Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for August, 2011

Live tracking experiment

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Tomorrow is a 70-mile ride with RCCS out of Orleans, IN. I’m doing an experiment. I’ll have my Android phone with me, and I’m going to set it up to live track the ride. If this works, you will be able to track our progress in real time, as we ride.

The ride starts at 9am eastern. If y0u want to follow along, visit my account on MapMyTracks. If it’s working properly, you’ll see a new entry at the top. Click on it and with any luck, it should show our route so far, some stats, and our current location. The map will then actually continue drawing as we ride.

I’ve done a few tests, and this does seem to work. However, I’m not sure what cell coverage will be like along the route, or if my battery will last all day. It’s a fun experiment, regardless.

New photography site

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

So, I’ve been working on this for a while. I don’t know that it’s quite ready yet, but I’m going to go ahead and launch it: my new photography Web site, Fleeting Reality. I need to add more content, but it’s a start. Please note that there is another blog on that site, so from now on, I intend to post photography-related content over there. Feel free to subscribe the the RSS feed if you want to track it. Let me know what you think!

Sycamore Loop

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

The weather has been much cooler. On Sunday, Sarah and I decided it was time for some hiking … something we don’t like to do when it’s oppressively hot. In fact, typically we do most of our hiking in the winter, but we are branching out a bit.

It rained on and off all day, but we really wanted to get out. We discussed possible trails and settled on the Sycamore Loop, a trail we’ve hiked a couple of times before.

We thought the rain was done, but as we were getting ready, we looked outside, and it was raining again. No worries, we just put some ponchos in my pack, and we were ready to go. I was going to take my DSLR on this hike, but given the rain, I decided against it. ┬áHere’s a map of the hike.

We started off on a fire road, then turned onto the trail. At this point, the rain had stopped and it was rather sunny. We were all excited to be out in the woods.

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Here, you can see that Rob was sitting for the photo, as instructed, but facing the wrong way …

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At every opportunity, Rob would lay down in a puddle or creek.

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Though many of the creeks were dry, like this one.

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Not to be deterred, Rob found another secret swimming hole, this one about two feet in diameter.

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After that diversion, we were moving again. The trail was getting a bit overgrown in places, though not entirely. Here’s “dog’s eye view.”

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We found lots of these little orange/yellow flowers.

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It was a great day to be in the woods. Then, it started raining. We put on our ponchos.

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Sarah was wearing her “wedding poncho,” though fortunately she did not need it on our actual wedding day.┬áNo one told me just how much I looked like Little Red Riding Hood in my red poncho. Next time, I’ll have to bring a wicker basket.

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The rain wasn’t bad at first, but it picked up some more. For a while, it rained hard. We really didn’t mind. The cooler weather was wonderful, and we got a little wet, but the ponchos worked well enough. We were in pine forest for a while, with very tall pines. With a bit of fog/mist from the rain, it looked beautiful.

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After a while, the rain subsided and we no longer needed our ponchos. We passed some more scenery, such as this pond, right by a campsite.

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And this was just one of many shaggy trees.

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This segment of the trail felt longer than I remembered. There’s a long, gradual climb out of a ravine that just goes on and on. At times the wind would pick up and we would hear the leaves rustling, and water being blown from the leaves, falling to the forest floor. Then the wind would travel slowly through the trees, the falling water moving toward us, washing overhead and finally moving past us. The canopy was so dense that we didn’t even get wet when this happened, but it was really something, hearing it overhead.

Eventually we reached the fire road and headed back.

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It was a great hike — it was either 5.3 or 6.7 miles, depending on which program you believe. Something is screwy with my GPS track on this one — oh well. In the past, it’s been around 7.5 miles, but in those cases, we had added on a little extra side trip.

It’s definitely time for more hiking. There are many great options around here, and we tend to do some of the same repeatedly. I hope we can explore some new trails soon.

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