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2021/01/03

Economics

 So, with Adventurer's Project and the chapter that it becomes, there's the economic considerations.  One thing that I always tell people is that we're not a "golden chariot."  But our region has some potential regarding the caliper of the off-road trail that we already have and perhaps it's ambitions.  The City of Marietta of Washington County, Ohio already has an officially recognized "recreational economy."  Hikers from the Buckeye and North Country Trails have already been a part of it, but in a very small way.  I think we can boost that, even if we don't route into the city?

The Whipple Section is 8 miles north of Saint Marys (St. Marys), West Virginia where there's a motel.  The Road Fork Section's concurrency with the Archer's Fork Loop in the Marietta Unit of The Wayne (National Forest) is just about "even money" when it comes to comparing the driving time between the Holiday Inn's at Marietta, or New Martinsville, West Virginia.  And we know that the distance to the Par Mar/ BP gas station in New Matamoras (Matamoras) of Washington County, Ohio is closest to that area's Saint Patrick (St. Patrick) Cemetery Trailhead (a parking area) and the hikers there often don't know that and need to.  With the Ring Mill Campground and Lamping Homestead Recreation Area, we have grocers in Marr and Woodsfield of Monroe County, Ohio.  But we have two lodging options in Woodsfield that are the closest to those locations.

With Caldwell of Noble County, our route is more favorable to it's food resupply, it's bed and breakfast, and a coffee shop, but not it's big box hotels because they're too far from the current route of the trail as of the date of this blog.

The latest information is that the National Forest Service won't allow us to put up a poster size map of the communities in the region with symbols next to the name of these communities demonstrating what they offer at their already existing kiosks on their unused backsides.  As of the date the date of this blog, we'll be looking for more external ways to circumvent those disadvantages.  We have some digital means at our disposal, but we really need some on the ground options.

Considerations

 I was going to call Adventurer's Project's supporters today, but I woke up very late today I think that I better write here first.  Enthusiasm for hiking and the trail are great, but it's like a fuel that burns hot and fast.  I think that I have an idea, perhaps even a plan to convert it into a more efficient, longer lasting one?  Rubber bands have been known to break.  With all this heightened attention on the subject, I find it to be more important to be better when things are more normal, or even adverse.  And Adventurer's Project has done well with that.

When, or if, it converts into a chapter, I can sum up my agenda in two ways.  One is that I think that the chapter functions are more obligatory and should be handled as such.  The other thing is trail promotion, which I have to admit that, yes, we've been good at doing it in smaller markets, but we may have to be more frequent with them?  In terms of that, you really should be at 3 day festivals and should do those 3 times annually.  And you need 9 volunteers to staff the shifts at a three day festival.  I've seen something like a 31% participation rate before.  That means that the chapter needs a support base of about 40.  But that's anticipating having a really good program. 

I can get that, but I can't assure sustaining it indefinitely through out the years.  And when you drive up the energy, the tensions might be likely to follow?  Based on what I just wrote, it may not be healthy for it to remain in this "high mode" if you would?  But then you break the group's pattern and it might be hard to sustain a cycle of high/ low?  And you've got presiding officers who just can't do a robust term.  I guess what you need is someone with a bit of tunnel vision and relentlessness who can rein them in from time to time?

But if we look at ourselves like most other churches and community organizations, as I hear, you can be looking at a 10% participation rate?  And of course, that means that you have to drive up the support numbers towards 90 or so?  I think that ultimately, while things are exciting, get to 40, but somehow stay on course for 90.  In terms of trail promotion, this chapter has to do things.  One is recruit new supporters to keep it own numbers up.  Then they're the most visible, public things out there and it won't matter how good the program is if the trail's maintenance is failing, so they have that, too.  But the chapter has bigger and better things to do than to get too consumed with trail maintenance.

I have a defined skill set when it comes to these sorts of things.  I was talking to a supporter out here and I mentioned something about the COVID-19 vaccines in light of how quickly they were developed and I brought up a common procedure of wait and see, which the public in general isn't doing.  It says that you have time.  It says that you don't have to draw a conclusion right now.  Instead, you should draw this thing out to the max, which until that time expires and let things unfold as they should.  As a rule, you just don't accept hypotheticals.  Granted, 3 to 5 months out for some of us isn't a whole lot of time, but with the amount of people taking it being so great, you'll still know more down the road than you do now.  It's not good to pass judgement right now.

As for the hiking public, I think from time to time that they've given me more credit than I deserve?  Or they're at risk of it?  Far SE Ohio has been like a wild frontier, or like a remote outpost.  I have a little bit of involvement with greater matters, but also I've been far too busy with this region and I haven't been able to get too diverted with other matters over the last 6 years.  In fact, I've willfully detached myself and I'm getting indications here on my end that I don't know it all.  But another thing that I've learned and abide by is essentially Star Trek.  In this case, it's the 208th Rule of Acquisition, which states that "sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer."  I've learned with establishments that sometimes I don't want to know too much.  Things have been around for a while and likely go on indefinitely.  But answers might make you act up?

2020/10/28

COVID-19 Update 10/27/2020

COVID-19 has been hard on Adventurer's Project.  Trail promotion has been put on hold this year.  And we're looking cohesion with what numbers we have.  I was hoping that this would be mostly behind us by now.

I just had gull bladder surgery and I'm on the tail end of recovering from a hairline fracture on my left ankle.  We have extensive modifications to do on the Whipple Section in The Wayne (National Forest). They all have to do with benching, which is widening the tread of the trail.  But the project's support base is a little "green" for the rigors of that. Its been just me and personnel from the forest service on that one.

I'm tempted to go into towns and hold up a sign on the side of roads to try and boost support for the project.

There's a number of supporters that I could take down trail for their first time.  But the deer gun seasons starts here in 24 days.

2020/10/11

Bluetooth Receiver Mounted and Wired

 I just installed a Bluetooth car stereo into my custom built 99 inch long desk here in my office, which I like to refer to as Adventurer's Project's headquarters.  My house is very formal.  It's a Victorian on what some of us like to call "Millionaires Row" in Woodsfield.  It's currently 127 years old.  It has mocha colored walls and dark stained archways and mounding for the most part.  When I moved in, it didn't accept me for who I was... I accepted it for what it is.

But it's given me wonderful opportunities.  I'm 37, I don't have any children and have never been married.  My living room will be a wonderful place to entertain guests and give presentations.  But my office is my favorite part of the house.  And the Bluetooth car stereo is the latest edition.

I'm powering it with a spare 250 watt computer power supply.  I have it suspended from the bottom of the desk with some heavy duty double sticky tape.  I was apprehensive at first about possibly blowing every circuit in my house, but I can field strip a computer and build it back up again.  Once I got the right wires, it was ridiculously simple from there.

The power supply unit (PSU) that I used didn't have a switch mounted to it.  But in the motherboards power harness, there is a wire for the computer case's switch.  I tried to use a spare case power switch, but it acted like a reset switch and wouldn't power on without holding it down.  I realized what was going on as the motherboard circuitry only needed a momentary jump.  So, I went down the street to the auto parts store and got a toggle switch that I wired in.  My systems have an economical sleep and hibernation cycles.  But the stereo's PSU isn't apart of those systems, so it will just run continuously unless turned off. 

I had two 6 x 9 speakers that fell out of their mounts in my van.  I brought them in and put them on the new book shelf that I mounted to the opposite wall in my office.  My office is one room that does not need to be in conformity with the house, so I just routed the speaker wires up along the ceiling from the book shelves to the opposite end of the desk, then along it's bottom side.  There's still one more thing that the desk needs and that is speaker wire terminals on the back side.  The reason being is that the desk is on wheels.  It was designed to move so I can more easily vacuum behind it.

The office is small.  And given the mobile nature of the desk, I can't afford to have things stationed on the desk, or on the floor.  So the project with mounting and wiring the car stereo to the desk itself became practical.  Plus, I got the Bluetooth receiver for $17 out the door from Walmart.  I couldn't pass it up.  I paid $50 for my last one.

This system frees up a little desk space.  I was using a small, cube shaped mono speaker for The Robot's sound before.  But a few hours ago, I was listening to a digital copy of the "Unplugged" album by The Corrs and over the new system, it was crystal clear for such a wonderful record.  And I love that the unit is right next to my computer work area because it's built in call microphone is very close.  I'm thinking that my callers will be able hear me more clearly on it's version of a speakerphone.  

2020/10/04

Diplomatic Theory

 There's a difference between having the desire to fight and the ability to win.  In the backcountry, you can have all the differences with rural people all that you want.  But it's not the way to sustainability of the trail.  Resistance to the trail, it's hikers versus the public is not practical, or efficient.  They'll just produce a poorly functioning machine if it does work.

In front wheel drive cars, when it's stuck on a slick of mud or ice, it's not wise to torque the drive wheels.  Your more likely to get free by using minimum power.  More often than not, more torque worsens their situations.  The way out is through what I call "backcountry diplomacy."  They likely don't trust oratories like mine (I have to curtail it).  They're what some people call simpler.  You don't humor them with all the internal politics of an organization.  Instead, you recognize that you're a visitor in their home and you do things their way.  If you do, in this area, that's the way to win.

A favorite metaphor of mine is the Catholic Saint Patrick.  He was known for the miracle of expelling all the snakes out of Ireland.  But his ability to convert the Celtics to Christianity is something that is noteworthy in light of this blog.  Saint Patrick apparently had difficulty converting the pagans at first.  It wasn't until he modified certain Christian symbols that they started converting in groves because the population recognized their importance.  Our approach of getting them to change and identify with hiking has been flawed.  What we have to do with distance hiking trails is figure out how they think, what they value and make what they already do apart of the fabric of what we do.

2020/09/29

Largest Cities

The most populated incorporated area on the Buckeye Trail is the City of Cincinnati, Ohio.  On the North Country Trail, it is Dayton, Ohio.  And on the American Discovery Trail, it is City and County of San Francisco in California.

2020/09/22

Money, Sticky Topic

 Money.  We can equate it to our own money.  But in non and not for profit organizations, it's not just our money... its everyone's money.  A board of directors in an organization gets to be prudent.  An organization is in constant evolution and that progresses every year that it operates.  It grows what I'd coin as an "internal operating environment" that get passed down from one era to the next.  It's an establishment.

 At the writing of this blog, it's been about 52 years since the anti-establishment.  As good as some think that was, it's had an negative effect on non and not for profits.  Sure they're buildings are all over the United States, but that doesn't show what's actually going on.

As a student in high school and college, I was a member of several organizations.  But their skills and prowess were probably depleted by the anti-establishment long before I came around?  I think that because of our youth that they were the hardest hit?  They weren't good.  And they're a poor example to use in comparison.

In non and not for profits, their boards deal in things like risks, liabilities, insurances and sometimes investments.  Even under the most tranquil environments, money issues can become sticky?  So when somebody wants to come in and do something revolutionary that could POSSIBLY have big gains, they sometimes don't have a contingency plan for what if their idea doesn't work.

For this, I have some suggestions.  1) take the collective treasury out of the equation and self fund experimental programming.  And 2) proceed slower, or smaller? Break your idea apart, experiment and produce a track record.  With events, I can tell you that when formulating a proper plan describing the who, what, when, where, why, how, cost, attire and who's affected, there's different individual elements that emerge.  And just because an event failed does not mean that every element did.  Therefore, we can perform an "after action review" and determine these.  And perhaps we'd find that one particular element was out of adjustment, which caused the event to fail?  As for everything else, perhaps they were spot on.