Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stone Bridge Trail, Leland Path, Kinstone Path 1-29-12

A three-for-one day. Got to walk on three seperate trails. We started on the Stone Bridge Trail entering at the Elevator Road access point headed south. When we got to the Leland Path, we headed west and then north on it up to the corner of Main Street and Elevator Road where we took caught the Kinstone Recreational Trail. We took that back to the Stone Bridge Trail and then back to the Jeep. We parked up the street at a mall. Total length according to Base Camp was 3.6 miles. Took us 97 minutes.

We previously hiked the Stone Bridge Trail its entire length. No snow then. It is a nice trail, with some good scenery. We have seen the two paths before but not walked them yet.

We were also on the Hononegah Path for about 100 feet from the end of the Leland Path to the start of the Kinstone Path, so maybe it is a four-for-one.

The view looking down the SBT south from Elevator Road.

Most of the Leland Path is either residential or retail. The local merchants apparently appreciate the Leland Path that goes by. The path had been plowed AND salted. There was still some ice and snow, but it was mostly bare pavement.

Trail head at Elevator Road and Main Street where the Hononegah, Leland, and Kinstone Paths converge.

It was hard to tell for sure due to the snow but it appeared that some of the Kinstone Recreational Path was paved and some of it was gravel. The Kinstone Path is mostly tree lined, and follows along the creek most of its length.

North branch of the Kinnickinick Creek as viewed from the Kinstone Path.

North branch of the Kinnickinick Creek as viewed from the Stone Bridge Trail.

ETA 6-10-12  I submitted both Kinstone and Leland to TrailLink in Feb of 2012, along with reviews.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Arrow Manufacturing Plastic Water Bottles 1 Liter

I bought these at Farm and Fleet in the kitchen section a few weeks ago. I think they were $1.69 each. Made in USA. Nice one hand sport caps, and a good size cap. I had thought to use them in place of the bottles I have now in my fanny pack, but the size is off just a hair. I may try them anyway. I noticed they said 1 liter/32 ounces on them. One liter would be almost 34 ounces. Have not used them for anything yet.

Update 2-12-12
The old root beer bottle in my fanny pack sprung a leak so one of these bottles got promoted from the cupboard to my fanny pack as a replacement. It seemed to work OK for our hike today.

Random stuff

I stopped for gas and noticed this sausage sitting on top of a pallet of salt bags next to the gas pump as I was leaving. I felt the need to take a picture of it for my blog.

Bumper sticker seen today.

Next to the front door of the Hunting Hut in Belvidere. Wonder what caliber it is.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Meritline 39 cent keychain compass

Or maybe it is a zipper pull compass. In any case, for 39 cents shipping included (from Singapore), I could not resist. I don't know quite what I will be doing with it. Maybe keep it as a spare.

It is small, but it seems to work.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Questbar Protein Bar Vanilla Almond Crunch

Questbar website

I got this as a sample from some kind of on-line promotion. It was pretty tasty. It has 4 net carbs. I think they call them effective carbs. No sugar alcohols in this one although some of their products do have it.

Oddly, the individual package did not state the flavor of the bar on the wrapper.

Another website that does not allow cut and past of their ingredient list.

Protein blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate)
Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO - 100% natural pre-biotic fiber)
Natural Flavors
Sea salt
Lo Han Guo (another sweetener)

9 g fat
22 g carbs (18 g fiber, 1 g sugar)
200 calories

It was a little gritty and kind of chewy, similar to the other bar I got a sample of. I liked it.  I did not try heating this one either. I did not experience any carb crazies from it.

They are kind of pricey at over $2 each (not including shipping), and are only available online thru the manufacturer, eBay, and I think Netrition has them.

Questbar Chocolate Brownie

Questbar website

I got this as a sample from some kind of online promotion. It was pretty tasty. It has 5 net carbs. I think they call them effective carbs. No sugar alcohols in this one although some of their products do have it.

Oddly, the individual package did not state the flavor of the bar on the wrapper.

Another website that does not allow cut and past of their ingredient list.

Protein blend (Whey Protein Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate)
Isomalto-Oligosaccharide (IMO - 100% natural pre-biotic fiber)
Natural Flavors
Sea salt
Lo Han Guo (another sweetener)

6 g fat
24 g carbs (19 g fiber, 1 g sugar)
170 calories

It was a little gritty and kind of chewy. I liked it. I saw a suggestion either on the package or some advertising that came with the samples that suggests heating it up, but I did not try that. I did not experience any carb crazies from it, although I think I could have eaten 3 or 4 of them.

It has a lot of fiber for a small bar like this. But I did not get any intestinal issues from it like I would from some sugar alcohols. I could not find that much on IMO online. It appears to be a sweetener of some sort that is not digested by the body. The FDA considers it GRAS.

They are kind of pricey at over $2 each (not including shipping), and are only available online thru the manufacturer, eBay, and I think Netrition has them.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rothco BDU Trousers

I broke down and ordered some new trousers recently. I thought I would try some BDUs. Thought they might work a little better then the denim I have been wearing mostly. I have lost a lot of weight so a lot of the pants I used to have went to Goodwill as they were just too big.

I bought them on 1/17/22 on eBay from seller "armyuniverse". I picked them because they had good prices and a high feedback score. $35 shipped. They arrived in the mail 1/21/12 via priority mail.

They are tagged as made in China, but seem well made. I wanted some heavier weight pants to wear during the winter and thought I would get some cargo pants and these were basically cargo pants easily available in my size. The stitching is solid looking, and I did not notice many tails hanging anywhere. They are made of 35% poly and 65% cotton.

I got them in blue. Didn't want something that looked real military. Just some utility pants. I did not know quite what to expect, never having had a pair before. I don't know if they are true mil-spec or not either, and don't really care much. I don't know that any military service ever wore blue BDUs anyway.

This is the tag that it came with. The little belt like strap with the buckle is for waist size adjustment. They seem to come in a range of sizes in the waist that are like a 4 inch span and these buckles (one on each side) are used to adjust the waist. I left them all the way extended. They seem to work OK at that position, although I may need to tighten them up just a bit.
There are cargo pockets on each leg, with hidden buttons. The front edge of the flaps are sewn down. I think the hidden buttons and front edge of the flap being sewn down is supposed to protect the flaps and buttons.
This is the tag on the inside.
The blousing bands on the legs.

I wore them hiking today (1-22-12). It was not real cold out and I had my fleece long johns on under them. I was quite warm. But it was in the upper 20s. It was kind of windy and the trousers seemed to work pretty well at deflecting the wind. The blousing bands worked pretty well at both holding the hem up off the ground (the pants are a couple inches longer than my leg), but also keep cold air from blowing up my pants leg.

I did not wear my gaiters. I probably should have. The hike in the snow resulted in wet snow getting all over the bottom of the pants legs. I was damp almost up to my knees by the time I got back to the car. Not an ideal situation, but it was not uncomfortably cold. I guess the poly fleece long underwear worked its magic. I never really felt the dampness until I got in the car.

There are some features I am not overjoyed with. I would prefer Velcro instead of buttons for the pocket flaps. It is a little awkward unbuttoning them. Probably will get used to them in time. The slash front pockets do not seem as deep as some pants I have had. I have yet to use either of the cargo pockets. Not real thrilled with the button up fly either. The blousing bands seem to work pretty well, but I am not quite sure how one is supposed to hem them up without cutting off the bands.

I think I would prefer a little higher waist as well. But, overall, they seem pretty well made, and fit OK. Given the built in waist size changing capability, I ought to get a lot of service from them before they just get too big and end up at Goodwill themselves.

ETA 1-23-12
A couple of things. It has occurred to me that it would have been nice if there were belt loops supplied closer together at the front. There is over a foot between belt loops at the front that allows the belt to slide up some. This seems like a common issue with larger pants sizes.

One of the back pocket buttons came off. The thread holding it in place unraveled. It will need to be sewed back on.

UPDATE 2-9-12
Another button came off in the wash so I sewed it back on. Two are other buttons were all but off when I checked. The thread holding the buttons in place was unraveling on all of them. I ended up sewing them all with some heavy tan thread that came with my Harbour Freight sewing awl. Hopefully this will resolve the problem. I suspoct the sewing machine used to put the buttons on was setup wrong, since all the buttons had the same problem.

I don't consider this an acceptable situation, so I probably won't be buying these again, even though I actually really like wearing them as I find them nice and comfy. I contacted the seller to let him know. I doubt there is anything he can do about it, other than complain to the manufacturer. And since I already fixed them, I am not sending them back.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

1-22-12 Snow hike Rock Cut State Park and turkeys

We went it by the dam again. Down a ways on the Willow Creek path and then up the hill in the snow. Then west and finally south back to the Willow Creek Path. At one point a coyote crossed the trail about 50 yards ahead of us but I was not quick enough to get him on video.

Base Camp said is was 2.6 miles. Took just over 2 hours and that was with more than a third of it on Willow Creek Path. Very slow going in 4-6 inches of snow.

Got some nice pictures.

On out way home while still in the park we saw these turkeys.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese Snow Gaiters

I got these on eBay. I paid $1 for them, plus $5.59 shipping from Hong Kong. Seller name = topicshop. The item description covers it pretty well.

Brand new and high quality
Made of anti-abrasion, rainproof and anti-wear 300t nylon
Walking waterproof gaiters
Protect your boots and pants from water, rain and mud
Keep you clean, dry and comfortable
Easy to wear and carry
Great for walking, hiking, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities
Color: black
One size fits most
Material: 300t nylon
Rainproof rating: 3000mm
With nylon drawcord at top and adjustable buckle at bottom
Full length zipper
Length: 40cm
Top circumference: about 52cm
They were shipped from Hong Kong. I don't get how anyone can ship anything from the far east for the price, but somehow they can. IIRC, I got it on 1/10/12. The sale date was 12/22/11.

I have used them a couple of times during snow removal chores. They worked pretty well.

My only real gripe with them is the size. They are advertised as one size fits most. They probably do but by US standards they are just a hair small. They are about 16" high by 20" wide. I am wearing my size 13W ICW boots in this photo. If you look closely you may see that they don't extend the full height up my leg. That is because my boot and calf is more then 20" in circumference. They would work a lot better for me if they were another inch or two wider. That is not the product's fault though. And even not extended all the way up my calf they worked pretty well.

They do seem to be of generally good quality, and they did keep the snow from getting on my pants legs. They did seem to be waterproof as the wet snow did not soak through the nylon. The zipper seemed pretty robust, and the Velcro worked.

There is a draw string at the very top I did not need, along with a piece of elastic at the bottom, and another about ankle high.

The strap under the boot seems pretty sturdy. It took me a while to figure out how best to put them on. It seems to work best to leave the strap connected and just kind of step into it, and then zip it up around your foot.

There is some kind of metal fastener at the bottom. I think it is meant to hook onto your shoelaces, possibly to hold it down to the front of your shoe. It is not the strongest of fasteners and bends easily. I did not even try to use it, as it did not seem necessary.

I don't think they would be appropriate to use as snake gaiters as they are pretty lightweight. But for keeping snow off of my pant legs, they worked pretty well.

They did not come with any instructions. Just the two gaiters that appear to be identical. It is not as if they are real complicated, so instructions were really not necessary.

More snow

We got maybe an inch of snow today.

We got 4-6 inches of snow today. Blizzard like at times.

I went out to remove the snow this morning.

4 degrees F. Seemed warmer because the sun was out and not much wind.

Snow blower made it a lot easier than trying to shovel 4-6 inches of snow.

We went thru Rock Cut State Park this morning. Very pretty. There was some kind of running event going on. People were running across the lake as part of the event. Did not get a picture of that. The geese were also on the lake.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Grove Square Cider Drink Mix - Caramel Apple

I liked the  spiced apple cider flavor.

This flavor I did not like. It did taste vaguely like caramel, but I just did not like it. Maybe personal preference. It literally left a bad taste in my mouth as well. I will not be buying any more of this flavor.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

1-15-12 Rock Cut State Park Walk Along the Lake and Turkeys!

We parked at the dam and walked around the lake. We walked a path right next to the lake around to the east side of the lake and then went into the forrest on the south side of the park to get back to the dam. Base Camp says 3.6 miles. Took 2.5 hours. Very slow going thru the snow. But nice scenery.

Lots of good scenery.

We saw this sign with a typo in at posted at the top of the dam.

As we were leaving the park, we came across this herd of turkeys.

1-14-12 Rock Cut State Park Willow Creek

We parked at the dam and walked mostly along the Willow Creek Path down to Perryville Road, with a side excursion up the hill on the north side of the path. The arrow is where we saw the downed tree.

The snow from the other day made everything pretty. We ran across this downed tree on the side trail we took.

Willow Creek.

It was about 15F out, not much wind. A nice winter hiking day. We did 3.2 miles according to Base Camp. Took us 110 minutes. It is slow going up and down the hill, and on the snow and ice.

We got back to the parking lot by the dam to find a DNR guy there, who told us we had to be out by 5. It was already a few minutes after 5. I am a repeat offender on being in the park a few minutes after 5. I did it once last winter too.

We did not run across many people there. A couple joggers and two dogs who brought their humans out for a nice walk. As we were headed back to the parking lot we ran across two skiers who were skiing along the paved path. They said they parked outside the gate so they would not get locked in.