2016 March 26

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Dutch Settlement State Forest

March 2016
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

As we head into the 8 o’clock hour, we are at 39 degrees on top of Cotton Hill. Partly clear skies but clouds are to be seen to the west. The lean-to is illuminated by the soft light of the propane lantern and seven candles in white paper bags. There is a gentle east breeze mostly blocked by the lean-to. It feels much warmer and pleasant then last night which was just frigid. I fixed the fire place so now it’s about a foot closer to the lean-to with a solid three foot wall off mud and stone, reflecting the heat of the fire back where you want it. The fire pit is a lot more shallow then before, which means you can sit a lot closer. I will post pictures next week.

Waiting for nautical twilight to see the stars in the west. Nautical twilight in Middleburgh is at 8:17 pm, so it won’t be long. Should be a pretty night. Warning Crescent Moon with 80% illuminated will rise in the east around 10 pm.

Listening to some Jason Aldean next to the campfire on my Bluetooth speaker which has pretty good bass sitting in the lean-to. Technology is amazing. As I noted earlier on Facebook earlier, You know we are living in the future when your $40 1 oz handheld Smartphone not only works in the wilderness to quickly access the Internet, but has 20 days worth of non-repeated music on it, 16 days worth of automatically downloaded talk radio programs aka podcasts on it, can tune in FM Radio better than any transistor radio and can show you your location within 10 feet on a map. And it plays wirelessly music on a $30 high fidelity speaker the size of a tea cup within 40 feet that is battery powered for over 12 hours without being plugged into a booster battery or wall outlet.

I wish it was about 30 degrees warmer this evening, but it’s still a pretty amazing evening for the end of March. In nine weeks it will be Memorial Day Weekend and it will be like that. The Big Buddy is keeping my butt toasty on low tonight. Memorial Day Weekend is typical, we will have temperatures at this hour in the mid 60s.

Tonight will get down to 25 degrees or so on the mountain, especially under those partly clear skies . Tomorrow aka Easter will warm up to the low fifties and be mostly sunny on the mountain. Cold start to the day but it will get progressively nicer as the day goes on. Warmer in the city. Rain when you go back to work on Monday.

But the heck with that, I’m enjoying tonight in the wilderness.

Sometimes a nice quiet afternoon with nothing scheduled up in the wilderness is nice. My thermometer in the lean-to says we are at 41 degrees with blue skies with a few clouds in the distance. A pretty nice afternoon. Earlier today I had to do some calls and emails for work but that’s the great thing about the smartphone. Those little battery packs have helped me keep my phone and Bluetooth speaker charged, so I was able to listen to the radio all morning long. I have good FM radio and decent cellphone service up here.

Started reading a book about America’s relationship with the east and how cultural misunderstandings have underscored many of the wars that are nowadays viewed as mostly pointless.

I got to say even with the sun, it’s pretty darn cold up here. I know it’s still March, but I had hoped that the weather would be fairly mild. Built a fire this morning so I would have a bed of coals to warm my hands on. I could use the propane heater, but I’m not totally sure how much propane is left in the big tank. I know the tank is relatively low, because hauling a 20 lb tank up a mountain — even a relatively short distance from the parking area, would be a bear if mostly full. Plus fire is more fun.

Looking for a nice clear evening with a low around 30 degrees. The lack of wind will be nice although up here on the mountain, we will probably have a light breeze. Mostly clear, good for viewing stars, with the Waxing Crescent Moon about 4/5th illuminated rising a little before 10 pm. Should be a pleasant evening, even if it is a bit chilly.

Good morning folks from the Cotton Hill Lean-to. Cloudy and the thermometer says it’s 29 degrees. Slight northwest wind. 46 degrees and sunny later, assuming the persistent clouds push off. Who knows, this front has been taking its precious time. Sunset is around 7:17 pm and it will be a clear night with temperatures expected around freezing.

Got up a little earlier than expected when I heard a car alarm going off in the valley below, so I hiked down to the car and got the food out and brought it back to camp. The truck seems fine, although I didn’t start it up. Plugged in one of the cellphone charger batteries into the truck. Swapping them out to keep my cellphone and Bluetooth speaker charged.

Made some eggs for breakfast. Planning to stay at camp all day, as I don’t want to leave my gear unattended nor carry it back down then back up the hill again. I have a book I will read today and just hang out. Tomorrow I might hike over to the Cliffs of Middleburgh. It depends on how early of a start I get.

I see bits and pieces of blue sky so I’m helpful it will warm up soon.