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2015/12/28

Log 2012122802

This is a link to an article in the Toledo Blade on 12/28/2015 regarding the possibility of reinstating the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority's (TARTA) "Spencer Township Call-a-Ride" service.  In the past, TARTA had transit services at the Toledo Express Airport.  But when the airport lost business, enough personnel were let go to the end that TARTA canceled it their services there.

As for the Spencer Township Call-a-Ride, a hiker according to the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR) could reach the service's zone within 4.0 miles from the North Country National Scenic @ the Wabash Cannonball Trail - North Fork.  But one of TARTA's telephone operators informed me that the bus must have somewhere to pull into (like a driveway).  With OTHR's 4.0mi restrictor, there's isn't a public, or commercial establishment in range.  For example, from said intersection to the Toledo Express Airport is 3.7 miles.  And the transit zone was roughly about that, too.  0.3 miles in a residential area just doesn't leave a lot of options. So the Spencer Township Call-a-Ride can not be listed on the OTHR.

If I could, the benefit of having service there would give the hiker's on the North Country Trail access to all of Toledo's regional transit.  Right now, it's about 135 miles from the Barron's Bus in Napoleon of Henry County to the Greyhound stop and Amtrak Stations in Battle Creek, Michigan via North Country's route.

Some perspective transit hiker's will be analyzing my data.  They're going to do this because distance trails sometimes have camping/ lodging amenity gaps.  So, it's a good practice for them to "leave no stone unturned." And if this transit service has a zone like it use to, they're going to wonder why I didn't route the OTHR to it.  But, one thing that could work is pending that Spencer Township get's its call-a-ride back, instead of a private camp host, what the transit hikers would need is a private bus stop for them.  Somebody who wouldn't mind if the hikers scheduled a drop-off/ pick-up at their private residence on the condition that the host was called 24 hours prior so they could know that its scheduled to take place, or deny the individual.

Currently, the transit hiker can get to Toledo's Greyhound and Amtrak stations only from the Defiance Section - Buckeye Trail (BT) from Waterville of Lucas County on the "Waterville Call-a-Ride."  But because the BT & NCT aren't concurrent by this point, Waterville is about a two day trip at OTHR's thru hike rate to the 3-way BT/ NCT intersection in Liberty Township of Henry County.  Also, the North Country Trail's Northwest Independent Arm (unofficial) is also 1/10th of a mile too far from this line's park-n-ride lot in Waterville.


Log 2015122801

The automotive parking data for the Buckeye, North Country, American Discovery Trail was merged, converted to GPX and uploaded to my public cloud.  But I won't publish the download location until I link it to the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR) so I only have to maintain one link.  One might ask... Q: what does automotive parking have to do with transit?  A: some of the transit agencies that offer dial-a-ride/ shared ride/ curb-to-curb type services may require that their vehicle pull in some where in order for the transit hiker to board/ disembark.  But the other thing is that Ohio does not have an official hiking season.  And the may have to come off trail to reach a plowed lot that is attached to a plowed road, thus limiting their options.  But with this parking data, OTHR and the fact that hikers would probably be willing to walk 2.5 to 4.0 miles from trail to reach an amenity, there's probably still options in most areas under those conditions.  Speaking for myself, I won't stop until I'm out of options.

I've determined that the Buckeye Trail has two camping/ lodging amenity deficiencies that it proceeds in spite of.  That's because thru hikers make up the vast minority of Ohio hikers.  I have yet to write a mock thru hiker for the upcoming 2016 Edition of the OTHR. It has eliminated all except one and this year I think it will do them all.  But in the past, I've never written a mock hiker for the winter.  And while I really don't know what amenities go out of season.  With that being written, it's a question if transit can compensate for the loss?

I have a GPS files for every campsite, campground, motel, hotel, bed & breakfast in range of the Buckeye.  This project would entail contacting every campground and B&B within 4 miles of the trail to ascertain if they're open in the winter?  Once done, then the mock hiker can be routed.

2015/12/26

Log 2015122701

In recent years, OTHR lost any connection on the Toldeo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) from Downtown Toledo to the Toledo Express Airport.  In this area, the North Country Trail's Northwest Independent Arm in Ohio is about 3.7mi from the airport.  It is routed in such a way that it is 0.1mi out of range from transit in Waterville of Lucas County.

I don't bother to even mention B. G. Transit in Bowling Green of Wood County because they only serve the city itself.  Beyond that, Wood County doesn't have an agency.  It would be nice if they did and it was open to the general public so that the on-road hikers between outer Bowling Green and Pemberville could use it to reach a camping/ lodging amenity.

2015/12/23

Log 2015122301

Audience... about me personally...  Aside from my 630 something episodes of Star Trek, a number of feature films and a handful of other movies, I don't otherwise watch TV.  I'm also single with no children at the moment.  So if your looking at the rate my activity (and I think I'm aware of my perception), those are some of the factors that lead to my productivity.  I'm never bored.  I come up with more things to do than I can actually get done in the short term.

And I like the thing that I do because their circumstances allow me to be creative and apply myself.  Sometimes, I joke and tell people that I'm like Mickey Mouse and what I do is Fantasia to me.  That movie was full the best 1961 animations that was set to classical music.  The changes in setting, animated scenery were made by Mickey's magic (as the film goes).  But if I understand it as I think I do, the moral of the story was that magic was Mickey's art.  And the way that I volunteer is my art. I thrive here.

2015/12/22

Buckeye Trail Intersections w/ American Discovery & North Country Trails

BT Intersections

I've heard the Buckeye Trail as having been described as one giant "roundabout."  And that might be true.  But one thing that isn't true is that as soon as a North Country Trail westbounder leaves Pennsylvania, they're automatically on the BT.  No that's true.  The distance between Pennsylvania and the Buckeye Trail is about 84 miles in lower Northeast Ohio.  Great Trail and Sandy Beaver Chapter of the NCTA runs that area.  I can't show maps of these areas because it might give away the position of some portions the trail.  So, I'll try to describe it.

Disclaimer: a designation such as "Independent Arm" is my own terminology.  It refers to when a part of the American Discovery, or North Country Trail is independent, or not concurrent with the Buckeye Trail.

Massillon Section - BT & NCNST East Independent Arm
Lawrence Township of Tuscarawas County near the Historic Village of Zoar
North Country Trail westbounders will hike through the village.  They'll reach a closed road that will lead to a restored black colored steel bridge.  In the middle of the bridge, they'll turn north and descend down some stairs and reach the Zoar Valley/ Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath/ Buckeye Trail.  Once on dirt, they'll turn 180° to the left and begin the concurrency with the Massillon Section - BT/ NCNST heading clockwise/ westbound (actual south)

Stockport Section - BT & ADT OH & KY East Independent Arm
Marion Township of Morgan county near Williams Covered Bridge the Village of Chesterhill
Because of new developments, the location of this intersection has been slightly altered in the last year or so.  But amongst other hikers, this seems to be the least known of the BT's intersections.

The Southern Terminus of the BT on the Loveland Section at the ADT OH & KY West Independent Arm
Eden Park in the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County
When BT blazes stop, the ADT tack-ons just keep on going here.  It's about 29 miles to the 3 way ADT intersection in the unincorporated community of Elizabethtown (also in Hamilton County) on this route.

Caesar Creek Section - BT & NCNST By-Pass
South end in Wayne Township of Warren County
North end in the Village of Spring Valley in Greene County

Defiance Section - BT & NCTC Northwest Independent Arm
Liberty Township of Henry County near the Village of Liberty Center
The transition from the BT to the NCTC isn't well marked as far as the last the I knew.  But if you follow the Defiance Section's map & guide (these are combination documents on the BT), the forest along the Miami & Erie Canal at the OH-109 south segment and OH-424 has a long lot cut out of it with a restaurant and gravel parking area.  NCTC westbound turns actual north along the treeline for about 25ft until hikers meet the intersection of OH-424 & OH-109 north segment (towards Liberty Center).

Log 2015122201

I was volunteering on finishing a trail promotion map today.  Afterward, I started compiling data so I could compare the locations of highway rest stops, information and travel centers to the position of the Buckeye Trail.  But, I have yet to compile the location of shut down weight stations, nor analyze places with a freeway exit that the trail is already close to.

2015/12/21

Log 2015122101

I've been working the Provisional Review for the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail.  It's not required of section supervisors to do this, but being Army trained, I felt that the best way to go forward and plan for the future is with what called an "After Action Review (AAR)."  For some reason, the logs are missing here, but I became the (volunteer) Section Supervisor for the Whipple Section on December 8th, 2014.  And I've been on the road a bit this month, so this was the first chance I could get to do it.  An AAR is when soldiers in the field complete and exercise, or training, they take a knee and get around an officer, or non-commissioned officer where they recap and discuss what went right and wrong.

It's provisional because I've rescheduled this to occur annually on the week containing, or following April 23rd annually.  This is because classes at colleges are usually out for the traditional school year right about then.  And there might be some students working on a college project for the Buckeye Trail Association whose content might be beneficial to the section.

Upon the next annual review (around this upcoming April 23rd, 2016), the biggest thing to plan for is trail promotion.  Now because of local community calendars, it might actually be more beneficial for me to plan starting then.

In the next 4 months, I plan to publish my "List of Favorite Places" while I perform a trail inspection.  Inspections need to be done about twice annually because of the trail's maintenance needs.  And I'll be looking for new camp hosts.  In fact, I'll also be drawing a new set of polygons (a shape with unlimited sides) to create a zone for where they could be the most beneficial.  I just got done with the 10 Continuous Mile Per Day document as mentioned in previous logs.  Coming out of the Marietta Unit of The Wayne heading clockwise/ westbound (actual north), This site is about 1.5mi out of the 10 miler's range to the next campsite.  And considering that this is on road, that's actually very good news that we're doing this well.  I wouldn't have known this had I not analyzed the trail.

All Weather Parking Areas for the Whipple Section were added to my Personal Section Supervisor's Page.  A few items were scanned today including a volunteer application.  I was going to overlay copies of each Buckeye Trail map, but I found that resizing them was going to take a lot of work and I decided to hold off on continuing that indefinitely.  Other than that, checked off a bunch of items on my Buckeye Trail task list and added several county fairgrounds to my public parking data.

2015/12/19

Log 2016121901

I just wrote on the Buckeye Trail's Facebook group that I finished the 10 Mile Continuous Hikes 2016 w/o Transit document and the result exceeded my expectations.  Over 137 hiking days, the mock hiker reveled that out of the circuit's unofficial total length of 1,441 miles, 1,079.89 (74.94%) of those are capable of continuous hikes in the ballpark of 10 miles per day or less during the spring, summer and fall.

My methods are probably very conservative than ones that would probably be used by others.  The mock routing had to satisfy the following:

1) The mock hiker can travel 10.0mi per day + a 2.5mi reserve.

2) If the reserve is evoked, then an automatic zero immediately must follow on the next day.
      Since zero days cost money and take valuable time, this is not desirable and must be avoided whenever possible.

3) I use camping and lodging amenities.  They must be within 2.5 miles of the trail.

One of the things that I wanted to ascertain was the "streak." In this case, I was looking for the longest hiking trip one could possibly have on roughly 10 mile days or less.  Today, I just used a calculator and added 17 printed pages of daily trail mileages to get the grand total.  But I don't have it for each streak.

When I did a similar 10 mile assessment for the using the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR) year ago, I only found the BT to be 37% hikeable.  But when you take into account that the Road Fork Section complies without transit beginning at it's Point 05 (07/2011 map & guide), but it's impossible to get there by way of transit because Noble County doesn't have a transit agency.  And transit amenities on Whipple are out of range for these 10 milers, OTHR has to eliminate most of The Wilderness Loop.  But it makes up for it, on most of the Norwalk Section as transit is the only means of reaching a camping/ lodging amenity at this rate.

They're governed by two different set of rules in the way that OTHR's data has to originate and end with access to regional transit.  When the access to that last amenity occurs, there could still be a streak that goes on, but won't reach another regional point.

The plan now is to update my Google Earth GPS records on Wednesday and starting with the urban and suburban local transit agencies, making sure that all of the bus and light rail routes that pertain to the trails and get the hiker from the regional and international transit areas are correct.  Once they are, I can begin to write those 10 Miler and Thru Hike assessments.  Because of developments on the West Union Section, I think that the Buckeye Trail is camping/ lodging deficiency free as per the OTHR.  But to be honest... I'll believe it when I see it.  To do that, I'll have to route the thru mock transit hiker to be sure.  I've been chasing this goal for the last five years, so I'm skeptical, but optimistic.  It's what OTHR was originally designed to do.

2015/12/18

Locations: Church of God & Sunshine Ridge Church

Church of God
on Sunshine Ridge Road in Green Township of Adams County
38.71756, -83.3037

Sunshine Ridge Church
on Sunshine Ridge Road
The church is in Jefferson Township, but the cemetery that's across the road is in Green Township.  Both are of Adams County.
38.71687, -83.31581

Both of these locations probably use the post office location Blue Creek, Ohio 45616.

2015/12/16

Log 2015121602

I haven't completed the Buckeye Trail circuit, but I've been working on it lately and I'm down to 195 miles and 4 sections in South Central Ohio, so I generally know almost everything from traveling in a car to get around.  What I can tell you is that the township roads within the proclamation boundary of Wayne National Forest and those just outside of it on the Road Fork and Whipple Sections are the worst in the state.  This is especially true after the winter in April and May.  Right around June is when township maintainers get done with grating those gravel roads.  So, if you're going to be a hiker in these units and areas and you drive a non-4WD vehicle, I recommend that you base your hikes to take place from parking areas that are off county and state roads.  They tend to be paved and that should save your suspension.  I have GPS public parking data for the entire Buckeye Trail circuit.

As a Whipple Section Supervisor, I originated from NE Ohio.  I own a Chevy HHR and sometimes the residents along the section look at me like I'm crazy for not owning something larger.  When the roads are in bad shape, I have to drive it like a rally (a dirt and mud track race with Chevy Cavaliers and Subarus) so I don't get stuck in a valley.  During those times, I often can't miss a bump, or I have to scrape the engine manifold, or gas tank when the car bottoms out.  But I can perform Whipple's maintenance by parking in areas that don't use those roads.  But, it took a whole year of being on the ground to devise this strategy.

Log 2015121601

I just got my white boards cleaned off, then I put my Buckeye Trail maps in the way and powered up my tablet (the maps were in the way).  I got my laundry started about 25 minutes ago.  After I get what I need out of it, I'll probably sleep for the night, then depart for some hiking this weekend, probably on the Shawnee Section.  With this El Niño Winter, I suppose that I won't be getting to the on-road trail for quite some time.

I noticed lately that all the work that I've done so far to the OTHR is starting to make me a little numb to the end that I'm having trouble explaining things and being specific, or precise now.  This is typical for whenever the resource needs a new edition to be written.  Performing lots of mapping does this to me.  And besides diverting myself every now and then, I just ride this thing out until it's done.

2015/12/14

Log 2015121301

I started routing the mock hiker for the 10 Mile Continuous Days w/o Transit document on the Caesar Creek Section - Buckeye Trail.  It's been pretty difficult trying not to use the North Country Trail's Southwest Bypass (it's better suited for this :-(.  What I'm having an issue with are the nature of "group camps" in Caesar Creek State Park.  Buckeye passes by the group camp in the Salt Fork State Park on the Belle Valley Section and our guide states that if we don't have a group of hikers that the camp office there will not permit us to camp.

But in Caesar Creek State Park, Buckeye is on the other side of the lake from the main campground and I know that the Horsemen's Group Camp is typically the one that we use.  Does that mean that all of the group camps can be used for individuals or any Buckeye Trail hiker?  If so, I can route the 10 Milers throughout the BT in this whole park.

Log 2015121301

My 2008 Chevy HHR tested out with 422mi on 14.7gal of gas in mixed driving.

2015/12/13

Log 2015121301

Resumed routing for the 10 Mile Continuous Hikes w/o Transit today.  I started clockwise with the Medina and Bedford Section, where I met my previous work at the Burton Section.  Previously, I had it done through the Bowerston Section, so resumed routing at the Belle Valley Section.  Currently, I completed the Loveland Section on the main loop.  At present, the longest streak is 18 hiking days long in South Central Ohio.

I'm doing this project not only as a comparison for OTHR, but mostly in the spirit of the Buckeye Trail Association's initiative of one day having a campsite every 10 miles.  My data could be translated into a Google Earth map (a visual aid) that could show staff and volunteers where new amenities in specific places could bring them closer to the goal.  That map would also need to come with 26 polygons that represent 8 mile corridors (4 walking miles on each side of the trail) as to establish a zone, or quick reference.

The days that don't exceed 10.0 miles would be in a green colored track.  Days between 10.0 and 12.5 miles will be in yellow.  And any areas that are gapped (lack of amenities within 12.5 miles) will be in red.  This is a project for the future, maybe even next winter?

Log 2015121203

I finished the digital mile markers for all 26 sections on the Buckeye Trail.  15 of them are based on modified tracks whose length measurement does not agree with the Buckeye Trail Association's Map Team official totals.  The other 11 do.

There could be a number of reasons for this. First is that the GIS and the Map Team's measurement were taken independently.  While the surveyors wheel probably stayed on the road's surface as much as possible so that I could get the most traction, some of the GIS on-road tracks were taken as far into the right of way as legally possible.  Second, it's possible that one of them might be incorrect off-road.  Third, my tracks are "modified."  Meaning that I used Google Maps to recreate the on-road, then merged them with the GIS's off-road.  Who knows what that could have done.  And finally, I may not have merged the sections correctly.  On many of the sections, I stopped being so meticulous about preping to merge the sections.  So some of the anchors on the merged track might actually correspond to it overlapping and I wouldn't know?  Finally, some of the tracks appear to parallel the road by 20ft or so. But that could just be caused by light refraction in the satellite imagery and the only way to prove that is to hike it in person on the most ideal day with my hand GPS and have it to set record a track on the most discriminate setting.  Then get it back to my computer and compare.

The My Places are now saved to Google Earth as well as to a KML file on my cloud storage. At this point, I can now proceed with routing a mock hiker for the 10 Mile Per Day Continuous Hikes w/o Transit.  Last night, The Robots CPU kept exceeding 122°F/ 50°C.  After about 54°F, the system would interrupt my movie and shut down the computer.  My guess is that my CPU was overheating.  There's not a lot of dust caked up inside the chassis.  So the CPU might be going terminal now?

Log 2015121202

For the record... Dayton of Montgomery County (Wikipedia article) with a population of 141, 527 is  the largest city on the North Country Trail (4,500mi long) and the Sea-to-Sea Route (7,800 miles) as of the date of this log.  However, it is not the largest city on the Buckeye Trail.  That distinction belongs to Cincinnati of Hamilton County.  And I don't know enough about the American Discovery Trail, but from what I hear, it's routed through Chicago, Illinois and that's probably it.  When I declare these, I do not count greater metro areas (just the cities themselves)

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Pictured here is the modified track for the Troy Section (North Country Trail concurrent) on Google Earth that I made from from the BTA GIS/ GPS Data Depository.  The remainder of this log is about digital mile markers.


In this picture, I backspaced the track from it's terminator until I met a predetermined intersection that I made a placemark for.  With it's properties dialogue up and it being set to "measurement," you can see that the track is now reading at 48 miles.  If the whole miles were in the single digits, Google Earth would display something like "9.48 miles."  But all mileages 10 and above only read in the tenths (and not in the hundredths).  And when backing down a track, in this case it would go something like "48.1, 48 then 48.0."  Personally, I don't like this.


So, I switched the dialogue box to read in "inches" instead.  As you can see here, it reads the track's length as being "3,046,742 inches." There are 63,360 inches in a mile.  So, when using a calculator, dividing 3,046,742 by 63,360, it comes out to "48.0862058081."  Personally, rounding to the ten thousandths (48.0862) is good enough for me... that's all I really need.


In this picture, I closed the Properties dialogue for the track and then opened the one for the placemark.  As you can see, it's still unnamed.


Here, I named the placemark with the track's mileage based upon a division in inches, pressed OK and now I can move further uptrail.

I use inches for two reasons.  For one is that I don't like those mileage readings that come without a decimal place.  And two, I'll do this if two or more placemarks look like they'll occur in the same tenth of a mile (or it just looks like its going to be close).

2015/12/11

Log 2015121101

My full section tracks that were modified from the BTA GIS/ GPS Depository made it easier to reposition some of their paper map & guide point due to the fact that they had mileage.  All I did was backspace the track from the terminator to find out where they were supposed to go.  From there, the points on Google earth could be anywhere up to 0.18 miles inaccurate.  But that's still better than using the imagery to determine that some location is the most likely candidate for it to go.  With these tracks, I added Williamsburg 15 & 16 (11/2012 map & guide) and corrected Troy 10 (11/2013 map & guide) using this method.  The Williamsburg Section points occur on the south side of the East Fork State Park.

2015/12/10

Log 2015121001

Errors were discovered in my modified Scioto Trail (North Country & American Discovery Trails concurrent), Caesar Creek (North Country Trail concurrent), and Akron Section - Buckeye Trail tracks.  Their solution will simply be a matter of using copies of 3 tracks each, deleting one to a point just before the error and the second one to a point just after.  Then using the 3rd as a basis to trace from the first track to the second and merging them together.

I now have mileages for needed points on all tracks that don't conform to the BTA Map Team official section lengths.  Most of these are off by about 0.4 miles, so I won't give this data out to somebody to rely upon.  But for OTHR's 10 Mile Continuous Hikes and routing 20/ 15 mile per day thru hikers, it should be fine.  Other than that, I have 8 remaining sections tracks that do conform and their map & guide points already to go.  They're just waiting to be converted into their stated mileages.  Once done, I'll plot a few more points for likely intersections, get their mileages and these can be relied on.  One section that remains is the West Union Section.  But since it's almost entirely on road and I used Google Maps for those portions, I'm sure that it's correct and I intend on making it's digital mile markers based on it.

Unofficially, the Buckeye Trail is 1,440 miles long and is about 50% off-road.  I've heard that the North Country Trail's off-road footprint higher.  And the American Discovery Trail's is unknown to me at the moment.  They all add up to be about 1,732 miles total in Ohio.  With the exception of the Wayne National Forest, all other camping and lodging amenities are in fixed locations.

So, the hard part is over and the rest should be a breeze.  This is going to make expediting the 10 Mile Continuous Hikes Without Transit document easier now.  The difference between the with and without is that with transit, it's easier to use Buckeye's stated mileages on the paper maps in comparison with OTHR's digital data because transit tends to yield more options.  Without transit, camping and lodging amenities are much more fixed, so I have to get (or squeeze) every 10th of a mile that I possibly can in some places to route a mock hiker from one amenity to another and help make the consecutive day count longer.  When it comes to different audiences, such as easy going, nature lovers, elder, entry level hikers, or people who just like a shorter day, it's these streaks that matter.  This document is a question of how well can these distance trail agencies in Ohio do it?

Log 2015121001

These is what I use for my Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR) & Buckeye Trail (BT) Section Supervisor tasks.

This is refurbished HP Laserjet 4000tn commercial printer.  It's the type of HP printer that was once used in my high school.  I use hi capacity, refurbished black and white toner cartridges that yield about 15,000 printed pages.

This is a computer case.  It's a MozartTX.  When I first got it 6 years ago, I was using it as a server.  But these days since I don't need those services anymore, the unit connects to the TV and is what's called a "media center."  It's dimensions are approximately 24in L x 18in W x 36in H.  It has 20 USB ports, expansion Wi-Fi, sound and video cards.  Then 2 DVD - RW drives (I hardly use these) and a front side card reader.  The CPU is a low grade Intel Quad Core (PGA 775) that's maxed out on 8GB of RAM.  It has 10 cooling fans mounted to the frame and one in my 750 watt power supply unit.  I built this unit and other computer enthusiast would have preferred them all to have LED lights.  To me, it really didn't matter.

The story goes that I was living east of Cleveland at the time and I drove to Micro Center (a computer super store) of NE Ohio and saw this case.  The only one that they had was the display.  And I jumped up and down and said that I wanted it.  So the sales person put a hold on it, but while I was gone, another employee sold it.  So she called me and said that it was gone.  But we lined up one in Columbus.  And I wanted this thing so ridiculously bad that we put a hold on it and I drove 150 miles one way to Columbus and got it there.  After I got home, I proceeded to assemble my dream machine.

I've been working with custom built IBM based computers since 1995.  And when this computer has to get everything wiped out and re-installed, it is the hardest machine that I've ever worked with because it's always riddled with something that doesn't want to install, or it has hardware conflicts.  But once it's up, it's a stable system that can run for years on end.

This is the setup at my desk.  The laptop is on a tray with a swing arm.  To the left of it is an all in one color printer/ scanner.  The printer heads on it are currently ceased, so I just use it for the scanner at the moment.  The monitor is 17" Acer on a pole that clamps to the edge of the desk and gives it a 6in boost.  Next to the printer is a refurbished commercial grade shredder.

I use an ergonomic keyboard and trackball because when working on the OTHR while developing a new edition, I start to get carpal tunnel like symptoms with traditional peripheral devices.  As shown on the right, that is my 42" plasma screen TV.  Sometimes it doesn't work right and the picture gets fuzzy for days on end.  But I haven't had cable TV for 8 years because I keep myself constantly busy.

My white boards.  You could say that there's no problem that these can't solve.  The two long ones are there for text.  But the big one's primary purpose is for designs and layouts.

Now about the more so... BT functions...  planning for trail promotion in the Mid Ohio Valley has been ongoing for the last 2 months.  At the moment, I'm waiting for the communities to publish their schedules.  Also, I'm waiting for a marketing plan.  It's a part of a volunteer's Ohio University senior project and I'm anticipating that it probably won't be available sometime around April 23rd, 2016.  I'll need these white boards to help me plan the who, what, when, where, why, how, cost, attire and who's affected.

Once done, then I'll type it in Notepad as a rough draft, print it out and proofread it.  After revisions are made, the text gets copied and transfered to WordPad as a second draft.  It get's edited, styled with something like like bolded and italic text get made, then printed and proofread again.  After that, it gets copied into a word processing application where it's spell checked, looked over again, then printed and placed into a transparency page in my section supervisor's binder.  And OTHR's guide gets edited in a similar fashion.

2015/12/09

Log 2015120901

- The 10 Mile Continious Hikes Without Transit Document was routed from through the Bowerston Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail today.

- A Windows Update just crashed The Robot.

2015/12/07

Log 2015120701

After finding the Hopewell Croft Cabin, I hereby declare the West Union Section of the Buckeye/ North Country/ American Discovery Trail to be "thru hike compliant" with sleeping amenities as per the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR).  At this point in time, I'm not even sure if the BT has an amenity gap on the OTHR anymore?

I just got back from my trip in South Central Ohio.  And I concluded it by volunteering to clarify data for the upcoming databook in regards to the West Union Section.  I was asked to determine if two locations contained campgrounds, get a phone number for a camp host, and verify two mileages between Points 01 & 02.  I logged in about 4 volunteer hours on that task.

2015/12/06

Log 2015120601

As I'm still in Maysville, Kentucky, I woke up this morning and found that it was 23F and that I wasn't equipped for that.  So with one more day here at the hotel, I drove out towards Marietta to retrieve some extra gear.  And while I was at it, I performed a Morale and Welfare Check to search for a missing hiker.  I circled as best I could all of the off-road trail for the Road Fork and Whipple Sections - Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail.  I was looking for his van, but couldn't find it.  A relative of his says that he likes the smaller backcountry roads.  They tear up the suspension on my car, so like I said, I did my best and couldn't find him.

Little Muskingum Watershed Association's Fall Foliage Tour... The location of Biehl's Store on Covered Bridge Scenic Byway/ OH-26 in Lawrence Township of Washington County is at 39.46891, -81.31572.  T

2015/12/05

Log 2015120501

I'm in Maysville, Kentucky today I been touring the area for the past couple days.  It takes a while to get here from Marietta.  Yesterday, I had to fill my gas tank in Russellville of Brown County.  I'm doubting that the gas gauge in my 2008 Chevy HHR is accurate anymore, so I reset Trip B on the odometer and I'll test the gauge by letting the car run on that fuel for 413 miles.  But, I'm now having doubts that the pump there actually filled my tank.  But while I was there, I got to see some of the West Union - Buckeye/ North Country/ American Discovery Trail's on-road route.  I've only seen it on maps before.  Normally, I forbid myself from touring places that I haven't hiked yet, but it was right next to the gas station.  There was a village park on that corner and I needed to see if it had any parking.  Suffice to say that it doesn't.  But Russellville has street parking.

2015/12/03

Log 2015120302

Correction... I have 11 of 26 working BT section tracks who's measurements agree with the BTA Map Team's total mileages.  This is good for the 10 Mile Continuous Hikes Without Transit document because it's going to speed up the creation of the digital mile markers that I need to use for it.

Log 2015120301

Using Google Earth to create "digital mile markers" for a large distance trail, such as the Buckeye would take a considerable amount of time.  At first, I was attempting to do both whole miles and intersections for all 26 sections.  And I found it to be best to do them separately so I wouldn't make as many mistakes.  Well, I wouldn't mind having a complete set like this, but like I mentioned before, it was going to take more time than I bargained for.

So I chose to forgo the whole mile markers and started concentrating on the intersections.  When routing a mock hiker to camping/ lodging, they're the ones that are really going to matter.  But then I wisened up.  Earlier, I successfully completed the merging of the BTA GIS/ GPS Depository in to 26 single tracks.  Three of which have working total mileages that correspond with what the BTA's Map Team declares as official.

The 65.8 mile Bedford Section (02/2012 map & guide edition) was one of them.  Since I already have a set of digital map & guide points, I just copied it and paste it in the projects folder.  Then I renamed every point to it's stated mileage.  What I did was plot some untitled placemarks in a position on trail that was approximate to my camping, lodging and parking data.

Now, every GPS track has a beginning and an end.  On the Buckeye Trail, they all need to be in the clockwise (CW) direction.  On American Discovery, or North Country, I like to have them face from east to west.  On the Bedford Section, using right click-> properties, a dialogue box comes up.  But I used my mouse and selected the tracks terminating anchor (the little boxes on the line).  Then I deleted it until I got to an untitled placemark.  In the properties dialogue box, I clicked on the "measurements" tab.  Then remembered what it came up with and closed the box.  Afterwards, I right clicked on the untitled placemark and left clicked on "rename."  I then renamed the track with what the measurement tab read, which for me would read like "Mi 26.4" for instance and clicked "OK."

And so you see, that's how you make a digital, or GPS mile marker.

2015/11/29

Log 2015112901

As I mentioned before, I plan to submit my 10 Mile Continuous Hikes Without Transit data to the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA).  While I was routing through the Mogadore Section - Buckeye Trail (BT), I discovered I came along a camping/ lodging amenity gap in the Mantua of Portage County area.  The problem was that I had never done a mock hiking route on this scale and without transit before, so taking into account where the last campsite/ lodging amenity was, how do I restart???  There's no rule for this and I have to be contentious of my criticism as this document may be scrutinized someday.

The other 10 mile document uses transit, so it's parameters are a little different.  With the non-transit data, I'm going to re-start routing at the nearest public parking area prior to the first campsite if the mock hiker travels in the clockwise (CW) direction.  The problem is that my parking area data still doesn't account for any road right-of-way widths yet.  More precise parking areas could make a difference in determining the amenity gap's exact parameters.

These areas drive me crazy.

2015/11/28

Log 2015112801

It took about 4 1/2 hours to map 191 placemarks for intersection mileages, as well as the whole mileages for the Burton Section - Buckeye Trail, which according to my records is 51.8 total miles.   If I kept this up, it would take at least another 100 man hours to complete just the Buckeye Trail.  North Country Trail's independent arms and by-pass would still need to be done after.  But in order to save time, I'm going to forgo the whole miles and stick to the intersections only.

That's because they're the only ones that are practical to the 10 Mile Continuous Days document that I'm revising from the 2013 Edition of the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR) for the 2016.  There's going to be two documents, one with transit and the other without.  The one without is for a report to the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA).  And the 20 mile continuous days without transit has already been routed.

2015/11/26

Log 2015112601

I'm still working with Google Earth on a Trail Promotion map, which is a part of my so called "playbook."  This past week, a Buckeye Trail Association (BTA) volunteer​ sent me a list of newspapers, college newspapers and magazines across the state.  The newspapers also includes all of the smaller community papers, too.  Everything is in alphabetical order according to location and for a while, I was stuck on the C's feeling like I was going no where fast.  But I just now realized that Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Canton were all C's ;-)), with Akron occurring before that.  That's an audience of roughly that is about one half of the state.

2015/11/24

Log 2015112401

8 - 120mm computer chassis fans for The Robot were purchased from Micro Center in Mayfield Heights of Cuyahoga County.  That's about 1 shy from the total number of 120mm fans that it has installed.  Between all of fans and six mounted drives, I have to use zip ties to route all the wires away from the fans.  It's quite complicated in there and I might have to re-route everything again?

Right now, one or two of the fans is making a lot of noise when the computer starts, but it eventually subsides if the computer stays powered on long enough.  It's a matter of time before it fails.  And I can't tell which one it is without unplugging all of them, then replugging them in one by one and powering up the computer each time.  But I am pretty sure that the CPU and power supply unit (PCU) fans are OK.

2015/11/22

Log 2015112201

I just concluded my recent hiking and scouting trip.  I ended up scouting Ashland, Kentucky, Huntington and Charleston, West Virginia.  I think that I'll be back on the Scioto Trail Section - BT/ NCT/ ADT in about two weeks or so.

2015/11/20

Log 2015112001

I'm staying overnight in Chillicothe of Ross County tonight.  I hiked Points 20 - 22 of the Scioto Trail Section - Buckeye/ North Country/ American Discovery Trail (02/2012 map & guide) in the Scioto Trail State Forest.  And I checked the Buckeye Trail Association's website for any trail alerts, or map updates and there wasn't anything that was pertaining to this area.  But when I got a little bit past Pt. 22 in the clockwise direction, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry had closed a portion of the BT/ NCT/ ADT.  When I got back to my motel, I opened the webpage for the forest and it states that they're closing it for logging and that there were maps posted on sight.

I converted the state forest map to a image file and hosted it on my Facebook profile set to public for the purpose of using it as an image overlay in my Google Earth application.  And I did this because I saw that this map was drawn to scale.  After adjusting it's proportions, I found that it's roads and the route of the BT/NCT/ADT conformed well.

After noting its consistancy with the Scioto Trail Section track and getting the forestry map's proportions right, I used a "path" measure in Google Earth to measure the distance from the shortest point from the section to the nearest portion of the unincorporated community of Massieville in Ross County.  Because it comes in at 3.68 miles, it is 0.68 miles too long at the thru hike rate for the Chillicothe Transit Service's (CTS) dial-a-ride program to be considered in the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR) at this time.

However, Massieville is unincorporated (it doesn't have any municipal lines), so the area might be vague.  To be continued... But I know for sure that the most direct route from the BT/NCT/ADT in the forest to Massieville is too far.  There may still be another option.  In the meantime, I don't need to hike those state forest bridle trails since I already know that they won't work.

2015/11/16

Log 2015111601

The low point for the North Country Trail in Ohio is definitely not on the Loveland Section - Buckeye Trail. The lowest point on Loveland from Milford to the farm bridge is 529ft above sea level.

2015/11/15

Log 2015111502

The highest point on the North Country Trail in Ohio is on Buffalo Road, NW of Hanover of Columbiana County.  At 1,308ft above sea level, it is the 2nd highest point on trails covered by the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource and is on the NCT Ohio's east independent arm according to the NCTA's 2003 edition of the OH-101 map.  I don't know it's low point yet, but I can say that it's has to be Buckeye Trail concurrent.  Right now, the low point for the West Union Section (August 2012 edition map & guide) of the Buckeye Trail at 503ft above sea level is the likely candidate.

The highest point for the American Discovery Trail in Ohio & Kentucky occurs when it is concurrent with the Shawnee Section (December 2012 edition map & guide) of the Buckeye Trail near Point 25, 1,264ft above sea level.  Their lowest point is at 456ft above sea level and it occurs on it's west independent arm.

ADT's mapping is based on their GPX data for Ohio & Kentucky and does not come with an edition date at this time.

Log 2015111501

Sometimes I do a Ctrl + V (paste) in the name field of a placemark menu in Google Earth v7.1.5.1557, but as I often forget what's in there, it pastes a long string from something I was doing before (like it might come out as an XML code).  So when I would go to delete it, I would press Ctrl + A, which is a standard Windows hotkey for select (highlight) all.  But when I make this keystroke, it crashes the application.

Log 2015111401

Today, I charted the location of the high and low points of the Buckeye Trail's 26 sections.  Afterwards, I started making placemarks of intersections, whole miles and the high and low points on the Road Fork Section only.  The goal is to have them done for the entire circuit so that when I go route my mock thru and 10 miler hikers, I can have an easy mileage reference.  This is a lot of work.  There are times when I easily loose track of what mileage I'm going for.  This happens every time I go to produce a new edition to the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR).  I guess it's just a lot of detail and information.

When going for whole miles, I have to delete a copy of the section's master track from it's terminator with the "Properties" menu up and set to the "Measurements" tab in Google Earth.  The track has little squares that are like anchors.  They pertain to the global coordinates in the track's XML (an Internet programming language) for every place the track turns, no matter how insignificant.  And if I'm not careful when doing as it gets close, the desired mileage might be between these anchors and I could overshoot it.  My Road Fork track has 60 of these markers.  One section down, 25 more to go.

Naming the low and high points could be useful for OTHR's guide.  But I plan on writing a page here on Blogger highlighting them in the future.  Since I've completed the successful merging of the BTA GIS/ GPS Data Depository into 26 sections, I can confirm that nothing on the circuit is higher than 50ft north of the oval in Burton of Geauga County on the west sidewalk of North Cheshire Street.  At 1,332 feet above sea level, I am certain that this is the highest point on the Buckeye Trail as of the date of this log.  Also verified it's elevation with a USGS topo map.

2015/11/14

Log 2015111401

I just got done merging the BTA's GIS/ GPS Depository tracks into 26, one for each section.  While they're may be inaccuracies with some of them, I added their total lengths up on a spreadsheet and that equated to an unofficial circuit length of 1441.2.  I think it's safe to say that the margin of error could be about +/- 0.8 miles.

2015/11/10

Log 2015111001

The "green blob" that represents the Wayne National Forest on maps like Google Maps and Rand McNally Road Atlases is known as  "Proclamation Boundary."  As of the date of this log, NFS only owns 28%.

Today, I worked on a promotion map that I'll submit to the Buckeye Trail Association at some point.  I was working on television viewing areas in the state and surrounding areas.  I also finished up the listing of colleges and universities.

2015/11/07

Log 2015110702

Scioto Trail Section's original BTA GIS/ GPS Depository tracks are not merging.  So far, I've got every track touching each other, they're all in order and I've noted the direction that they're going in.  My guess is that I'm going to have to trace over every off-road segment.  As far as I can tell, the original track segments are healthy.  But sometimes in mapping, things just don't make sense no matter how hard that I try.

Log 2015110701

As accessed today, the Chillicothe Transit Service (CTS) states that they have demand responsive transit in the unincorporated community of Massieville, which is just W of Scioto Trail State Forest.  But in regards to the Buckeye Trail as it's covered in the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR), this is an 18 mile per day maximum area.  And getting to Massieville in under 3 miles will require the use of state forest bridle trails and determining how far CTS will deviate from the main populated area to pick up, or drop off transit hikers?

Transit to Chillicothe would open up another regional transit point on the OTHR between Logan and Peebles.  Not to mention that it would be a good city to resupply in.  In the past, I've been trying to find transit in Ross County to no avail.  Everything outside of the city is for medical transport only.  Chillicothe's fixed routes are just too far from the Buckeye/ North Country/ American Discovery Trail (BT/ NCT/ ADT).

2015/11/04

Log 2015110401

Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail/ North Country Temporary Connector, Pts. 06 - 08 measured in at 2.9mi.  I can confirm that Google Maps is correct for all of the on-road.

I measured every part of the section myself with my car's trip tick, or the trip computer on my hand GPS.  I confirmed the GIS to be right on Pts. 01 - 02, the map team on 02 - 06 and Google Maps on 06 - 24. All that I have to do is put all that together to get the section's actual mileage.

2015/11/02

Continuous Short Hikes 2016 Document

I just started working on the Continuous Short Hikes 2016 document.  And for the second time in two years or so, I am unable to route the unassisted 10 mile per day hikers around the Northern Terminus in Lake County.  According to my methodology, the 10 milers have a 2.5 mile additional reserve.  And the spurs to and from transit count towards that.  The distance on the Buckeye Trail (some portions on-road) between Bedford Section, Transit Point 28 - N (based on it's 02/2012 map & guide) and the Burton Section, Point 03 (based on it's 11/2011 map  & guide) is 12.9 miles, thus exceeding the 10 milers abilities by 0.4 miles with no way to alleviate that on the map.

With that being said, there are some places where it could be beneficial to have a new camping [including private camp hosts (residential)]/ lodging amenity in Lake County and they are:

City of Mentor-on-the-Lake
Mentor Headlands
Village of Grand River

This page is a log entry and is not maintained.  But this situation has remained so for more than the 5 years that I've been monitoring the Buckeye Trail.

2015/10/28

Log 2015102801

The amenity spur from the local transit agency LAKETRAN (listed on the OTHR as "LT") to the present Bedford 24 has been amended.  The reason is that the original amenity spur was routed from Lakeland Community College, and then to OH-306 where the speed limit is 40MPH with aggressive and congested traffic.  For the next edition, I decided to route transit hikers through Lakeland's back entrance on Garfield Road to the Lake Metroparks maintenance drive on the NE side of the Penitentiary Glen Reservation.  In the next edition, this transit point will be known as Bedford 24 - NE.

I did try to route using the Kirtland Connector Trail, but in by-passing the affected hill on OH-306, it brought it's total length up to 4.1 miles.  That means that it's 0.1mi too long to meet the specifications for the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR).

Log 2015102701

So, I started entering information pertaining to what portion of the Buckeye, North County and American Discovery trails a certain public parking area is near.  But on the intersections with Buckeye's circuit, I also added information pertaining to the Sea-to-Sea Route (C2C), their nearest incorporated area and overall place of termination.  So when the NCT's west independent arm turns north from the Defiance Section, it reads "Liberty Center/ Lake Sakakawea/ Olympic NP."

Yesterday, I noted that I plan to add the public parking area's location more specifically by letting the user know what township, village or city that it's located in.  It would be good to do this now because I have polygons on Google Earth that are specifically suited for this here at my desk.  Otherwise, these prospective hikers might not ever know because this information is usually hard to get... Then depending on the document, it could be hard to set up, or difficult to get right.

But I made a post showing a complete circuit of public parking along the Buckeye Trail in it's Facebook group two days ago.  And another member asked if I took information on the availability of "bathrooms."  Unfortunately, I didn't consider it at the time, but this and the public library project are extremely compatible with that.  To the end that I would have to guess that 2/3rds of the work for it would already be done.  Particularly because we would already know exactly where to look.  The only thing that would have to be added would be places like shopping malls and some government buildings (for instance).

When the public parking data is published, I doubt that I will have the time soon to embark on the bathrooms project.  But if there is such a person who would like to do this, and I imagine that they'd do it for BT, NCT, ADT, but not all...  Considering that the ADT & NCT are concurrent, I'd ask that they share their data and send it to me via e-mail to edmondsmd@othr.info so that I might complete the rest of the covered trails, or I could share we can share it with others.

For an unmarried man without children, I divide 2/3rds of my free time to the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR), and the remainder to the Buckeye Trail.  That started in October and that will run until March 1st. From my end of things, the request for bathroom data is a Buckeye Trail one.  Unfortunately, I have to shift my Buckeye Trail time back over to developing promotional needs for the Whipple Section - BT, which I'm the (volunteer) Section Supervisor and lead our efforts for 57.6 miles of trail in Southeast Ohio.  Indefinitely, it has priority.

2015/10/26

Log 2015102601

As I finished up the parking data for the American Discovery Trail (ADT) in Ohio, that concludes the plotting of waypoints for public parking areas along the covered distance trails for the most part.  Now, I just have to adjust their positions and state what city, village or townships.  These and whatever I entered in them before are for Google Earth's internal search ability.

2015/10/24

Log 2015102401

It's all about doing a more through job.  Right now, I have about 4 counties left of charting public parking areas.  I need to get this done so I can base OTHR's dial-a-ride/ shared ride/ curb-to-curb transit in the most optimal locations for the hiker and the transit agency.  Next year's add-on to the resource regards winter hiking.  And by that, I mean to suggest to the hiker that they need to pick a boarding/ disembarking location that is on pavement.

But this GPX file that I am writing also stands to benefit any hiker using the same distance trails covered in the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource.

On another note, I've been using ChangeDetection.com and I have my account configured to monitor all 26 Buckeye Trail sections.  I'm happy to report that it's working perfectly.  I monitor these pages for changes in a sections map edition, as well as new or modified trail alerts and map updates.  Usually what happens is that I have to go through my BT maps at least once annually and compare the individual edition dates to make sure that they match.  If not, then I have to purchase replacement maps.  Also, I mark the ones with map updates with a permanent marker so that way if I go out to one of them, I'll be immediately prompted to print those updates.

Log 2015102301

This past week, I cataloged over 120 public parking areas between the Buckeye and North Country National Scenic Trails in Ohio and I still about 600 more miles to go (including the independent American Discovery).  I'm hoping that this will help coordinate dial-a-ride/ shared ride/ curb-to-curb style transit around the state.  I mentioned on the Buckeye Trail's Facebook Group that I may need these to assist me in writing a schedule with a mock winter hiker.

At the moment, I'm not sure if the availability of transit will offset the loss of seasonal camping/ lodging amenities.

2015/10/16

Log 2015091602

The rules for routing a mock thru hiker on the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource are:

Buckeye Trail
The W, N & E
20 miles per day + 4.9 mile reserve = 24.9 miles total output
Amenities must be 4.0 miles or less from the trail.

South
15 miles per day + 3 mile reserve = 18.0 miles total output
Amenities must be 3.0 miles from the trail

North Country and American Discovery Trail - Independent Arms
20 miles per day + 4.9 mile reserve = 24.9 miles total output
Amenities must be 4.0 miles or less from the trail.

The rules for routing a mock 10-mile hiker on the OTHR are:

All Distance Hiking Trails (that are covered by the OTHR)
10.0 miles per day + 2.5 mile reserve = 12.5 miles total output
Amenities must be 2.5 miles from the trail.

- If the reserve mileage is invoked, that day will be followed by an automatic zero day to prevent the mock hiker from overexerting themself.

- In the event of a mixed day, a percentage will be taken from the first surface and that number will be subtracted from the second surface.  That percentage will be the remaining distance that can be covered there.

Log 2015101601

I purchased Windows 10 Professional today from Micro Center in Mayfield Heights of Cuyahoga County today and a new 5 port USB 2.0 PCI card that inserts into a slot on the the motherboard, inside the computer case.  The USB card claims that it's compatable with Windows 8.1 and there was nothing in the store that was proven to work with 10.  Microsoft skipped 9 in their version numbering, so I'm hoping that the card will work if I do a Windows 10 fresh install.

I attempted to upgrade from my present Windows Vista Ultimate operating system, but Windows 10 the setup didn't like either Vista, or my 32 bit system.  So, I'll have to try a fresh installation of 10, which means re-installing and re-configuring every piece of hardware and application.  That too long last time.

With my media center computer being 7 years old and for the most part, I couldn't power down the hardware when I wasn't using it because it's been used like a server and I didn't like the lag time when my laptop had to wake it up from a remote public Wi-Fi.  The last that I knew, CPU's only last +/- 10 years, so it's time could be coming up soon.  The plan is over the next couple months to upgrade to a new quad core, a 64 bit motherboard and maybe a new 1,200 watt power supply.  And with the motherboard, that will probably mean new SDRAM modules.

With my media center's case being so large, it has the capacity to hold and interface a second CPU and SDRAM on a smaller motherboard to the main one.  With Ohio Transit Hikers Resource, normally, I only enable the view on Google Earth for the immediate area that I'm working on to save computer resources.  But sometimes, I have to turn all of Buckeye, North Country and part of American Discovery Trails, while overlaying them with everything from the resource on occasion.  Because of North Country Trail's 4,500 miles, it can bog my computer down.

2015/10/13

Link to List of Millennial Legacy Trails

You can find a list of the 50 Millennial Legacy Trails on Page 6 of THIS PDF from the Federal Trail Data Standards - National Park Service.

2015/10/11

Log 2015091101

I've spent the last 4 days cleaning and critiquing The Robot some more.  At this time, I'm using a USB Wireless N antenna until I pull my mounted network card out to determine what model it is so I can download drivers and get the internal working again.  While I'm at it, I'll have to pull the 4 port USB 2.0 card out and examine it some more.  I plan to upgrade the operating system in the upcoming months, so I'll be determining if these two pieces of hardware are even compatible with it?  And I have a higher grade sound card that I don't think is handling playback correctly, but it comes with a lot options.

With my laundry done and a pitcher of tea made, the plan is to draw 50 mile and 175 mile polygons based on straight line distance to the outside of the Buckeye Trail circuit along the Whipple Section.  Polygons are shapes with unlimited sides.  I already have an 8 mile corridor (4mi on either side of the trail) drawn based on walking distance using every thoroughfare that intersects it..  This is something that I use in Google Earth when searching for amenities and addresses.  If it's in that polygon, it's in range of hikers.  And so it's about using it for a quick reference.

The 50 & 175 are proposed promotion areas for the section.  They too are a quick reference to essentially determine what's practical.

2015/10/07

Log 2015100701

The Robot has been reprogrammed, stabilized and will be ready for volunteerism on the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource project later today.  But it does have a few problems, still.

2015/10/05

Log 2015100502

The Robot is stable and I am installing it's 38 applications

Log 2015100501

So far, I think that the RAID controller checks out.  The third hard disk and a DVD-RW drive worked without freezing the computer in DOS before booting Windows.  But the fourth hard disk froze the computer just as it was getting it's initial account of devices connected to the RAID.

The fourth device is a refurbished 750GB Seagate hard disk from Micro Center in Mayfield Heights of Cuyahoga County.  I just purchased it about 3 days ago.  Right now, I'm doing a total wipe of the Track 0 and Master Boot Record.  It's hooked up as an external drive to my laptop right now and is slated to take about 11 hours to complete.  At this point, I could have made an error when I partitioned and formatted it earlier.  But this "scrub" that I'm running is necessary to determine that.  All this is just to start working on the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR) maps.

Like I said before, the computer boots fine with only three of the hard disks.  But the fourth is the largest one and is slated to be the main repository for my documents, map repository and media library.  If I cross my fingers, this drive will work and I can get some additional information on two cards to download drivers, install them, my 38 applications and be ready to work on the OTHR on Wednesday.

2015/10/04

Log 2015100401

The Robot's cables can mount hard disk drives to the motherboard itself.  I have some there.  But if you want to have a faster system, one of the things that you might do is install what's called a "RAID" controller.  That's when you plug your drives into an expansion card, which frees up some of the motherboard's resources.  Well, my RAID controller might be bad.

Right now, the RAID's driver is installed in Windows, but the three drives assigned to are unplugged pending further investigation.  The next step is to shut The Robot down, plug one in, turn it on and see what happens.  If it doesn't work, shut it back down, unplug that drive, plug another one in and repeat.  If it does then plug them both in and see what happens?

On my white boards, I took a list of 38 applications that need to be installed to The Robot.  When the RAID works again, they'll be strategically installed on 3 of the 4 hard disk drives.  The one that, for the most part, will not have anything installed to is the main drive which stores the operating system.  I don't want it doing much of anything else except Windows.  That should keep the drive's read/ write from being diverted.

Now by using expansion network, video and sound cards, I've been able to turn off their motherboard counterparts off, which also frees up more resources.  Only the front side and rear mounted USB ports divert the mother board now.  The motherboard is maxed out on RAM (memory).  Since I bought a cheaper motherboard 8 years ago, it has a PGA 775 socket, which was used in the Pentium 4 systems. I have Intel Core 2 Quad CPU's in it, so it too is maxed out.  In order to upgrade the system, it will require a new motherboard, CPU, RAM, Windows 10 and possibly the replacement of cards that I already own (the one's that I already have may not be compatible with the other upgrades).

I just got my security suite running.  The problem is that The Robot needed things from the web before it was installed.  Even with Windows Firewall, it's a ticking clock.  When I use to have a computer repair business, a system using broadband Internet usually takes on mal-ware, or viruses in about 40 minutes of being on-line.

Log 2015100401

One or two of my hard disks in The Robot is causing a hardware conflict. This has never happened before. In fact, I can't remember ever having hard disks conflicts in any computer and I've been working on them for 20 years now. I'm busy transferring 80GB of data off one of them so that I can start repartitioning it.
I'm also considering upgrading from Windows Vista to 10. But I've got to watch my hardware, some of it might not be comparable with it.

2015/10/02

Log 2015100201

I'm performing intensive diagnostics on one my custom built media center computer. It's never been easy to setup, or re-install the operating system, or apps.

This computer is my most powerful machine. During the development of a new edition for the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR), it handles everything that is graphic intensive (such ad mapping), while the guide and other written documents are usually made, or altered on my lesser powerful laptop.  At times, I use my tablet and smartphone as well to distribute the load. All together, it's about 16 gigahertz of processing power, about 16 total gigabytes of random access memory and about a total 1,800 gigabytes (about 1.7 terabytes) of combined on-board storage.  These days, that's pretty formidable.

2015/10/01

Log 2015100101

I'm working with one of my computer's at the moment.  It's a large custom built, Intel Core Quad with 8GB of RAM, four physical hard disk drives, two dvd burners, 16 USB ports and it's all inside of a 3ft tall case that I call "The Robot."  It's configuration is that of a "media center" that was designed for storing and playing movies over my 42" plasma screen TV.  Right now, it's the most powerful machine that I have and at times, it barely gets the job done when working with the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource.  Most of the hardware is 7 years old.  Central Processing Units (CPU's) are only rated for about 10 years.

Before I left for Marietta, one of the hard disks failed and now the main disk with the operating system just went.  The truth is that the motherboard, CPU, and RAM need to be replaced and the 750W power supply needs to get upgraded to something like a 1200W to help boost the performance of the system to fluently handle everything that OTHR has to throw at it.

Before Marietta, I was living in a room where the ambient humidity got well below 30% and I know that I subjected the chassis to a few good shocks before I got a humidifier.  So, the hard disk failure is probably my fault.  I'd like to replace it with a solid state hard disk.  They're expensive, but I only need to run the operating system from it, so I don't need a real big one.

2015/09/21

Log 2015092101

Today, I drove to Leith Run Recreation Area to take some measurements on a display board that Buckeye now has permission to use.  Unfortunately, I was unable to measure the brochure holder as it has a bee hive above it.

Afterwards, I hiked a portion of the Kinderhook Horse Trail to determine if it could link to Dana's Run Road/ C25.  What I found is that there was fence just before C25 and 2 property markers.  And the route of the former road was completely grown over with 10' trees.

So, I turned around and went back to my car and tried to find and place a waypoint on the old Biehl's Store on OH-26, but apparently I went the wrong way and didn't find it.  I came about on OH-7 in New Matamoras and drove home.

2015/09/20

Log 2015092001

I occassionally monitor the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail's relevance on a Google search using the word "whipple" and the phrase "whipple section." Simply "whipple" can also refer to the name of a medical proceedure, which tends to get more interest. But today, one of my logs concerning the previous Whipple Work Week jumped up to the #2 hit.  In terms of promoting the trail, that is very good news.

Google's search relevancy is based on how much traffic a site gets. And I believe it's also based on what the end users want in a particular search.

2015/09/18

Log 2015091801

With the Whipple Work Weekend having past, they worked on the following:
- Sawyer crews cut obstructions from about 50 downed trees in the sections 13.52 miles of off-road in the Marietta Unit of the Wayne National Forest.  We cleared about 80 and made the surface "obstruction free" last four months ago.

- Pts. 01 - 06 & 18 - 24 were re-blazed

- The off-road was pruned one again.

- Weed whacking, to include the western half of Pts. 01 - 02 and the Little Muskingum River Flats between Pts. 05 - 06 were done and took about 40 man hours.  One of three weed eaters broke down in the first day on the flats.

- Benching was done in several locations, including the east descent to the river flats between Pts. 05 - 06.

The crew did a great job.  I even got to dine with some of them at the New Frontier Restaurant in New Matamoras of Washington County.  All items that were GPS cataloged in my previous inspection were moved to my "Legacy" folder in Google Earth.  One more inspection next spring ought to do it and I should be able to determine if our maintenance has a pattern of being heavier in some places than others.  I can do that by activating everything in that folder and analyzing where the higher concentrations are.

On another note, I regret to say that the BTA has Sawyer Course in the Athens Unit near Nelsonville of Athens County and I will not be able to attend as I will not be able to get a replacement chain for my chainsaw in time.

I may have mentioned before that I'm shifting the section's priorities from maintenance to promotion.  Right now, I'm compiling a list of displays and cork boards where the BTA and myself will need to develop custom fliers and other prints for.  Otherwise, I know that we also could have access to local television and radio media.

Today, I attempted to take a ride on the North Bend Rail Trail near the West Virginia University at Parkersburg with my 1982 Motobecane road bike. The American Discovery Trail in West Virginia is routed on this.  The problem is that the rail trail's surface was mostly grass with two tire tracks of old and sunken in gravel.  My road bike does not do gravel well at all and I haven't mounted my knobby 700c tires on my mountain bike yet.  Anyways, it's getting a new handlebar and needs brake work and new cables.  So, unfortunately, I don't think that I'll be getting to this trail anytime soon.

2015/09/17

Log 2015091702

The newly discovered availability of transit from the Community Action Bus Lines along the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail/ North Country Trail Connector (BT/ NCTC on-road) unveils the possibility of using transit for  two loops between Pts. 18 - 13 (counter clockwise, CCW) & 09 - 13.  They're 11.6 and 11.8 total miles respectively.  First one has a 5hr 31min window of execution.  At at an adverage hiking speed of 2.7MPH, it will take 4.3 hours to complete.  And the latter will take 4.4 hours, but it's window is wider considering that the bus on the south end terminates 2.7mi from Pt. 09 and is more of a regular route in the City of Marietta.

Given the Whipple Section's lack of public all-weather parking areas in the winter, street parking and lots in Marietta could serve this purpose when tied in with public transit on Thursdays.  By "all weather," I mean a lot that a non-4WD vehicle (like a mini cooper) can park in that is public, plowed and attached to a road that is also plowed.  Or, it's an area where the prospective hiker can park that is just far enough for the vehicle to be without the street plow's throw.  In this case, the prospective hiker would pack a snow shovel and dig themselves out, but it would be short.

Log 2015091701

I finally took a ride on the New Matamoras/ Macksburg route on the Community Action Bus Lines (CABL) in Washington County.  I rode out and back because I wasn't getting the information that I needed from their office to write a full GPS track for the Ohio Transit Hiker's Resource (OTHR).  It's been somewhat incomplete for the past few years.  But what I found out today was that we have many more opportunities to board this route from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail/ North Country Temporary Connector (BT/ NCTC, on-road).

Out of Marietta in the Macksburg direction, this flyer fixed route travels north along OH-60 to OH-821, then uses I-77 northbound and exits at the OH-821/ Macksburg Exit.  It travels CCW on Main and Broad Streets before heading south on OH-821.  At OH-821 and I-77, the route officially continues along OH-821 to OH-60 and back to the Washington County Courthouse.  But it may deviate in the southbound direction and take I-77 to OH-7 (Walmart & K-Mart) instead.

2015/09/10

Log 2015091001

Last night, I filled up my gas tank in preparation for the Whipple Work Weekend.  The Buckeye Trail Association's "Trail Management Team" is coming on the 12th, so I have to bake some peanut butter brownies tomorrow.  It's been a good day today.  I now know who has the section's easement information.  Federal property in the Wayne National Forest is fragmented and discontinuous.  In order for the Whipple Section to traverse the unit, it's routed on several private properties for a short distance where the BTA has the legal right to pass.

We now have a new point of contact at the Ranger Station in Reno of Washington County.  My duties as a section supervisor state that should "maintain good relations" with land owners (in this case, the U. S. National Forest Service)  This is a local biologist for the unit and usually the first person that I talk to in regards to Whipple Section's off-road trail there.  After that, we have a Recreational Specialist and she's at the Forest Headquarters in Nelsonville of Athens County.

I just got the section cleared to build a cairn in a grassy area near an oil pump.  This where we have a fork between the trail and its maintenance drive.  Both are grass surfaces and it's wide open. A cairn is a bunch of shale rocks stacked in to a pyramid that's used in places like the Appalachian Trail, particularly in higher altitudes.  In Whipple's case, it will give us a chance to mark the trail in a place where the opportunities to blaze (paint a navigational marker) aren't that good.

- We may have 4WD access to the gated German Cemetery Road/ T623 this weekend.

- NFS North Country Trail signage was also talked about at the ranger station.

- Buckeye now has access to the center display in front of the parking lot at the Leith Run Recreation Area.  Officially, it's 4.5 miles from the Whipple & Road Fork Section's - Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail at the C9 Trailhead in Independence Township.  However, using an unmaintained road, BT/ NCNST hikers can get there in only 2.93 miles.


I've been collecting geotagged photos of community announcement coark boards and displays.  The goal is the get them all cataloged so that I can devise a route that they'll be deployed and replenished.  Yesterday, I accounted for all of the colleges and universities.  So today, having been at the ranger station, I found out that they now have NFS's new hiking map for The Wayne.

In regards to campgrounds and lodging, it's been difficult to promote there because the audience is so transient and the BTA's turn around for on-line orders is about 7 days. The nearest in-person map & guide retailer is about 50 miles from Marietta at forest headquarters.  At that point, you might as well point Marietta's tourism traffic to a hike on the New Straitsville Section.  But with the NFS hiking maps being at the ranger station now, which displays most of the BT/ NCNST in the forest... it's about 6 miles from Marietta, and that means "we're in business."  Camping/ lodging promotion now has something to connect our "Hike Ohio" cards and brochures to (quickly) and hold it over until the GPS tracks or the trail's data book is available for purchase and download.

Whipple Section, or most of the Buckeye Trail doesn't maintain a high traffic volume.  We know from places like the Appalachian Trail, where there is a high traffic volume, that the more that hikers traverse the off-road, the more the vegetation won't grow as much over, or in the surface.  The question becomes how many people would it take to stave it off?  Would it take 10 hikers per day? 3? or could it take so much as 1?  We could use the trail between Whipple 01 & 02 (10/2010 map) as an experiment.  It might be more sensible to start with at least 3 passes per day?


2015/09/09

2015090901

I've been told that the off-road trail on the Road Fork and Whipple Sections of the Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail was built by the Youth Conservation Corps in the early 1980's.  I'm not sure if they do this every year, but in the summers, the National Forest Service opens a number of summer jobs to youth in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  I've personally seen them work as they were cleaning culverts, ditches and taking out trash at the Ring Mill Campground in the Wayne National Forest - Marietta Unit.  They're a tribute to where they come from as they were intense, hard working individuals.  I was quite impressed with them actually.

2015/08/31

Log 2015083101

Today, I got my loaned weed eater and drove my car down to Alexander Road in Independence Township of Washington County.  A family on ATV's invited me to use a ford that was located on one of their paths along the Little Muskingum River.  But I spoke to a local resident and there could be some problems depending on who's property it's on.  So, until I speak to the Washington County Engineers again to get the ownership of a certain site, I turned around and attempted to access the area from Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail, Point 05 (10/2010 edition map & guide)

Point 05 is east of the trail on the Little Muskingum River flats and from south side road access, it's shorter to access it from.  When I got there, I took the weed whacker out, put some gas in it and tried to start it.  It would turn over, but it wouldn't run very long.

By now, the grasses in the river flats have to be very long.  And until September 17th at the latest,  I'm recommending that all hikers bypass Points 05 - 06 (10/2010 edition map & guide) on Brooks Road/ T94, which will start the on-road in the clockwise (CW)/ westbound (Wb) direction at Point 05, instead of 06.

2015/08/27

Log 2015082701

It's been a record month here on the Treeman's Adventures & Volunteerism log.  Earlier today, it surpassed 3,000 pageviews in the last 2 years, 1 month and 13 days.  And about Whipple's photos, their captions read when they where taken.  I designed that not only to be a showcase of the section, but should the metaphorical "spiders" that crawl over the world and catalog websites for retrieval by search engines index this page, people who have left home from these areas can one day see a picture of where they're from wherever they are.

2015/08/25

Log 2015082501

Today, I just found a brochure for the 2015 Ohio River Interstate Catfish Tournament that was locked away in my safe.  That event was 9 days ago and included tributaries of the Ohio.  Had I would have known this, I would have expedited the maintenance along the Little Muskingum River flats between the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail, Pts. 05 - 06 of the October 2010 edition map and guide.

The Little Muskingum in the flats has been very low lately.  It's low enough for me to ford using the thick of my boot heals and not get my feet wet in the process.  And low surface water levels are common for Southern Ohio this time of year.  But I think I'd like to keep the door open for them just in case and if we can manage to.  On a year with more rain, they might be able to fish there.

Personally, I'm not a fisherman and I have no idea what's been caught there before.  But I do know that there are some fisherman trails behind the campsites at Lane Farm on OH-26, which is also along the Little Muskingum.

We have a site down there that I plan on using to help maintain the flats that allows us to ford the river at low water.  It's easier than having to haul equipment up and down from our 200ft gain/ loss on the east side and our 300ft on the west side.  And because one side occurs on private property, only I have permission to access it.

Until now, I've been too busy with maintenance lately to be concerned enough to gather projected dates on local reoccurring events.  Now, I plan to publish a calendar of these events for the section and link it somewhere in my person section supervisor's webpage.

Photographs of the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail

This is Felter Road/ T381 at the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail in Independence Township, Washington County, Ohio, USA.
This is the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail in Lawrence Township, Washington County, Ohio, USA.




The unincorporated community of Caywood in Washington County, Ohio, USA as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector.



Stanleyville, Washington, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector in the summer of 2015.



Fearing Township, Washington County, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country TemporaryConnector in the summer of 2015.


The community of Whipple, Washington County, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector in the summer of 2015.




Salem Township, Washington County, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country TemporaryConnector in the summer of 2015.



The community of Warner, Washington County, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector in the summer of 2015.



Aurelius Township, Washington County, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector in the summer of 2015.



This is Main Street in the Village of Macksburg, Ohio , as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector in the summer of 2015.  The road bridges over the West Branch Duck Creek.



This photo was taken in the community of Crooked Tree, Noble County, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector in the summer of 2015.



Jackson Township, Noble County, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector in the summer of 2015.

This is Centerville in Center Township of Morgan County, Ohio, USA as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector.



This is a photo of the old Hackney Store in the Community of Hackney, Morgan County, Ohio as seen from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Temporary Connector in the summer of 2015.

The Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (on-road)/ North Country Trail Connector (NCTC) in Center Township, Morgan County, Ohio, USA at the 3 way intersection with the Stockport Section facing clockwise/ westbound.  It is here that NCTC westbound turns actual south (left) onto the Stockport Section heading clockwise/ west.