Another Day, Another Dayhike

Brandi and I did another 9 miles of the AT today. We got to hike past an old graveyard.

Spooky Cemetery

There were some people in there who were born in the 1700s. Pretty bad ass.

We got there at noon, so the lighting wasn’t too good for spooky pictures. So, I took these through my sunglasses.

Spooky Cemetery

There are a few more pictures in my gallery.

Space Cadet

Girtong2 and I went out on the Conewago Trail yesterday. I’m not sure if it’s the monotony of the rail trail, or if I’m just getting senile in my old age, but we were riding along, and I was kind of lost in my own little world of thoughts.

Then, I gradually drifted off the trail, and rode my bicycle directly into the ditch. Girtong2 asked me what the hell just happened, and I had no idea. “I just kinda spaced out and ran into the ditch, ” says I.

For the sake of safety, we decided to head directly to the bar, post haste, for beverage and merriment.

Flaver's Bar

A wise decision, in my opinion.

Yesterday: 10 miles
March: 20 miles
2008: 92 miles

AT – Whiskey Spring to Boiling Springs

Brandi and I got out for a bit of a hike yesterday afternoon. We did a section of the AT from Whiskey Springs Road to the town of Boiling Springs, PA.

I carried my GPS, so now you may follow along on the map.

Spring and fall are the best times for hiking, because the weather affords one the opportunity to sport stylish hats.

Sexy Hiker Hat

The last mile or so before Boiling Springs is across farmer’s fields, which kind of sucks. There were no trees here to break up the wind, and I nearly lost my sexy hat a few times.

Hikers

There are about 230 miles of the AT in Pennsylvania, and I have about 180 left to do.

Spring Ride

So, it’s spring, and I haven’t been riding my bike very much lately. I managed to get the Karate Monkey out into the woods for a little ride today.

Karate Monkey in the woods

Today: 10 miles
March: 10 miles
2008: 82 miles (for shame)

Backpacking

I took my new backpack out for a proper overnight camping trip this weekend.

The weather was very nice on Saturday. It was warm and sunny, and all the streams got full and gurgly from melting snow.

Stream
Gurgly stream

I had about 25 pounds in the Catalyst, and it was very comfortable. I packed a few pounds more than I needed to, but I still made an effort to stick to the ‘lightweight’ style.

I slept under a tarp, but I had a 4 pound sleeping bag, which was probably a good thing, because It got kind of cold out.

My campsite.
My Campsite (before the snow)

When I woke up, everything was covered in new snow, which was all very pretty. Unfortunately, some snow blew in under the tarp, and my sleeping bag got a little wet.

Snow on the Mountain Laurel
The Stony Gap Trail

Calamity! My camera suffered a major technical problem, and I lost about half of the pictures from this adventure. I imagine that nobody even reads my words, since they just look at the pictures.

Since I don’t have any more pictures, I guess I don’t need any more words.

Update: You can now follow along in Google maps.

View Larger Map

Hunting Sasquatch

So, I’m planing out my upcoming backpacking trip. I traced a GPX file off a forestry map, and imported it into Google Earth to get a feel for the terrain.

Google Earth is full of useful information.

Bigfoot in the Bald Eagle State Forest
Google Earth Screenshot — click for big

Today, I learned that my planned route (the light blue line) passes within a mile or so of a recent Bigfoot sighting. (the orange dot). Evidently, less than a year ago, some people ran into a bigfoot in the same part of the woods that I’m planning to hike in!

It was around 7 1/2 foot tall and weighed around 450 pounds. It was covered in stringy brown hair and had an ape like appearance. The witnesses did see the eyes. They had no whites to them and appeared large and black with no glow to them. At first no odor was present, but within a few seconds they smelled a sour, sweaty aroma. The arms came to within 2 inches of the creatures knees.

Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society Website

Fortunately, I do not believe in the existence of Bigfoot/Sasquatch type creatures, so I think I will be safe.

First Catalyst Hike

My Catalyst arrived a few days ago. I’ve been excited to take it out, but I couldn’t fit an overnighter into my schedule for this weekend. It was raining pretty hard today, but I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I threw my dayhiking crap into the Catalyst, and went out on the Darlington Trail for a short hike.

Water in the woods
Scenery

My dayhiking gear isn’t very heavy, so today’s hike probably wasn’t a good test, but the pack was extremely comfortable. There’s a lot more room in there that I’ll probably ever use, but the next smaller pack (the Circuit) doesn’t come in an XL size, and I need about 25″ between the shoulder straps and the hipbelt to accommodate my long, studly torso.

In all my excitement, I forgot to take any pictures of the pack itself (hard to do by yourself when you’re wearing it). So, you’ll have to settle for a picture of this handsome devil.

Staying dry in the Bivanorak
A handsome devil in a Bivanorak

I’m hoping to do an overnighter next weekend, so maybe I’ll have better pictures then.

Dirt Road Database

There’s a brand-new website from the evil geniuses who brought you the world famous Ride Lugged blog:

Dirt Road Database

The Dirt Road Database is a gmaps-mashup type thing to share the locations of dirt roads that are nice to ride bicycles on.

I like the idea. I’m not thrilled about using gmaps-mashups generally[1], but OSM isn’t quite in a state where this would work….yet.

Anyhow, if you are looking for dirt roads in your neighborhood, or want to tell the world about your favorite dirt roads, check out the Dirt Road Database.

[1] Richard Fairhurst’s talk, Why Mashups Suck (and Cartogrpahy matters) is an excellent discussion about this.