>>>>>> Rest In Peace, Jim - A Snake, A Heart, And An Earring - CycleBlaze

September 8, 2021

>>>>>> Rest In Peace, Jim

This page is dedicated to an old friend who has accompanied me on every one of my bike tours.  In fact, many years before I ever took up cycle touring, Jim and I went on backpacking and canoeing trips together.  From the deserts of the American southwest, to the Rocky Mountains, to the Dakota Badlands, to the mid-western farmlands, to the shores of the Great Lakes, to the Appalachians, to the forests of northern Ontario -- we've spent many a night camping in the great outdoors.

Jim has been my friend for over twenty years, but I only gave him his name seven years ago--just a few minutes after I named my bike The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong.  In reality, Jim was MORE than just a friend.  He was a dedicated servant and an accomplished outdoorsman.  He was a tough guy and he absolutely loved nighttime storms -- the heavier the thunder and rain the better. 

The thing is, I enjoy thunderstorms too because I had Jim protecting me.  Jim was my tent.  Without him, I can think of several times where I would have been shivering with hypothermia in a cold rain.  

Equally important as Jim's weather resistance was his ability to protect me from BUGS.  He kept out ticks, mosquitoes, horseflies, spiders, red ants, tent caterpillars, deer flies and black flies in at least 30 states.  On three separate occasions he also kept out a dog, a chipmunk, and a raccoon who tried to enter.

Jim the Tent
Heart 3 Comment 0

Sadly, old age eventually caught up to Jim.  For years he had been living with duct tape repairs on his floor and a metal splint on one of his poles.  And recently his factory-taped seams started delaminating.

Last week it came time to say goodbye to my loyal friend, my servant and, along with my bike, my most essential piece of bike touring equipment.  I'd like to close this eulogy with three more pictures in Jim's honor.

Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0

                                                                  ***********

Say Hello To My New Friend

Despite his physical deterioration, I was fully prepared to bring Jim along on this bike trip.  Then something happened.  I rode my bike down to the Spokane REI to pick up a fuel cannister and a new pair of shorts by way of the tent department.  Some kind of extra-sensory summons seemed to be coming from a little red bag.  "Buy me," it said urgently, and I was unable to resist.  After all, it packed up much smaller than Jim and was four pounds lighter.  It looked good too.  Sorry Jim, but it's time to give a younger guy a chance.

Heart 0 Comment 3
Kelly IniguezFour pounds lighter! It looks like head room is good. How is tent entry/exit? Set up time?
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Gregory GarceauTo Kelly IniguezThe new tent has a slight improvement in all of those things. It remains to be seen how well it does in a driving rain storm.
Reply to this comment
1 month ago
Kelly IniguezTo Gregory GarceauDon't go wishing such things on yourself!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago

Rest assured that I'm not going to throw Jim into the trash bin.  With a little seam sealer, I am confident he will continue in the afterlife as an excellent car camping tent.

Allow me to introduce Mike the Tent.
Heart 1 Comment 0

Now I will return you to the regularly scheduled programming.  (That would be my daily journal.)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 8
Comment on this entry Comment 1
Rachael AndersonI’m so relieved that Jim isn’t a human friend!
Reply to this comment
1 month ago