2017 June 08

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

Map: Beaver Lake Trail

Map: Beaver Lake Trail

A 2.1 mile trail takes you to Beaver Lake at Moose River Plains, home at one time to the Wilcox Hotel.

Starting near the confluence of the Otter Brook and Moose River, the Beaver Lake Trail follows the scenic Moose River for 3/4 mile, before climbing up a small hill, and passing several old growth trees. Eventually you reach a clearing, where an old saw mill, and Beaver Lake. There are several campsites along the shore of Beaver Lake.

Good evening! Haze, rather glarey skies and 76 degrees in City of Albany. There is a south-southeast breeze at 6 mph. The dew point is 54 degrees. After a sunny day, things have clouded up a bit. The skies will clear around 7 pm.

Tonight is the first Alive at Five Event but it looks like it is very lightly attended and there are no traffic delays downtown. That’s fine, I want to get home and get packed for camping. It’s been a long rough week, so my focus is getting through Friday to the weekend. 

The sun will set at 8:31 pm with dusk around 9:06 pm, which is 36 seconds later than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly cloudy conditions and 71 degrees. The dew point will be 54 degrees. There will be a south breeze at 5 mph.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 54 degrees at 4am. Two degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 55 at 6pm. South wind around 6 mph becoming calm after midnight. In 2016, it got down to 50 degrees with partly cloudy skies. The record low of 37 occurred back in 1977.

The Full “Strawberry” Moon will be tomorrow with partly cloudy skies expected. The sun will rise at 5:16 am with the first light at 4:42 am, which is 13 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 8 hours and 45 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 46 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have isolated showers, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high of 77 degrees at 3pm. One degree above normal. Maximum dew point of 56 at 11am. Light west wind increasing to 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 30%. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies and a high of 65 degrees. The record high of 100 was set in 1933.

It looks like we will have smooth sailing through the weekend. Saturday, scattered showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 10am. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. Calm wind becoming southwest around 6 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Maximum dew point of 63 at 5pm. Sunday, mostly sunny, with a high near 92. Maximum dew point of 65 at 8pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 77 degrees.

The DEC Forest Ranger called back and they are mailing me my camping permit for Moose River Plains Over Independence Weekend. Seems like a lot of work just to get a camping permit this day of age when there are computers. I just don’t like having to wait for a phone call back, but so be it. I will have my permit so can lawfully set up in one campsite and not have to move for four days. This way I can set up my solar panel and tarps, and I won’t have to worry about moving after three nights for the final night. That’s usually how I did in the past. I am kind of excited about that long weekend. I’m hoping for nice weather.

I am re-thinking my original request was to leave work at 2 PM on June 30th, for the long Independence weekend. I want to leave at a time to avoid heavy traffic but I know if I don’t go to work in the morning, I will dilly-dally with getting packed. Having to go to work means that I can touch base with the office and get some work done before leaving, and I will leave at a set time. I am thinking of pushing that forward to 1 PM, just to be safe about missing traffic, because I plan to take the Adirondack Northway, and I don’t want to sit in bumper to bumper traffic if I can avoid it. The earlier I get there, the chances are better at getting the “ideal” campsite. I am leaning against 56, just because I would have a campsite that is far enough spread out so I don’t have to worry about turning down the music.

But that’s still three weekends away. This weekend it’s the Southern Adirondacks, probably Pisceo-Powley Road but Pumpkin Hollow if I think I need more cellphone access. I do want to hit up the Potholers and might paddle and fish from Stewart Landing. A pretty typical summer weekend in the Adirondacks for sure. I will do some reading, listen to some podcasts, relax. I think it will too hot though to do much hiking. Black flies should be mostly gone.

Packing should be relatively easy with the new camp storage box, which I already packed and been sitting in my kitchen. Just got to get the kayak on the roof of my truck, the water bottles filled, the table and cooler in my truck. I like a simple, but nice weekend. I don’t really need to buy any supplies but I might get some chips or some kind of snacks.

In four weeks on July 6 the sun will be setting at 8:35 pm, which is 3 minutes and 42 seconds later then today. In 2016 on that day, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 90 and 64 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 82 and 61 degrees. The record high of 97 degrees was set back in 1886.

Looking ahead, Average High is 80 is in 2 weeks, National Fried Chicken Day is in 4 weeks, Hottest Day of Year (83 Average) is in 5 weeks, Ugly Truck Day is in 6 weeks, State Fair Opens is in 11 weeks, 7:30 PM Sunset is in 12 weeks, Average High is 70 is in 15 weeks, Hunter’s Moon is in 17 weeks and Thanksgiving is in 24 weeks.

Solar jobs now outnumber coal jobs in the US

"That may not be possible: 40 percent of coal-mining jobs have disappeared since 2011, and now only 50,000 of these jobs remain. Experts say automation, lower demand for electricity, and, above all, competition from cheaper fuels are killing the industry. Those fuels include natural gas from fracking, and, increasingly, renewable energy.

Rob Godby, an energy economist at the University of Wyoming, says one of the biggest challenges facing workers in the coal industry is simple: location. “When you are thinking about coal mining in Appalachia, oftentimes there are generations of families in those regions, and it's just very difficult to pick up and move,” Godby says.

Nationwide, coal miners make on average of $35 an hour, Godby says, in part because the job can be so dangerous. In renewables, the pay averages between $20 and $25 an hour. “That doesn't mean you couldn't raise a family on that, but you're a lot closer to the average income in a lot of states in the solar industry than you are in mining industries,” Godby says.

For some workers, however, the switch to a job in the renewable energy industry has proved successful. Wylie Koontz, 23, used to work at a coal mine, though as a lower-paid contractor. When he got laid off last year, he saw a job opening with Energy Independent Solutions, a local solar company."

The forces that shut down Ringling Bros. want to end a lot more than animal abuse

"Unless your heart is forged of titanium, you cannot be in favor of cruelty to animals. It’s encouraging to know that Western society no longer tolerates the routine abuse of animals, wild or domestic — and such abuse was, until fairly recently, all too routine at circuses and elsewhere. But the crusade against Ringling, SeaWorld and other animal entertainment purveyors is something more. PETA, after all, holds that drinking milk and wearing leather shoes amount to animal exploitation. This movement doesn’t simply have animal welfare as its goal; it has an ideological component: the idea that human beings have no special moral standing in the universe and cannot claim dominion over other living creatures, no matter how well they treat them.

The PETA motto sums it up: “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.” For the truest believers, the idea is, any use of an animal by a human is abuse.

PETA wants people to go not just vegetarian (cows feel fear) but vegan (eating eggs exploits chickens). It opposes not just experiments on living animals in labs but the dissection of already dead animals in school biology classes. The ASPCA and the Humane Society have campaigned to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City. Some activists want to prevent the buying and selling of dogs (only “companion animals” rescued from shelters are OK). Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer, a self-professed opponent of “speciesism,” wrote in 1979 that “the life of a newborn [human] is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”

The implications of this position are sweeping. It might be OK to teach Fido to fetch (as long as you use positive reinforcement), but PETA and others maintain that using dogs to guide the blind is morally problematic (service dogs have to “work day after day”). Among true believers, it’s morally wrong to ride a horse or show a dog at Westminster. The movement’s blanket opposition to animal testing of drugs discounts the desperation of parents whose baby might be saved. And don’t even think about buying a sweater (sheep exploitation), let alone that fur coat."

Map: Squaw Lake

Map: Squaw Lake

Squaw Lake (97 acres) is a pristine Adirondack brook trout lake with an entirely native fish community.

Located 3/4 of a mile from the new end of Indian Lake Road at Moose River Plains, it is a 1/2 mile hike up Indian Lake, then follows a trail that descends down to Squaw Lake.

Weekend Temperatures

This should be a pretty nice weekend. I always enjoy seeing lots of yellows and oranges in the weekend forecast. There is a chance we may see some thunderstorms or showers on Saturday and Sunday will be warm and humid -- but it's summer or close to it -- so it's a nice change. Too bad most of the beaches and pools won't be open until June 24th.