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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.