2016 April 24

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Delmar, New York
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
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April 2016
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Good evening. While the evening started fairly clear the clouds are creeping in and temperatures around 52. Monday is definitely going to be a cloudy one. Rain comes for Tuesday, maybe a half inch or maybe a bit more. We could certainly use it.

Definitely starting to green up in Delmar and most certainly in the city. Tuesday’s rain will help. Tonight is going to be cool at 36 degrees, but at least in the lower elevations we aren’t looking at frost. Tomorrow look for 60 degrees and cloudy with rain late. It looks like the best chance for rain at this point is Tuesday before dawn through midday.

I definitely want rain to reduce the fire risk. While I’m always careful with fire and will keep it in the ring, you can’t be too careful these days. We have fallen behind somewhat in rain, and while small campfires aren’t banned unlike brush burning, common sense has to prevail. I am bringing the Big Buddy heater, so I can use that to stay warm in the evening but I would prefer a good fire.

It looks like the rain will be mostly if not entirely gone for the first night of my trip. I have the tarp but I don’t expect to use it the first night. I’m going to buy firewood so I’m not worried about the woods being wet. I want to leave work on Tuesday at 2 pm, but I know that ain’t that realistic. I do hope to leave before 5 but I don’t know.

I am going to pack a lot of the clothes I will need tonight and have the kayak on the roof of the truck tomorrow night. Then it’s just that perishable and personal care items to pack for Tuesday morning. I’ll stop at Stewart’s on the way out to buy Night Crawlers and kiln dried wood. I have lighter fluid and will bring paper to get the fire started. I should be to camp by dusk and I’ll have my lights to get set up. I’ll set up the camp stove and coffee pot for morning, so I’ll have coffee ready bright and early for Wednesday at camp.

It’s a bit difficult sorting clothes under the red light in my bedroom. They all look strange. Very little color recognition. But I’m avoiding using white light bulbs that can throw off sleep. I’ve started to draw my curtains at night to keep the blue LED or high intensity discharge lighting from the gas station down the way out of view. I think I’m going to eventually swap out one of the lights in the overhead fixture in the bathroom with a red bulb and put the white bulb in the empty socket on the mirror so I have red light for night time bathroom use but good bright white light for shaving in the morning. The light in the shower might be a little red but I don’t care. As long as I don’t trip and have adequate light, I don’t care if things are a bit red. Red light is so much easier on the eyes at night. I swear by it.

Speaking of light bulbs, I bought a new 3 watt LED light to light up the flag. Hopefully it will be bright enough to do its job and be easier on the battery when camping. The 7 watt bulb I currently use still works but I figured why not try some more up to date technology that will help the battery last longer and provide some more direct light. It was only like $5.

I’m off to bed. Good night. Dawn tomorrow is at 5:26 and sunrise at 5:57 am.

Good afternoon. Currently 58 degrees and sunny. Later it will be 60 degrees. A few degrees below normal but with lots of blue skies. Another very dry day, with a dew point of 18 degrees and relatively humidity around 25%. Certainly not summer. Rain is expected for Monday night and Tuesday – a quarter inch to a half inch for both the day and night. Increasing clouds tonight with a low of 36 – about four degrees below. Hopefully rain will tamp down the fire risk. Camping, I will only have campfires in places that have rings, only start them after dark, and keep them small. The fire risk should be a lot lower in the Finger Lakes, with the woods greening up, but although hopefully with the rain expected Tuesday, things should become a whole lot less dry.

Getting ready for my road trip. I packed my truck as much as I could at this point, topped off the oil and windshield washer fluid. Added a half quart of oil, as it had reached the mid-point on the dip stick and I wanted it near the top, in case there is any oil consumption over the trip that is probably around 600-750 miles with a fair bit of weight from camping supplies, steep hills, and the kayak on the roof. I don’t know why the oil was down so much when I checked in February – in the past two months the oil has barely dropped a ¼ of a mark on the dip stick – to about the half mark. I check the oil every week after it’s been parked, just to be safe. Running low on oil could be a very expensive mistake. Also checked the other fluids, they look fine, although both the brake fluid and coolant are a little below the full line but within reason. Some point I’ll top them up. Some time next month, I’m going to take it to the shop and have them change the transmission fluid and the differential fluid.

I am going to hold off putting the kayak on the roof of the truck until Monday evening, as I don’t need to drive around with on it more then I have to. I have it ready to go on the roof, and the racks are back on the truck. Packed sunscreen and bug spray. And I brought the heater, in case it gets cold. All next week looks seasonable if not a bit cold. Most of the week will be sunny but with a chance of rain throughout the week. Spring time can be a little unpredictable for sure. Mostly left is to pack clothes, food, personal care products, and a few other supplies. Despite the Young Democrats meeting I have on Monday night, I should be ready to leave for work on Tuesday at the proper time, and hopefully will be able to get out of work early.

Left to do today, is to head down to the library and get some reading materials, then go to the store and buy some groceries and other camping supplies. I will probably end up going to Walmart, as I need another low-pressure propane hose to hook up both camp stove and lantern at once. I want to have enough groceries, so I can avoid going shopping through Thursday on my trip – as I expect Wednesday to be quite busy, especially if I both plan to fish in the Cazenovia Creek and visit Montezuma – then head south to the national forest. It’s possible though that I hold of the Montezuma until Thursday then spend more time at the Cazenovia creek. I’ll have to think about it more. I didn’t get reservations to Rickett’s Glen State Park in PA, as I’m not totally sure if I will end up going to PA, and honestly, I don’t expect them to be fully booked at this point.

Continuing to work on the blog’s theme revisions, which will focus on increasing usability and reducing clutter. I like how things are going, but the changes aren’t done, and honestly, I want to fully test things out before moving forward on the changes. Probably will roll them out in mid-May. Things will look a whole lot less clutter and make it easier to print and view maps and other content. As things change, sometimes it’s necessary to refresh things to align them with contemporary needs. And much like tail fins, styles need to change to keep the looks up to date.