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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
on Sunshine Ridge Road in Green Township of Adams County
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.
Both of these locations probably use the post office location Blue Creek, Ohio 45616.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
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).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
At the moment, I'm not sure if the availability of transit will offset the loss of seasonal camping/ lodging amenities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
|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.|
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.|