Aug 28, 2014

Backpacking the Black Forest Trail - Sog Fest!

I haven't had time to pee in my pants lately.  Work has been insanely busy.  But, I wanted to at least throw these images up on the blog.  I'll most likely come back to this post and spiff up the verbiage.  If not, this is all you're gettin'!  The weekend backpacking trip to Tiadaghton State Forest, last weekend was a total sog fest.  It rained non-stop, the entire weekend, and we bailed on Saturday afternoon, turning Saturday night into a bar crawl in beautiful downtown Lockhaven, PA!  It was a total blast!




Aug 21, 2014

Shenandoah morning light

while waiting for the GoPro to capture my time lapse images, in Shenandoah National Park last weekend, I snapped away with my Micro 4/3 camera.  Shooting in the early morning is, by far, my favorite time to capture the outdoors.  I had a great time playing with the depth of field, using my 85mm lens.  Good times!  

Aug 20, 2014

Packed and ready to go!

As I mentioned before, in a couple of days, I'll be driving up to Lockhaven, PA to meet two of Debbie's brothers for a weekend backpacking trip.  Tonight I finalized my gear.  I laid it all out, and through much scrutinizing, shuffling things about and chucking things over my shoulder, arrived at my final configuration.  My pack weight is an all-time, record-low 17 lbs.  I owe most of the weight savings to a bit of knowledge picked up over the years.  Each time I returned from a trip and unpacked, I'd realized that I packed gear that I never even used.  What I've learned reading online was to keep your main three light.  The main three are your cook system, sleeping system, and your pack. The cook system I use is a homemade beer can stove (1 lb) that runs on denatured alcohol.  My sleeping system is a lightweight down-filled bag (2 lbs), a hammock (16 oz) and a space blanket to use as a shelter from the ran.  My backpack is an ultralight pack called the Virga; made by Granite Gear (1 lb, 3 oz).  The pack is brand new to me and I've never carried it before, so I'm really excited to see how I like it!
Above:  This is the whole shebang.
Above:  Rain jacket, spare clothes, dehydrated meals, fajita wrappers, oatmeal & gatorade packets, Nalgene bottle, first aid kit, map & compass, bug net, head lamp, pocket knife, spork, titanium cooking mug, alcohol stove, denatured alcohol, spare batteries, gaters, GoPro, phone, 4/3s camera and my hat.
Above:  EMS MTN Lite 20° down-filled bag, Eno SInglenest hammock, space blanket, paracord & closed-cell foam sitting pad.
Above:  Fully packed at 17lbs & my trusty Asolo 520's.

Aug 19, 2014

Shenandoah sunrise time lapse

Have I mentioned that I love the hell out of my new GoPro Hero 3+ camera?  While in Shenandoah National Park this past weekend, Debbie and I got up early to catch the sunrise.  As the sun came up over Upper Hawksbill Gap, we sleepily watched with amazement.  Note to self:  Watch more sunrises.

Aug 10, 2014

Stoked

In a couple of weeks I'll be backpacking in PA with two of Debbie's brothers.  We'll be hiking parts of the Black Forest Trail in the Tiadaghton State Park.  I'm pretty stoked!  I haven't gone backpacking in over three years.  Wow, I hate to even think about that sad fact... typing it makes me feel even worse.  But that's life; it gets busy.  While, perhaps, I haven't been doing one particular thing that I really enjoy, I sure as hell have been doing others.  But anyway, it's going to be great to be out in the woods again, trekking along, choosing my own adventure via map & compass and wearily falling asleep, in a swaying hammock with a million stars above me.  As pumped as I am to be back out there, I'm equally pumped to be connecting with Debbie's brothers a little more.  This trip is an all-around fantastic idea.

Aug 4, 2014

Mom & Dad's 50th wedding anniversary

This weekend, Debbie and I drove up to my hometown, of Sherrill, NY to surprise my parents with a 50th Anniversary party. All nine of us kids coordinated to pull off an excellent surprise party for them. It was epic. My mom was crying tears of joy and my dad had a smile on his face all day. It felt great to give them a nice surprise; they're a hell of a couple!


Jul 25, 2014

Moonflower time lapse

A couple of weeks ago a buddy at work gave me a few plants; two tropical, black-eyed susan vines and one moonflower plant.   Woahohohooooo Nelly...  Am I about to blog about plants?  Why yes; yes I am.  The moonflower plant is pretty awesome actually.  My buddy told me that this plant would produce flowers, one at a time, several times, before dying.  Last night it finally blossumed and I used my new GoPro to capture the time lapse.  The series of photos in the video were taken every 60 seconds, between 7:00pm and 9:00pm.  Pretty cool!

Jul 15, 2014

Riding with my brother

Just wanted to post up some video footage I took while mountainbiking with my brother Patrick a couple of weekends ago.  Debbie and I drove down to meet Pat, who's a Marine at Camp Lejeune.  He doesn't have a lot of trails down there in his part of North Carolina, but what he does have, are pretty fun!  He crashed twice, which means he was riding harder than I was!  I rode my fat bike, which I am still madly in love with.   Wish we could ride more often.

Jul 3, 2014

Another year older

I’m 36 years old now. My birthday was last Friday and was celebrated over a long weekend in my very favorite of all places; the Adirondacks. Debbie and I spent a few days at a cabin in Woodgate, just south of Old Forge. We spent the days hiking, swimming and relaxing (when we werent’ getting drilled by black flies). I was really excited to have received a couple of awesome gifts from Debbie. Each deserving of their own blog entry; so more on them later. I will say that she got me the latest Gopro camera, the Hero 3, Black Edition, and it is AWESOME. I cannot wait to use it more. Below is some sample footage I took from the summit of Blue Mountain.
  We rounded the trip off with a stop at my folks place for a nice visit. We were able to spend the day with them. My father and I spent a couple of hours at the rifle range. My shoulder is still sore from his 45-70.

Jun 14, 2014

Excellent Junk

I had grand plans for this morning.  I was going to get up early and hit the trails, collecting footage for a short mountain bike video.  However, I didn't get out of bed too awful early this morning (Last night's White Russians put the kibosh on that plan - Damn you!  You delicious concoction!).  Still, I made it to the trails, in Union Mills, by 9:30 and had some fun collecting footage in the woods.  I don't think I got enough action to put together anything interesting but we'll see.  I had picked up a Gorillapod from Adorama, specifically for this purpose.  It worked like a charm today.  I was able to wrap it around trees and logs and get some low angle shots with my Micro four thirds camera.  So, the day was spent riding for a few minutes, stopping, looking around and then either getting off and setting up the camera, or pedaling on to repeat the process.  Its fun to collect footage.  You want to collect neat footage; pretty footage; interesting footage; sunlit nature scenery footage.  You don't want boring footage.  So it's a challenge to be creative out in the woods; a fun challenge.  


I've said this before, but I really like finding junk piles in the middle of the woods.  I usually find them when I'm hunting and will spend a while rooting around to see what there is to see.  Junk piles are just inherently interesting.  Today's pile was awesome.  I was glad I had my camera with me.  The toy gun is probably, the coolest looking item I've found in a long time.  Old telephones are always cool to find, bottles are always nice, but toys take the cake, in my book.

I dig the old Tropicana bottle.  And what the hell is Upper 10?  I had to Google it.  Wikipedia tells me that it first debuted in 1933.  Its similar to 7UP/Sierra Mist etc and it's still sold outside of the US.  Weird name.
Several items (shoes, cans, bottles) had moss growing inside of them, among other things.  Spiders seem to like bottles; they make excellent homes.  Several bottles I picked up, held spiders inside them.  And this creepy puppy also caught my eye.  I love the enthusiastic look on his decaying face.