Putting Maps on your Garmin GPS

I’ve run into this a lot lately on various forums. It seems a lot of folks still don’t know that you don’t have to buy Garmin’s maps to load on your GPS.

I’ll start with some programs you’ll need. There’s a free route that’s slightly more involved (especially for those with the newer touch-screen GPS receivers, but we’ll get there later. I’ll start with the COMPLETELY free option), and then there’s the option that costs some, but streamlines the process for users with touchscreen receivers.

FREE method. This only works for vector-based basemaps. You also need to make sure your GPS has enough storage space.

First Hike

On Sunday, I took my first hike since recovering from AML. It couldn’t be a big hike, since I’m pretty out-of-shape, but I did as much as I could. My wife and I opted to hunt for a few geocaches while we were out, since I had a trackable geocoin in my possession for entirely too long. It needed to move along ASAP. My hike ended up being a total of about 6 miles, which included searching for a couple caches. It was a solid hike, which I noticed when I woke up this morning and my calves were incredibly sore. It’s amazing I didn’t get any muscle cramps overnight.


I decided to break down and buy a hosting account and an URL and move my blog off of the free sites. It took a little while to get it set up how I wanted, but I’m liking the flexibility I have, and my hosting company offers a lot of easy install options for page add-ons. Right now I’m just running the blog, the theme, and the Google Maps API. I’m quite impressed with this XML Google Maps WordPress plugin. It makes it really easy to load .kml and .gpx files, and even provides some charts on a track! See the example below to get an idea of this. I have another example loaded on my maps page.

Can it get better?

I found out at my appointment with my oncologist last week that I don’t need anymore chemo!  I got a greatly reduced dose (2 days’ worth) for round #7, and that was it.  No round #8 for me.  I did my 7th round as an outpatient…and I got to experience real chemo side-effects for the first time.  Ugh, now I know what I was “missing”.  I think I know why I missed them, too.  When I got my chemo as an inpatient, I always got loads of fluids when I wasn’t actively receiving chemo.  This time, I got a little, but not nearly as much…and I just couldn’t drink enough to make up the difference.

New Kitty

My wife has been raving about this little kitten that had been housed in her vet clinic for the past few weeks.  It had been found as a very tiny kitten out near the horse barn, and an employee brought it in the clinic.  Kitty has been living in a double kitty kennel the past few weeks just growing up.  My wife dragged me in to show me the little kitten the other day, and it seemed like a very good, well-mannered kitty.  Our current cat is old, cranky, ill, and VERY loud.  I don’t like her.  But this kitten was rather likable.  I told the wife that she’d be allowed to bring the kitty home if certain conditions were met.