1 gig SD card (included). Color hi-res display and the ability to display hi-res sat maps. And it's on sale, and Delorme offers a $50 rebate.

    Can you tell which way I'm leaning here?

  3. I'm thinking you might be liking the Delorme. :)

    And you also have very different uses for your GPS than we do. Ours is primarily a "help us find our way to a new place and entertain Michelle in the car" while you play with all the cool stuff. :)

    Oh, check what side SD card you can upgrade to. Michael's can only take a 2gig SD card, so the 4gig we bought was useless. (My uncle took it for his digital camera, as my camera will only take up to a 2 gig SD card.

    Michael finds it very nice to be able to load map data for all the surrounding states on one card. :)

    And I'm jealous. I never took geography, and so topography is gibberish to me. I just like knowing things, like how high we are, what the temperature is, and is the barometric pressure rising or falling. (Which is why I have my own set of geek toys!)

  4. Yep, just came back from the store and now own the Delorne Earthmate PN-20 and I can say in the ten minutes that I've been fooling around with it - I already like it much better than my previous Magellans.

    First the screen - High Resolution color, as good or better than my ZEM movie screen. Woohoo, that's a real plus. HC engine is excellent at sat acquisition, I've 8 birds, here in the house. Never had that with the Magellan. The menu system is slick and easy to use. I'm going to install the software and upload the Alaska Topo and road maps.

    I might even do a full review.

    GPS is a big deal to me. I've never been without one since the first civilian models - and I used the Motorola military units for years before that. I never go into the bush without one, never travel in a strange city. I love GPS.

    We're big geocachers too, love the game and the places it takes us.

  5. Congrats on the new GPS. :) If I ever took up any kind of outdoorsy "sport", I'd probably pick geocaching too.

    My weekend was spent working 34 hours at the takeout. It was mostly long and boring, especially when all the nearby wifi spots turned out to be locked except one, and the one was unreliable. -.- But I did get most of the way through Neil Gaiman's American Gods (should be finishing it up tonight). They also fed me very well. It was my last day, though - I'd quit in April but agreed to help out this weekend since the manager had to be out of town.

  6. Well, see, MWT one of the reasons I like geocaching is that it's not really a sport :)

    Actually, we really enjoy caching - it's taken us to many strange and unusual places. We like finding the caches, but we really enjoy the hikes and strange places we go to.

    And I'm really liking this new Delorme GPS unit. A lot.

  7. I've been toying with getting a GPS, but I don't really go anywhere that I would need it (I have that annoying habit of being able to find my way by nose). I guess if we were more into hiking in remote areas, I'd get one.

    Spent this last weekend watching one nephew graduate cum laude from Miami U, celebrating the other graduating from HS as valedictorian, and the third passing his electrical journeyman test. What the other nephews and nieces were up to I don't know.

    MWT, I hope you enjoyed American Gods. I loved that book.


Comments on this blog are moderated. Each will be reviewed before being allowed to post. This may take a while. I don't allow personal attacks, trolling, or obnoxious stupidity. If you post anonymously and hide behind an IP blocker, I'm a lot more likely to consider you a troll. Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.