2016 November 14

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Chittenango Falls State Park
Letchworth State Park
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Rattlesnake Hill WMA

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

The news bulletin popped up my phone driving out here. I didn’t stop to read it fully but as soon as I saw her name, I knew what had happened. I had noticed Gwen Ifill’s frequent absences on the NewsHour and guessed her hour would not be long. 
I am deeply saddened by the death of Gwen Ifill. She was such a good reporter on the Washington Week podcast and the PBS Newshour. It was her voice that soothed me to sleep many nights and kept me informed on the world’s happenings. 

Journalism has lost a great woman… 

Good afternoon! Sunny and 57 degrees at Letchworth State Park in Castile. There is a southwest breeze at 7 mph. Very pleasant weather for mid November. 

Driving to Letchworth this morning I was reminded how vast Western NY really is. Some pretty big hills too and a lot of farms too. Lots of big alluvial valleys for growing corn and feeding cows. Livingston and Wyoming Counties smell like you would expect them to in mid November. Fermented silage and cow shit. I probably should have spent more time at Rattlesnake WMA but I didn’t want to back track to Ossian State Forest or camp at such a blustery high elevation. 

Every time I drive through a small town and open countryside, I have to think those people are so blessed. Somehow they have the skills and connections to make life work in the hard, difficult country of Rural America. So much beauty and open country. I hope I captured some of it on the dash cam and can upload it later, if only for the sake of my memories. 

Albany sucks but it’s what I do to pay the bills so I can travel and explore. Sometime I want to get out of the big city, but for now that’s reserved for the road trip.

I saw the sign coming into Letchworth for camping open, but it ain’t open this time of year. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of nearby state forests for camping, so I need to leave by 2 pm so I have an hour to head southwest to my next camping location. That’s fine, I think I want to spend tomorrow at Zoar Valley and on Wednesday head to Chautauqua County. Campground camping with a hot shower and electric wouldn’t be a bad thing though mid week. 

I had to visit the Upper Falls so I could see the Portageville bridge one last time before it’s demolished. A modern arch bridge will replace it. The models of the new bridge suggest it will be much more scenic then the existing bridge. I also visited the other falls and some of the other vistas. 

Good morning! Sunny and 42 degrees in Ossian State Forest. There is a west-southwest breeze at 10 mph. Not a half bad morning but still pretty breezy. Taking down camp now and will be heading north to Letchworth State Park in a bit. Then I’ll be heading west, most likely to Cattaraugus County. 

Definitely nice and warm in the tent, it makes getting changed and washed up so much more pleasant when it’s 75 degrees versus the truck cap when you’re above the covers and it’s only slightly above the ambient air temperature between 20 and 30. On a breezy day like today, you occasionally feel a cool breeze blowing in the tent but it’s still very comfortable for getting changed and warming things up before bed. 

Carbon monoxide detector continues to read zero, which is normal because a catalytic converter heater should never put out any measurable level of CO. That said it is fuel burning appliance and a malfunction could occur. It also never gets real hot to the touch because it radiates the heat but never gets above a couple hundred degrees on its surface. You can touch the metal safely except when its on its highest setting. 

Today will be a nice one. Look for  sunny conditions, with a high of 56 degrees at 2pm. Seven degrees above normal.  Southwest wind 7 to 11 mph. Should be a pretty nice day especially compared to last year. Last year, mostly cloudy with a high around 44. The record high of 70 was set in 1973. There was 14.4 inches of snow back in 1972.

The sun will set at 4:48 pm with dusk around 5:19 pm, which is 54 seconds earlier than yesterday. Today will have 9 hours and 46 minutes of daylight, a decrease of 2 minutes and 9 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 36 degrees at 5am. Three degrees above normal. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight. One year ago, partly cloudy with a low around 30. The record low of 14 occurred back in 1939.