Friday, December 31, 2010

Rock Cut State Park 12-31-10

Me and Wilma went out for our last hike this year. It was a dreary and foggy day, but almost 50 degrees, so pretty nice hiking weather.

We went west from the dam along the Willow Creek Bike path and then headed north on a horse trail that parallels the Perryville bike path up to Hart Road. Then east to the main park road and south on the road back to where we parked.

An hour and 50 minutes. Maybe a little over 3 miles. Most of the hike was on pavement so went pretty easy, but the horse trail segment was muddy, wet, snowy, icy, and mucky in a lot of places, so was kind of slow going.

We barely made it back before they close the park and let loose the vampire deer that roam the park at night.

Part 1

Part 2

[update 1-3-11]
I emailed the park and asked if the horse trails crossing Hart Road are open to hiking. I got a response back that the trails south of Hart Road are Ok for hiking. They also confirmed that the honey sold as Rock Cut Honey does indeed come from the beehives I saw just off Hart Road.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rock Cut State Park 12-30-10

We went for another hike today. It started off on the same trail we took yesterday, and then we went east on Hart Road until we had to turn off because it turns into a ski trail. We went down to the lake through the camp ground which seemed to be empty and picked up the trail that goes along the lake back to the parking lot.

About an hour and 50 minutes. I'd guess two and a half miles. Slow going in the snow. But we had fun, got some fresh air, and exercise, and Wilma got to play in a lot of snow.

I noted yesterday that both trail heads to the horse trails near the north park entrance are signed as being ski trails. I wondered if maybe I could get to the horse trails and walk them from the horse camp side so on our way home I drove there and took a look. They are also signed for skiing. I guess I am out of luck. I did notice the horse trails that cross Hart Road had the gates closed. But no signs restricting them to skiing, and they had boot prints in the snow, so maybe they are hikable.

There are lots of trails to choose from so it's not that big of a deal. I can't walk real far in the snow anyway. It's a lot more work and takes a lot longer then normal.

WalMart Faded Glory Boot Socks

I was at WalMart last week and happened to go past the men's sock aisle and saw these. I was a little suspicious, as they are labeled for shoe size 6-12 and often WalMart stuff seems to run a little small, and I am a 13W shoe size. But, they looked like they might fit so I bought a package, because I wanted some more warm socks.

These are labeled as 63% poly, 24% acrylic, 11% wool, and 2% other. I wore the two pairs I bought. They did indeed fit pretty well, and they were comfy and warm. A bargain at $5/pkg of 2. So I got two more packages today.

Made in China of course. But a deal IMO. Don't know how long they will last, but at $2.50 a pair, even if they don't last real long, they are worth buying.

WalMart Ground Coffee Dark Roast

Walmart stopped carrying the ground coffee I had been using that I really liked, so I figured I would try some of this. I think it is $6.00 a can. It's pretty good. Not as good as the stuff I was using, but good. I am on my 3rd or 4th can now.  My wife got me a couple smaller cans to start out with, just to see if I liked it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

rock cut state park 12-29-10

It's been over a month since our last hike. We went for a short hike in the snow. Maybe 1.5 miles, about half of it on a paved road. Took about an hour and 20 minutes. Walking in/on the snow is slow and a lot of work. It was nice to get out and get some forest time again after so long.

For some reason on the first snippet the camera would not focus, or was focusing randomly. The narration is OK though. But it's a long minute or so to watch.

Part 1

Part 2

Saturday, December 18, 2010

some recent photos

12-5-10 Taken after Wilma and I got back from our morning walk. I had about an inch of snow on the bill of my cap. Not a real great cell phone picture. I think the cell phone was too close.

12-7-10 Taken about 5:40 am in a grocery store parking lot that we walk through regularly. Wilma stopped to play on the snow banks. The parking lot lights are bright enough to take quite good cell phone pictures.

12-12-10 One of my favorite Christmas ornaments, after the 4 beagle ornaments. I have a beagle ornament for each of the beagles that has shared my life - Samantha, Fredrica, Princess (aka Woofie), and now Wilma.

12-15-10 Wilma believes in Santa. She is a pretty good sport about being dressed up by my wife.

[added]12-24-10 It was snowing some this morning during our walk. Some snow got on my day pack.

Brave or dumb - you make the call

It has been cold here. I went to my regular bullseye league Tuesday night. The unheated range has concrete floors that just sucked the heat right out of my feet. I need to remember to wear warmer boots next time it is this cold. There were a total of six of us brave or dumb enough to go shooting last night. Five of us had electric heating pads to set our guns on. Warm guns and ammo function a lot better than cold ones do.

My fingers did not always work real well in the cold, but better holding a warm gun than one that is below zero.

For various reasons, including the weather and my work schedule, the beagle and I have not been able to do any hiking in the forests lately. Hopefully, the weather and my work schedule will allow some hiking in the near future. It's been cold enough lately that we did not even go for our usual morning walk several days.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Annual gun club meeting last night

I am a life member of local gun club. I have been a member since 1982. I went to the annual meeting last night. It might well have been the last annual meeting. I won't bore you with the story, because it's a club matter, but things were bad, and could have gone to much worse if not dealt with in a strong way. I feared that if the club did not get together and deal with a particular problem (a person really) that there just would not be a club much longer.

Well, I have to say I am very, very proud of my fellow club members. They came through and we stood together and dealt with the problem, in a very convincing fashion. I have never seen this many people at the club before. The parking lot was packed and there were cars parked up and down both sides of the street for at least a block in both directions.

The problem was dealt with by a vote of 113 to 34. A complete and utter repudiation of the problem. Without the need for tar and feathers. Roberts Rules of Order was a big part of it, and knowing how to use it to deal with the problem. I never quite appreciated how rules of order like that can actually work to allow people to deal with a problem in an orderly way. It was a good lesson.

I know that just because the biggest impediment was dealt with does not mean it will be smooth sailing down the road, but it was really good to see what can happen when good people stand together. We will have a lot of work to undo the damage already done, but 113-34 is a great way to start that work.

Before the meeting I shot in the weekly bullseye league as I do every week. it was down right cold. There were seven of us. Three of us brought heating pads to set our guns, mags, and ammo on. Much easier to shoot with a warmer gun, and the gun functions a lot better that way.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bite valve froze up this morning

It was bound to happen. I have been putting my day pack on and walking the dog with the pack on every morning. If nothing else it is a convenient way to carry my water and to get used to the pack. I would almost feel naked without it now.

I realized as it got colder that I might have issues with the bite valve and or drinking tube freezing up so I have been training myself to drain the tube back into the bladder and making sure the bite valve is clear of water so there is nothing to freeze up.

I guess I did not train myself well enough, because the bite valve froze up on me this morning. I was able to unfreeze it by holding it in my mouth for about 30 seconds. Hopefully it is a lesson I won't soon forget.

A vivid illustration of why a metal water bottle or canteen might be a better choice in cold weather than a bladder, as the metal container can be heated up in a fire to melt the water if it freezes. I may have to consider getting some SS bottles for winter hiking.