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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.