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Log 2013121101

I attempted to purchase a replacement Samsung Galaxy S D-700 smartphone from on 08 DEC.  The company sent a message on the 9th stating that they had found a part that was damaged during shipping and were quick to give me a refund.  They were very nice in their e-mail.

Today, I purchased a refurbished unit of the same make and model from ParagonR3 via ParagonR3 is an electronics recycle.  And a copy of the order confirmation was made. I chose standard shipping, which stated that I should expect it in 3 - 7 business days.  The order is coming from Massachusetts.  Having ordered things for my computer repair business from around the country many times, I predict that the unit will arrive on the 16th.

Some people are going to look at this and wonder why would I use such an "antiquated" smartphone?  The biggest reason is that my unit, which hit the market in 2009, is still the latest model on Sprint's network with a pull out qwerty keyboard.  I've become a bit of a typist with it.  Another thing is that this replacement only cost me $70.  My insurance deductible would have been $100, and I'd have to pay about $400 out of pocket to purchase a new model smartphone... I don't have the money to do that and I need something now because it fits in my pocket, contains my task list, notes and day planner which are integral to my life.  And without such a device, I would have to carry a bag with a paper day planner everywhere I go.

So why aren't there any newer smartphones with a pull out keyboard?  The best answer that I got was that keyboard consumes a lot of power.  And I can confirm that when I went to from the Palm Pre to the Galaxy S.  In terms of power, in this case, I compare it to fuel, that switch was like going from the Honda Accord to the Cadillac Fleetwood.

On trips, I'm very power contentious.  Most of the time, I carry it in the "airplane mode" that shuts off the wi-fi, bluetooth, internet, voice and text message hardware while leaving the rest of computer on.  If I'm using my Bluetooth headset, well that just means that I have to do something similar, but I'll have to shut down as much hardware as I can manually because airplane mode will uniformally shut the Bluetooth as well :-(.

During on-board music playback when non-essential services have been shut off, my D-700 can run for about 8 hours if I play more albums and let the screen go black.  But on my bicycle, I have a smartphone mount.  And its here that I use my unit for GPS turn-by-turn navigation, odometer, and Pandora internet radio when available.  That means that for the entire time those services are running, my screen must also remain on for hours.  And that means that every piece of hardware on the smartphone is being used to its maximum potential simultaneously.  At this rate, I'll be lucky to get 2 hours of battery life out of the D-700.  So, I have 2 extra spares, and the batteries are usually marked A, B & C.  A & B are usually newer batteries and have longer life.  Battery C is usually the oldest. It's also the weakest because of how many times it's previously been exposed to a recharge.

When the third battery gets down to about 20% charge, that's about the point where I usually power the smartphone off to save it for something else.  Emergency calls can be made on 10%.  The extra ten are for other contingencies, like making a call or text to someone else, or having to use Google Maps to plot some other course if I need to leave my current route early.


Log 2013120801

My back is healing slowly, but making progress nonetheless.  I might be ready to go to the gym on 13 DEC?  Yesterday, I noticed that I had some numbness on the right side of my right quad.  Today, I had it up the right side of my right hand, but to a lesser extent.  I could have a pinched nerve and for all I know, it all could be related.  So far, in the last month, I've had 800mg of Tylenol about 4 times and nothing's been severe enough to call the 24 hour nurse about.  Healing a back is always slow.

This past week, I had a buddy assisted hamstring stretch while sitting.  And then I had someone walk on my back and both helped.


Log 2013120401

As you can see, these logs are also used as maintenance records.  Normally, it takes a website 3 - 9 months to be cataloged by something like Google to come up in a search result.  Because this log is on Blogger, and it's a part of Google, my log entries tend to get indexed by their search engine much faster.  So, I'm careful to mention my car's year, make, model, edition and mileage.  Also, my blog entries can be searched from my user interface.  I can use that to determine if I performed a certain repair before?  If there's any "tricks" to making the repair easier?  Or, I might be able to determine if there's pattern of some kind?  Or, I can use it to estimate when a part that I worked on before will go bad (such as the brakes, which were fully replaced recently noted as per the log)?  In this case, when down trail for extended periods of time, it would be advantageous to anticipate its replacement.

The #'s 22 & 69 and spare 10amp fuses on my 2008 Chevy HHR LS were replaced at 130,073 miles on the odometer in Cleveland Heights of Cuyahoga County.  The #69 is a 10amp fuse for the air conditioner.  There's nothing wrong with that system at the moment.  It's just that I ended up needing it because I was out of spare 10amp fuses and it was expendable this time of year.

The #22 slot is for the rear parking lights.  I transferred #69's fuse into the #22 slot while the trailer was hitched and it blew that as soon as I it a load (power).  There is no doubt anymore that the trailer's wiring has a short that is causing a power surge greater than 10amp to try and get through the fuse box.

This isn't the first time that the trailer has had a short that blew the #22 fuse.  At one time, I believe that it blew one of the rear taillight bulb filaments.  Because I have one package of 2 bulbs with one of the missing, and then another full pack in addition.  I think that I used that one bulb because one of my turn signal filaments was burnt out. 

The trailer's electrical seems to work on a series circuit. 

The brake lights and turn signals have been unaffected.  Since the parking lamps only come on with the headlights and hi-beams (but not the daytime running lights), they're irrelevant during the day. So, I've been using it to haul items to the dump and transport plywood.

Well, the trailer will need a couple hours for me to wire it correctly.  And I'd rather do that at my storage unit under daylight where the drive is paved and is easier on the caster wheels to sit on and roll into storage.  Because I think that the problem with the trailer's wiring was that the unit was folded into it's storage mode where the back part of the deck is unbolted and folded onto the front.  Then unit is tilted up from its main to the caster wheels and rolled into storage vertically.  When the trailer was assembled, it was never wired while the unit was in storage mode.  The wiring came after and I never bothered to check it in that configuration.

Well, when I folded the trailer into storage mode last month, the wiring was a bit tight.  And it's very possible that I may have stretched and broken the insulation shielding somewhere along the frame.  Regardless, the wiring needs to be re-routed through custom drilled holes anyways and get clamped to the frame in a way that accommodates its storage mode.


Log 2013113002

I do own a pair of jumper cables.  They are on the tray above the spare tire and have not been used yet.

Log 2013113001

As best as I can tell, my back problem was probably caused by my lack of stretching on the 44 mile hike.  That's a minor problem, one that's can be easily corrected.


Log 2013102401

I checked out of Basecamp Alpha again and have now established Basecamp India at the Ring Mill Campground in the Wayne National Forest - Marietta Unit. Prior to this, I picked up my mountain bike at Threesixty Bike Shop in Zanesville of Muskingum County. I test drove it before leaving and everything seems to be in working order.

I'm writing this from a McDonald's in New Martinsburg, West Virginia, which is the closest to Basecamp India.  I stopped over at the Noble County Sheriff's Department to ask about where the Craig's List Killings took place.  And I was informed that it happened on Don Warner Road, which intersects the BT.  As to where exactly, the SD wouldn't elaborate.

Log 2013111601

I purchased another wheel barring and hub assembly for my 2008 Chevy HHR.  The second unit is the lower priced $54 Duralast model.  I'm not sure what brand or grade that other one is?  But I drove to my uncle's warehouse today to install it.

I've waited weeks to do this so I could have access to an air compressor, impact wrench and a full set of sockets for it.  Weeks ago, I was in position to do this when I changed the front brakes and discs.  But my 2 ton jack wouldn't get the car high enough and I wasn't able to get on of the assemblies bolt unceased. That's because there wasn't enough space at the time to maneuver the torque wrench into its "hard to reach" locations and turn it to break it free.  So the repair had to wait until I was at home port.

The warehouse is full, the fall season is progressing now, so I needed to get settled back into home and then wait for the best opportunity according to the weather to drive to the warehouse and fix the car.  That was today.  My instruments showed that I had a high of 59F this evening.  By "rolling the dice" with the middle of November's weather, today was the correct "hand" to play and it was time to cease the day.

I started on the passenger's side.  The axle started knocking about a week ago.  I think the jack that I was using was a 3 ton and it got the car much higher.  The impact wrench did nothing but spin and start to strip out the assemblies bolts.  So, I went to the torque wrench and had just enough leverage to break them loose.  There are three bolts that are used to mount the assembly and their shafts are colored "blue."

At each tire and behind, the HHR uses 14, 15, 17 & 19mm sockets. The lug nuts are 19mm.

The assembly was ceased on as if I had missed a bolt and didn't take it off.  So, I referred to the repair manual several times and I performed the procedure correctly.  As parts in that area of the car do take on a lot of corrosion, I found a hammer and started beating it as best as I could, but it wasn't making any progress.  I made the determination that the part was ceased beyond my ability to remove it. 

My uncle arrived later to do some work in the warehouse.  So, I used my smartphone, got on the internet and checked my bank balances.  I determined that there was enough to cover the costs of having a more experienced mechanic come and perform the work.  Right now, he's scheduled to come by at 1500hrs today and install both assemblies.



This log entry was written down trail sometime in June of 2013. I forgot about it and it remained in my "drafts" folder until today, which is the date that this log was published.

It must have been June 3rd that I left my hometown of Painesville, Ohio.  I have a 2008 Chevy HHR that I built a 48" wide pop out to fit a 6" thick memory foam mattress. I used some 3/8" ply wood to build three walls that fold and separate in the center for transport.  The floor is a 96" long piece of 3/4 ply, where 32" at the foot separates... also for transport.  When erect, I cover it with a heavy duty tarp where I've folded the corners and then secured it with bungee cords to my roof rack and holes in my tire rims (I haven't been using hub caps)  Sometimes, it's the Chevy HHRv, but I prefer to call it "The Cramper."

During use, The Cramper was tested by tornadic winds at Wolf Run State Park, and multiple rain storms where it didn't leak at all.  With the tailgate being open, I've had to manually disable the interior lights by turning the hatch mechanism to the lock position by hand.  For about two days, the lock failed to return to the unlock position, so when I was driving to town, I had the door bungeed down.  Somewhere in a couple days of driving, it just corrected itself somehow and started working again.  Which, I'm very pleased about because I was not looking forward to peeling off the interior tailgate plastic to diagnose it's malfunctioning lock.

I am a hiker/ maintainer/ cyclist.  The Buckeye Trail (North Country and American Discovery Trails concurrent in part) is a 1,444mi circuit within the four corners of Ohio.  At present, the official count is 54% off-road and 46% on.  Of that 54, Buckeye actually owns less than 2% of that.  The rest is in local, county, state and national parks and forests.  Sometimes Buckeye's volunteers perform the maintenance, while in some instances they're forbidden to work on it unless the park manager requests it.  Where Buckeye does have maintenance, they're often short on maintainers in a few places.  That's why I was driving around with a 4' x 8' utility trailer full of tools and gear.  There's always something unique about every trail segment that I've ever worked on.

There are very few volunteers who go around the state as visiting maintainers like I do.  Most of them work in a group, and there's probably only a dozen of us in the state.  Off-road trail is harder and more time consuming per mile than the on-road.  A good size off-road adoption is about 3mi, but the entire length requires maintenance several times a year.  My 16.9 mile on-road segment only requires that it be reblazed once every 3 years.  For a person working a full time job that's also married with children, I'd recommend adopting an on-road segment that's no more than 20 miles long, given that cut brush for the entire length, but only reblaze 1/3rd of it every year.

Log 2013111801

With wind resistance, the 2008 Chevy HHR's dashboard computer read-out was showing 30MPG at 60MPH on the way to the VA Hospital in Cleveland today.  Because the fuel gauge may be uncalibrated, it would be difficult to confirm this without driving it through an entire tank of gasoline strictly on mostly flat interstate limited access roads at this point. My car has a fuel capacity of 16.5 gallons and the tank can take me as far as anywhere between 470 - 515 miles.  I'd have to drive most of the way to Nashville and not make any stops along the way to get my reading.


Log 2013111701

I had work done on my 2008 Chevy HHR.  Both front wheel bearings and hub assemblies were replaced today by my uncle's mechanic friend who got everything done in about 90 minutes behind my uncle's warehouse.  The repairs were made roughly at 129,650 miles on the odometer.  I took 62.1mi drive afterwards and the car was significantly more quiet.  I noticed one vibration while speeding up on the interstate on-ramp

I think the next step is to bleed the rear brakes and change the transmission fluid, which are two things that I have never done before.

As of today, my back still aches, but not enough for me to consider taking my 800mg Tylenol.  So far, I've kept it at bay by stretching my hamstrings.  What I need to do is stretch more often through out the day.


Log 2013111401

This is a Runner's World arm strap for a smartphone.  I was carrying a Samsung Epic 4G D-700 unit with a hard plastic case on it. The problem with most arm straps is that their not large enough to get around my bi-cepts.  So, I purchased a yurbuds unit yesterday from Dick's Sporting Goods. I'm not sure what its made from, but I hope it holds up.
My Delton X9 bluetooth head set cuts out in the wind.


Log 2013110801

Ever since I unloaded the expansion floor and folded up the trailer, it seems that my 2008 Chevy HHR sits higher. I must say that I don't understand it because my car should fit 5 grown adults. Regardless, if this is true then the new rear struts are good, but need to be upgraded. I thought I felt that the back end is riding higher, but all I know, it's just my imagination.
Like I mentioned before, I folded the trailer and placed it into storage today. When I got the tool bins down, they might have been 300lbs a piece? And the gear bin wasn't too much lighter than the tools.  Between that, the trailer's dry weight, the 5500 BTU airconditioner and miscellaneous car repair equipment, it's possible that I was over my towing capasity. But, it's hard to tell without using an industrial scale. And if I had one, I think it'd be pretty close.
The trailer, gear, expansion floor & twin size memory foam mattress are in the 10' x 10' storage unit.  The next thing to do with it is see if my belongings will compact to one side so I could free up my uncle's office that I'm using for storage? To be honest, I'm not really sure it will work? There might be insufficent space in the new unit?
Right now, my bicycle is in the new storage unit until I cut enough plywood to block the windows on my parents shed. And my master portable gasoline tank was emptied out into the car today.  As of now, it's empty, but I still have about a gallon of 40:1 mix that I doubt I'll get rid of.  In my chainsaw class that I had at Buckeye Trail Fest 2013, I was informed that 40:1 mixed fuel isn't much good beyond 90 days after it was mixed.
Right now, I still have pain in my back from sleeping awkwardly in The Cramper.  But its getting better by the day with stretching.  Last night, I put a rice filled cold compress on it before I slept for about 42 minutes.  The cold disapated too quickly. I'm really looking forward to working out at the gym again.


Log 2013110502

I performed diagnostics on the rear taillight problem and came to find that my 2008 Chevy HHR LS blew it's first fuse  either at, or before Basecamp Juliet.  The 10amp fuse in Slot 69 for the rear parking lights was blown and was replaced at 129,300 miles on the odometer.  But considering that I've blown a tail light in the car and trailer each, I'm still suspecting that there's a short in the trailer's wiring that is responsible.

At this time, the 10amp replacement fuse slot is now vacant.  The manufacturer supplied one 5, 10, 15 & 20 spare fuses and a fuse puller that have their own un-wired slots in the fuse block, probably to be used in the event that this happens.

Log 2013110501

The bicycle's water bottles have been upgraded from 1300ml to 1892ml.  This is as close to 2L as I can get at retail.  I found them at Target in Mentor of Lake County.  Also, I purchased a new Schwin Pillow Top weather proof bicycle seat, item#: SW74163.


Log 2013110302

The 2008 Chevy HHR continues to have maintenance issues. The most recent is that the trailer lights, while hitched, had a short and blew out the night time running light filaments in both rear bulbs of the car itself.  I can say that because the car and trailer brake lights and turn signals still work.  It's definitely a tell-tale sign that there is a short in the trailer's wiring. So, this afternoon, I left Basecamp Juliet in broad daylight and barely made it home before sunset this evening.  At this point, I'm not sure if its a fuse, or a bulb that needs to be replaced?  I might start that diagnostic tomorrow?

The drive back to Lake County was uneventful and I used it to generate fuel efficiency data as stated in the previous log.  While at Basecamp Juliet, I managed to hike the Stockport Section, pts. 3 - 15, or from the AEP ReCreation Lands Campground H to the Village of Stockport, both being in Morgan County on the 1st.  Getting home took me well into the morning on the 3rd.

I would have hiked further down trail to pt. 19 in the Village of Chesterhill, also of said county, and met the independent east arm of the American Discovery Trail.  If I could have taken lodging in Stockport, it could have been done on a hike & bike.  But I got to Stockport at 2330hrs.  Two lodging establishments only operate their business offices during certain hours and one of the hotels was totally leased. So, I had to get on my bike and ride 24 miles after the hike back to Basecamp Juliet.

Once back, I slept in because I'm dysfunctional on anything less than 8 hours of sleep.  When I awoke, there wasn't much time between then and my usual bedtime, so I slept until 0830 on the 3rd.  When I awoke then, there was some frost on The Cramper, so I'd rather let it melt before I disassemble it put the The Cramper in Transport Mode.  I broke camp today because tomorrow, I have medical appointments in Cleveland.

There were a lot of Lady Bugs at Basecamps India and Juliet. At Juliet, the dozens of them crawled inside the top crevices of each door.  And I had them in every crease in The Cramper's outer shell.

At the moment, according to the mileages published on the affected Buckeye Trail maps, I have 340 miles remaining.  In the meantime, the government could shut down again and I'm not sure that I want to be caught downtrail when that happens.  Besides, the load on the trailer has always made the Chevy's back end sag.  And right now, its about as good as a front wheel drive mini van in slippery conditions when hitched.  A lot of points on the Buckeye Trail intersect or take place on roads that are not maintained in the winter.  I think that this is a good time to sit out the worst of this upcoming season at home port.  It'd be one thing if the Chevy had studded, or chained tires with a wench on the front bumper and perfect suspension.  But it doesn't.

Log 2013110301

Fuel Efficency
102.9 mile test over mostly freeways
25.8 MPG Adverage
53MPH Adverage speed
5 gallons may have been consumed, but I'm not sure and believe it to be more like 8. The fuel guage does need to be recalibrated.
The readings were started while driving from Basecamp Juliet to Painesville of Lake County.


Log 2013103102

Checked into Basecamp Juliet.
Dropped bike off in Village of  Stockport

Log 2013103101

#19 Road Fork and #20 Whipple Sections completed
Hand flashlight stopped working on hike.
A field of prickers 1/3mi wide encountered on emergency azimuth
GPS routed me on jeep road with deep puddles
Bike's rear disc brake was out of alignment. I rode 10 miles on it.
bike seat is too far forward and requires too much upper body strength to keep me up.
Checked in to Basecamp Alpha around 28 October and checked out today.
Basecamp Juliet is scheduled to be at Campground H in the American Electric Power's ReCreation Land
Repairs were made to a pair of hiking pants.
My hiking boots were shined.
Laundry was washed


Log 2012102201

I have been on the road for 47 days so far.  I think that beats my last record by 10 days. 
After getting my bike repaired in Cambridge, I dropped it off without test riding it out of the store.  Well, I pre positioned the bike a day later at Campground H on the Stockport Section - Buckeye Trail in the evening.  The next day, I got off to a late start, but it was only a 15.6 mile hike and about 1/3rd of it was on-road.  So, departed Basecamp Alpha anyways on foot. 
The remainder of the Belle Valley Section was easy, even on the off-road.  And that's partly because the portion of off-road trail on Belle Valley was recently built.  And for the most part, the trail surfaces didn't usually angle parallel to my feet.  The only thing that I didn't like there was that the grass surfaces were not benched.  Benching is used when the trail is coming around a hillside and rather have the hiker walk on a tilted surface, they dig under level it out.  There's probably a reason why they didn't do that.  I must admit that I've never maintained a surface under those conditions before.
The Belle Valley is the 18th section that I've completed.  Currently, the Stockport, Road Fork, Whipple and West Union Sections are in progress. However, RF & Whipple are connected and I could finish both up in one hiking day.
The Stockport Section in AEP is older and looks like the segment needs a adopter, or they're filling in with other maintainers, or they have a maintainer whose adopted a large off-road segment and hasn't gotten back to groom parts of the off-road yet.   I think I've mentioned before that Whipple Section off-road was difficult to navigate.  Stockport 1 - 3 was not like that.  It just looked like it's missed 1 maintenance session.  For all I know, somebody's coming back to maintain it and I just got there before hand... it happens.
So, I got to my bike, got on and realized that the new chain wasn't holding gears. And that's when I realized that I had a 16mi, 5 hour walk back to The Cramper in addition to the 15.6mi that I already hiked.  Well, I'm no expert at tuning a rear dérailleur, but I got my screwdriver out of my swiss army knife and managed to lock it into 7 HI. 
That night, I got back to camp in 2 hours, instead of 5 thanks my "handy work."  Well, this after noon, I gave up on trying to tune the transmission.  So, I took the bike to a shop in Zanesville.  And the technician looked at it, tuned the tranny, but when I got back to pick it up, he showed me that the top of the chain was sagging.  Turns out that the previous technician over looked that there was an extra link in the chain and I had Zanesville take it out. 
But he also alerted me that the gear cassette might have needed to be replaced.  This all 7 gears on the rear wheel.  I took it for a test drive and found that after the link was removed and transmission was tuned, that it still wasn't holding any gears.  So right now, the bike is still at the shop, having a new gear cassette installed and tomorrow we'll see if my old seat post, which is wider than the one currently installed, can be modified for use with my noseless seat?
I'm currently investigating the possibility of cycling the independent east stem of the American Discovery Trail.  My measurements show that Belpre of Washington County to the Buckeye Trail junction is only 31 miles.  A 62+mi trip by bike, or hike and bike is certainly possible in a day.  What bothers me is that it's nearby right now.  The question is do I want to cease that day?
Tonight, I didn't get the outer shell on The Cramper just right.  And now that my corners are exposed, the electric ceramic heater won't heat beyond 61F.  Usually this unit at 47F outdoor temp can heat my bunk upto 72F+.  The old tarp wasn't wide enough to cover the corners.  I guess that I know now that it really did need to be upgraded.


Log 2013101801

The bicycle was put into the shop in Cambridge this afternoon, but it won't be out until tomorrow.  In the meantime, the rear rack securing tab will be broken as the technician will have to remove the rack to install the conventional seat post and mounting gear.  The tab was bent and weakened when I installed the noseless bicycle seat.  Since that seat has a lesser profile in the rear, I moved the rear rack up the post so that I could use the entire bed.  Before, I was getting 3/4ths at best because of the rear profile of my seats and the slant of the post.
This unfortunately delays my progress, hiking the Buckeye/ North Country Trail in Southeast Ohio.  Right now, I'm not sure what to do about it?  The shop opens at 11am and I'm not too keen on pulling all nighters much anymore.  But, I may be able to get a shave a few miles off of the trip from Belle Valley to the AEP ReCreation Lands - Campground H. 
The bicycle ride is about 15 miles itself, mostly on OH-78 which has a lot of turns and hills.  Having been there on bike the last time I was at Basecamp Alpha, I know that I need that bike in top condition or it won't survive in SEO.
Work to perform at home port continues to mount.  But for reasons I won't elaborate on, the way I see it... I'll have plenty of time to make those repairs.  On 4 November, I'm scheduled to have doctor's appointments in Cleveland.  Right now, I believe that I will probably remain at home port until towards the end of winter.  I have 24 days remaining on the Buckeye Trail.  The object of what I'm doing now is get as much of that done as possible before the 3rd.  Which raises the question... should I forgo some sleep and hike tomorrow?

Log 2013101801

Fuel efficency report:
210.4mi/ 25.7MPG/ 48MPH adverage speed
Tire pressure set to maximum
Trailer was hitched, est. 800lbs
Trip: MJ Thurston to Wolf Run SP
Terrain started to increase more than decrease near Upper Sandusky of Wyndot County.


Log 2013101701

I just checked out of Basecamp Foxtrot. I'm now setting course to Basecamp Alpha at Wolf Run State Park in Noble County. 


Log 2013101601

Defiance1 - 3 off-road mantenance has completed.  My time at Basecamp Foxtrot will end on the 18th.  I'm not sure where I'm going next?

Log 2013101601

Smartphone Battery C was taken out of circulation 5 days ago.


Log 2013101301

Today, I packed up Basecamp Hotel.  Whiled doing so, I spoke to two law enforcement officers from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Wildlife about a portion of towpath that is routed through one of their reservations at Six Mile Creek that I maintained.  One of whom was concerned about ATV's.  I informed him that the towpath's width is set by ODNR's Division of Engineering and that logistically from a maintainers standpoint, it wouldn't be too difficult to make the trail narrower. We would just need to have the proper authorization to do it.
I'm now back in MJ Thurston SP at Basecamp Foxtrox.  When I was gone, the park office was at work trying to honor my 14 day request.  My campsite is the one I was at before.  It's double wide and they were trying to get me to share the electric another camper who reserved the site.  But I was at Hotel for the weekend and I "weathered the storm" through the Apple Butter Festival crowd that booked Thurston completely.  I'm greatful for the people in the office.
As a follow-up to a previous post regarding the amenities in this park... The park manager informs me that they will be conducting upgrades to the electric sites and installing 14 more, probably begining next month.  If they get a shower house, it might become one of my favorite campsites. The view that I have of the Maumee River is second to none.
Right now, I have 4 days and a wake-up to finalize the lower Defiance segment.  The way that's going, it's an attainable goal. Finally, I attended the Apple Butter Festival in Grand Rapids of Wood County today and I'm glad that I did.  The crowd was much like the ones at the Geauga County Fair.


Log 2013101101

I was clearing obstructions from the middle segment today.  There was a multi tree clutter that brought down nearby vines.  Because the canal cooridoor is so narrow with the canal on one side and the massive Six Mile Creek on the other, both very nearby, it was difficult to tell where to throw the clutter. I was concerned that much more of this might eventually dam the canal.
I'm pleased with my progress today.  My neighbor maintainter on the Delphos was able to come by on his bicycle and talk to me when I was working. If my southern portion had an obstructions, he wouldn't have been able to do that.  Also, I've been running my wheel barrel from the middle to the southern portion with wood cut from my obstructions.  I'd like to build upto a cord at the southern appature so I could have something to blaze on.  Right now, theirs too much high water plants and low growth around to the point that entry into the southern appature isn't entirely perfect and is inefficent to the hiker.  By inefficency, I mean that they would have to reduce speed and wonder.  I on the other hand want there to no mistake from 50yrds+ at 20/20 vision in the dark with a 75 lumen head lamp.
We have a lot of trash built up over the decades.  The canal cooridoor has been used to dump.  I passed the suggestion on to Troop 75 during their meeting when I did a presentation that this could be a good project for them.  But there is some concern about what to do about used tires, which this segment has an ample supply of.  Apparently, I've heard that they're their difficult to get of.
Normal trailside camping regulations sitipulate that a campsite cannot be occupied longer than 48 hours.  My time runs up sometime tomorrow, so, I plan on moving down to the Six Mile Creek Trailhead about 0.3mi N of my present position next.  I mentioned that it was unsuitable before, but I took another look at the sign there and found that I was incorrect about the night time legal impassability.  The trail and trailhead are passable for my purposes now. And I'll get another 48hrs out of it.   

Log 2013101001

My Current Location
The before mentioned is the location of Basecamp Hotel.  This is a boondock on the side of the Miami & Erie Canal Towpath, so I'm on battery power only. I intend to stay here until the 12th.  Mary Jane Thurston State Park is booked solid this upcoming weekend for their chili cook-off and the Applebutter Festival in Grand Rapids. I was offered a chance to camp and share the electric with the camper host, which I may still do, but I feel motivated to finish my work here on the Defiance Section and its more convient to wake, get dressed and imeadately get on trail with all of my gear (also) imeadately at my disposal.
Today, I cleared two trees and groomed two off road trail portions. Everything looks pretty clean with the exception of a lot of obstructions.  So far, 11 remain.
I put the 16' tarp on the back of The Cramper this evening.  It was dark and didn't go on like it did the first time. But atleast the shelter covers.
Two days ago, I was doing some work on the North Country Trail Connector between the Miami & Erie Canal Towpath and
Wabash Cannonball Trail in Liberty Center of Fulton County.  It was eventful and I only got 3/4 done with it. 


Log 2013100601

The flood stage at Grand Rapids is 15 feet. At the moment, I think its around 10' as the water there still below the marker.  But because of a nearby dam, the Maumee is 4' lower and the terrain is higher in the village.  It's the opposite where I'm camped, which is on the other side of said dam. The caRv and trailer are on standby to evacuate Thurston.
At the moment, WeatherBug reports that the rain will stop here in the morning and that the Maumee's headwaters in Indiana are mostly clear tonight. So the rain should be collecting in one river, instead of three now.
Several days ago, the site along the Miami & Erie Canal at the Six Mile Creek Trailhead was found to be an unsuitable campsite for The Cramper because the area is legally impassable to all but night fishermen during night hours at this time.
I installed the 12' x 16' canvas tarp this evening when I had a break in the weather just long enough to do it. And I had reason to believe that its not that long.  But I measured its approximate length using my arm span, which I mistakenly thought was 39", but I come to find that number only covers one arm, not the other, nor my 22" torso, either. 
It's a heavy duty tarp at 10 mil thickness that is water, mildew and tear resistant from Home Depot, SKU 333 610 and it's made in China.  The product comes with a flammability warning regarding the product coming in contact with an open flame. I think it is made by the same manufacturer as my previous smaller tarp.  If so, I was very pleased with that unit. 
Applying it to The Cramper was similar. Only this time, it has to be wrapped over the bike rack forks and cover part of the top rack and luggage bag.  It also needs to be folded diffrently on the sides to expose the doors.  The tarp needs to be weatherproofed at some point.  It may need to happen sooner, but I think I could do that back in "port." That's a word I use to describe were I can have access to a garage and power tools to do some of The Cramper's heavy retrofitting.   These things also tend to be a part of other projects that could take several days and keep me off of the trail in the process. 


Log 2013100401

I haven't written a log in 6 days.  With out looking, I'd say my entries have probably been sparse.  I check out of Basecamp Golf and am now checked back in at Basecamp Foxtrot at Mary Jane Thurston State Park in Grand Rapids of Wood County.  There is some question as to how long I can stay here because the park is scheduled to fill up sometime around the Apple Butter Festival on 13 October.

I may be loosing brake fluid in squirts.  I noticed this on gravel when I pulled in to a parking area earlier.

On my way down from Harrison Lake, I stopped to reinspect the lower Defiance segment of the Defiance Section. This is some road and three portions of off-road along the old Miami and Erie Canal.  I've done a bunch of work on it already, but with those 9 fallen trees in the way and having to cut them with a hand saw, it's making the work come out to be a bit lengthy.  And like the work done in the Athens Unit, it's difficult to plan and prioritize the work load in a way that I can perform it in one sweeping motion.  Today on the Lower Defiance Segment,  I made a note of every thing that still needs to be done and I hope that I can do it more quickly.

I think I have about 5 downed trees left.  A couple days ago, I groomed the on to off-road aperture.  There was two or three young growth apple trees, whose canopy's had crashed and impeded the trail's 7 foot ceiling.  I had to clear quite a bit of them.

Otherwise, I'm seeing pruning and blazing on about two miles or so of the off-road Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail.  The north portion looks the best.  It's worst is about 0.5mi of overgrowth in the center. 


Log 2013092801

I find myself wanting to post to Facebook lately.  And I'll turn the app on, start writing and then cancel the post and do this all day long.
I finished my tune up on the 2008 Chevy HHR, but I wasn't able to get the driver's side front wheel barring off.  I'll either need to get some air tools on those bolts, or get the chevy's front end high enough to get my breaker bar on it.  Either way, I don't have the tools here to do that.  The passenger's side rear brake still need bled and the rear drums possibly need to be aligned.
I have doctors appointments on the 5th and one scheduled for the 30th, but I'm going to try to reschedule it.  It's a conult and the VA makes those for me and sends a letter to my legal residence. And I'm there infrequently.


Log 2013092701

I changed the spark plugs at 127,060mi.  The four new ones are Iridium, just like their predecessors.  The spark plug socket wouldn't let go of a newly mounted spark plug unless I used a set of needle nose pliers to pull it out.  I did notice oil in the passenger's and driver's side most spark plug wells.  It could be time for a new head gasket.


Log 2013091802

Fuel Efficency Test
Distance 15.1mi
Adv fuel economy 28.1mpg
adv speed 40mph
Car was unhitched
Roof rack and bag mounted
Hub caps dismounted
Tested on country highways in nw ohio
I checked out of Basecamp Foxtrot at Mary Jane Thurston State Park at about 1900hrs and checked into Basecamp Golf and the Harison Lake State Park campground near West Unity of Fulton County.
I perfomed a speed test tonight and got The Cramper's shell up in 25mins 01secs at night.  I had a problem with my campsite's electrical post.  I still have yet to test out the rain assembly proceedure.  Some parts of The Cramper's interior can not get wet.
I'm expecting thunderstorms for the next two days.


Log 2013091701

Time 1531hra
Air temp: 72° f
Outer hull temperature: 123F
Interior cabin temperature w/ back windows open: 80F
Tail gate inner hull temperature: 102F
CaRv Position: 41.411831,-83.878293 facing roughly 203°
My 2008 Chevy HHR LS has sat in my campsite's driveway all day. The hull's paint is "metalic blue."  The driveway consists of mostly small grey gravel with green vegitation growing through in about 35% of it.  And the weather has been partly cloudy, but the sun has been penetrating through those clouds.
I was watching a TV show today when I felt the interior hull of the tailgate and I was motivated to measure the car's hull teperature.  This is early fall.


Log 2013091602

2008 Chevy HHR is reading 33.1MPG adverage at 43MPH adverage speed.  I should have recorded the distance as well. But the test was roughly 16 miles long on back county highways. Flat land fuel economy while unhitched is down by 15MPG.
1) The spark plugs still have yet to be changed
2) the oil was changed, but still dirty from using the same filter
3) air filter still has yet to be changed
4) there could be a problem with the rear drum brake allignment?
5) the roof rack could be causing this much resistance?

Log 2013091601

filling master cylinder
I do not prefer using a cyphon pump. I can't get it to pump yet with out plugging one end with my thumb.
My trailer will now carry DOT3 Brake Fluid, a corrosive chemical.
I rebuilt the right rear brake system today and installed a new brake cylinder at 126,563 miles on my 2008 Chevy HHR.  It seems to be working.  But my brake pedal goes almost all the way to the floor.  Also, a new cabin air filer was installed.
I changed the oil, but later found out that I purchased the wrong oil filter. So, I test drove the car afterwards.  It does brake, but still, my foot goes all the way to the floor. At present, I believe that it will still haul my trailer, but on county roads and under 45MPH. The trailer's light enough for me to pick up still.  At present, I guess that my next camp, Harrison Lake State Park will be about 45 miles from here.
I can rule out the hydrolic brake system's master cylinder as a problem since the brakes were responding today. That leaves only one problem to check... When the previous brake cylinder was destroyed, it unleashed an ample supply of hydrolic brake fluid inside the drum.  At which time, the seals on the hydrolic fluid ruptured, causing air to get in the lines.  That air needs to be relieved by bleeding the fluid to that brake only.
Now, I just hand crafted a "2nd person." Apparently, somebody needs to depress the brake, while another person releases one of the brake's relief nuts under the car.  That "2nd person" is a hand crafted 2" x 2" made to fit between the driver's seat and the depressed brake pedal.  What I have to do is release the nut and watch for air bubbles in the leaking brake fluid, while at the same time monitoring the brake fluid resevoir under the hood to make sure it doesn't run out of fluid in the process. She (the car) just has to get me to Harrison and I'll have all the time in the world to get done there.  Right now, because of the state campsite maximum stay is 14 days, my time will be up in about 40 hours from now, or 1300hrs on the 18th. She'll do it so long as I bleed it at Harrison.
While I was out, I drove to Napoleon on the old Buckeye Trail route, where I picked up 5 quarts of oil, the proper oil filter, a wire spark plug gapper, a 3/8th nut socket for the oil filter canister and some shop towels. Tomorrow, I plan to spend the day packing and maybe do some more tune ups and repairs.

Log 2014091501

I extended my stay at Basecamp Foxtrot until 18 Sep.
The 2008 Chevy HHR's iridium spark plugs will require a wire guage spark plug gapper.

Log 2014091501

I extended my stay at Basecamp Foxtrot until 18 Sep to diagnose and repair my 2008 Chevy HHR LS's breaking problems.


Log 2013091301

Some how, I transposed the date of the BTA Informational Booth with Liz D from Saturday the 7th to Friday the 13th.  I alerted the staff at the elementary school, got stopped by a Sheriff's Deputy (because of it) and I'm disoriented trying to figure out how I made this error. 
Well I know now.  On the 6th, I finished up my last 32mi on the NCT - NW Ohio Independant.  It spilled very late into the morning on the 7th.  So, I probably went to bed having dismissed the the event alarm the day before, or it went off in my sleep.  
So I spent the rest of the morning shopping at Walmart and the auto parts store.  I got a new rachet set, so I can remove the old one out of my tool bin and into the spare tire compartment incase the car breaks without the trailer.  Then I purchased two small tool boxes to prop and relieve my tool basket in the tool bin.  I also purchased one torque wrench for a possible belt replcement and a 18 1/2" breaker bar.
A new propane two burner range was picked up today along with a 2 year extended warranty.  The warranty was registered with Wal-Mart's service on-line today.
Pictured here is the condition of my passenger's side rear brake shoes and hardware.  What is not pictured is the caliper, which is its boots are chewed up and the piston is warped and the unit is spitting brake fluid inside the drum.  Overall, I'd say that their condition is "destroyed."  The replacement drum cylinder (containing the caliper) is scheduled to arrive at 7pm tonight in Napoleon of Henry County.  I won't be there to pick it up until tomorrow.
The tail gate had some problems releasing today.  So, I performed some diagnostics.  It indeed has a 20 amp fuse along with its relay and both are in perfect working order.  But the latch itself is weak.  Sometimes I have to activate the electronic hand popper three times to get it to release.

Camp Stove Product Care Plan

Product Care Plan
Protects my "purchase above and beyond the manufacturer's limited warranty."
2 year replacement plan activated today @ 09:39:09hrs
Camp Stove


Log 2013091101

2008 Chevy HHR LS has lost at least 10MPG @ 50MPH on flat interstate highway in North Central Ohio.  Current mileage on the odometer is 126,405. The thick canvas roof bag is partially mounted, but one of its racheting straps came loose in the front.  If it was full, the unit would be "boxy," or cube shaped.
The car is particularily dirty.  The oil is overdue for a change.  Tires are not at maxium pressure. Bicycle is not mounted.  Manual transaxle fluid is overdue for a change.  There is still resistance in the passenger's side rear brake drum. And the front passenger's side strut needs to be replaced.


Log 2013090701

Encounter and conversation with man on loop back from remaining North Country Independant - NWO hike noted. Details are confidential and available on closed channels only. 
Today, I took a day off and did some shopping. I purchased a metal file to grind down the sharp ends on the crampers back wall hinge screws.  They're starting to tear the memory foam mattress's lineing up when the folded walls get shoved under it coming from camper to transport mode.
I also went to the office supply store and had the map update printed for the Defiance Section - Buckeye Trail.  Their store issued a new map and I have yet to procure it.  But my old map and the updates will be able to get me through this project. 
I went to bed really late this morning and I got heated out of my tent by the afternoon.  The temperature diffrential was about 30°F during that time.  So, I got in my car, turned it on and slept for a couple hours with the air conditioning on.
Yesterday, I completed the North Country Trail in Ohio on its independant arms at Oak Openings Metropark in Lucas County.  I hiked 18 miles and probably covered 68 miles total.


Log 2013090601

Last night, I realized that my boots need new inner soles. So, I drove about 25mi from Thurston to Holland outside of Toledo and I'm having breakfast at Bob Evans now.  I haven't changed campsites yet and I'm still without power.  The smartphone, tablet and laptop are charging off of the car now.  portable battery charger was used starting with 67% and was completely exhausted this morning.
As far as I know, both spare cellphone batteries are charged.  But I'm not certain about my AA & AAA battery cells?  Today, my adventure begins in the Oak Openings Metropark, about 8 miles west of my present position.  I'll be hiking on the North Coast Inland/ North Country National Scenic/ Wabash Cannonball Trail from Oak Openings, through Wauseon to West Unity.


Log 2013090501

There's a couple sources of light polution, but so it seems like all the stars are clustered over my head.  Like someone put it there as chandelier. The big dipper is directly north across the Maumee River just above the horizon.
I established Basecamp Foxtrot today at Mary Jane Thurston State Park.  I think this is my second time here. And amenity wise, it's more like my least favorite campground so far. There are porta potties and one outdoor shower. I guess I can consier myself lucky to have electric at all.  But it has a great view of the Maumee.
I set the tent up, but I'm really not liking how the poles have no side clips and the bow when I try to put the rain cover on.  I have plastic steaks at the moment and they're not doing a good job at keeping the tent walls straight. And even when the poles are through their sleeves, the top tie must be secure before they  stabilize.
I drove to the unincorporated community of Junction in Paulding County to an intersection known as Defiance Section - Buckeye Trail, pt. 1 and started using my smartphone to plot waypoints for opportunities to park my car and trailer. 
So this is upcoming on my addenda for the next 9 days... First is to fix my GPS Records and organize them for upload.  The Defiance Section has just recently been rerouted.  So, I have adjust its point numbers and hand draw the trail on my paper map.  Second is finish 20 miles of the near by North Country Trail on its way to Michigan.  Once I get that done, when I sweep the BT, which the portions remaining are NCT concurrent, I'll get my BT Circuit Hike and North Country Ohio patch.  Right now, the plan is for that to happen in Mt. Orab of Brown County.
The third is to maintain 40 miles of the Defiance Section. I'm not sure if I'll get all of it done, but I'm authorized to perform mantenance in Defiance and Henry Counties on said section.  Now, I've been advised to stay out of Lucas County.  Apparently Toledo Metroparks doesn't let Buckeye maintain the trail through its jurisdiction without supervision from one of their employees.
The Defiance runs almost entirely off-road on the heel and towpath of the Miami & Erie Canal.  They are not within the jurisdiction of the Miami & Erie State Trail (MEST).  Who actually owns these... I don't know.


Log 2013090401

As stated in previous logs, the 32 gigabyte microSD card in the smartphone was filling up fast.  That's because I have a massive music collection and their mostly high quality files that on board.  32GB is the maximum size attainable under the SDHC, or high capasity format of microSD card.  To get any larger, I would have to go to a SDXC, or "extended capacity" card.  My Samsung D-700 Galaxy S smartphone was manufactured prior to the XC's and doesn't necessarily support it, 32mb on the HC's is supposed to be the limit.  But I read online and noted other people using higher capacity XC cards on the HC readers and they said it would work, but it's possible it could have a problem and not function correctly on occasion.

Earlier today, I attempted to transfer 5 CD's that ripped to the laptop.  What I did was tried to cut and paste the computer's music directory to the card, which apparently was 18.5GB.  But before the computer asked me if I wanted to ignore all the redundant items, Windows 8 just came back and told me that there was insufficient space, when indeed there was 3.6GB left and that should have covered it.

While purchasing the replacement trailer bulbs at Wal-Mart in Perkins Township of Erie County, I picked up a 64GB unit for $55.  It was a bit of a risk and if I were to have purchased this online, it might have only been just a fraction of that cost.  But seeing as though it looks like I won't be returning home to Northeast Ohio soon, I decided to get it there.

The people online were writing that the unit will not work with the factory installed exFAT file format.  And that it would have to be formatted to the standard File Allocation Table, or FAT.  So, I placed the card in the SD adapter and attempted to do just that from the laptop, but my format options were only NTFS (microsoft), or exFAT.  I then safely removed the card from the laptop and tried inserting it into the smartphone.  When during the file scan, it aborted and retured an error stating that the disk was damaged.  So, I used the phone's format option and it worked.  It now picks up over 55GB of storage space.

I'm now in the process of migrating about 26GB of data from the old to the new card.  The unit is a SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC.  The manufacturer claims that it is "water proof, temperature proof, shock proof, x-ray proof."  Which is great for the data, however, I don't own any devices this sturdy.

While I'm at it, my Sony digital camera is making some weird noises when the lens extends.  It is not a water proof unit and it probably got some moisture when it was stored on my day hiking pack in the former roof rack when it took on some moisture.

The roof rack bag was replaced.  The former unit was water resistant and the one I have now claims that it's water proof.  But it was a totally different strapping procedure.  I purchased some ratcheting roof straps from Advanced Auto Parts in Sandusky because that the buckle driven factory issued ones would make the bag inconvenient to live out of daily down trail.

The interior of the previous one flooded months ago.  The cover had two layers, a thin canvas on top with a thin plastic lining on the bottom. Well, the plastic had ruptures all over the bag.  They were like streaks, or tears across its length and many of them.  That's when I knew that this bag was done.  The old bag had an aerodynamic shape and the new one is "box" like.

The fuel gauge in my 2008 Chevy HHR has some play now.  I've notice on several occasions that the car seems to start up with less gasoline than when I was operating it last.  And that my drop in fuel did not measure up with the mileage that I last drove it.  Well, I noticed today that it was migrating up as I drove.

Other than that, I hitched the trailer last night in anticipation of leaving Sandusky for the campground at Mary Jane Thurston State Park.  I noticed that it seems to bounce quite a bit, but that could have been just the wind and US-250 with that light trailer.

Propane Tank Splitter, Trailer & Light Bulbs

A new adapter and splitter was added to the 20# propane tank.  I may have cross threaded it, but so far, I can't detect any leaks.  It's now set to supply propane to the range, grill and indoor propane heater.  I still need another hose for its third connection.

I just picked up the trailer tongue. If I can still do that, it's nowhere close to 1,000lbs (max load for my 2008 Chevy HHR). But the replaced strut on the rear passenger's side did little to lift the back end.  It's possible that I damaged a spring when it was bad.  But more likely, I'm looking at having the upgrade the rear suspension.

Two 12.8 volt, 8.3 watt bulbs we're purchased. One of which replaced the trailer's driver's side taillight at 125,623 miles. The original blew and was Chinese.  I'm concerned that a piece of the mounting hardware is damaged. For now, it still mounts and works.


Log 2013083003

I've been shopping for a new smartphone lately, but the only one's available at retail at Sprint and Samsung with a pullout keyboard are the 3 year old D-700 that I already have, or a Motorola Photon that doesn't have any more memory that I already have.  It might be time to break down and purchase a new unit that only has an onscreen keyboard.

The downside to that is that is it might become more susceptible to the cold when temperatures drop below 34°F.  The pros are that I'd have a lot more smartphones to choose from with better CPU's, RAM memory and international storage.  There's a couple things that I insist on and that is it must do everything I'm already doing on it and having a USB Hub that can plug in external hard disk drives.  Also, It must fit the new external microSD High Capacity (HC) disks.  I could care less about the 4G LTE as long as still has the standard 3G.

Regardless, the device is running out of RAM, onboard and external storage.  There's not much more that can be added to it.  I might have to reset the unit back to its factory state to get rid of unnecessary application updates.

Both data and voice coverage areas for Verizion look surpurb in more remote areas.  But with the new lower powered cellular signal repeater that I still plan on installing, I could probably still beat it on Sprint.  And anyways, Verizion's coverage area isn't perfect and I'd still need the repeater.  Considering that the repeater runs on CDMA for voice and EVDO for data, which both companies use those protocols, switching to Verizon is still an option.  In fact, for what I'm paying now, it looks like they're about $20 cheaper per month.

I spent the afternoon and evening shopping today shopping for items, mostly other than ones that pertain to The Cramper.  I did purchase a new windshield mounting cell phone holder.  I can't go with a vent mount because my smartphone has a tenancy to overheat and my cup holders are near the parking brake and are too low to make much use of them.  In theory, if I could rig up a mount that clamps to my laptop mount like an extendable desktop lamp, I might be able to maneuver it into places that are more convenient for me to use it from.


Log 2013083002

A 23 quart pressure canner was procured from Bed, Bath and Beyond in Sandusky of Erie County.  It retailed for about $105.

Log 2013083001

I got the bicycle's rear wheel out of the shop for about $58. When I got it back, I realized that it had low tread and the technician said it has between 100 - 200 miles on it.  That won't even survive the next hike.  With the way that I switched from this to chubbys, then studdeds in the months prior, I don't think these tires have more than 300mi on them.  This is an Innova 14 - 2011 - 5, 26 x 2.10 (56 - 559) rear mountain bike tire.
The bike shop also informed me that tires can go between 1,000 to 5,000 miles.  But department store tires can go bad between 200 - 500 miles.  In this case, my bike was purcased  from Dick's Sporting goods.
The spokes seem to have a wider diameter and I hope they'll be stronger.


Log 2013082702

I drove out to Louis Stokes - Cleveland VA Medical Center in Cleveland's Wade Park neighborhood today to move an appointment from the 5th to the 11th, where I already had an optometry exam scheduled for that day.  This way, I can drive back and forth to Cleveland from the Toledo area just once.

Afterwards, I stopped back in Lake County to pick up my AAA membership card and new credit card that I got in the mail to replace the one that soon to expire.  I determined this morning that I'm to be away from Lake County for over a month and that if I get into dire straits, I'm going to need that card to save my trip, or bail me out of a financially tight situation and send me home.

Log 2013082701

I've been getting to bed late these past two nights.  Today the toilet in the camper I'm staying at was leaking.  It appears that it likes to run a little longer.  Lucky for me, there was a towel in the closet.  And there was only a slight trickle of water anyways, but I had to put two rugs outside on the deck.  Yesterday, I got $6 in quarters for the laundry.  I also went grocery shopping and got some TV dinners and oven pizzas.  The driver's side tail light finally blew, so I stopped by the auto parts store and picked up a replacement, while pricing a new power inverter.  If I get it by the first, I can have 2000 watts for about $170.  Whether the DC to AC inverter will convert into a AC to DC converter with the use a double male outdoor extension cord (male on both ends) and not blow up my car or catch fire is still a question.  The thing it does have is leads to my battery, which my deep cycle batteries on the trailer will be hooked to with bullets that separate the line when it's unhitched. It ought to charge the whole system?

I checked the rear wheel of my mountain bike into the shop again.  This time it's being serviced at A & B Hobbies & Cycles in Sandusky of Erie County.  I'm having every spoke replaced with stainless steel.  Apparently, mine were already steel, but their quality might be in question.  They say that the spokes were probably going to cost about $36 to replace.  And the technician there was telling me that the true on that wheel should last for many months on road.  At present, I'm lucky to get 70 miles, which I can put on in a single week. This bike is going back to Southern Ohio in 19 days.

I also looked at CDMA cell phone repeaters "for the car."  That's one thing that I did not check into when I purchased my cell phone repeater that is for a 1,000 sq meter building.  Apparently, my repeater can boost the cell phone signal over a luxurious house.  Oh well, it will be on eBay soon.


Log 2013082501

I checked out of Basecamp Echo two days ago and I'm not at my parents camper in Sandusky.  I watch a YouTube video on canning chicken and I think I need a pressure canner with a gauge.  It was added to the procure list.  I withdrew a canned cheeseburger meal today.  It was made about 12 days ago and does show any signs of contamination yet.

I promised a friend in the Buckeye Trail Association that I would bring a hotspotted laptop to the informational booth that she's organizing.  It will be in Moncolva of Lucas County.  I checked the coverage map and its showing 3G in the area.  That's good because the cell phone signal booster is too powerful for what I want to do.  It requires that the antenna be 20m/ 66ft away from the base unit. I've decided that that's too much outdoor N-type cable to carry.  In the meantime, I'll be searching for other options.

I'm using the hotspot now.  In the past, I had an cellular internet card and so far, internet speeds are just like it.  Today, I called up Sprint and got a 7 day trail for their 2 gigabyte (GB) package.  Overage charges are $0.015 per kilobit (Kb), which is slightly less than when I owned my cell card.  8 bits = 1 byte. I also know that overage charges can really be steep because webpages and multimedia can have very large file sizes. In 7 days, if I don't cancel, Sprint will charge me $19.95 for the 2GB every month until I cancel the package.  It does not have a contract and I can do it at anytime.  Since my smartphone is recommended to have an unlimited talk/ text and data package that runs $99 + taxes and I carry insurance on the phone for another $10, my monthly cellular bill is usually $117.  This will bring me up to about $140 per month.

Because of the BTA booth in Monclova, I believe that Basecamp Echo will be at Mary Jane Thurston State Park outside of Grand Rapids of Wood County.    But I don't plan on leaving Sandusky until 2 September.  I'm anticipating that I'll be hard at work maintaining the Defiance Section when I get there.


Log 2013082401

There's no point in waiting until tomorrow to leave.  I think I'll leave tonight.  I think that the ear shaped piece that is supposed to hold a spring on my right rear brake shoe is floating around the drum somewhere and a couple days ago, the top of the shoe lost contact with its piston.
I'm going to my parent's camper in Sandusky next and its only 42mi.  I think I'd rather service it there.

Propane Cylinder and The Cramper

The 1lb propane gas cylinder is really inefficient connected to the small grill. I'd say that it must have used it up in 5 days, compared to the range's 20.  But I was using it to bake potatoes on high heat the whole time.

In the 20# canister, when the valve is shut off, the line still retains enough propane burn for 3 minutes on one range burner.

In the last 12 days, there's been a temperature differential of 30° F.  We had a heat wave come in this past week and I was slightly uncomfortable then.  Prior to 12 days ago, during transport, the range lost one of its fuel regulation knobs.  But while cooking, it doesn't seem to get too hot to touch yet.

A couple days ago during resupply in the Village of Wellington, I procured a dish soap wand.  I was getting concerned about the rate in which the dish soap was being used.  Also, I was concerned about not being able to produce bubbles when I was canning. I'm hoping that the new wand will slow the rate of consumption down. Since it's new that remains yet to be seen.

These logs are public.  Blogger is owned by Google and my logs hit their search index pretty fast.  If anyone wishes to build a caRV, or Chevy HHRv, or a "Cramper" and is searching online about how to build such an improvised thing, they might want to consult every entry made here.

Right now, there are ways that The Cramper could be perfected.  The floor (for instance) does not need to be made of 3/4 ply held length wise by a system of 2x4's.  That ply could be 1/2" and the 2" x 4"s could be 2 x 2's if they were treated.  It will cost less to design and it will be easier to put together and take apart in camp.

My unit right now has a spoiler for the back end which supports a cooking area.  It uses spaces between the floor's 2 x 4" designed to mount the 32" foot of the floor.  In the back, I call these "expansion slots" and that's what my retractable cooking area mounts to.

Well, I used metal angles to mount the floor's 2 x 4"s to the ply.  They're about 1/16" thick and I didn't account for them.  Since my cooking area has 2 x 4's that slide into the expansion slots, the catch the metal angles and now that this The Cramper's 5th camp, the wood has settled and now they won't slide all the way in.  So, I'm going to need a plainer to shave down the 2 x 4"s so they'll mount again.

Ever since I've been cooking, water consumption has gone up from 8 to 22 liters a day.  When I was canning, it was about 78 liters then.

I still have
2 packages of egg noodles
26 unused pint size mason jars
24 bands and lids
5 pint chilli
1 pint lasguana (sp?)
1 pint cheeseburger meal
Most of a roll of tin foil 25yds x 12"
Most of a bag of potatoes
4 onions
1 1/2 green peppers
Majority of small tub of margrine
About 2lbs dry milk
About 8lbs sugar

Lasguana and the cheese burger meal were the latest canning experiments.  Since ground beef has worked well in my chilli, I decided to continue on with it.  I made it from boxed kits that I found at Aldi and so far in the last 12 days, the tops are still down.  But like always, it was a mess to clean up.
I washed everything in the wheel barrel that night.

6 screws holes on the long cooler stripped out and will no longer mount its lid. So I dismounted the remaining hinges and work with out them now.  I always place my 25lb iron disc weight and my 40lb weight vest before securing the trailer's load tarp over it every night.  So far, I have not had another mold infestation like last time.  But I have questions about using it in the rain as I'm not sure it will hold up with out all that pressure being on it while it's in use.

Log 2013081301

4lbs of ground beef yeilded 13 meals in Mason jars.  I placed two bags of egg noodles in freezer bags and they'll remain there until I go to make a soup.  I still have 3 green peppers and 4 onions left.  I won't go into Wellington until tomorrow and after I get done with my trail maintenance.
I've been canning today.  It always makes a mess. The wheel barrel has been converted into a dish washing tub.  Since I've had to refil the 26L Aquatainer multiple times and carry it back, my abdominal muscles are feeling sore.  It will have to be refilled once again before the night is out.
A member of the park staff came by my campsite today.  When I took over my segment 2 1/2 years ago, I introduced myself to them and she recognized me after all this time.  Seems that the Buckeye Trail has a irrigation problem and the park would like the BTA to produce the labor to fix it.  They're willing to contribute the supplies.  I then referred her to the segment's maintainer.


Log 2013081003

This Turbinelapfan, Item M112217 by Sakar warped while being stored in this container in The Cramper.  Normally, the laptop sits on the container's lid, but I don't think it produces enough heat to warp this lap fan casing.  So far, it was in this container for 45 days this season.  At the moment, I don't think the unit can be used in this condition?

Log 2013081001

The wardrobe that I carry consists of approximately 3 loads of laundry and fits into a 12" x 12" x 24" duffel bag.  There are a few pairs of denim pants, polos and shorts that I don't wear on the trail.


Log 2013080903

The screws that secure lid to the body of the long cooler are stripped.  It will need to be replaced in the upcomming weeks.  And the cooler will need to open with the hinges towards the back of the trailer in the future.

Lo 2013080902

Yesterday, I also purchased Bevis & Butt Head - The Mike Judge Collection - Volume 1 that came with 3 DVD'S, Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford and Star Trek: Generations, Insurrection, First Contact, Insurrection and Evolutions movies with The Next Generation Cast from Buy Back$ in South Euclid.
The new windsheild mount for the smartphone is mounted, but it's intended for larger screen automotive GPS's.  However, I think I can mount the smartphone and make do with it.

Log 2013080901

I'm very pleased to see that the photo upload from my smartphone to this blog is working correctly.


Log 2013080802

The trip across the south of Ohio will be postponed until 14 September. I need to fall back and gather my resources.  Base Camp Echo will now be at Findley State Park, just south of Wellington of Lorain County.  I have to help a friend volunteer at a Buckeye Trail booth in Monclova of Lucas County on 13 September.  The event is about 8mi north of the Defiance Section - Buckeye Trail.  There's a 5k walk going on that day.
Today, I purchased 26 nutritional supplement bars with at least 30g of protein each.  That's going to help those high mileage days down south.  They were on sale and totaled about $64 out the door.  I also purchased a new USB cable to charge the smartphone, along with a replacement suction cup, goose neck and mount for it. The unit will suction to the windshield where it will help me navigate, take calls and play MP3's.
I purchased a new 7 liter lunch box and cooler that will fit in my long cooler on my trailer that I'm already using.  So far, chicken and maybe pork shows that it can not be canned.  I use the long cooler for mostly dry goods and water has seeped in over the past months and caused everything to mold inside there.  If I'm going to use ice, I'd rather have a separate chamber to use.
I did not have a medical appointment today.  Instead, I was prompted to make one and that was done for 5 September.  Next week, I plan on moving that appointment to the 11th, where I have, yet, another appointment in the same facility.  It beats driving to Cleveland from Basecamp Echo twice.

Log 2013080801

The trip that I have remaining on the Buckeye Trail (North Country and American Discovery are concurrent through most of it) is 427.4 miles by the official BTA count.  On paper, it's scheduled to take 24 days.  Even with my Pennsylvania experiences, riding the bicycle back to basecamp, or to the car will test my abilities to the maximum every day. I've scheduled to hike 15, 18 and 20 mile days hiking.  My trip has an average of 17.79mi a day.  And I have about 10 BMI to burn if needed.

I should probably get some protein bars for next week and really watch what I eat.  I'll need to drink water around the clock, holding the color of my urine stream at just beyond clear consistent during the entire time.  And stretch constantly. This is going to be an aggressive hike.  I want to have an efficient system to conquer it.

The site seeing trip to the Lake Erie Islands has been canceled this year.


Log 2013080701

I have an appointment tomorrow at the VA Medical Center in Cleveland tomorrow.

A new app by SPEEDTEST.NET was installed on to the smartphone.  Since my internal RAM memory is running low, I install those very sparingly now and days.  But since I still intend to continue configuring my cell phone signal repeater, I need the new app to test the speed.  When the internet runs over cell phone signals, it's downstream bandwidth speed will up and down with the signal.  At its fullest, my downstream without the booster should get as high as 3000 kilobits per second (mb/ s) on 3G signal.  But, I'm not sure what it will do with the lowest data signal.  If the speed gets below 256mb/ s, I might not be able to work with the laptop if smartphone is hotspoting and feeding internet signal to the laptop.  And I might not be able to get on with the laptop at all if the speed dips below a consistent 128 mb/ s.

There's no telling how much Google Earth is going to download?  It has to get high quality images from a server to zoom in on an area.  The higher the quality, the more programming information it contains.  And the more programing information it contains, the bigger the file size it.  When I get a hotspoting package from Sprint, it has a download limit like dial-up use to when it was new.  Back when I use to run a cell phone internet card in my apartment, it was about 5GB.  I downloaded about 180 videos one time and sent it over.  That ended up costing me $800 in mostly overage charges.  Testing with Google Earth while the smartphone is hotspoting to the laptop will probably have to be done.


Log 2013080601

I have an older Samsung Galaxy S D700 smartphone.  And I was using Amazon MP3 with the stock MP3 app on the unit.  Well, I switched to purchasing music from Google Play, where the installation of the "Play Music" app was required.  The music would download, but only play on Play Music.  I use this to hike and play on my bike, but the playlist options that were on the stock app aren't included in Play Music.  And whenever I downloaded new music on Google Play, the system scanner wouldn't pick-up Play's music and list the tracks in the stock app.

I'm a computer person and the fix was a Windows 95 technique. 

1. Tether your smartphone to your computer using your USB cable.

2. On the top bar of your device, slide it down and select "Turn on USB storage."  It will inform you that certain functions of the smartphone will be disabled when the unit is connected.  Unless your expecting a very important call, acknowledge the warning and Click "OK."

If you've never done this before, your computer will search for your phone's drivers and install them.

3. Open "Computer (formerly My Computer)" and double click on your smartphone.

4. Navigate to (your root directory, just after you double click in step 3)\Android\data\\files

Between the slashes is a folder.  Double click them in succession indicated above.

5. In the "files" folder, left click once on the "music" folder.

6. With your mouse hovering over the highlighted "music" folder, right click once and select "Send To."

7. A sub menu will open up, left click once on "Desktop (Create Shortcut)"

8. Now minimize all your windows and remember the following.  The quickest way to get there is to press the WINDOWS KEY + M.  On the desktop, find the new folder "music - shortcut," left click once to highlight it and with your pointer still hovering, right click once and left click once on "cut." Once done, come back to this window.

9. Go back to the window that is reading your smartphone like a hard drive (from Computer, My Computer) and navigate back to it's root directory.

10. My music is stored in the "Audio" folder.  On the root directory, I'd select the "Audio" folder.  Once there, right click once, select paste and that's it. Your stock app should read the " music - shortcut" directory like its a folder containing music.

If your music is in a different place, you might need to go to Computer->Your Device and type "*.mp3" in the search field located in the top right corner of that window.  When you get the search results back, left click on an entry to highlight it, then right click once and select "Open File Location."  For novice computer users, you're looking for the computer to open up MP3's in two or more folders.  And that will tell you where they are installed.


Log 2013080401

It's been a while since I logged and its possible that I might regret that. I talked to an Amish man in Middlefield.  Teenagers continiously try to run me off the road in Newbury Township by screaming at me as they past.  A 20lb propane gas canister was purchased from Geauga Feed in Newbury Township on 2013080401.
Today, I woke up late.  I had two servinvgs of Fruit Loops with milk from the Camp Store afterwards.


Log 2013073101

The second green propane canister just ran out today, which is the 41st day The Cramper has been down trail.  For some reason, it's been the biting flies that have come out here in Punderson this morning.  I lit my last remaining citranella candle at breakfast.
An old friend from high school passed away a few days ago.  My Facebook news feed is feeling a little empty right now.  And the last of the Christmas in July people moved out of the park on 2 days ago. I am starting to feel alone.  I came for the distance, not the solitude.  However, as a solo hiker, the one sometimes comes with the other.


Log 2013073002

I have been posting pictures to this log, but I'm not sure that they're working?  The citronella candles that are white wax inside black aluminum square like container where the bottom is 3" square and the top opening is 4" square. It is sold by S.C. Johnson & Son.  This product does not work effectively in places with heavy mosquito infestations.

Log 2013073001

This is The Cramper's 40th day down trail.  So far, the stove burners are working well, but I went through a green canister of propane in this time. At first, I wasn't sticking to just one, so, it could be as much as 1.25 canisters. The cooler has lost 4 of its 12 hinge screws.  If I don't fix it soon, it will completely fall apart.
I have gatorade that is sealed in a zip loc bag.  It handled the rains and I just had some today. The  mosquitos continue to be terrible here in Punderson.  Other than that, I hiked around Stump Lake.  The maintenance crew pulled up in a Gator and asked how I liked the trail.  Personally, I have mixed feelings about the trails being cut to 60".  As a distance hiker, that's what we call a "boulevard."  And boulevards are undesireable. 


Log 2013072802

I don't think I slept well last night.  I must have had disturbing dreams? I suppose that I can still be affected by them even if I don't usually remember my dreams.
Today, I attempted to configure the cell phone repeater, or cell phone booster.  But Punderson has too much regular service and to tune this thing, I might need to go somewhere there's none.  Right now, the device could have taken on moisture in the back of the trailer, one of the cables could have been kinked, or pinched, or I have the wrong antennas?
A new shift knob was installed today.  The old T-shifter had a stripped screw hole and wouldn't grip the shaft after so many turns. I had to replace it with a $5 set that came with the shift knob, pedal and valve stem covers.  I moved one of the stock valve stem covers over to the bicycle.  I can't believe that it came out of Century Cycles like that.
The platform for the batteries on the trailer tounge was hand cut from 3/8ths ply today.  It just needs to be drilled and mounted.  Days ago, I thought that the wireless keyboard may have "bit the dust."  But I was actually right about my NiMH batteries all being dead.  They were probably last recharged on 28 May. When I inserted alkaline batteries into it, it responded immediately.
The cell signal repeater and surge protector were mounted in The Cramper today using 3/4" screws.  Mold in the cooler continues to grow.  Several screws in it's hinges were not secured correctly, causing water to seep in during previous storms.  Food containment has not been breached and I am confident that they will last until the 1st.  That will be the first opportunity I'll have
When I'm outside The Cramper, I'm having to use Off Deep Woods around the clock. So far, the plan is to hike every other day.

Log 2013072801

I've started work on the cell signal repeater.  A picture should be attached.  I found the tablet that has its manual on it so low on batteries that the operating system wouldn't start up.


Log 2013072601

Smartphone Battery C is going critical.  On the other hand, I think it might be the phone's usb port that might have too much play it it.  Both are known to have their problems.  Today, Battery C failed and interupted the upload of a 22 minute video to the Buckeye Trail Association this evening.
There's a first aid kit that is down by my car battery and spare tire. But once The Cramper is set up, it's not very accessable due to everything's weight.  So, I cooked this evening and got to use the washing tub and grey water for the first time. And I scratched my left index knuckle while drying my pocket knife (has a can opener). So, I went searching for my First Aid kit in my black bag (18L Camelbak backpack, 1.5L water bladder, short range bag).  I'm not sure it even has the consolidated mini first aid kit that its supposed to.  Oh well, I licked my cut. But those kits need to be found.
It's Christmas in July here at Punderson this weekend, so there's a few more campers here.  There's been some curiousity about The Cramper. I've also told others that unless I go into buildings, I'm refusing to wear a shirt this weekend.
I visited Crystal Thompson at her home in Newbury today.  I've known her for 14 years.
One of the hinges on my new cooler did not have its lid completely screwed in. I noticed that it was taking on water and molding back at Burr Oak.  The best way to completely clean it out is with bleach on the 1st when I can purchase replacment groceries.  Until then, I'm trying to unload the cooler every meal that I eat.  The first is 5 days and a wake up from now and I don't think I'll eat it all.  Needless to say that food isn't going to be a problem in the meantime.
Everything is holding up well here at Basecamp Delta.

Log 2013072501

Today, I took The Cramper down so I could drive to Walmart and get some supplies in Mentor and drop off a few unnecessary items.  After that, I still forgot to drop off some items, such as a towel from my former apartment back into storage. But I might still use it (come to think of it) because I'm using a small, 15" square, super absorbant towel that I use tent during times when multi-day hiking when The Cramper isn't available. I'm still set up to hikes like I use to.  There may come a day when it is more efficent in time, money and fuel to do a hike like this.
The typical strategy for The Cramper is to dissemble it, drive to route's Point B and park the bicycle.  Then drive back to Point A, hike to Point B and ride the bicycle back.  Because the bike's drive train distributes force better than just my muscular system, it is more efficent.  On flat land, physical exertion (in miles) of my muscles to hiking to riding the bike is about 1:4.  County roads are more improved than township roads. And state roads are usually more improved than county roads. Even though the direct course may be shorter, sometimes it's worth a extra few miles to parallel the trail back on a state highway.
But on an extended trip, the bike would be parked about 60 miles from the car for a 3 day hike.  The 4th day after would be comitted to riding back to the car all day.  But because off road trail is more "undomesticated," it usually turns more.  So, if I were to bike from pt. B, it might only be a 35, or 40mi ride back on easier terrain.
Today, I picked up a 96" sheet of 3/8" plywood out of storage for the redesign of the heating and air conditioning unit.  I also picked up some dry sacks there to help me organize my storage bins.   At the store, I picked up more roof straps, dry sacks and a compass to help me draw angles on wood.  
I was looking for a method to quickly connect and disconnect the deep cycle battery that I'm mounting to my trailer for boon docking to and from the car's battery, located in the rear.  The problem is that the deep cycle can produce up to 850 amps if the car was started on it.  But typical AC connections at Lowe's only handle 50 amps. 
The associate told me that I could get electrical bullets that could do the trick, but they didn't have them for 6 guage wire, which is just about like a battery cable.  The idea is to charge both batteries from the alternator when the car is hitched.  Another thing is that the deep cycle batter might come in handy if the temeratures get real fridgid this winter.
Today, I started working on a luxury item.  I had a 3 port USB hub that was not power assisted.  So, when I plugged my bluetooth headset and my smartphone, the phone would loose and regain power every 15 seconds.  So, I got my AC conversion to DC powered unit with 6 USB ports and it's working great.
In The Cramper, my ceiling is only as high as the interior my tailgate. And still, I can't sit all the way up in it.  Anyways, the door frame is lower, the car's ceiling isn't much higher. So, crawling around to change my Star Trek epidsode can be a bit of a hassel.  So, months ago, I purchased a small keyboard and attached trackball. It's like my remote control.  And I had to get the hub to power it because my laptop's USB ports are all occupied and I needed something more reliable.
Well, the computer recognized the new hardware quickly.  But the keyboard fails to respond.  I switched it's stock alkaline batteries with some NiMH rechargable batteries that I charged about 60 days ago.  The batteries in my bicycle rear illumination units still work and they were charged then.  I do have spare AAA alkaline batteries on board, I might check to see if they work.
Otherwise, I found some of the USB transceivers on the floorboad as they pulled must have away from the old hub. It may be possible that one is floating around down there? Otherwise, I did cram this little keyboard in a bag with my laptop and tablet. Maybe it took too much abuse in there?  Before the roof bag was weatherproofed, every bag took on some water.  Maybe that did it.  I remember the manufacturer having some troubleshooing tip, if I get the booster up, I might try them.
The back canvas and awning went up better than before today.  It was the sequence in which I did the side folds.  The back cooking area was really stubborn and it needs to be plained out.  It rocked the bottom beam out of position and had to get jacked up again.  There's been problems with the securing foot pins.  Apparently, the foot and the main floor aren't matching up like they use to and need to be bored out.  Right now, one will insert and the other will go half way with some coaxing.  I prefer to do this back home in port if I can.  In Star Trek, they like to go back to starbase for structural things... so do I.
For the first time, I put the sheets on the mattress. They're light blue.  I sure wish that it came with two pillow cases.  Oh well, it's a twin mattress. I have one pillow with a sheet, and one without.  If I have time, I might introduce The Cramper over video to the Buckeye Trail's Facebook group.


Log 2013072301

This evening, I was putting up The Cramper.  The assembly did not go as well today as it has in the past. I'm still investigating why that was. Meanwhile, I found all the mosquitos I've been missing.   They're here in Punderson's electric campground.  So, I got out both citranella candles.  Usually I only use one and it does the job.  Yeah, neither one of them worked today and I am bit up.
I wasn't sure if I had any bug spray?  So, I rode my bike to 3 gas stations and none of them had any.  The nearest place that would was Wal-Mart in Middlefield.  I didn't bring my helmet and my left side rear illumination ran out of batteries.  The trip would have been on Kinsman Rd/ OH-87 and the traffic was a little agressive tonight. So I went back to camp and found my only remaining bug spray canister in my Camelbak back pack.  It's really low on fluid and I might be making a run to that Wal-Mart on bike tomorrow.


Log 2013072301

I woke up at 0230hrs this morning, had some cerial and laid back down for a while.  After watching several hours of Star Trek, I started doing some final packing and loaded items in my car. 
The trailer is getting heavy and I normally have to pick it up and slam it down for the hitch coupler to lock.  Well, the driveway was down hill and one of the wheels must have drifted out and I missed the mark.  That brought the trailer's tounge down to the cement where it pinned my left ring finger against it and my chains.  Luckily, I was able to lift it off with getting only a scratch.
The new rear struts did nothing to lift the car when hitched.  So far, the back end still sags.  With the hitch receiver being so extended, I still have to be very careful when coming up or down curbs, or a part in the road that suddenly drops.  The car still maneuvers around turns like it's top heavy.  That could be due to the gear in the roof bag, which is a recent edition.
I ate breakfast at Bob Evans this morning where I had an omlet, home fries and orange juice. Afterwards, I got to the VA an hour and a half early.  Parking the trailer was easy as I found two spots, one in front of the other on the 3rd parking deck.  Normally, I have to park on the 4th deck by dropping the trailer in one spot and parking the car next to it.
I think some people would ask me if I trust my gear there?  I do.  In a 1.7 mile block, there are 5 police departments.  The VA and University Circle is probably the safest place to be in Cleveland.  I like to call it an "oasis."
After having a medical appointment, getting a prescription filled, making an optometry appointment and having lunch, I was out the door. And bound for Base Camp Delta at Punderson State Park.
Because the VA in Cleveland's Wade Park closer to the center of the city's eastside, the quickest way to Punderson was to take Mayfield Road through Little Italy, Coventry, South Euclid, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Gates Mills, Chesterland to Sperry Road, then OH-87. I'm familiar with the route on Mayfield, it was part of my 21 mile hike from the VA to Lake County this past winter.
I'm in Punderson now. It's a beautiful campground, probably the 2nd best that I've ever been to.  I believe that I'm 2.7 miles from the Burton Section - Buckeye Trail.  Punderson isn't directly on it, so I'm not sure.


Log 2013072201

Century Cycles in Peninsula called me up this morning and told me that the bike needed to have it's chain replaced or it could cause damage 4 - 5 months from now.  Otherwise what I was requesting to have done to it was done 2 days ahead of schedule.  I choose to forgo the chain for now and picked the bike up for about $65 for the brake & gear shift cables to be tightened, the derailers configured and have two spokes replaced in the rear wheel.  I picked it up at about 1930hrs today.

It's next trip will be a four day tour of the Lake Erie Islands, including Pelee Island which is on the Canadian side.  I've been working on the rough draft of the trip, which is now lost due to a hardware failure on my laptop.  But I can tell you that I'll take the 0415 Greyhound bus bound for Detroit and transfer to the one bound for Windsor.  Cross the border on the bus and disembark shortly in Windsor.  Neither the tunnel or bridge in Detroit will accommodate bicycles, so the extra Greyhound is way to go.  The bicycle supported way on road would require an additional 119mi by nearly circumnavigating Lake Saint Clair.  I once heard plans about the city building a new bridge to Canada and I wouldn't be surprised if they fix this problem then.

Once in Windsor, I'll get off and cycle about 41 miles to the Ontario Ferries port in Kingsville, Ontario.  Take the ferry to Pelee Island and spend most of the next day there.  Board at the same port on the island and take it to Sandusky.  Then board the Jet Express and start hopping the American islands starting with Kelly's, South Bass and finally Middle Bass.  North Bass is only accessible by personal water craft.  The way back is on the ferries in the reverse order.

I easily get sea sick.  But the Lake is only 33 miles across, the ferries are only 1 hour and 30 minutes at most and land should always be in sight for me as I'll always try to be on the top deck.  They will all accommodate my bicycle.

My trip will involve the Ontario, Miller and Jet Express Ferries where I'll arrive on the mainland in Sandusky.  I don't have the camping figured out yet, but my gear will strapped to the back rack and my 20 liter Camelbak back pack.  That which is on the rack will probably not weigh more than 20lbs.  It's basically, a one man tent in a compactor, sleeping bag, 10 - dry camp meals and an abbreviated first aid kit.  I doubt the backpack will be for much more than my 1.5L water bladder.

Tomorrow, I have a medical appointment at the VA Medical Center in Cleveland at 0900.  I'm not sure how this is going to go?  I might be able to pack up before the VA, drive there with everything and the trailer and then drive to Punderson SP directly after.  It would save about 32 minutes, 21 miles and 0.65 gallons of fuel that way.  And that would put me in the park in time to talk to the camp office clerk, get my campsite tag right then and there and set up The Cramper with time to consider Punderson's trails and determine what my plan for the next days is.  And that's what I'm really shooting for.