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Friday, January 24, 2020

Blue Trailer

I really don't have anything too interesting to share. The quality in the day for me was that I'm really closing in on having this book formatted. My goal is to get it to the printer on Tuesday, and then I'm going for a mini trip on Wednesday and Thursday.

No, the trailer isn't going with me. It's blue, waiting for more work to be done on it. I've been planning my next steps for it in my head. Can't stop myself from doing that. But it's good that it's the season to NOT work on it, because this book is the only priority right now.

covered travel trailer in blue dusk

I got the index all finished today. I got the Geographical Listing of Hikes all finished too- triple checked because I left out four chapters on the first pass!!

Rainy day, so I didn't get the exercise I was hoping for, but maybe tomorrow.

See Dusky Pastels

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Hiking Gear - Gaiters

I've never really wanted gaiters before, but I've decided to try them. The good thing about trail runners is that they keep my feet cool. The bad thing about them is that they practically guarantee wet feet.

I found Outdoor Research Huron low gaiters for only $10 at Sierra Trading Post. I was skeptical that they would even fit, but at that price it was worth a try.


My first pleasant surprise is that they do actually fit. Sure, they are labeled small, but you've heard my woes about what companies think small feet are. Bigger than mine, usually. They have a sturdy zipper, velcro zipper cover, and adjustable elastic tops (although it's light elastic that won't last).

You'd never be able to put them on balancing on one foot. They require a place to sit down so you can use both hands. I suspect if you were trying to get them on some cold morning at camp they would be frustrating. But when they are on, there is a nice smooth fit. Here's the inner side.


And the outer side. Let's talk about the under-shoe strap. It's plastic. Probably terrible. It was annoying to walk on for 3 miles. I think for 10 miles it would approach intolerable. However, I'm sure it won't last long, and I can replace it with more typical flat elastic.


It's was just the kind of day to test them. On about one mile of my three-mile walk there was soggy snow about 1-2" deep. My goal is to see if these would be OK instead of winter boots when the snow isn't really deep enough to posthole, or to need snowshoes.

After 2 miles, the left toe box was working its way up over the shoe. Right after I took this picture, it popped off. But it was easy enough to slip it back on.


Did they keep my feet any drier than without them? I don't think so. If you look carefully, you can see that my feet are wet about halfway from the toes to the arch.

wet socks

However, they did keep the bottoms of my pant legs from getting all soggy, so that it a plus. I'll need to be out longer to decide if they provide any marginal warmth to my feet. In general, I prefer to have my feet cold, even wet and cold. However, this may not be a wise idea if you are going to be out all day, for multiple days, in the winter.

Socks? I wore my capilene liners with a pair of the No Nonsense socks. They did not slip.

In other news: I have finished the final edit on the book. Have a few more tweaks on the index, and then formatting of that. That's tomorrow's project.

See Socks

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Another Day of Tracks

Today, I went three times as far on the snowshoes, maybe 1.5 miles. The snow is starting to get thin. We'll see how many days I can continue. However, I have a "carrot on a stick" to keep me working on the book project and finish it completely, turned in, done by Tuesday. That reward involves being in pretty good shape for an adventure, so I'll be out doing something every day, even if it's not on snowshoes. This will also help me focus on the book again when I come back in. Too many brain-crunching hours.

I love everything about snowshoeing. Even the symmetry of the tracks through the snow.

snowshoe tracks

While I was out, I found a cute little line of mouse tracks going directly horizontally across the picture. You can just see the tip of one snowshoe for a bit of scale. That's a deer track going up the left side.

mouse tracks

The shadows weren't strong, so I played with the picture a bit. Now you can see the tail drag mark in the middle. The back footprints obliterate the front prints.

mouse tracks

And when I got back to the kitchen door... my tracks had followed me.

snowshoe tracks

In other news: I worked on the book all day. Finished the geographical index and am up to page 268 on the final edit.

See Of Mice and Mice

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Stamina Up

Today, I went at least twice as far as yesterday and was less tired when I finished. Still not far, but an improvement.

snowy landscape through a pine

And... this is the second day in a row I could see my shadow. Seems like we've had a nice amount of sun this winter. Michigan is usually very gray.


In other news: Bell choir practice and working on the book. I'm on the last pass through for final errors of any type. 160 pages are done.

See First Snowshoe in a While
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Monday, January 20, 2020

First Snowshoe in a While

I think I didn't snowshoe at all last year. It didn't snow before I went east. I took the snowshoes with me, but all they did was slide around in the car. The snow then came to Michigan where I wasn't.

snowshoe tracks

So, I got out for a short walk today. Maybe half a mile. My stamina is still not good after that cold. Dang.

But the sky was lovely.

winter sky

Remember the letter B? It's still growing. It's lost it's shape and is more fuzzy,

white pines

And the baby pines that clump spawned are now big enough to easily find.

white pines

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to walk longer.

In other news: I hunkered down and made myself finish the first pass on the index. It just needs a couple of tweaks, but the bulk of that project is done. Wowser!

See Surprises in My Kingdom
See It's B-b-b-back
See First Snowshoe Winter 2017

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