2017 July 06

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Albany, NY
Black Bear Mountain
Cedar River Flow
Climate Change
Highway Design
Jockeybush Lake
Moose River Plains
Presque Isle State Park
The West

July 2017
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Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Good evening! Partly cloudy and 72 degrees in Delmar. There is a south breeze at 9 mph. The dew point is 59 degrees. A bit muggy but not too bad. The skies will clear Saturday around 1 pm.

I survived my ever so frustrating commute home with all the grid lock of the traffic with Southern Boulevard closed due the fire at the Howard-Johnson, when the owner or maybe a heroin addict with a few anonymous LLC contributions decided to burn it down for the insurance payment and decreased demolition disposal costs. Asbestos removal is expensive nowadays you know — and much cheaper after an emergency demolition order. Plus the city makes a big profit to boot by taking in all that valuable asbestos contaminated waste at the landfill. I took the express bus home, I doubt Delaware Avenue would have been much better (and heck, we took Delaware a good portion of the way home). And I got home at 6:30 PM rather then 5:45 PM. So be it. I hate delays getting home. I’m not that cranky. Yes, actually I am.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 66 degrees at 5am. Five degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 62 at 6am. A bit humid tonight. South wind 7 to 9 mph. In 2016, it got down to 70 degrees with mostly cloudy skies. The record low of 44 occurred back in 1979.

Waxing Gibbous Moon tonight with 88% illuminated. The moon will set around 5:22 am. The Full “Buck” Moon is in the early hours of Sunday night with partly cloudy skies expected and partly cloudy. The sun will rise at 5:24 am with the first light at 4:50 am, which is 40 seconds later than yesterday. Tonight will have 8 hours and 50 minutes of darkness, an increase of one minute and 2 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will have a slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high of 81 degrees at 2pm. One degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 66 at 4pm. South wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. A year ago, we had thunderstorms and partly cloudy skies and a high of 89 degrees. The record high of 97 was set in 1988.

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, a chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. Maximum dew point of 65 at 6am. Sunday, sunny, with a high near 81. Maximum dew point of 58 at 7pm. Typical average high for the weekend is 82 degrees. I am probably going to stay in town, although I might camp out somewhere on Saturday night. Maybe locally or maybe a lean-to that I’m thinking about in the Taconics. You know which one. I still have to get some propane at the store. I’ve kind of gone over budget the past few weeks so I’m avoiding shopping as much as possible. 

I took off two weeks from now to go out to the Finger Lakes and then eventually Presque Isle. It should be a nice week and that’s part of the reason why I’m hardly that psyched about going out of town this weekend especially with a questionable forecast on Saturday. I do love those Adirondack Chairs at the Watkins Glen State Park Pool. I am considering also spending a night or maybe two at the Letchworth State Campground but nothing is at all finalized on that. 

Kitchen has gotten a fair bit cleaner. Cleaning helped yesterday.  I’m kind of getting creative with meals in an effort to use up the food I have around before I go shopping. I want to fully retire my debts and give my bank account a bit of a rest for now. That means being a little creative with lunch and dinner. Fortunately I have still a fair amount of food left from camping although melt water did cause a few things to spoil. This weekend I will have to buy a few things but I’m trying to keep expenses as low as possible for now. 

I’m my list to purchase after I get paid is one more $8 peace flag for my collection and maybe a somewhat better $40 refurbished smartphone. I just hate how shitty the camera phone is in my current model and I want more memory so I can install Lyft or Uber for those late nights at work. It’s a want more than a need so it can wait. But all that has to wait until I get paid next week. I need to get back within budget and build up my checking account before I spend more money. I’m not broke but the balance isn’t where I’m happy with after spending so much money between the Memorial Day Weekend and Independence Day Weekend trips. That and paying my cell phone bill for the next six months (for the discount) and ordering more contacts just eat up a paycheck. I got to stop spending money. 

In four weeks on August 3 the sun will be setting at 8:12 pm, which is 23 minutes and 8 seconds earlier then today. In 2016 on that day, we had heavy fog, fog, patches of fog, mist, mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 83 and 60 degrees. Typically, you have temperatures between 82 and 61 degrees. The record high of 97 degrees was set back in 1975.

Looking ahead, Hottest Day of Year (83 Average) is Next Thursday, Ugly Truck Day is in 2 weeks, State Fair Opens is in 7 weeks, 7:30 PM Sunset is in 8 weeks, Harvest Moon is in 2 months, Average High is 70 is in 11 weeks, Hunter’s Moon is in 13 weeks, Thanksgiving is in 20 weeks and Election Day 2018 is in 16 months.

There are 1,330 vehicles that take Southern Boulevard out of the city normally on a weekdays during the 5 PM hour. The average car is about 20 feet long and there is a car length of space between the cars. On a single lane of highway with traffic stopped, that works out to be a 10.3 mile long traffic jam. 

Mayor Erastus Corning penned an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1970 about the great crisis that mass motoring was bringing upon our cities. Highways consume enormous parts of our cities and countryside, the vehicles that run upon them put out poisonous gases that may very well kill of humanity and the world that we know and love. 

People pin great hope on autonomous cars and those that burn electricity. I’m skeptical. I think that only way we can get the amount of energy needed to power mass motoring is by burning fossil fuels, even if it’s at a centralized generating plant. But maybe I’m wrong. I hope so. 

‘What Would You Do?’ Author Wants To Stop Sensationalizing The Donner Party

"Tales from the American West are marked by heroism, romance and plenty of cruelty. Among those stories, the saga of the Donner Party stands alone — a band of pioneers set out in covered wagons for California, and eventually, stranded, snowbound and starving, resorted to cannibalism."

"Author Michael Wallis says the story of Donner Party has been sensationalized over the years. His new book chronicles the journey from its beginning, illuminating the challenges the families faced and the fatal error that set them on a tragic course — accepting bad advice that an uncharted shortcut would ease their passage to California. About half of the party survived."

Map: Jockeybush Lake

Map: Jockeybush Lake

Jockeybush Lake is located in Ferris Lake Wild Forest in the southwestern Adirondacks off NY 10 in Hamilton County. The 1.1 mile trail that leads to the lake has an elevation gain of 221 feet.

This great short hike features views of the stream the trail follows, a few small waterfalls and at the end of the trail, Jockeybush Lake. The trail to the lake is easy to walk except for a few muddy stretches and you may want to avoid the the trail in the spring due to the stream crossing. The trail begins at the parking area on the west side of NY 10. The GPS coordinates are N43 18.061 W74 33.963 for those who have a GPS device in their car. There is a snowmobile trail that also leaves the parking area that might confuse some hikers. The Jockeybush Lake Trail is well marked with signs and DEC plastic markers.


If we stopped emitting greenhouse gases right now, would we stop climate change?

"If we stop our emissions today, we won’t go back to the past. The Earth will warm. And since the response to warming is more warming through feedbacks associated with melting ice and increased atmospheric water vapor, our job becomes one of limiting the warming. If greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated quickly enough, within a small number of decades, it will keep the warming manageable. It will slow the change – and allow us to adapt. Rather than trying to recover the past, we need to be thinking about best possible futures."