And oil change was done on both my 1990 Buick Riviera and my 1987 Chevrolet G20 Sportvan. I think that the engine constantly flooding caused the last oil change to get real dirty? And the van still had 10W30 in it and it needed to be switched to 5W30, but given the state of the engine, I replaced it with 60% Lucas Oil. I have no idea what the milages are? I won't be taking either vehicle anywhere tomorrow because I'm going to only idle them for 20 minutes. They'll be available the day after.
I know that my 1990 Buick Riviera has a bad spark plug. Considering the state of the motor oil that I drained yesterday, it was conventional. Considering that the people that I bought it from where elders, that probably means that the spark plugs are also conventional? I know that one of them is bad.
I didn't disconnect the battery last night. And the digital odometer was mostly malfunctioning for the better part of the first half of today's doings. That somehow leads me to believe that it's short is located in the vicinity of of the air filter manifold. I had to wiggle it about last night when I changed the air filter.
Today, I went from Woodsfield, Ohio to New Martinsville, West Virginia to go to the auto parts store and Walmart. I was hoping to get a Bluetooth boombox, but, WOW, they're expensive. Walmart was selling them for over $300. I could get a fold out head unit and the GM adapter kit for less than that.
After that, I determined that I needed to get the gas tank empty to pour in some fuel injector cleaner. So, I drove to Middlebourne, WV... Then I drove to Avrilla,, to Ben's Run.. to Parkersburg, WV. At which point, the tank wasn't going down enough, so I drove to Chesterhill, then Stockport and then Beverly, Ohio. I replaced the low and high beam headlights in Stockport today. Then I filled up and added the fuel injector cleaner in Beverly.
I thinking that I should test every fuse and relay that I can find just because it's simple and it should have been done for a new acquisition as a matter of standard procedure.
I filled my 1987 Chevy G20 Sportvan with antifreeze today. When I turned it on, I sounded better than it ever has before. The so called "smoke" that I was seeing was coming from the new exhaust wrap that I did. Apparently, it hasn't completely bonded? My aftermarket water temperature gauge doesn't work and my aftermarket tachometer is malfunctioning. Either one of those could be from the gauge power wires being attached to the turn signal. When the turn signal is activated, it produces a surge in the gauges. I have the replacements sitting in the basement right now.
What's troubling is that my radiator has only taken about 8 quarts of coolant where it should take 18.
My 1987 Chevroley G20 Sportvan has a 5.7 liter/ 350 cubic inch L05 engine in it.
I have the van's battery charging and I don't know how long it's going to take? Recently, I got a shipment of loose leaf Earl Grey Tea with extra bergamot. It's the second time that I ordered from Upton Teas. This time, I got so much that the package was twice the capacity of this Teavana container that I have. I keep it around because it's a gold cylinder with a red dragon. One time, I got my loose leaf tea refilled in this canister at some place in Lakewood, Ohio. And the guy looked at it and found out that the container was from Teavana and I was so embarrassed. But it was a good tea place and I recommend their Downtown Cleveland location for my people back home in Painesville.
The matter of the upcoming The Wilderness Chapter goes before the Buckeye Trail Association's board in 40 days. I have a presentation on Adventurer's Project's capabilities due in about a week.
So, I'm going out to check on this battery in about a minute and I'm contemplating what my body will look like when I loose all this weight? I'd have to loose a lot, but I'm pondering a metrosexual look with having a slight build. I called it "Honda material."
This log is probably going to skip around. I just checked the battery in the van. It's not charged yet. I set my countdown timer to another hour. My radiator just took 6 quarts on the first refill. Apparently, it has an 18 quart capacity? I just need to start the engine to get the thermostat to open so that it will suck the coolant into the engine block. But there is a good chance that the engine is damaged? I'm trying to get to the point of knowing that for sure?
Adventurer's Project didn't have assets, but I do have a head start on some items that other BTA chapters never started out with. And that's what I have to go over with the crew. Adventurer's Project was a crude attempt at emulating the BTA's chapter functions. I think our setup is crude as well and it will need more investment?
I vaguely remember a time when I went to The Armory in Marietta and spoke to an employee once and then the director on another day?
I just checked the van again. The battery charger still reads the same 90% charge that it started out with 2 hours ago. I just reset and restarted my 1 hour time again. In the meantime, I've been washing and drying my laundry. It seems like I've been doing a real good job at that.
The RAM in The Robot is probably bad? At this point, I have no idea when I'm going to replace those chips? It's motherboard is so old that I'll probably max them out and get the highest quality ones that I can? I've been saving up pretty hard for another automobile. The next thing that I'll have to do is get the basement floor sealed and then get enough decorative gravel to put around the house to direct rain water away from the foundation. I have a local guy who can haul up to 5 tons of that kind of stuff. That's one of the benefits of living in Southeast Ohio. I don't know so many dump truck guys up north where I'm originally from.
There have been times during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic where I felt like Woodsfield was driving me crazy. I felt like people's materialism and conformity was bearing down on me. I, on the other hand, have been feeling like I'm going to loose my marbles? I was getting a sandwich at Subway two days ago. It was a wrap. And the woman working there asked if I wanted it cut in half and I said yes. Then I asked if she could write me a note??? because my mom use to cut my sandwich in half and write me a note. I put those together neuron firing quick.
Here's goes the van's battery for a 4th hour now. 90%??? Is it sure? It's just one battery under the hood.
My automotive battery charger is small. The most that it charges at is 8 amps. The van has been down for a while, but I took the negative cable off of the battery. When I tried to start the van 3 hours ago, the starter clicked, but didn't fully activate.
Well, I have to get my workout in now.
I remember thinking at some point that there was room for optimism. You can't beat it... you can't join it... and it's not going to run out on it's own energy. For reasons that I can't be too public about, where I come from, that brings us right back to fight, only this time our back is against the wall. But Adventurer's Project went from fighting because it had to, to actually having a shot at winning.
7 years ago, the Road Fork and Whipple Sections were a nightmare. But the remoteness of the Marietta Unit and the hearsay is that North Country Trail got everything they ever dreamed of out of The Wayne made it a popular destination. Personally, I think that the Little Muskingum River Flats on the Whipple Section is the masterpiece of it all. 12 something years ago, it attracted some attention. But by the time the hikers came, they arrived into a maintenance nightmare. It was bad. The story that I call "The Night from Hell" took place mostly on the Road Fork Section in The Wayne. The trail in the Marietta Unit got scathing reviews because of it's maintenance. That didn't change until the BTA assembled its first work week, which was for the Road Fork and Whipple Sections.
I remember when hiking the Road Fork Section on-road, I had some of the first GPS tracks for the BT. The on-road blazes were few and far between. And even the GPS couldn't cut it through 3 of it's intersections because the way that they appear on the maps isn't how they end up being in person. And at intersections on the Road Fork Section's on-road, sometimes there's a gravel driveway that looks like a road. It could be something that looks like a four, or 5 way intersection when it's only a 3 or 4? These are the kind of places that use to drive hikers straight up crazy because they'd get on the wrong road. Then RF's blazes were so few that it would take them miles to determine that the were heading the wrong way.
In the early days of Adventurer's Project, you could say that in a Star Trekkian kind of way that she pulled out of spacedock without photon torpedoes and a tractor beam (Star Trek: Generations). And to further that metaphor along, we did have to use the deflector dish instead. In non-Star Trekkian terms, it means that Adventurer's Project was forced to activate without all of our capabilities and had to improvise on the fly. We now have photon torpedoes and a tractor beam ;-).
We were projected to get 5 thru hikers in our first September. Some of us don't trust the surface streams in Southern Ohio, so each was to get 5 - one gallon bottled waters for five days in a row. Three were heading clockwise and the other two were counter clockwise. That which I call "Far SE Ohio" (Morgan, Noble, Monroe and Washington Counties) was under a "Class 5 Hiker Hurricane." We were the worst place on the Buckeye Trail that this could happen in.
Well, like it or not, it's coming. Baton down the hatches... it's going to be a storm. This one is going to be a rough ride.
We ended up only getting three of them. By the time it was all over with them and two events, I was exhausted. I normally work on something trail related every day. But then, I don't think that I lifted a finger for it for about three weeks.
How to go from nothing to something? There's been lots of good things happening on the trail. But your only as good as your weakest link Far SE Ohio was sucking some of the life out of the Buckeye Trail Association like it was a "black hole." Adventurer's Project is like the science behind the pandemic. It's always evolving. It was specifically designed to stabilize a region that was in a bad situation and thrive in a constant state of flux as it built up. Speaking for myself personally, I deal in hard, thorny problems.
Adventurer's Project's support base is still weak in areas approximate to the Road Fork Section - Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent0. At some point, I would like to redouble my efforts in Noble and Monroe Counties, Ohio. I think that we might be able to make a little something out of them. But our Ohio River communities in the Upper Ohio Valley are a different story. I think that they're going to require a little trickery? Ordinarily, I would want to have Facebook Like ads going at the same time as we'd show up and take up shop at public locations in person and perhaps get people to come to our table in-person. We'd go on tour from town to town on back to back days. For starters, we just have to get them to like us at all. But this is the COVID-19 pandemic and that's throwing a wrench in our plans.
Now I think that in concert with the like ads, we'll have to hold up a sign on the side of the highways on this corridor. There are places to do that, but personally, I'm not sure if I should go out there until I'm vaccinated? Maybe I could get away with just being masked? My idea is to make this simple for the public. Our sign should have the same image as our Facebook page's main photo. If they see us with our sign, hopefully, they'll also see the Facebook like ad with the same image, be curious, like what we do and then like our Facebook page? Once again, this has never been done before in the Buckeye Trail Association. If we do this and it works, we'll be writing this play into the book.
But if we wait, I might be able to tuck a little money away into my Facebook ads account and perhaps donate a tidy sum at once? I was thinking about a cardboard sign? But that wouldn't do very good in the rain, so this one should be made out of 3/8th ply and we should have two units. Then again, maybe I should take up a plywood drive and perhaps get that donated to us? In theory, if we were to take what we have now in Facebook likes from the Cities of Wheeling and Parkersburg, West Virginia and spend another $187 to get them up to a 1 like: 300 population ratio, it may be possible that our total number of likes in those cities might be massive enough to get the word of mouth to take over and do some trail promotion work for us? I now know that our upcoming special presentation on March 23rd needs to be on our trail promotion gear, difficulties, strategies and such.
I haven't been very active about posting on our Facebook page, or logging things here. The Final Report for Adventurer's Project is due at our business meeting on April 13th. I just thought about this and I ought to throw in a fundraising idea and award for those who've completed The Wilderness Loop.
We've been in the COVID-19 pandemic for about a year now. All in-person trail promotion for Adventurer's Project has been halted. I've also gone out of our way not to promote the trail because I didn't want to create a public health problem on the trail. As far as I know, everywhere north and generally west of the Archer's Fork Loop on the Buckeye Trail (North Country concurrent) in the Marietta Unit of The Wayne is pretty idle, which is usual, pandemic or not.
I'm a Disabled Veteran. More often than not, I stay up past my bed time and get my circadian rhythm screwed up. But back in January, the project had an election for a BTA chapter name. A BTA chapter is supposed to succeed the project. That may happen on 24 April? We had our first virtual business meeting and then a special presentation this month. We'll probably have an election, or some sort of selection of officers at our next business meeting on 9 March, then another special presentation on 23 March. This situation is causing me to get back to having very structured days. I'm performing what I call a "reset" now. I have my tablet mounted to my desk next to me with my talking clock on.
For the last 8 months, I've been having ankle problems. It was first in my left ankle, but then it became my left and sometimes right. At first, I thought it might be a hairline fracture in my left ankle. I've had those before. I'm very sensitive when it comes to my body and I thought that there was a fracture, like a tiny 1.5 millimeter line in the center front of my left ankle. But it started to feel like my ankle was chipping. Then the right started acting up, feeling like it was chipping and I thought I was having orthopedic problems due to a poor diet.
A friend of mine on Facebook mentioned that I need to take some Omega-3's, so I went to the drug store and got some fish oil and a bottle of Men's Once a Day multi-vitamins and I've been on those for about 3 weeks so far. But hairline fractures should take as much as 8 weeks to heal. I started taking it easy and I became more sedentary in November.
So, it's been about 18 weeks so far and I was still feeling mild pain. I tried to go it alone, but it doesn't appear to be working. So, I got a telehealth appointment with my primary care at the VA and they told me that I just have tendonitis and need to stretch those tendons. I mentioned my ankle to them before when I last had an in-person appointment and I remember the physician's assistant telling me recommending that I get some X-Rays. But I think that she told me that I would have to go to Clarksburg, West Virginia to get them. Well, if I still had my Chevy HHR, a 93 mile drive there wouldn't really be a problem. But the HHR's engine needed to be rebuilt after it's timing belt broke, so I gave it to a guy who wanted to make a "Baby Grave Digger" monster truck out of it and I bought his van for $800 which I still have, but right now, it has problems. Because there isn't intercity bus service between Parkersburg and Clarksburg, WV, it would take an entire day to travel from Caldwell, Ohio (30 miles west of my house) to Clarksburg because I'd have to go by way of Pittsburgh on Greyhound.
Now the Whipple Section is mostly in Washington County, Ohio where the Marietta VA Clinic is. And that clinic is apart of the Chillicothe VA Medical Center, which is about 160 miles away. That's why I go to that clinic. But I live about 30 miles north of there in Woodsfield of another county. It's veterans service does business with the clinic in St. Clairsville and that is apart of the Pittsburgh VA Medical Center. I'm really thinking about switching to everything over to that clinic so if I need a ride and e-rays, I have support to get there in the event that my vehicles, or hopefully soon to be vehicles are disabled.
So, the van needs work. It has every symptom consistent with it having a blown water pump. But I was driving on it like that, but briefly. The engine could be blown, or the cylinders could be warped? The head gasket could be blown? But if I'm lucky, maybe it could just be water pump and thermostat? If I'm lucky, maybe it will come out OK? I've been saving money for a few months now and I'd like to ride out that van as long as I can??? if I can. I could used vehicle now? But I have about two more months at my disposal that I could use. The problem is that the automotive market is kind of hot right now. Purchase prices are going up because the automotive manufacturers have had some shutdowns due to the pandemic, resulting in less supply on the market. That has driven up the cost of a new car up. Due to the pandemic, there has been a lot of people buying cars because they want to get off of public transit. Then there's not as many people selling used vehicles these days, so there's less supply there as well. That's driving the cost of used vehicles up. I've heard that they're up 14% now and that's predicted to rise. And probably due to some political issues, the price of unleaded gasoline has gone up $0.20 now and it could rise above $3 per gallon. That would make the filling up the van to be about $90 a tank and that's bad news.
Buckeye Trail Association (BTA) bi-laws require that chapter officers be BTA members. I've been in some contact with most of them. Thanks to some good work from Adventurer's Project's Secretary, we got another one of them involved. But this area has been disadvantaged and at the moment, we're running low on BTA members. I asked one of them to run for Treasurer, but they aren't able to do it.
There are two on the BTA's list that I haven't been able to get a call through to. I may have to snail mail (USPS, send them letter) them? Or if Whipple picks up another adopter, I might be able to relieve one that we've always had and see if they'll do it? Finally, we have 17 chapterside supporters and maybe I could get one of them to join the BTA and run for the office?
Well, things should slow down. It's easier today. I took some ballots for our prospective chapter name over the phone and made a call seeking some economic input. Economic matters are a BTA chatperside function. And of course, Adventurer's Project is unincorporated, 3rd party to any distance trail and merely works with the grace of the Buckeye Trail Association. Right now, it's working on converting into a new chapter of the BTA. I'm not entire sure about this particular issue, but it might end up getting charted as a new chapter, everybody jumps over and then Adventurer's Project dissolves on it's own?
With the chapter name election going on, I'm writing the project's meeting agenda. We've been asked to virtually meet two times before we go before the BTA's board for chapterhood consideration. I'm also working on a Buckeye Trail presentation. In about 2 days, another supporter and myself are scheduled to be at a virtual Chapter Leadership Summit. I've been making some phone calls over the last 2 weeks or so. I'm concerned about how progressive I think the chapter should be?
I'm expecting things to slow down in 4 days. Which I think is nice. This election stuff has been crazy.
So I need to write up a final report for Adventurer's Project. It needs to be a synopsis of everything ever done under it's "banner" and needs to demonstrate what went right and what didn't. I was hoping to write here today on some things that I may have forgotten to log about, but apparently I don't have anything right now.
It's intense these days. I keep saying that the marathon has just turned into a sprint. Adventurer's Project has been asked to be ready for chapterhood conversion by sometime in April. I don't know the date, but that doesn't diminish the fact that I know it's coming. It's kind of like reverse logic that some people don't understand. The bottom line:
There's a first time for everything. We've been having some glitches with this election. The first is when I address Adventurer's Project's Facebook page in the first person point of view, Facebook won't let me post as myself on the page. I can comment as myself, but I can not post. So, I have to write a post on my personal profile, set it to public and then share it to the page. Well, it's been having some problems with that over the last few weeks. At some time during nominations, or the first election, as the Project Lead, I declared the election to be open. But I didn't realize that this post didn't share to the page until the morning after. I then corrected it, but it was about 12 hours late.
We have BTA members and registered project chapterside supporters who aren't on Facebook. So they're getting the link to the ballot via e-mail. Well, that's something else. I use Mozilla Thunderbird for my e-mails. It's a competitor to Microsoft Outlook. And I had gContactSync, an add on installed. But my version of Thunderbird was updated and now it doesn't support the add on and from what I'm seeing, there's no work around for it except to export the contacts in gMail, then import them in Thunderbird.
I'm use to working with Thunderbird. But with the gContactSync now out of commission, I have to use gMail now. I've made this one mistake twice already. My recipients should not know each others address because if one of their e-mails were hacked, it could use those address and send SPAM to them? Instead, I should use the Before Carbon Copy (BCC). I forgot to do that once. And with announcing this run-off election, this time I got smart. I have a dual monitor setup in my home office. I had two browser windows open, one on each monitor. I set up one with the opening of the election on Facebook and gMail while I continued to work on the other one.
It was a great idea. I got both messages prepared 2 hours ahead of time. It could have sent both in about 4 seconds? But then I got the wise idea that I should test the link to the ballot to make sure that it will work. That entailed logging out of all of my Google accounts. I tested it and it worked... great. But when I did that, the window with the email lost connection to gMail's server. I copied the text, then refreshed the page, pasted it back in. But guess what, when I entered the mailing lists in, I forgot to use the BCC and it was done in the TO line instead, which now everybody will be able to see every email address that it was sent to.
I had to test the run-off ballot because I had a problem with the first election's one. On both occasions, I've run anonymous elections because I didn't want to know the names of the people and how they voted. But we have Google Workplace, or what use to be known as the gSuite. So we get some products that come along with that. So, I ran both elections with a Google Form. But when you create them, for occasions like this, you have to make sure that you set the permissions so that anybody with the link can fill out the form. But then there's a second step to turn off the need to log into a Google account to submit it. And the problem with the first election is that I didn't turn that off until my #2 person on the project told me that after I posted it to Adventurer's Project's Facebook page, she couldn't do something with it.
Well, this ship is getting shook down. And like the Navy, it's producing some loose nuts and bolts. But the good news is that we're not even a charted chapter yet and Adventurer's Project, which is designed to be the predecessor to the proposed chapter is the thing that should be doing the shaking down.
So, with Adventurer's Project and the chapter that it becomes, there's the economic considerations. One thing that I always tell people is that we're not a "golden chariot." But our region has some potential regarding the caliper of the off-road trail that we already have and perhaps it's ambitions. The City of Marietta of Washington County, Ohio already has an officially recognized "recreational economy." Hikers from the Buckeye and North Country Trails have already been a part of it, but in a very small way. I think we can boost that, even if we don't route into the city?
The Whipple Section is 8 miles north of Saint Marys (St. Marys), West Virginia where there's a motel. The Road Fork Section's concurrency with the Archer's Fork Loop in the Marietta Unit of The Wayne (National Forest) is just about "even money" when it comes to comparing the driving time between the Holiday Inn's at Marietta, or New Martinsville, West Virginia. And we know that the distance to the Par Mar/ BP gas station in New Matamoras (Matamoras) of Washington County, Ohio is closest to that area's Saint Patrick (St. Patrick) Cemetery Trailhead (a parking area) and the hikers there often don't know that and need to. With the Ring Mill Campground and Lamping Homestead Recreation Area, we have grocers in Marr and Woodsfield of Monroe County, Ohio. But we have two lodging options in Woodsfield that are the closest to those locations.
With Caldwell of Noble County, our route is more favorable to it's food resupply, it's bed and breakfast, and a coffee shop, but not it's big box hotels because they're too far from the current route of the trail as of the date of this blog.
The latest information is that the National Forest Service won't allow us to put up a poster size map of the communities in the region with symbols next to the name of these communities demonstrating what they offer at their already existing kiosks on their unused backsides. As of the date the date of this blog, we'll be looking for more external ways to circumvent those disadvantages. We have some digital means at our disposal, but we really need some on the ground options.
I was going to call Adventurer's Project's supporters today, but I woke up very late today I think that I better write here first. Enthusiasm for hiking and the trail are great, but it's like a fuel that burns hot and fast. I think that I have an idea, perhaps even a plan to convert it into a more efficient, longer lasting one? Rubber bands have been known to break. With all this heightened attention on the subject, I find it to be more important to be better when things are more normal, or even adverse. And Adventurer's Project has done well with that.
When, or if, it converts into a chapter, I can sum up my agenda in two ways. One is that I think that the chapter functions are more obligatory and should be handled as such. The other thing is trail promotion, which I have to admit that, yes, we've been good at doing it in smaller markets, but we may have to be more frequent with them? In terms of that, you really should be at 3 day festivals and should do those 3 times annually. And you need 9 volunteers to staff the shifts at a three day festival. I've seen something like a 31% participation rate before. That means that the chapter needs a support base of about 40. But that's anticipating having a really good program.
I can get that, but I can't assure sustaining it indefinitely through out the years. And when you drive up the energy, the tensions might be likely to follow? Based on what I just wrote, it may not be healthy for it to remain in this "high mode" if you would? But then you break the group's pattern and it might be hard to sustain a cycle of high/ low? And you've got presiding officers who just can't do a robust term. I guess what you need is someone with a bit of tunnel vision and relentlessness who can rein them in from time to time?
But if we look at ourselves like most other churches and community organizations, as I hear, you can be looking at a 10% participation rate? And of course, that means that you have to drive up the support numbers towards 90 or so? I think that ultimately, while things are exciting, get to 40, but somehow stay on course for 90. In terms of trail promotion, this chapter has to do things. One is recruit new supporters to keep it own numbers up. Then they're the most visible, public things out there and it won't matter how good the program is if the trail's maintenance is failing, so they have that, too. But the chapter has bigger and better things to do than to get too consumed with trail maintenance.
I have a defined skill set when it comes to these sorts of things. I was talking to a supporter out here and I mentioned something about the COVID-19 vaccines in light of how quickly they were developed and I brought up a common procedure of wait and see, which the public in general isn't doing. It says that you have time. It says that you don't have to draw a conclusion right now. Instead, you should draw this thing out to the max, which until that time expires and let things unfold as they should. As a rule, you just don't accept hypotheticals. Granted, 3 to 5 months out for some of us isn't a whole lot of time, but with the amount of people taking it being so great, you'll still know more down the road than you do now. It's not good to pass judgement right now.
As for the hiking public, I think from time to time that they've given me more credit than I deserve? Or they're at risk of it? Far SE Ohio has been like a wild frontier, or like a remote outpost. I have a little bit of involvement with greater matters, but also I've been far too busy with this region and I haven't been able to get too diverted with other matters over the last 6 years. In fact, I've willfully detached myself and I'm getting indications here on my end that I don't know it all. But another thing that I've learned and abide by is essentially Star Trek. In this case, it's the 208th Rule of Acquisition, which states that "sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer." I've learned with establishments that sometimes I don't want to know too much. Things have been around for a while and likely go on indefinitely. But answers might make you act up?