Map: South Valley State Forest North Map

Map: South Valley State Forest North Map

Charles Baker State Forest is named after the first District Forester who administered it. This property totals over 9,400 acres in southeast Madison County and makes up the core area for the Brookfield Trail System. This highly acclaimed horse and snowmobile trail system has over 130 miles of trails set throughout three state forests (Charles Baker State Forest, Brookfield Railroad State Forest, and Beaver Creek State Forest) that make up the Brookfield unit management area. These three forests collectively provide 13,750 acres of public reforestation lands for multiple recreation purposes.

Morning Folks. It’s December! Sorry that I didn’t post many updates yesterday, I kind of got working on mounting the solar panel on the roof of my truck, and other projects on my day off. Partly cloudy and 33 degrees in Delmar, NY. Calm wind. Clouded to the north, sunnier to the south. Not sure if the forecast will be quite as nice as earlier estimated. The skies will clear around 10 pm.

Today it’s off to Thomas and Cat Mountains to see the beautiful cabin and sights before they tear them down next summer. Then camping probably one last time before thesnow, but who knows, this winter so far has been pretty snow-free here in the Albany area and Eastern Adirondacks.

Today will be mostly cloudy, with a high of 42 degrees at 2pm. Two degrees above normal. Light and variable wind. A year ago, we had mostly sunny skies. The high last year was 49 degrees. The record high of 66 was set in 1998. 6.2 inches of snow fell back in 1949.

The sun will set at 4:22 pm with dusk around 4:54 pm, which is 16 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for mostly cloudy conditions and 40 degrees. There will be a calm wind. Today will have 9 hours and 14 minutes of daytime, a decrease of one minute and 18 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 30 degrees at 5am. Four degrees above normal. Calm wind. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies. It got down to 35 degrees. The record low of -1 occurred back in 1976.

The Albany County Young Democrats meeting was fun at Center Square Pub. While I’m not a big drinker, it’s fun to go out after work from time to time. I’ve been an on and off member of Albany County Young Democrats for nearly fourteen years now, although in recent years I’ve not been that politically involved. Sure, I almost always vote, especially in the general elections, but I’ll be the first to admit that my interest in politics is rather fleeting. I do like drinking a good beer from time to time, and talking politics. 

I might be more conservative than many of my friends in the party but ultimately I almost always pull the lever on Row A. Even if in 2016 I voted for Jill Stein. I didn’t care that much, I knew Clinton was almost certain to win New York. I’m not convinced that the Democrats would have made solid progress on climate change with a Republican congress at any rate. People sometimes forget I’m a liberal. So far I haven’t gotten sick from the CSP food which now is famous for the most dirty kitchen in the county per Albany County Health Department. I guess somebody has to be on the bottom of the list. 

The bus going home was pretty late, but we are making decent time, and I’m sure I’ll be home by 7:30 pm. Sometimes congestion makes the bus late. At least with the real time bus information I knew when the bus was coming. Friday though, I had had off, so so I could ignore the bus schedule. I actually saw my regular express on Friday morning when I got milk, but I just waived the driver on. It was nice being able to just relax and not have to worry about catching the bus.

Yesterday, I bought an aluminum bar to build the cross racks for the solar panel, and then when I got home, I realized I hadn’t thought of a way to tighten the bolts under the solar panel. Fortunately after some hemming and hawing, and lots of measurements, I found an alternative method, using the mounting plates that came with the panel (which turns out to fit the track), but I will use the aluminum bar to reinforce the mounting, and better spread the weight out over the Yamika tracks. By the time I got done working on that, it was too late to leave for camp, so that’s why I am heading out today.

My propane tank isn’t totally empty, but I really don’t want to run out of propane when camping in the cold. I found out it is possible to have a propane tank filled even before it’s totally empty. All places will fill tanks that still have some gas left, and it turns out a lot of places, like Tractor Supply Company only charge you for the propane you actually buy — it’s not a flat fee for  a 20 gallon tank like at the hardware store. I am going to stop at Tractor Supply on my way up to Cat and Thomas Mountain today. They open at eight AM.

Finally got my soldering iron in the mail and other supplies to build circuit boards. I didn’t want to leave the soldering iron at home all weekend while I was home in case of rain, heavy dew, or I guess theft. I am sure any theif would be disappointed when they disovered they stole a fairly basic soldering iron (granted it is a lower-end Weller soldering station), but regardless I wouldn”t have my soldering iron to start building electronics had it been stolen or damaged.

There are 2 months until Ground Hog Day when the sun will be setting at 5:11 pm with dusk at 5:40 pm. By then the cold of winter will have somewhat moderated, and the days will be getting longer. Winter is deep and dark in late December into January, but it never lasts. The average high temperature is 41 degrees, with a record high of 66 in 1998.

I had better get going, I’m burning daylight.