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

One of the other problems I have with my lifted truck is it’s constantly getting covered with mud, dirt and in the winter with salt. In the winter, the salt often gets so caked on the windows, it can be hard to see out of them. I can wash it, but just going through a mud puddle on a dirt road gets it’s soaked. It also seems like I end up throwing a lot of stones, and I’m chipping the paint in places, and a few times I’ve had stones hit windows – but so far none of them have broke.

Right now, the tires on my truck, after lifting it, stick out from the body. Rather then much of the thrown gravel, rocks, and mud hitting the wheel well, they go fly out from the truck. Installing aftermarket wheel fenders would help with that. I’ve never been that much of a fan of the aftermarket fenders, as I think they are kind of ugly, but they would keep rocks, salt, and mud from being thrown.

It also would make the truck legal in many more states. New York doesn’t require wheel fenders on lifted trucks, you can have the wheels stick out form the body. That isn’t true in some other states, namely Maryland, which I have to go through to get to West Virginia. Sure, they’re aren’t a lot of cops looking for that, and if you not speeding, chances of getting pulled over are small. And it’s only like 10-20 miles to cut through that state.

One of the wheel wells has started to get some salt rot, like all GM trucks do after a while. There is just this spot over the rear wheels in the truck bed, that there is no good place to clean the salt and mud off of, and over time, it eats from the inside. It’s not so noticeable right now, but it will get worse over time. Fenders would cover the rust, and make the truck look sharp for a lot longer. Plus control the mud and salt that covers the outside of the body.

But the salt and mud covered windows are a real pain. I hate seeing the rust on my nice truck. I’ve looked online, and I can get a nice set of the fenders for about $150, and if I order out of state, I can probably avoid paying sales tax, not that I would dare to forget to tell the state about my expenditure. Or I could see what one of the local performance shops would charge to have them bought there and installed – that would ensure they were installed nice and straight. I’m not crazy about drilling my own holes through the quarter panel – there is no turning back if you screw up yourself.

I think I will decided by mid-autumn what I want to do. I want to have fenders on the truck before winter if possible, to keep the salt from coating my truck nearly as badly as it normally does in the winter. I want to not find myself cleaning off the windows so I can see where I am driving in the winter.

Good afternoon! Happy Very Wet Friday, as our summer starts summer winds down. At least it’s going to be a nice weekend. Two weeks to September 1st. It’s pouring out there and 77 degrees in Albany, NY. There is a south breeze at 5 mph. The dew point is 70 degrees. Even by the of low standards of my week long vacation three weeks ago, today is a wet one. Fortunately, the next five days I have off look to be relatively rain free.

This afternoon will have showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. High of 77 degrees at 3pm. Three degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 70 at 3pm. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies. It was humid. The high last year was 86 degrees. The record high of 95 was set in 1913.

The sun will set at 7:51 pm with dusk around 8:21 pm, which is one minute and 32 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for light rain and conditions and 76 degrees. The dew point will be 69 degrees. There will be a south breeze at 9 mph. Today will have 13 hours and 45 minutes of daytime, an increase of 2 minutes and 36 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will have showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 8pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 8pm and 2am. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low of 68 degrees at 3am. Seven degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 70 at 6pm. South wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms. In 2016, we had partly cloudy skies with more clouds in the early hours of the next day. It was humid. It got down to 65 degrees. The record low of 43 occurred back in 1977.

In 1929, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.  And nine years later in 1938, the Thousand Islands Bridge, connecting New York, United States with Ontario, Canada over the Saint Lawrence River via Wellesley Island, is dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It remains the primary crossing of St. Lawerence River, where Interstate 81 drops down to two undivided lanes. It’s narrow but continues to serve it’s purpose. I’m sure at some point in the future it will be replaced with a modern interstate bridge.

Still haven’t gotten my solar eclipse glasses. I am majorly bummed out by that. After the Save the Pine Bush Hike I went to two different drug stores, a Home Depot and Walmart in search of them. Maybe I should have hit Target and Toy R Us up, but it was getting late. The online eBay seller promises to reimburse my money if I don’t get the glasses by Saturday, but honestly if they aren’t in my mailbox by this evening, I’m kind of screwed. They should have arrived last week. At the time I ordered them, they seemed like a decent price with good reviews on the seller, and honestly I kind of wanted the post-marked eclipse stamp they were supposed to come in. I should have picked them up for free at the library, but I figured leave them for the kids. I’m going to try a few more places tonight and maybe early Saturday.

If I get the solar eclipse glasses, I most certainly will go out South and West. That’s the best place about seeing the eclipse. I am thinking about going out to Allegheny National Forest to camp, visiting Erie, PA on Monday, and viewing the eclipse from the beach out there. I would also go up to Red House beach one of those days in the State Park. Or I might not decide to get that far west, for such a short period of time. I might instead got to just the Finger Lakes, and spend more time at that Watkins Glen Pool.

Otherwise, I may make this into an Adirondack Park trip. I would probably leave a little later on Saturday morning, and get a kayak paddle at the Adirondack Kayak Warehouse. From there, I would go up to Mason Lake and camp at one of those campsites one night, then from there head north to Horseshoe Lake, and then to Jones Pond or Mountain Pond, just outside of the St. Regis Canoe Area. I would probably spend the balance of the week at Deer River Wild Forest, which I got up to in November 2015, but ended up camping at Walter Pratt Camping Area. Or maybe visit some of the St. Lawrence State Forests. There are many interesting lakes and ledges to explore of St. Lawrence.

Or I could up to through the Black River Valley, or areas nearby. I haven’t been up that way in a while. I did like those new campsites up at Otter Creek State Forest. I could then go up to Frank Jadwin State Forest, Greenwood Creek, and so forth. But I haven’t really given much thought to that route. Or many other possibilities. Despite late hour, I haven’t really decided where I am going to go for the long weekend, but I should make up my mind, especially before I leave tomorrow.

As previously noted, there are 2 weeks until September 1st when the sun will be setting at 7:28 pm with dusk at 7:57 pm. It will be the start of the Labor Day Weekend. I’m planning on going to Moose River Plains for that. On that day in 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 79 and 62 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 77 degrees. We hit a record high of 96 back in 1953.

Good morning! Happy Thursday. Next Thursday is State Fair Opens. Summer is rapidly coming to an end. Mostly sunny and 61 degrees in Delmar. Calm wind. The dew point is 53 degrees. Should be a beautiful day. Some minor traffic delays downtown but that may be because of the bus running a few minutes later then usual.

Last night’s Save the Pine Bush Dinner was good but I was tired after washing all those dishes. I actually had to sneak out before all the dishes were done to catch the bus home, but I made it. It was a bit strange waiting for the bus with the Capitol lights out, as they were dimmed for the community movie they were showing at West Capitol Park on the big projection screen. I think it’s great that the state is showing those movies, and heck, they’re probably saving money by dimming the lights at the Capitol.

Today will be sunny, with a high of 80 degrees at 3pm. One degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 56 at 6pm. Light and variable wind. A year ago, we had mostly cloudy skies. It was somewhat humid. The high last year was 81 degrees. The record high of 97 was set in 1913.

The sun will set at 7:53 pm with dusk around 8:23 pm, which is one minute and 31 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly clear conditions and 76 degrees. The dew point will be 57 degrees. There will be a southeast breeze at 5 mph. Today will have 13 hours and 47 minutes of daytime, an increase of 2 minutes and 35 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will have a chance of showers, mainly after 1am. Increasing clouds, with a low of 63 degrees at 5am. Three degrees above normal. Maximum dew point of 63 at 6am. Southeast wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It was somewhat humid. It got down to 64 degrees. The record low of 40 occurred back in 1981.

Still no decision has been made on the extended weekend. The weather sure looks nice. I kind of want to go back out to the Finger Lakes to do a re-do of the vacation in warm sunny weather, but I am also a little bored with that idea, as I did spend 9 days and eight nights out int he Finger Lakes (with very little sun and much rain) only two weeks ago.  It’s going to be so hot, so swimming would be fun. I do like sitting by Foster Pond at 1 AM, looking up in the stars. I do like Foster Dairy Bar and truck cap camping by a nice big campfire, and watching the cows chomp on the grass.

On the other hand, I would like to see some of Pennsylvania again, and Erie PA would have a somewhat better view of the Eclipse, assuming that I get eclipse glasses, which never came in the mail. I’m going to look at local retailers now. I’ve heard Walmart and Home Depot have them until they run out. I heard the library ran out — I probably should have gotten my glasses for free there, but I figured it would be easier to order them online — and they were supposed to come with a nice commemorative stamp that I could save. Tonight I will stop at Walmart and Home Depot after the Save the Pine Bush hike to check.

I could go up to the Adirondacks, but that would require more planning, as I can’t just stop at Walmart or Tops like I can if I go to Finger Lakes. But on the other hand, I haven’t spent that much time in the Adirondacks this year, and I haven’t been up to the Northern Adirondacks since 2015. Lows Lakes and St. Regis Canoe Area might be fun to at least visit in the day time, but it might be crowded in the summer. I might be better to go up there in the autumn. Also the Deer River area might be fun to camp in, like was originally the plan in the spring before I got rained out. I have have to get a paddle though for my kayak for that, and I would also have to buy food for the whole week, as grocery options are limited and expensive in the Adirondacks. But if I’m no

On this day in 1977, the Soviet icebreaker Arktika becomes the first surface ship to reach the North Pole. And in 1982, the first Compact Discs (CDs) are released to the public in Germany. I can’t remember the last time I played a CD, I think most music is in mp3 files these days.

As previously noted, next Thursday is State Fair Opens when the sun will be setting at 7:41 pm with dusk at 8:11 pm. On that day in 2016, we had patches of fog, partly cloudy skies and temperatures between 85 and 57 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 79 degrees. We hit a record high of 95 back in 1947.

About a month ago, I noticed a squeaking noise every time I released my rear brakes, especially in stop and go traffic. I decided to take my truck to a local brake shop, as it was most convenient for me – I knew I could drop it off in the morning, and have it to drive home in the evening. I had previously replaced the front brakes in October, because I was told during an inspection that they were getting worn, and I didn’t want to risk problems during my November vacation.

The brake shop told me I should be on four new pads and rotators, for an absurd price, something like $1,200 or $1,300. I said absolutely no, because I had just replaced the front brakes. The strongly pushed me towards doing the front, insisting the only 9 month old pads were glazed due to the heavy lifted truck, and that would reduce my stopping power and might cause noise. I know they are cheap pads, and probably the lift kit works them hard, but I knew they still had a lot of life left. I said no, but I agreed to do the rear.

Replacing the rear was supposed to be like $650 final price including tax, but the shop lied about not including tax which came out to like $720. I was pissed about that. Sure, I could do it myself for less, but rear drums are a pain to get apart. I figured get it done now, and move on with my life. By dropping it off at the brake shop, I could have it off before work, catch the BusPlus express to work, and then stop at the shop before the closed after work. No time or fuss required. Replacing the rear brakes got rid of the noise, although I have a sneaking suspicion that all I really needed with some grease. I should have asked more questions before telling them to proceed, demanded my old parts back, and gotten a written estimate. You live and learn.

I worried a bit about what the shop told me about the front glazed brakes. I started to wonder the quality of both the front and rear brakes I got replaced over the past nine months were lower quality, further reducing my stopping power over OEM brakes. But at least I have a lot of pad life left, and supposedly the hydraulics are good on the brakes.

Since lifting my truck, the stopping ability of my truck has been reduced. But so has the acceleration due to the lower gear ratio and handling is worse from being higher off the ground. But I do like the increased viability. I downshift aggressively going downhill – and always have – that’s why I changed the transmission fluid at 50,000 miles. I won’t do that again, but that was an expensive mess with some broken parts found during the change and filter replacement, but I should be able to make it as long as I own the truck.

Roughly 800 to 1,000 miles later, I’ve not noticed any real issues. Sure, the truck doesn’t stop on a dime, and it takes some force on the brakes to make a hard stop happen. But under normal driving, it seems fine. I’ve done expressways, city driving, up and down mountains and hills, and all over, with no noises or noticeable problems except one time I thought I smell brakes, immediately after descending a hill and parking – but it could have been somebody burning garbage up the road or some other smell like some dry leaves or crap getting stuck on the muffler. I downshift regularly on the hills. Parking brakes sets easier, which is good, because I often use the parking brake at lights, and when I’m parked on hills, because with the lift kit’s weight and all that heavy camping gear, it’s sometimes difficult to get out of park, without some force.

Eventually, I think I will take it to another, hopefully more reputable shop and get their assessment of the brakes – especially if I notice issues with stopping. I guess I could also pull the pads and look myself, but I’m not really experienced with working on brakes. If I need to upgrade, I won’t put just OEM or basic after-market pads back on the front if they say those brakes are truly glazed and worn as the sleezy brake shop insisted they were. I’m sure they mostly trying to sell me brakes – probably ones cheap – and would glaze back over. If I do need new front brakes, eventually, I’ll look at bigger brake kits with ceramic pads and slotted rotators. I’ve heard thiner brake lines can also increase caliper pressure, which means more braking with less force. Front, disc brakes are relatively easy to service – I could probably order and install premium pads and slotted rotators online for under $500 and install myself. Maybe my best option is to go to the lifted truck shop in Schenectady, and see what they suggest for brake performance upgrades. I doubt a regular shop would be as familiar with lifted trucks with big heavy wheels to stop.

But despite my lingering questions about a future undiagnosed brake failure coming down the line, I think I will be fine. Glaze on brakes won’t promote premature brake failure – indeed if anything the brakes will run cooler rather then hotter – because they aren’t sticking well enough. All the evidence suggests that things are fine for now. I will make sure to continue downshifting on steep hills, and keep an eye on the stopping power of the brakes. But with no noise being produced, and brakes stopping well enough for now, I can’t even be bothered to look towards spending more money on a second opinion. I might think about getting a second opinion though in October before I go to West Virgina, and explore those steep hills. I will see – I don’t want to waste money on my truck unnecessarily – but I want to keep it in top condition for when I am on the rough back country and steep mountain hills.

Listening to Glen Campbell’s Galveston, imagining I was John Steinbeck in his Travels with Charlie, driving somewhere across the mid west in a pickup truck, three on the tree with a camper on the bed, listening to some small town country music AM radio. An era I only know by the books I’ve read. It’s an era long gone, with most of the small towns bypassed by the freeway, smokestack industries gone, and music played only by Clear Channel and MP3s. RIP, Glen Campbell.  

While we listen to those old Glen Campbell records with sadness, we have a great day of summer ahead of us. Mostly sunny and 73 degrees in Albany. Calm wind. The dew point is 53 degrees.  Get out and enjoy it.  Going to be a beautiful late summer day. Two weeks from now will be the last day with Average High of 80.

Today will be sunny, with a high of 82 degrees at 4pm. Typical temperature, and otherwise beautiful for today. Maximum dew point of 59 at 12pm. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon. A year ago, it was a bit warmer but with more clouds. In 2016, had mostly sunny skies with more clouds in the afternoon. The high last year was 86 degrees. The record high of 96 was set in 2001.

The sun will set at 8:04 pm with dusk around 8:35 pm, which is one minute and 21 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for partly clear conditions and 74 degrees. The dew point will be 60 degrees. There will be a west breeze at 5 mph. Today will have 14 hours and 7 minutes of daytime, an increase of 2 minutes and 25 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low of 60 degrees at 5am. One degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 60 at 8pm. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening. In 2016, we had mostly cloudy skies. It became humid as the night progressed. It got down to 70 degrees. The record low of 48 occurred back in 1955.

The weekend forecast has improved quite a bit over the past few days. I might head up to Piseco-Powley Road, depending on how it all plays out as Friday approaches. That said, I’m not sure if the weather up north will be as nice as down here. I would like to get to the potholers at least one more time, before it gets too cold.  Although who knows, the very long range predictions are calling for a mild autumn. If it’s 90 degrees and it’s September, the potholers are just as fun as summer. They don’t close them down like the state parks pools.

The long range looks quite good for the weekend after next. I am watching that for taking an extended weekend, and possibly going out to the Finger Lakes to watch the eclipse. I don’t have the days off except eclipse day, but if it’s hot and sunny, I’ll make it work. Or so I hope.

As previously noted, there are 2 weeks until Last Day with Average High of 80 when the sun will be setting at 7:43 pm with dusk at 8:13 pm. On that day in 2016, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 80 and 50 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 80 degrees. We hit a record high of 94 back in 1947.

The average yearly temperature for Albany is 48 degrees. That means that half of year, the mercury is either above or below 48 degrees. Which makes sense, especially when you consider how cold winter is.

We have a six days per year when the average temperature for the day is 48 degrees:

  • April 15 – Average 48, High 58, Low 37
  • April 16 – Average 48, High 59, Low 38
  • October 19 – Average 48, High 59, Low 38
  • October 20 – Average 48, High 58, Low 38
  • October 21 – Average 48, High 58, Low 38
  • October 22 – Average 48, High 57, Low 38

Weekly Rain Accumulation

As much as a half inch of rain expected between this afternoon and the early hours of tomorrow morning. The good news is the sun and low humidity will return for the second half of the week, to dry things out. Clouds return though as we head towards the weekend.

“Bus stop, Wendy, she’s there, I said share my umbrella. Bus Stop Bus Co., she stays love grows.” 

And so the alarm clock on my phone sung, as seven o’clock rolled around and suddenly the weekend came to an end. 

So, well Good morning! It’s a Monday. Tonight is the Strugeon Moon. Four weeks to Labor Day. A few sprinkles and 64 degrees in Delmar. There is a south-southeast breeze at 5 mph. The dew point is 55 degrees. The skies will clear tomorrow around 3 pm.

Today looks like it will be a wet one or at least damp by evening. Right now we have only gotten a few sprinkles and I wore a rain coat so that ensures that we won’t get much. 

Today will rain, mainly after 2pm with a high of 71 degrees at 1pm. 11 degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 61 at 5pm. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. A year ago, we had partly cloudy skies. It was somewhat humid. The high last year was 84 degrees. The record high of 102 was set in 1918.

The sun will set at 8:07 pm with dusk around 8:38 pm, which is one minute and 19 seconds earlier than yesterday. At sunset, look for rain and mercury around 65 degrees. The dew point will be 61 degrees. There will be a south-southeast breeze at 5 mph. Today will have 14 hours and 12 minutes of daytime, an increase of 2 minutes and 22 seconds over yesterday.

Tonight will rain, mainly before 1am with a low of 59 degrees at 6am. Two degrees below normal. Maximum dew point of 61 at 6pm. Southeast wind around 5 mph becoming light and variable. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. In 2016, we had mostly clear skies. It got down to 59 degrees. The record low of 46 occurred back in 1948.

Looking ahead, there are 4 weeks until Labor Day when the sun will be setting at 7:23 pm with dusk at 7:52 pm. On that day in 2016, we had mostly sunny skies and temperatures between 80 and 54 degrees. Typically, the high temperature is 77 degrees. We hit a record high of 97 back in 1929.

For Labor Day Weekend I will probably get up to Moose River Plains. This weekend I may go up to Piseco-Powley Road, but both of those things will depend on the weather. All I know is that summer is rapidly coming to an end.