.:: If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.--
Henry David Thoreau ::.
C & N since 1998
.:: Wednesday, April 27th ::.
~ 09:57 PM ~
First night of presentations in my night class. At the point of the semester where I enter the class looking for evidence of our time together. Not every class meeting of my collective classes this semester were excellent but my average is still high. One of my mantras is: only as good as the last class. It keeps me focused, reviewing every day, and trying better the next time. I only ask that I see the evidence in the presentations of making a difference.
Neale picked up her new car. Still very satisfied.
"...not ready for a tornado but ready for terrorists..."
Did grading today. I am caught up and in good shape for this time of the semester.
Last Thursday, Arcade Fire & the National were excellent. Great performances.
Brunch with family yesterday. However, it was also the day I learned to replace my rear window wiper. As it wore out and it has been raining everyday here. Maybe sun tomorrow. The weather scared us off going to the baseball game locally. Watched on TV instead and had dinner at Milargo.
Got my expedition backpack back from repair. They did a great job at Brentwood Luggage and Shoe Repair.
"...Do you realize where he thinks he comes from?..."
We felt like having breakfast together this morning. We went to Cafe Osage. Neat place. Food was excellent. It reminded me how I was usually be planting this time of the year. No garden or flowers this summer at this house.
After breakfast, Neale headed to a party for a coworker's promotion and Ellis and I went to the park.
Last night was my last sparring session before the long walk this summer. In my last fight class, we did a half hour of regular sparring and then did a drill we have done in the past to send people off, which was 2 on 1 sparring. There is a strategy to it. I did three 1 minute drills and it is fairly intense. Worse than the Krav pressure drills. Overall, it was a great 19 months of fight class and I did Krav about as long. I may return to this gym but I cannot say what I will be interested in after the hike. There was many good people to work with in the classes, the trainers were overall great people, and I learned many valuable skills. Woke up without any soreness, will start my new training routine next week, and my last memento is a two inch scratch rub over my left eye.
I ended now in order to heal as I am 35 days from Springer MTN. Neale has our trail plans set as she is heading to Florida with her mom after dropping me at the Trailhead in Amicalola State Park. I am doing the 8+ mile approach trail on the first day and then heading north.
Sad news that the Flock browser is ending support.
Great sparing last night. A class member that has been out with a knee injury was back in the rotation. However, there was only the two of us as our trainer is nursing a ribcage injury from home improvement. Next Thursday is my last night. I am ending my membership to heal. A few bruises this morning but nothing that is affecting normal movement.
With the weather not to my satisfaction on Friday, I waited until Saturday to head to Hercules Glades Wilderness Area east of Forsythe, MO. It was my first overnight of the year and my first time trying my new hammock. First, the trailhead was 4+ hours away so I started midday. Second, the details on the Internet versus the roads I saw near the site were different. I ended up at a trailhead but the trail did not match the map so I decided to stick to the trail until something looked familiar. It turns out I found the trailhead farthest east and the one I wanted was to the west. After an hour in, I reached the falls, which was on my map. Then, I realized which trail I was on (Blair Ridge) and the trail I wanted (Coy Head). By, linking the two I was able to get a 7+ mile day as I hiked Coy to almost the trailhead I wanted to start at earlier. The hammock was great. The bag felt good as it was under 40 lbs. It was an uneventful quiet night and I got the best sleep I have ever had in the hammock. I kept the cover tarp off since there was no rain predicted and the stars looked great. About 5:30AM a small pack of coyotes woke me with what sounded like happy howling. I slept until almost 7 and rolled out to begin the day. The hammock packs faster and I was headed to explore more well before 8AM. That is when the day got more interesting.
I started on a trail near the creek, which was the other end of creek where I saw the falls. However, that trail ended after 300 yards and I back tracked to see if I missed a turn. Nothing. So, I went back to the trail that lead up, which I believed to be one on my map. The trail was fine and traveled as expected but had something not quite right. In short, I was never 'lost' but slightly misplaced. I could have easily backtracked. I reached a spot that said 'tower' and I had no tower on my map. I followed that trail and it faded into a creek after 400 yards. I went back to the tower sign and saw a group of guys camped nearby so I asked if they had a better map than I did. They did. When I went left, I should gone right and I was back at the falls, which lead to the trail I needed to return to my car. Yet, I am uncertain how I ended up so far east on the trail above the creek. Since, I can guarantee I will return to Hercules Glades, I will take more time to explore.
Today, I did not stop when I felt a hotspot on my right heel and I developed a small blister. My socks may not have dried enough overnight (despite being hung out to dry) and my boot could have been tighter. Lesson learned.
Last night, we had dinner at Vine on Main with Kelly & Sara. Kelly (the host of the Oscar party) is dealing with his father's death. His father was older than mine and in bad health. I was curious about his thoughts. Overall, great dinner with friends.
~ 03:06 PM ~
"...out out brief candle...."
Yesterday, I purchased our Arcade Fire tickets at an Ticketmaster outlet. Normally, I buy online but I made the trip to the Webster Schnucks for these tickets. Then, I came home to change into my hiking kit as I wanted to get out despite the overcast skies and threat of rain/snow. I headed to Chubb Trail as it is close. I want to get to Washington SP or Meramec SP before winter is officially over. After our Sweden trip, the weather of late March should allow for overnights to resume. I want to try out the hammock and try to get in a 20+ mile day if possible. Neale is urging me to to a high mileage day and can assist as I may have to dead head a trip to a spot after being dropped off. But, back to yesterday. I started at the Chubb Trailhead and noticed only two other cars parked there, which was a good sign. The red sedan had its rear passenger side window cracked so I believed a dog would be out. After I started, I noticed big paw prints in the mud so I was thinking large lab or German Shepard. Despite their popularity on ski slopes (I guess), there has not been a St. Bernard spotted while I have been on trail. After the switchback and headed up hill near a stream, I spotted the owner (a runner) and her Rottweiler (Brutus). Watching a 100+ pound Rottweiler runs towards you takes a special kind of trust. I gave up right of way on the trail as I do for runners and bikers. The dog stopped at me and sniffed my hiking sticks. The runner said he was curious as he does see them too often. Brutus seemed like a good dog. The picnic table on the Chubb Trail has been replaced with a new one and now has a sign to call the ranger's phone number if needed. I went out to the Meramec River and back via the Flint Quarry Trail, which was a good 3.5 hours. Tried my new Marmot Precip jacket, which is my new out shell. When the weather damp and around freezing, I had a Patagonia base layer 1 next to my skin and base layer 1 fleece on under the jacket. I was plenty warm. You see a lot of people overdressed in the woods, which causes them to take off layers, such as hats.
Neale has a big case that she is working on. I am doing what I can to keep her sane.
Today, I met the electrician to have him look at the outlet in the kitchen. It was an outlet that slowly failed as it would work but then not work. It was that way for about 2 months. About three weeks ago, it failed completely so I replaced the outlet. No luck. It had some power but not enough to work a coffee pot. It turns out the waygo (spelling?) in the GFI next in the series was loose. The electrician was not a user of waygos as they have a tendency to fail in wall outlet in his professional opinion. It was the same electrician that wired our basement bath so I have seen the guy's work before today. In twenty minutes, he swapped out the waygos in the GFI for old fashioned wire nuts, and screwed everything back in place. No charge. It was the same company that did the original wiring in the kitchen remodel. I did not have the heart to tell him his boss wired the kitchen. It is a family business and they communicate well.