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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.


Log 2013072001

Trail guides and GPS waypoints were procured for Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana on the American Discovery Trail.  As I'm MD Edmonds a.k.a "Treeman," "Treeman of the North," "Matthew Dexter Edmonds" and the author of the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource, I realized that my data which was supposed to include the American Discovery, omitted the "north loop."

The American Discovery is a 6,800mi multi-purpose trail, or route that spans from the Atlantic in Delaware to the Pacific in San Francisco.  It is attached to the Sea-to-Sea Route when it is concurrent with the Buckeye Trail/ North Country Trail Connector in southern Ohio from Village of Chesterhill of Morgan County to City of Milford of Clermont County, about 12 miles northeast of Cincinnati. 

Since about 1,000 miles of North Country Trail is concurrent with the Buckeye, I also have the goal get my patch, or to "get patched" (as I call it) in Ohio.  At the moment, I have the Ohio/ Pennsylvania line to the Village of Zoar on NCT's independant east arm.  Then from the City of Napoleon of Henry County to the intersection of the Evergreen and Wabash Cannonball Trail - North Fork in Spencer Township of Lucas County.

As concurrent with Buckeye, I still have between the threeway intersections for Road Fork and Whipple Sections on the Belle Valley Section.  I tried to conquer this on my last 32 day trip.  Despite lightning outside of the Village of Belle Valley in Noble County, I rode my bicycle to my starting point outside of the unincorporated area of Reinersville in Manchester Township of Morgan County.

I still have half of the Whipple Loop from Road Fork Section, Pt. 21 to a little west of Whipple Section, Pt. 2 where I began a previous hike at Archer's Fork Road/ Co Rd 14.  And then from the 3 way BT Whipple/ Stockport Section intersection in the American Electric Power ReCreation Lands in Reinersville in Manchester Township of Morgan County across southern Ohio to US-68 just south of the Village of Mount Orab in Brown County.

Other than the southern tier of the Buckeye Trail circuit, I did about 12mi of the mainline American Discovery Trail as it was concurrent with the Loveland Section - Buckeye Trail from the southern terminus (near the Eden Park conservatory) to the three way Loveland/ Williamsburg intersection in the City of Milford.  To complete the independant arms of the ADT, I estimate that it will take me 4 days on bicycle.  As for the last remaining segment of the North Country Trail, that will take me one day hiking.  That which remains on the BT's southern tier... estimated at 2 - 3 weeks.  The amount of mileage already covered on the BT in the last 3 years: about 1,070mi.  I think at this rate that the four arms are so short that I might as well.


Where The Manual Release Is Supposed To Be

Log 2013071901

As I thought, I've been driving around, get back to my grandma's house and the tailgate latch releases, door comes open.  It could still be a bad relay for all I know.  The mechanical switch in that unit might be faulty?  Or, I could have a short in the wiring, which the driver's side reverse lamp has been showing signs of that.  Wiring encased in black plastic conduits that run underneigth the back seats.  Since they are removed, the wiring conduit is exposed.
Regardless, I have to get manual control of it now.  With the trailgate open, I was able to use a flash light to look for a loop.  I'm unable to see it.  So, I'm going to take a crow bar and peel off its shielding until I can find something that I can get some paracord around.


Log 2013071602

Going to save the tailgate problem for another day when in camp. I need to get a look at what a bad relay looks like, or get something to test it.  Right now, I go to my back-up option, which is my 3 man tent.

Log 2013071601

2008 Chevy HHR LS
Tailgate latch won't pop.  It's as if there isn't any power going to it.  I looked at the relay in the fuse box, pulled it, but don't know how to inpect it yet.
Attempted manual release, but the only thing my screw driver caught was something plastic.
Drove to Headlands SP to try and bump it back in to functionality, but it hasn't worked.  I'll probably have to craw back there again and have a look at the manual release compartment to see if I missed anything with a flashlight.  Otherwise, I'll have to destroy that back sheilding to find something, then tie a longer cord to the manual release.


Log 2013071502

I ran my first 1.8mi route today at a heart rate between 161 - 178 beats per minute.  My heart got up to that rate rather easily.  Originally, I was going to do my typical 3.2mi "figure 8" loops.  But as the heat index is high, my heart rate being higher compared to my speed on previous runs and this was my first, I think I'd have trouble explaining why I did this to others.  So, I cut it down.

Log 2013071501

Base Camp Delta will be at Punderson State Park.

My right elbow is still experiencing "tennis elbow" like symptoms.

Log 2013071501

2008 Chevy HHR LS had both rear struts replaced at 124,144 miles on the odometer.  Brake shoes, pads, discs and drums were replaced sometime around 124,115 miles.  I still have yet to change the driver's side front ball bearing, engine oil and bolts to the plastic air filter manifold that were lost after a professional oil change.  It still remains uncertain as to whether the new struts lifted the back end enough to keep the hitch from scraping the ground when the car and trailer go over a raised curb, or back down from one.

This past week, gear was obtained from storage, which includes:

4L Water Bladder and drink tube
8GB Flash Drive
Two empty plastic containers
A small bottle of Febreze
A small bottle of water with approximately 8% Clorox Bleach
Sleeping bag compactor, size M
Blue jacketed speaker wire
Powered 7 port USB hub
Bluetooth wireless keyboard and trackball combination unit
75ft of outdoor extension cord

This week, the roof rack bag, music, cookware and laptop bags were all weatherproofed.  The 40lb weight vest was also used this past week.  So far, the repairs had little positive effect on the unit's performance and running with it is out of the question. 

Months ago, I requested an offline PDF copy of the Haynes repair manual for my HHR.  And from the reply email I received, I was under the impression that they have no desire to either make such a product, or even consider it.  They have a web version, but its no good to me if I'm somewhere remote.  I bring this up because the manual was stored in the laptop bag on the roof rack prior to the weatherproofing.  This past week, I was able to use a blow dryer to dry out its pages and save it.  The manual belongs in a pouch behind the driver's seat and I can place it there from now on.  But what if I use it in the car, but my wet, sopping hands have to turn the pages when it's raining outside?  I once considered taking a razor to its binding, then placing it's pages through an Automatic Document Feeder and making my PDF copy of it.  But, I'm not sure that the wheels in scanner's ADF will handle it's newsprint pages without tearing it up?  And now that it's damaged, I'd have to purchase a new manual to get it done.