Monthly Archives: July 2019

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

Can I Speak To Your Beard?

“When Someone Has A Problem with Your Beard, Remember This… That’s Not Your Problem.”

“Beards Are An Acquired Taste. Don’t Like Them? Acquire Some Taste.”

“Awesome dads have tattoos and beards.”
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Does a beard make you more approachable?

One thing that I have noticed over the last couple of years is that since I started growing my beard, more people engage me on the trail. When I was clean-shaven, most times I would barely get a nod from other folks, but now I am drawn into full-blown conversations with my fellow hikers. Even children speak to me (of course they think I look like Santa). But is it the beard? Is it the power and epic awesomeness of the beard that draws people in? 🙂 I can’t answer that question.

In a paper from 2014, it was found, however, that bearded men were found to be more trustworthy than our clean-shaven counterparts. For the life of me, I can’t figure that out.

Why am I writing about this you might ask? I really have no idea. I just saw this photo and figured I would make some observations. I’ve mentioned my beard in the past but as it grows longer, the more it grows on me (no pun intended). If you have been following my blog, or you know me, you know that I prefer solitude when I hike. I am am not a big people person when I am on the trails. As a matter of fact, I am not a people person period. Say that three times fast.

So will these kinds of forced interactions make me more of a people person and will I now choose to go out of my way to interact with hikers I don’t know?

I’m thinking that the answer to that is…no.

Let me know what you think. If you see a bearded gentleman and he doesn’t look like a crazed killer (or even if he does), are you more likely to say something to him than someone without a beard?

(If I haven’t said this already, I can write about just about anything,)

HAPPY HIKING!!!

All Hail No Humidity!!!

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

-John Ruskin

With thunderstorms out of the way for the time being, the humidity is finally back at a point where you aren’t suffocating and drenched after walking for five steps. From what the weather forecast looks like, thunderstorms aren’t expected back in the area until Thursday afternoon. I’m sure that the humidity will begin creeping back up as the week progresses.

Unfortunately, I can’t do anything about the fog.

Even though I’m still not at 100%, I decided to do a short hike anyway. I know it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do but out into the woods I went. Obviously, since I’m still not fully recovered, I kept the pace slower than I would have. That was cool though because it gave me a chance to just think. I also took quite a few more breaks than I normally would have.

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The point where the Green and the Red Trail split. This makes about a decent 4-mile loop.

It was actually nice to sit on a rock and hear nothing but the wind blowing through the trees and the animals running around. As a matter of fact, I thought it was odd that I saw a deer staring at me and for probably about 300 yards he kept pace with me. Walking when I walked, stopping when I stopped. Could it have just been a coincidence that he was following me???  It went on for about 20 minutes before something else spooked the deer and it took off into the woods.

I certainly felt much safer doing this with a deer than I did two years ago with the bear!

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Overall. another great day to be hiking here at Ward Pound Ridge. It never gets old.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

Hike #17-7/9/19-4.5-76.6