Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Next Backpack Route

Approximate route and bivouac areas for the next backpack.
My next backpack trek goal is to complete the eastern end of the Finger Lakes Trail. I will start on May 19th and complete the 180 mile trek by May 26th. Sue and Jason will stop by near Liberty, NY to pick me up on our way to a family get-together on the coast of Rode Island for a late memorial day weekend (5/27-5/31), before heading back home.

Some of my concerns are:
  • With trees leafing out, the visibility compared to winter and early spring hikes will be much different. Will this affect the efficiency of sighting the "white trail blases"?
  • What about the "black flies"? ... debating as to wether to take a head net.
  • I am currently breaking in a new pair of backpacking boots vs the hiking boot used on previous hikes. The Catskills will be much rockier terrain. I hope this is a wise decision as the boots weighs about a 1.5 pound more than my gore tex hiking boots...1000+ steps/mile x 1.5 additional lbs per mile = a significant amount of weight by the trips end.
  • Still planning on covering about 22 - 26 miles per day...hope that I am again up for this. Lots of daylight now vs darkess by 5pm in January.
  • There are fewer Lean-To's, so about 2/3's of the nights will be tent camping, which requires a little more effort to set up and breakdown.
  • There is so much work to be done around home during the active growing spring part of the year, so how do I get everything "caught-up" for the time away?

Oh the "butterflies" are beginning to churn.


P.S. Look for a travelogue of the trip in early June.

Friday, May 1, 2009

GREEN action! - Green Manure

In the mid-September, 2008 I lightly rototilled the the rapidly fading garden and hand broadcasted annual rye grass seeds. Within a week the garden turned green and remained green well into December and again by mid-March, 2009. The rye grass protects the soil, discourages weed germination and provides organic material to enrich this years' garden soil.
I love the way my shovel shines following an hour of turning the soil. The rotiller would never turn the soil to the 6 - 8 inch depth that my "green" shove can. The rototiller does a nice job preparing a nice, soft seed bed using less "carbon" energy following the hand turning of the soil. By turning over a small area for 1 hour at a time, I will complete the garden turn-over today or tomorrow. I started the process several weeks ago.

My "green" non-polluting tool and the "green manure" crop.

"Green action" + green manure + green sounds = GREEN EARTH