August, 2017 - update

I'm regrouping a bit.

I took a road trip from Phoenix, Arizona to Sarasota, Florida (and back) last month, and meant to update during the trek, but didn't. I'd expected to be in the passenger seat for a few hours  each travel day, but instead did all the driving. By the end of the travel days, I was exhausted. And on the days where we stayed somewhere, we kept busy. I aimed to post a long update upon returning, but work has kept me busy since returning.

And then I killed my camera.
I had taken my kayak on the lake by my house, trying to get a good sunset photo on the water. An unexpected dust storm blew over mountains, gaining momentum as the wall of sand and pollen and dirt spilled down into my valley, and my normally placid little lake suddenly produced waves much higher than my kayak. I tried to cut across the direction of the waves, but the water shoved the boat until I was getting broadsided with water. I'm not experienced with rough waters at all. I capsized, spilling myself, my camera, and my iPhone into warm, murky water. I managed to catch my camera as it began to sink, because somehow it turned on, and I saw the rear display light up beneath the surface. I didn't even realize I'd lost the phone until I made it to shore. Normally, I carry a waterproof bag with me just in case the water gets even slightly choppy, but the weather report didn't seem alarming, and I'd been in a hurry. Live and learn.

Last photo from that camera:

I did live, obviously. I fell out of the kayak into the water, and managed to flip it back over, the flop gracelessly onto it, somewhat covering the hole. I used it like a really awkward flotation device to get to the nearest shoreline, which took about twenty minutes, despite being maybe sixty feet away. Unfortunately, that nearest shoreline was a steep incline that leveled off about eight feet above the water, so it took me about thirty minutes to to dump enough water out of the kayak while waves kept trying to refill it, and then drag it up the slope.

I was utterly sapped for energy when I made it up, and I'd reached  a shoreline on the Western edge, though I live near the Southern edge. I pondered leaving the kayak and returning for it later, but wasn't sure what the wind might do to it, or who else might find it. So, I dragged it. I'd made it about four hundred feet from home when my I spotted my wife searching for me with a flashlight, shading her eyes from the dust in the air.

I told her immediately that my camera was dead; she was just glad that I wasn't.

The phone was insured through work, and was replaced, but not the camera. The deductible on my homeowner's policy is high enough that it won't help. The camera sat submerged in rice, protected from rice dust by a pair of tights, for more than a week in hopes it would dry out. When I pulled it out, I could see that the lens was ruined. I tried powering it on with one of my spare batteries, but the camera has perished.

I can't really afford to replace it - I haven't even paid it off yet. I'm feeling about as idiotic as I've ever felt.

A photo from the trip; more to come later.


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