Aging with Grace

It seems like a lifetime ago….it seems like yesterday… I can no longer adventure the way I used to on bare basics and little sleep.

At one point in my life I remember leaving for motorcycle trips after working three or four 12 -hour midnight shifts. I was in the military at the time and stationed in West Texas at Dyess AFB. The bike would be packed with a sleeping bag, a rain jacket, poncho, and my ATM card. I usually had $100 stuffed in the frame and a tooth-brush and change of underwear in a backpack. I would turn in my weapon after getting off duty in the early morning hours, change clothes in my dorm room, and be on the road by 0700. I would ride my 1983 XT 250 hard for the next few hours, find a rest stop, sleep for a few hours and be back at it. That night I would stop for dinner, usually based on PB&J or an MRE I had saved from a recent deployment. I would crash at a campground, a church courtyard, ratty hotel if weather was bleak, or even in a highway reststop. My travels were never limited and I rode that little 250 into New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mexico, and all over Texas. I would be back on base in time for my first guardmount formation and refreshed and ready for duty.

A few years later I was doing the same thing with a Suzuki Samurai, although I did start packing a tent and a fairly nice Coleman stove. Still there were nights I would sleep under the tiny SUV as I traveled throughout South Texas, Arizona, and Mexico. I even did a few trips as far as the East Coast and when it was time for me to change duty stations, I camped all the way to New Jersey. Still sleep and “a good nights rest” included a sleeping bag, hammock, and 4-5 hours of sleep.

Fast forward and this last year I have found a high intolerance for sleeping on the ground. We have spent the past few weeks looking for options including roof top tents, tents that will allow a master-bedroom size cot, hot water, privy, and other creature comforts. While on the Idaho Overland, I saw Beau and Lance snuggling in the back of their rigs, while Abby and I tried to get comfortable on our sleeping mats. Nothing is worse than after a bone jarring day in a Jeep, with hundreds of miles behind you and a few more 10 hour days ahead of you….and you are sleeping in a rock bed.

As we prep for 2013, we are looking at several options….including BIG family tents, a tent on top of an offroad trailer, and possible a teardrop designed for off-road. The years of not sleeping has caught up with me. The four hours a night for weeks at a time has transitioned to “I don’t want to get up for work mom….”

So stay tuned, we will report out all the stuff we look at….and with a little luck we will get to do some product testing…..

I am sure I will still have get-a-ways that Trigger and I crawl under the Jeep and certainly when our doing my annual survival training I will have to suck it up…..but I am really looking for more luxury as I get older….

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