Is It Worth It? I Think Not!

“The safety of the people shall be the highest law.”

-Marcus Tullius Cicero

“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.”

-Frank Lane

Twenty years ago I would have hiked in any kind of weather, and I did. My friend and I even hiked in a blizzard to Anthony’s Nose just to see what the Bear Mt. Bridge looked like when it snowed. We used to go out at noon on days when the temperature was near 100 degrees and the humidity was almost as high. Days when it was raining? No problem.

These days, however, I am a little more cautious when I hike. I know that I have mentioned this before, but with the renal failure I experienced last summer, any forecast of excessive heat truly scares me. So for our area for the next three days, this is what the weather looks like:

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM EDT SUNDAY… * HEAT INDEX VALUES…AROUND 105 TO 110 TODAY AND AROUND 105 TO 115 SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. * TIMING…12 PM TODAY THROUGH 8 PM SUNDAY. * IMPACTS…EXTREME HEAT CAN CAUSE ILLNESS AND DEATH AMONG AT- RISK POPULATION WHO CANNOT STAY COOL. THE EXCESSIVE HEAT MAY QUICKLY CAUSE HEAT STRESS OR HEAT STROKE. 

I have decided that even though I go out very, very early in the morning, I am not going to hike today, tomorrow or Sunday. When I went out on Wednesday and hiked 5 miles, I drank two 32 ounce bottles of Gatorade Zero (Orange of course) as well as two 48 ounce bottles of water. When I got home I immediately drank another 48 ounces of water and continued this throughout the day.

Folks, don’t be stupid. If it is going to be this oppressively hot and humid, it just isn’t worth it. Now if you live in an area where this type of weather is the norm, some adjustments can be made, but you still have to be careful.

The good thing is I will still be able to ride my stationary bike which is in a nice air-conditioned room with a television. I will also hydrate as if I was out hiking.

I guess the bottom line is this: Is that hike really worth it? Especially for folks that may be a little older or have a chronic medical condition, hiking in hot and humid conditions like this could be a death sentence. Much better days are ahead!!!!

Take it from someone who knows. It isn’t worth it.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments section.

Buzzing And Biting The Day Away

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.”

-Mary Davis

Today was one of those days where I walked out the front door and then almost turned around and went back to bed. The humidity was so thick and oppressive that it literally stopped you in your tracks. Needless to say, once I started hiking it wasn’t long before I was soaking wet. Along with the humidity came the dreaded dragonflies. Buzzing, landing, and biting was the tale of the day. It seemed that no amount of bug spray could keep them at bay.
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Even with the humidity, it was still nice to be outside and as usual, I didn’t see anyone on my hike. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t expecting this kind of weather until tomorrow when we are supposed to get some of the remnants of Barry.

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This year the woods are the greenest that they have been in years. It makes the hiking much more serene than if the woods weren’t as vibrant. That’s the whole reason to be out there.

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I’ve been following the progress of this bees nest for almost two weeks now. Although now it doesn’t seem to be getting bigger in size, it is getting heavier because it is weighing the branch down. I am also surprised that with its proximity to the trail, that no one has messed with it. I guess that is a good thing.

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No matter what the weather, the silence still provides a pleasant reprieve from everything else going on. The joy of just being able to sit on a rock and think makes every minute of every hike worthwhile.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #20-7/17/19-5.0-90.1

The Sanding Is Done

“If I had more time I’d watch more woodworking or home improvement shows, but, not enough hours in the day.”

-Nick Offerman

Before and After Sanding

As you can see, I sanded the shoeshine box this morning. Using the 100 grit paper, the old stain came off much easier than I had anticipated. When I was finished with that, I took the 220 grit and sanded it to a nice smooth finish. The entire process took about 45 minutes.

Now it is ready to be stained. Before that, however, I am going to take a wet paper towel and wipe down any excess residue from the sanding that may be left. After that, I will be put on the first coat of stain, let it dry and then decide if it needs a second coat.  Only time will tell.

Hopefully, I will get to the staining today as the weather is supposed to become hot and humid as the week progresses.

Here are some more pictures after the sanding was completed:

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If you have any comments, they certainly would be appreciated!

What? Say It Ain’t So. No Humidity?

“Shutting out the world is not about turning your back on your surroundings but rather the opposite: It is seeing the world a bit more clearly, staying a course and trying to love your life.”

-Erling Kagge

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My trusty pack and poles.

Today was another great morning at Ward Pound Ridge. It was 58 degrees with really low humidity. A nice breeze made it cooler at times and as the sun came up it was actually nice to feel it hit you as it made its way through the trees.

As it has been most mornings, I did not see a soul as a made my way through the reservation. The only things that were visible were the many chipmunks and squirrels that inhabit this beautiful area.

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That’s the greatest thing about hiking at Ward Pound Ridge. If you can get out early enough, the park is pretty much yours for the taking. The stretch above is obviously wide enough to hold many people without feeling closed in yourself. Other trails may not be as wide, but the deeper you get into the park, the fewer people you will encounter.

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I love this tree. Don’t ask me why.

 

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More signs that the water is drying up in the park.

As I said, today was a really nice day to be out in the park. I’m hoping to be out again in the morning. I have been alternating between three loops that have been averaging between four and five miles. For the time being, I am going to stick with these hikes because I like them. And that’s all I have to say about that.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #19-7/15/19-4.5-85.1

Vintage Shoe Shine Box

“I just don’t want to look back and think, “I should have bought that junk.

-Anonymous

One of the things I was looking for at the Elephant’s Trunk this morning was a small item made out of wood that could be refurbished. A small project that won’t take much time but when it is finished you can see the difference.

What I did find was a small vintage wooden shoe shine box. It cost a mere $10, but I believe that when it is done it will look much different than it currently does. I probably could just leave it alone since it is an old piece, but I think that I will take the chance and see what I can do with it.

My first task will be sanding the box down so it is smooth and the old stain is pretty much gone. I don’t anticipate any issues with that since the box is pretty much open. I will be using 100-grit sandpaper at first to get the old stain off as well as any imperfections. Afterward, to further refine it for staining, I chose a 220 grit sandpaper.

The stain I chose is called “Provincial.” It was the closest color to what the original looks like. I just didn’t want to get stuck with something that was lighter or darker than the original. Here is what the piece looks like:

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L=13 3/4″/W=5 1/2 “H=13 3/4”

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I  am pretty confident that this should be a relatively easy project to complete. Of course, I could be completely off base, but I don’t believe so.

After I finish sanding the box I’ll post some pictures to show the progress.

Taking It To The Trunk

“Nothing haunts us like the antiques we didn’t buy.”

-Anonymous

At least once during the summer and sometimes once in the fall, we head on over to the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT. Today, however, many vendors were missing. Of course, this could be due to people vacationing or maybe the number of vendors is diminishing. I can’t answer that question but I was thinking about it.

Even with the missing vendors, we still had a huge amount of items to look at. One of the nice things about The Elephant’s Trunk is that you get to know the vendors and what they sell. If you get to know the people, it seems they are more likely to make deals with you. I am sure that they will make deals anyway, but it is a nice thought.

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By 8 am people are already leaving with the things that they have bought. At the same time, people are also arriving. Today, it was already over 70 degrees when we got there at 7 am.

 

I love the area surrounding the Elephant’s Trunk. Many flea markets are dropped in the middle of a vast open space and lack any definable character. The Elephant’s Trunk, however, has a beautiful wooded area behind it. Obviously, at this time of year and with the amount of rain that we have had, the trees are an incredibly lush green. In the fall, the colors are spectacular.

The empty areas seen here are usually occupied by vendors.

 

Of course, what would a flea market be without food vendors? My daughter had a sausage egg and cheese from this guy and she said it was outstanding! They also had a bakery where we bought some apple cider donuts which were really good as well. I do apologize, but I don’t have any picture of the food. I ate the donut too quickly so preserving it in a photograph was not possible.

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One of the more unique finds for me today was this poster announcing Jerry Garcia’s Fall 1989 tour. Unfortunately, the vendor wanted way too much and he wouldn’t come down in price. Sure, it would have been nice to have, but that’s cool.

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Overall it was another successful trip to the Elephant’s Trunk and I am pretty sure that I will be returning sooner rather than later to see what else they have.

Happy Hump Day!

“After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.”

– G.M. Trevelyan

It took a couple of days but today was noticeably cooler than the last three or four. When I started out at just around 6:00 am it was a nice cool 59 degrees with no real humidity. I decided to take the Green trail to the yellow trail back out to the parking lot. All told, it was a nice easy four miles. I’m still not at 100% yet so once again I walked at a slower pace than I usually would and took in everything around me.

I am finding that I actually prefer the slower pace because it allows me to better clear my mind. I do have to still pay attention to my surroundings so I don’t have a repeat of last summer, but walking slower gives me a better sense of what I’m doing, or at least trying to do.

When I stopped for a quick rest and some water, I found myself staring at this log. I have no idea why, it just had me thinking.

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Water sources are drying up with the lack of rain.

Even with the lack of rain, the woods are still a vibrant green.

But for how long?

 

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The same nest from a few days ago, only a little bigger.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #18-7/10/19-4.0-80.6