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Log 2015043001

The following image was taken from Google Earth using a topo overlay.  With the data on that overlay, I was able to determine that there is a route from the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (North Country Trail concurrent) to the Leith Run Recreation Area in the Wayne National Forest - Marietta Unit. Four miles is important because it's about the furthest that a hiker would be willing to go to reach an amenity.  This route is 3.34 miles and takes place on a four wheel drive road.  Some of it might be part of the Grandview Trail and I'm not sure if it even meets Archer's Fork Road/ C14 as shown?  The Internet has a lot of information.  But on the trail, it doesn't always have everything. In this case, in person verification is needed.


- School district polygons were added to the MyPlaces on my Google Earth application today.  I have all of them accounted for with in 4 miles of Buckeye Trail circuit.


Log 2015042901

- Shapefiles concerning mining areas were download from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, but they wouldn't load on Google Earth, or ArcGIS Explorer.  Nor was there a way to convert ArcGIS's .nmf file into a KML.

- I found that my free trial of Google Earth Pro expired.  It was uninstalled from my media center computer, otherwise known as "The Robot."

- An email was sent to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources requesting GIS data on mines in the state.

- New shapefiles were downloaded that show the boundaries of every ODNR land.

- I made waypoints for things mentioned in Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail's October 2010 guide from Points 1 - 5.  I now know that the section has three USGS named ridges, instead of two.  The ones that I knew were Bean and Pine Ridges.  But one that I uncovered in the guide was Bell Ridge.

- The B & N Coal Lands, a 3,000 acre hunting land that's listed with the ODNR - Division of Wildlife was discovered between Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail, Points 15 - 17.  A polygon was acquired for the land and it shows the section's on-road trail being routed right through it.

- B & N also appears on ODNR's website here.

- Waypoints that were taken on my smartphone were imported into Google Earth and saved to my places.  They mostly pertained to BCSED items, which are bridges, causeways, stairs, erosion bars and displays.  Other than that, a few parking areas.

- Tasks were made to determine the feasibility of mentioned parking areas, explore the coal lands, inform the BTA of a restaurant

- The location of Dodd Hill was plotted as a waypoint on my records for the Road Fork Section.

- My master track for Whipple Section was cut up into each road, then organized by township, county, Ohio Department of Transportation and the National Forest Service.  My duties as a section supervisor state that I am to maintain good relations with landowners.  I know it, the adjacent property owners lines actually go to the centerline of the road and that's where they're property taxed to.  But the government has an easement the accommodates the road and perhaps some utilities.  So, it's a property with a right to pass and from what I'm told, ownership of that area belongs to both.  And now that I have this data for the government, I now know as far as they're concerned who owns what and where.  Whenever I want such information, I can now just call it up.


Log 2015042701

Yesterday, I began clearing obstructions on the Whipple Section in the Little Muskingum River flats in the Wayne National Forest - Marietta Unit.  Upon descending 300ft to get to them, I realized that my body was fatigued as my hip flexors were "hot" on the way down.  Prior to going there, I transfered the load in my 18L back pack to my 65L rucksack and packed a few more things.  But I realized that the detachable drink tube piece for my 4L, internal water bladder back at the storage point.  Today, I had to mange with with my 2 - 1L plastic water canisters.  Since my body still runs with my old Army system, I wish I had brought more.  My dehydration probably led to those flexors getting hot.

The obstructions that were being cut were of particularly stubborn wood.  I stayed down trail for about 7 hours today, but I must admit that I really didn't get much done.  The river flats are about a mile long.  This is where Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail is on sand.  If I were hiking it, this place would slow me down for that alone.  But it's a great view and is well worth going down there.  I'd have to say that it's my favorite part of the section.  Our low point is also down here at 609ft above sea level.

The following is a picture of a deficiency that's also in the flats.  I tried to pull it down with a rope, but it wouldn't budge.  But my assessment of it is that it's split apart and just resting up there.  The only thing that's keeping it up is it's heavy weight and gravity.  I think that I'll be able to safely get this down with a pole saw from a distance.  Because going up there with a ladder and trying to use the carpentry saw could be risky.  So would cutting the base to make it buckle.  This tree is heavy, yet massively termite infested.

Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country National Scenic Trail along the Little Muskingum River in the Wayne National Forest - Marietta Unit.
As you can tell by the second picture, the BT/NCNST passes right under it.  It's up there, it's split.  At the moment, it's not going anywhere, but I'm not confident that it will stay that way for long.  So, this thing needs to come down.  Anyways, if the trail is 3ft wide, then some part of this within my 8ft high.  At the date of this log, this deficiency is still up as shown and probably won't be taken down until 02 May 2015.

Pts. 06 - 05 is several miles long and has the largest concentration young growth forest on Whipple Section.


Log 2015042501

- I just estimated that I can clear Whipple's obstructions at 0.16MPH.  For the next day or so, I expect that to be lower as I descend down to the flats of the Little Muskingum River.

- Some of the waypoints from my Garmin eTrex 20 hand GPS didn't save or transfer to my laptop.  It's been making errors in saving tracks as well.


Log 2015042301

- I attempted to reorganize the supply point, but I realized that I need to pack the car and trailer to do it and that won't get done until tomorrow.

- Since the photos files didn't transfer to the laptop, I am revising my maintenance stratedgy.  I plan to use the National Forest Service's "Lane Farm" Campground and begin working on Whipple Section, Pts. 05 - 06 in the counter clockwise direction. Now that I'm unable to determine which items are "priority," I'm going to start with my hardest hit area, which is in a low growth forest and along the Little Muskingum River.

- I now know that I need something different than the unit that I have to sharpen my ax. It's dull right now, but it's blunt force should suffice for what I need.

- Two days ago, I spoke to the post master in the unincorporated community of Whipple in Washington County about maildropping water.  And she informed me that it should be no problem as long as the bottle(s) are sealed by the factory.

- According to mine and OTHR's standard, the off-road trail on The Wilderness Loop is projected to be a 15 mile per day. Under that standard, no more than 3 miles is justifiable to come off trail to reach an amenity.  It's unfortunate because both the Scenic River Trail and it's on-road equivalent exceed that. I know this because I tracked it on the GPS yesterday. However, if T420, or an old remnant of it somehow intersects the Scenic River, it may still provide a more direct route that might just do the trick.

- I've got a full tank of gasoline in the car and more in the budget to spare.

- At the supply point, the weed eater didn't have much gasoline. And upon starting it, it didn't turn over with what it had, but it was promising. With the help of some mid grade gasoline, I think I can get it started.


Log 2015042201

I arrived in the Marietta area about 20 hours ago.  And I've been staying at a hotel on the West Virginia side since.

- More items were dropped off at the supply point

- Before I left, I forgot to charge my power tool batteries, but I got them done at the hotel.

- I set up a PO box in the unincorporated community of Whipple in Washington County.

- I attempted to track the trail from Leith Run Recreation Area to the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail.  But I didn't have a map, so I was working on just my memory.  And when it got longer than it should, I exited the forest on to Archers Fork Rd/ C14 and took the pavement back to my car.

- I got hiking maps from the National Forest Service Ranger Station in the unincorporated community of Reno in Washington County and found that I was tracking the wrong trail yesterday.

- I did some grocery shopping and I have enough supply to last at least 8 days.

- While I was at the hotel, I a small amount of laundry.

- I realized that my geotagged photos on Google Earth from my desktop computer didn't transfer over to the laptop.  This is because the geotags were dependent on the location of the photo files on the desktop.  The solution to the problem is to place geotagged photos on my Dropbox account, then create an identical file structure on my laptop and reassign Dropbox's local synchronizing folder to it.

- My toiletry bag has a few items that it did have before and is over filled.


Log 2015041401

- A replacement spare wheel for my 4 x 8 Utility Hauling Trailer was purchased at Harbor Freight Tools for $59.99 + tax.

- I made a call to a military surplus store in Euclid of Cuyahoga County today and asked if they had a backpad for a ALICE rucksack frame.  The woman on the other end told me that she doesn't have it in stock, but she could order it for me.  Unfortunately, that won't do much good considering that I could be leaving for Marietta any day now.

- I have a lot of laundry to do, but I think I'm just going to get to bed early and do some pressure canning tomorrow.


Log 2015041301

- My maintenance departure for the Whipple Section - Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent) has been delayed.  Today, I am brining meats to pressure can tomorrow.

- The high point for The Wilderness Loop is about 1203ft above sea level at Rado Ridge on the Road Fork Section.

- The lowest point is 609ft above sea level along the Little Muskingum River in the Wayne National Forest - Marietta Unit on the Whipple Section.


Log 2015040801

As a section supervisor, I am by default a member of the Buckeye Trail Association's "Trail Management Team (TMT),"  who deal with matters like routing and cutting obstructions on the entire circuit.  Since I still reside in Painesville, the acting chair of the TMT requested that I respond to a downed tree on the Burton Section in Big Creek Park - Geauga Park District, which is north of Chardon of Geauga County.

The tree is actually an 18" thick branch made out of a dense, white wood.   I got the obstruction cut on the sides, but I storm rolled in and I had to leave.  Anyways, I went to Home Depot, also in Chardon, and purchased 2 - 100ft ropes to tie to it tomorrow and drag them off of the trail.  The trail is safe for the time being, but I plan to finish the removal tomorrow.


Log 2015040701

My former storage unit B account at Uncle Bob's Storage, Unit E12 was confirmed as being closed. I verified this with the clerk at about 1520hrs today.


Log 2015040601

I purchased a new multimeter today at Sears in Mentor of Lake County.  The old one turned on, but wouldn't show a voltage reading when applied to a AAA, or my car's battery.  For all I know, it just needed a new 9V itself? But there's insufficient time to find out.

I've decided that the electrical diagnostic for the electric tailgate release system will wait until I'm down trail.

I haven't been feeling well today and tried to take a nap this afternoon, but I couldn't. So, I got up and removed my remaining items from my relatives condo, which included all of The Cramper's hardware (except it's canvas tarp shell) and some tools.

Sometime in between, I had to expend 1/4 of a tank of the blue colored windshield washer fluid while driving because the new orange stuff couldn't be diluted into.

New plastic nuts that screw on top of my the lug nuts that fasten the hub cap on the right rear wheel of my 2008 Chevy HHR have been replaced.  These were ordered from the Classic Chevy dealership in Mentor of Lake County.  Occasionally, I do drive with the hub caps off.  But when I do, I notice a slight decrease in fuel efficiency, so, I try to keep them on.


Log 2015040501

Known parking areas and post offices for The Wilderness Loop of the Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent partially) were plotted on Google Earth today.  Parking which is not known are Road Fork Section's portion of the Wayne National Forest and Ales Run State Wildlife Area.  They need to be searched in person and if Road Fork were given an 8 mile corridor, anything that comes up in Ales Run is probably on the edge if it.

I attempted to use my topo maps today to plot the location of the streams which Whipple crosses.  It's just that my USGS Topo overlay maps are not detailed enough to get everyone for sure.  Basically, I need to be able to see almost every single ditch that gets wet.  So, during the maintenance cycle this year, the off-road will have to be cataloged on foot with a GPS.  I'm not sure if the on-road can be done by car.  I hope so.  But, with being behind windows and it's speed, it might be possible to miss a few.  I'm not completely sure about what I'm going to do with the data once I get it all?


Log 2015040302

I ended up using my lithium-ion battery powered 6" circular saw yesterday on some untreated lumber and wet cork board.  Two 18V batteries came with the kit and I purchased one that was extra.  It's performance was diminished because I used the two batteries that came pre charged in the kit.  But out of 4 bars, only one and two indicators were lit.  When I went from the one to the two, I can tell that the circular saw's performance increased.  But nonetheless, when I was trying to cut through 4 2x2's side by side, it would get stuck and quit, where I would then have to take it out and start from the beginning and turn it back on again.  At this time, I have not tried the battery powered reciprocating saw, yet.  I have 12" carpentry blades for them.

Log 2015040301

My prescription eye glasses came in today.  I'm not too happy with the selection at the Cleveland VAMC and what I have really doesn't look right.  But considering that it takes 3 months get an appointment in that clinic, about 4 weeks for the contractor to to assemble and ship them to me and I'm scheduled to depart for the backcountry on the 12th, I'm going to let bygones be bygones because I have better things to do at the moment than contest this.  As for the lenses, the left one seems a little blurry and I used a paper towel to wipe them off recently.  The left the eye that is barely weak enough for them.  For all I know, my eyes are adjusting to the glasses and eventually, they are what real life is supposed to look like.

Anyways, I scheduled myself to leave Lake County next week because I projected that they'd arrive then.  I'm glad to see that they're more than a week early.  I was also, scheduled today to perform the electrical diagnostic on my car's tailgate release system, but I'm feeling a little worn down today.  To salvage some of it, I managed to pick up a set of spare jumper cable clamps, an inline fuse holder and 20A fuses to create a positive lead bypass from the rear mounted battery to the tailgate release pad and not blow either it, or the motor out.


Log 2015040101

It was a productive day today.  First, I drove to the Army Navy Store in Ashtabula and purchased an ALICE frame and shoulder straps.  But the clerk there told me that they sometimes have a shortage on backpads because this ensemble is obsolete.  That which I was after was issued during Vietnam and was phased out of most infantry units by the time I was in The Old Guard 12 years ago.  Looks like I'll have to get it shipped in, but the drive back from the Marietta area next week will probably mean that I'll have to come back with the trailer completely unloaded.  And I don't dare take that over 45MPH, that means that I'll be criss-crossing the state on primary and secondary highways (state and US routes) on the way home.  And there might be an opportunity to pick one up along the way.

After that, I drove to Lowe's in Mentor of Lake County and procured a Kobalt 4 Tool Lithium-Ion Kit, some saw and wood sawzall blades.  The kit came with a light and I wish it was an impact drill instead because it's not very big, so I can afford the expense in space to carry it and it will make working on the car easier.  The employee at Lowe's told me that the kit came with 2 batteries, so, I purchased an additional one for about $60.  Also, I puchased a tool belt since, I'll be hauling these through the backcountry for miles.   Lastly, I had to get a broom handle because the previous one that I had rotted and broke from being stored outside all winter long.

-A 2 year warranty was purchased on the tool kit.

I got 4 long sleeve button up work shirts from Sears in Mentor of Lake County to go with the two long sleeve shirts that I already own.  I'm looking forward to image pressing my "Section," "Supervisor" Buckeye Trail base and my "whipple" rockers on to them.

I got a new 26L Aquatainer, also in said city and county.

-Storage B was emptied and swept clean as per my contractual obligations with Uncle Bob's Storage in Mentor of Lake County.  It's ready to be surrendered now and have my service terminated with them tomorrow.  My 8' x 8' unit was adequate and the staff was always friendly.  They performed well.