2017 August 22

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Allegheny National Forest
Finger Lakes National Forest
Jakes Rocks Overlook
Oak Ridge State Forest
Presque Isle State Park
Rim Rock
West Virginia

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

This October, I am thinking about taking another trip to West Virgina. People from New York don’t know much about West Virginia, thinking it’s a backwards, coal producing state, but it’s also one with incredible scenic beauty. I love the beauty and the back country roads, but boy are those hills steep, the roads narrow and twisty. They’re tough on your brakes going down them, even in low gear, and tough on your engine climbing them.

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But then again, I was in the highest elevation part of West Virginia, visiting places like Dolly Sods and Spruce Mountain. Great country, but you are up high. Climbing and descending the mountains, really isn’t much fun in West Virginia, especially with a lifted truck with a low gear ratio and somewhat undersized brakes.

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I kind of would love to see that country again, but I think I would try to stay off of some of those hills, preferring to stick to main roads, that go through valleys as much as possible. I would definitely avoid mountain passes, because I really don’t find that driving that much fun, with my fear of having issues with the truck, with no cell service in much of the northern part of state, due to the National Quiet Zone.

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If I do go down there, I will skip Shenandoah National Park. That park was fun to see but I would like to do more of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and head further south. I do need to plan which campgrounds I would stay at, because there aren’t the free camping opportunities along the Parkway, as I might find in Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. But so be it. I can survive in a lightly developed campground, like North Creek Campground in Buchanan.

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I don’t know how far south I could go on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but at 45 MPH, you can make a lot of distance. The parkway is a fun drive, it lacks the sharp curves and hills that you find in either West Virginia or Skyline Drive at Shenandoah National Park. I got to really hate the hills in West Virginia. I actually found the Blue Ridge Parkway to be the most pleasurable part of my trip, even if there was a lot of speed traps on gently sloping downhills. Cruise control and Waze helps with that.

It would be a fun trip. I just got to keep planning, and play it out by ear as the autumn approaches.

Good morning! Happy Tuesday. Heading back to New York today possibly hitting up Letchworth State Park then back to the Finger Lakes. Partly cloudy and 72 degrees in Warren. There is a south-southwest breeze at 10 mph. The dew point is 67 degrees. The skies will clear tomorrow around 1 am.

It was definitely a fun day at the beach at Presque Isle. A long drive from Allegheny National Forest but a nice drive. I love seeing the rural Pennsylvania countryside, smelling the petroleum in Bradford and farms and the rednecks burning their garbage. Pennsylvania rednecks love their fire, there ain’t much th at they don’t burn in the Pennsylvania countryside. The eclipse was pretty neat as seen through eclipse glasses. Looked a lot like the progression of the full moon to quarter moon to crescent moon with the glasses. I do wish the waves were a little better on Lake Erie as that would have made it more fun. I probably should have tried another beach but I was mesmerized with eclipse. 

I am all packed up for the day. Still chewing over going to Letchworth, it depends on how fast the thunderstorms get here. I’d love to see Letchworth again but not in the pouring rain. I might camp there but I’m thinking of heading back to the Finger Lakes so I’m farther east come Wednesday afternoon when I have to go home. 

Today will have showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds. High of 80 degrees at 2pm. One degree above normal. Maximum dew point of 67 at 9am. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. A year ago, we had mostly sunny skies. The high last year was 73 degrees. The record high of 93 was set in 1916.

The sun will set at 8:04 pm with dusk around 8:33 pm, which is one minute and 33 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 69 degrees. The dew point will be 66 degrees. There will be a west-southwest breeze at 11 mph. Today will have 13 hours and 32 minutes of daytime, an decrease  of 2 minutes and 35 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will have showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 11pm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds. Low of 56 degrees at 5am. Four degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 66 at 6pm. Southwest wind 7 to 11 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies. It got down to 50 degrees. The record low of 44 occurred back in 1988.

Today in 1971, twenty of the Camden 28 were arrested. They were a group of “Catholic left” anti-Vietnam War activists who in 1971 planned and executed a raid on a Camden, New Jersey draft board. The raid resulted in a high-profile criminal trial of the activists that was seen by many as a referendum on the Vietnam War and as an example of successful use of jury nullification.

One month until Autumn Begins when the sun will be setting at 7:11 pm with dusk at 7:39 pm. 

Map: Oak Ridge State Forest

Map: Oak Ridge State Forest

Oak Ridge State Forest is located northeast of the village of Afton. It is a hilltop forest, except on the eastern side, where there is a 300± foot deep ravine that mother nature carved with a small stream flowing off the hilltop. The most common visitors to the forests are hunter and woodland hikers. Purchased with Hewitt Amendment funds in the 1930's, the State Forest is a blend of planted forests of red pine, larch and Norway spruce, and natural forest stands consisting mostly of red maple, red oak, chestnut oak, white oak, American beech, white ash, hickories, white pine and eastern hemlock. The plantations were mostly planted by Civil Conservation Corps in the 1930's.