Thursday, August 30, 2012

5 June 2012 Marimba

I'm getting old. We all are. I just gets more noticable at a certain point. Besides contemplating a more complex change that could really affect our lives, I've decided a good first step is to improve my conditioning. For over eight years I've done 10,000 steps a day. I plan to continue doing it. Ali does it too, and it gives us a good reason to go for walk when we might not otherwise do so.

I wanted a more proactive physical program to get into better shape. Traveling for work smells. I enjoy working with different sites, but the food options stink and exercising sometimes just doesn't happen. I needed a different option. I'm not fond of gyms and clubs. Many hotels limit access to exercise rooms to times when I may not be available. I recently found a website which encourages two hundred sit-ups as a way to stay in shape. The basic idea is you do 200 sit-ups a day every other day for three days a week. The plan they provide is five groups of forty reps with a minimum rest of one minute between reps when you reach your sustainment level. They provide a number of schedules to help participants reach their goal.

I thought about this and realized it's easy to take a pad when traveling and even I might be able to do this. So I started. Never one to leave well enough alone, I decided to add 200 push-ups as a goal. Then I decided to fill in three of the open four days with 200 curls with each arm. Hmmmm, this is getting complicated. So far all has gone well. I was on the website's schedule for about three weeks before opting for a less aggressive schedule which still adds a few reps each session. I do about twice as many sit-ups as push-ups, but both are increasing. I've worked out with curls for a long time, but never structured anything so now at least that is defined. We'll see how this goes. I may even provide some updates. Hopefully, this will help me through a tough time mentally and give me some additional physical conditioning.

3 June 2012 Squire's Castle

The open grassy area in front of the castle is a popular place for kite flying, but this angry bird appears to have taken its last flight.

2 June 2012 Caching Medina

Medina Parks had an abbreviated geocache program this year, but the series still gave us a great reason to tour a number of their parks and enjoy a day in the woods. In a summer with very little rain, we spent a good part of the day walking in the woods under brief cloud bursts while surrounded by sunshine. By the time we reached our last stop at Allardale, the blue skies had been replaced with dark, ominous clouds. As we parked and the rain started, we were treated to the sight of a full rainbow. Ali took the smart road and got back in the car as I got soaked trying to capture a really strong rainbow. Later as we finished our walk through the park, the skies had cleared and a bright, full moon was visible.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

27 May 2012 Foxburg and Clarion

We were out to find a new series of caches on the North Country Trail in Clarion and Venango County. Our first stop was the small town of Foxburg. It’s strange that neither of us had ever visited Foxburg. Our first stop was at an attractive, historic church in the town. We grabbed a nearby virtual before moving into town. The town was crowded. It was a nice town to visit a rare, local place that actually turned out the welcome for visitors. We visited a few of the attractions and found the first cache of the series and a benchmark on the nearby bike trail.

We needed gas and were being threatened with rain, so we made a detour to Emlenton to find something small for me to eat and wait out the rain. After stopping at a store in town we made our way to a small park in town . The park was in a small ravine with a stream called Ritchie Run. We stopped at the top and were going to go for a walk through the park. We had just started down the road that ran into the park when the rain got really intense. We retreated to the geomobile to wait out the storm. Within a few minutes there was a steady stream of cars driving really quickly out of the park.

Once the rain stopped we headed back to the road to hunt a few older caches in the park. We soon found out why the cars were racing out of the park. There was water everywhere. Little Ritchie Run was in flash flood and moving really quickly. I hadn’t seen a stream rage this hard since we visited Shenandoah just after a hurricane. At one point a small side stream had breached the road through the park. There was fast water everywhere. Many of the picnic visitors had left the park leaving behind picnic items in their hurry. We considered the safety factors and did the prudent thing. We stepped carefully in the fast water areas and came up with the finds.

We stopped by another section of the NCT to hunt another cache in the series. We were able to find an older cache in the area, but the new cache had terrible coordinates and we weren’t able to spot the hiding spot.

Ali with the Fishing Bear in Foxburg

Inside the Caboose

There are a number of Geocaching Challenges in Foxburg. Most involve the local businesses which we either closed or really busy today. We completed the one at the caboose and the one at the library. Rather than post the same old standing in front of the building image, I played a bit with the library image. It's a great old library building.

We were glad this was a sturdy bridge.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

26 May 2012 Caching Warren

It was a quiet morning waiting for Ali and the dogs to arrive. I enjoyed a peaceful sunrise on the deck before doing some outdoor chores.

We don't spend as much time at the Pennsylvania home as we once did. Since my work changed, the travel schedule keeps me away so often that driving here can be a chore. While Ali was not working, she covered the driving for me when I was too tired. We used to have almost all the Warren area caches found and waited eagerly for new ones. Now we try to visit the local ones once in a while to keep up with the unfounds. This afternoon we were hunting for caches in the northwestern part of the county.

Our last few finds were near a wetland with a nice chorus of frogs. The woods near the wetland made for a good ending point for the day. As an added bonus, Ali has looked a long time hoping to find indian cucumber root in blossom. Indian cucumber root has an interesting two-tiered leaf structure. This evening, I stopped along the turning point of the trail and happened to lift up the top leaves of one of the plants, There below was the blossom. Sometimes, I get lucky.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012

24 May 2012 Industrial Daisies

I was conducting a safety tour at one of our facilities when I spotted this cluster of daises growing in a field on the property.

23 May 2012 Lockport Locks

You had to be brave to take a ship through the old, stepped locks.

There were two puzzle caches that required some walking around town to solve. I was too tired to drive anywhere and cache so I got my exercise walking around town.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

22 May 2012 Along the Niagara River

It's been five years since I first looked for the multi in this park along the Niagara River. I've been back a few times since then and never came away with a find. This evening was no different. Find or not, walking the Niagara River on a warm, sunny evening is hard to beat.