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Employment Opportunities Near The Whipple Section

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The 2017 Youth Conservation Corps

Marietta Adventure Company Employment Opportunities

Circuit Hike on the Whipple Section - March 25th & 26th, 2017

As an introduction, a "thru hike" is when someone attempts to complete a distance trail as a part of one trip, or adventure.  But on the Buckeye Trail, a "Circuit Hike" refers to a program that allows hikers to join others and cover it's various parts, perhaps with the intent of eventually piecing it together to complete it's 1,440 miles (present day estimate).

This is a link to the Buckeye Trail's 26 section overview map.

I'm excited to have an upcoming Circuit Hike on the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Temporary Connector on Saturday, March 25th and Sunday, the 26th.  The Buckeye Trail is like a large loop within the four corners of Ohio.  And that has two loops in it.  One in Northeast Ohio is referred to as The Little Loop, while one that sticks out of the main loop in Southeast Ohio is referred to as "The Wilderness Loop."  The Whipple Section is one of four sections that encompass this 145 mile specialty area.

These hikes will take place on some of The Wilderness Loop's scenic, country roads and be routed through the communities of Caywood, Stanleyville, Whipple and Warner, as well as Lawrence, Fearing and Salem Townships of Washington County.  The nearest city to the event is Marietta (also of Washington County).

Most Buckeye Trail events use  The service requires a free membership.  And the event pages are:

You might notice global coordinates used in the Meetup pages.  Some locations on The Wilderness Loop can be difficult to get directions to because services won't easily lock to many of it's locations.  If you use an automotive GPS, you might be able to locate an alternate location input that can accept these coordinates as your destination?


Lyft Service on the Whipple Section

I got a post on Facebook today from TheNewsCenter stating that Lyft just opened up a new Parkersburg Area that covers Marietta and surrounding communities.  So, I did a screen shot of their webpage and cropped out the map in Microsoft Paint, then cut them in two to make them more manageable so I could overlay them in Google Earth Pro.

They barely clip Whipple, but hikers have access to them from Points 07 - 10 (10/2010 map & guide).  We still have access to a few local transit lines 2.7mi SW of Pt. 09.  But because Lyft could pick up directly at Pt. 10, the Whipple Section is now 66.5% compliant with the BTA's 10 mile initiative.

The hiker would need to line up their scheduling so that they rendezvous with the local transit vehicle in Macksburg of Washington County, and it only runs once on Thursdays.


Motorhome February 21st, 2017

I finally installed the new high pressure fuel pump and filter in the motorhome today.  But it didn't have any power and I don't think that my battery jump box was working.  It's another set of diagnostics, but it shouldn't be anything too difficult.

When I was installing the parts, I noticed what the wrecker operator did.  The drive axle is completely separated from the rear one.  I'm going to leave it's power problems be for another day.

Log February 21st, 2017

Workout A is the heavy side as I tend to work larger muscle groups. Today was Workout B. But, it wasn't as fulfilling as yesterday. 

The lower back muscles are like the abdominials, they recharge every 24 hours instead of 48 like the others. So, I can do these two 6 days a week, instead of 3.  But they compliment each other. And the abs weren't damaged on that 54 mile mixed mode adventure on and around the Road Fork Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail off-road two years ago.

I'm not sure if I should work out my abs yet?

I spent about 10 minutes in the sauna after I worked out.


Log February 20th, 2017

It was a good day at the gym. After maxing out last week, my weights are almost perfect.

At this point, I'm going to reinstate the dated log titles for some entries, but forego the government dating format. The problem is that I don't always log on one topic. And each one doesn't always have enough content to create additional logs. I use IFFTT to notify my Facebook profile of new logs. If I could do it for each one, those new posts about logs would drive my friends list crazy.


Motorhome Optimism

What I think happened to the motorhome a few months ago was that I overheated the high pressure fuel pump for too long.  Before (as mentioned in previous logs) I was driving it on two lane highways where I wasn't always maintaining the same speed.  So, I put it on the interstate for the first time to see if holding 55MPH was gentler and could get me further.

As per the record, that was the day that I had it wrecked (towed) 45 miles back to storage.  Where it stopped, I wasn't anywhere near an auto parts store.  So, what I'm about to tell you is that this is probably going to be an expensive fuel pump.  I think that I probably overheated it?  And I believe that when I replace it and charge the battery, that this thing is going to come on.  And when it does, it will have more than enough life to make it to my other repair site, where I'll replace the gas tank, sending unit (reports the fuel level) and the low pressure fuel pump where the current one is likely dead right now.

After replacing those, I'm going to change the fuel filter and high pressure pump again. Once all that's done, this should run well.  But I should get a fuel pressure testing kit from the auto parts store to make sure it's up to specs.  I'm generally optimistic, but I don't let it get to my head yet.

I have a 1988 Itasca Sundancer 24ft motorhome with a Ford Econoline 350 (E-350) cab.  My owner's manual is long gone.  The pdf materials that I have don't state it.  And I'll need to get it weighed with low gas in the tank and absolutely nothing in the chassis so that I can come up with a number of what I can haul inside and tow.

Right now, the tow rating for a similar 1993 model states the tow rating as being 7,200lbs.  My car and it's tow dolly would only weigh about 3,600lbs.  Dollying the car would entail rewiring the motorhome's electronic braking system.  Mine is old style.  It has a mechanical bar attached to the stem of the brake pedal that sends electrical current from a box under the dash to a tow hitch wiring, and then to braking system on a trailer, or dolly.  At that point, I could have brakes on all 3 axles.

The utility hauling trailer that I've towed with my Chevy HHR has been so light that it's never needed this system.  It would still be a good safety measure to have.  But the trailer would probably need a new axle to accommodate it.  It's having body issues as it is.

Winter Gear Acquired and the Hot Tub

Well, another day off the patch :-(.  I went to the gym and got in the hot tub today.  It felt good, but I couldn't apply my smoking cessation patch.  If I remember next week, I should bring it with me.  Afterwards, I drove to the sporting goods store to pick up a scarf, neck and head gaiter.  I believe that my gear is now back up to par for cold temperature hiking.

Tomorrow, I take a self orientation and max out of Workout A's machines.  In the past, I had a 6 day workout routine that divides those days by muscle groups.  And I learned that I have access to a sauna.  The last that I saw, it was running at about 130°F.  I don't usually like it when it's up at 160°F.  And I've been reading that I can ingest water while I'm in there.  Between all this and the hot tub, I can now establish a 7 day a week routine.

For those of you out there, you might want a 6 day workout.  Then if your gym doesn't have hot tub, or sauna, just make the effort to go to there, show up and then leave.   At least you were there and you don't break your routine.  Or, I wonder if one could stretch that day?

But if it does, you could call it "Sauna Sundays :-))"


Motorhome Battery Jumped and Fuel Line Depressurized

I pulled the wiring harness from the motorhome's high pressure fuel pump. Then I jumped the motorhome's cab battery today, but I was concerned it was going to rain, so boxed up the tools and I'll wait for another couple days until I get a better opportunity.

I almost forgot to mention that I took the power connector off of the existing high pressure fuel pump.  Then I cranked the starter for about 10 seconds.  The fuel line to the engine is de-pressurized.


Smoking, Diet and the Motorhome

Yesterday, I relapsed and smoked 2 black-n-milds.  Today, I took a day off from the gym, but I got back on the patch.  Right now, my laundry is cycling through and I purchased some band aids to cover the raw spot on my right ankle when I walk.  I've also had to use Vaseline in other areas.

I gave in on my diet today and ordered an appetizer sampler at  a local restaurant.  And the waitresses all around know me.  I always dine alone.

Tomorrow, I'm scheduled to install the high pressure fuel pump in the motorhome.  I'm somewhat hopeful, but I don't have any expectations.  I've been approaching it with some neutrality since I got it.  

I tell people sometimes that 2016 was a bad year for me too.  This motorhome has totally tanked my mood.


Confirmed: Back Is Weak and Dues Renewed

This morning I woke up with an aching lower back again after those 4+ mile walks.  I didn't want to join a gym yet because I wanted to see what my commitment to fitness is.  But this morning, I woke up with a "sign" so to say that indicated that I needed to push things ahead.

I've always had a really strong back to the point where these machines were almost useless to me.  After I got in today, I went straight to the back machine and set it's weight stack to it's maximum of 195lbs.  I use cam machines in all of my exercises and I was instructed in how to use them in college.  I work out to the tune of 60% of my max out and 1 set of 8 - 12 repetitions. On the back machine, I was shaking on every rep up to 7.  I then stopped because I was concerned about the shaking and my form.  That's it.  It's confirmed.  My lower back is weak.

All this means is that I drop my weight by 5% and try again.  The lower back muscles are attached to the abdominals.  So, both "re-charge" in 24 hours (unlike 48 for the remaining muscles).  But regardless, there has to be one day of rest per week (no working out at all).  I believe that I've got access to a whirlpool for that seventh day?

On another topic, I've been making payments for a Household Life Membership with the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA).  I'm already on my 3rd of 10 installments at $60 a month using money orders.  I get them at Walmart because they permit me to get them on a debit card.  With that being said, I'm willing to stand in line before the customer service desk for them (that can be lengthy).

What I do is get the money order, then make it out to the BTA right there at the desk if I can.  Afterwards, I take stub that it comes with, tear it off and throw it in the nearest trash.  At this point, there's no redeeming the money order because it's only going one way.  So, I just keep accumulating them every month and put them in a safe place.

With all that being written, if your already a member and don't know the dues schedule, you've got a 5 out of 6 chance that you'll be paying your final annual dues renewal in addition to the payments.  I just renewed mine today.


Training, Day 02

Correction... yesterday, I walked 10,141 steps, or 5.13 miles and burned 700 calories.  That's probably putting my maximum distance of 11 or 12 miles hiking on-road.

Today, I walked 8,630 steps, or 4.58 miles and burned 599 calories.  It was about 30°F.  What was different about today is that I started using a new pair of cross trainers that I kept in a box until I was ready to get serious about training again.  Now that I am, it was time to throw the old ones away.  It snowed out there and I really should have had my YakTrax on.  It was an inch of very fresh snow and I was getting traction for the most part, but it felt like I was getting resistance from it (particularly at the balls of my feet).

With that said, I was also breaking in a new pair of cross trainer shoes today.  I can feel the rubbing against back outer area of my ankles.  This might result in blistering?

Today, I wore a sweat suit and anti-wicking long sleeve shirt under my rain coat, windbreaker pants. and a winter hat.  My rain coat and windbreakers are made of a similar material.  I was sweating in certain specific areas, which at first seemed like overkill.  But I must have reduced my speed in the later half of the walk, which reduced my body temperature and it became good enough.

Yesterday and today, I was wearing a 21mg smoking cessation patch.  Right now, my blood vessels are constricted because of the nicotine and the caffeine that I had from a large Dunkin' Donuts coffee today.  My blood vessels will be coated with the ill effects of smoking and a bad diet full of greasy foods for weeks to come.  That junk is lining them and hiking is a very vascular activity.  I bet three weeks from now, there's going to be a boost in my performance stemming strictly from my diet.

Don't hold me to that yet.  There's a modification that I need to make in my living quarters that will help bring this all together.

Because of the falling snow today, the one piece of gear that I didn't get to test was my new Columbia TurboDown 650TD vest.  If it would have been 30°F without falling snow, I would have tested it's performance instead of the using the rain coat.

Hiking Assessment 2/8/2017

I haven't been active on foot for a while.  And I took a 4+ mile walk yesterday.  I didn't stretch and I was using a pair of cross trainer shoes that probably lost the support that I usually need.  I believe that I can handle 10 mile hike at the moment.


Posting Trail Photos On Your Social Media Account

The people out there need relief.  At least from time to time.  Their social media can get dominated by things that disturb them.  Individually, we're all widely distributed and connected to different people. But we can contribute to their relief by posting pictures of the trails that we've been on, or volunteer for.

For those of us who are volunteers, it's probably something that we should do periodically anyways.  That's because it's a form of free trail promotion that isn't very labor intensive.   But if you end up sharing that post on the Facebook wall for a trail agency, make sure that you set the post on your profile to "public."  Otherwise, the only people who will be able to see it on the agency's wall are those of it's members that your profile is friends with.


Religous Places On The Wilderness Loop and More

I've been using information from the Ohio and West Virginia Gazetters in concert with my Buckeye (BT) and American Discovery Trail (ADT) tracks to produce a GPS file showing the locations of nearby churches.  My data covers the Belle Valley, Stockport, Road Fork and Whipple Sections of the BT and from the Ritchie/ Doddridge Counties Line in West Virginia to the Buckeye Trail in Ohio.