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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.