It’s well into tick season and for many, getting outdoors means dealing with ticks. Not only are they annoying little creepy-crawlies, they are also vectors for many different diseases.
According to the CDC, the following disease/tick species associations are notweworthy in the United States (they are not necessarily exclusive to these particular tick species and there are likely to be more diseases, too):
Ticks, Ticks, and more Ticks full post
(1668 words, estimated 6:40 mins reading time)
This past week, Groundspeak announced that it’s switching away from Google Maps and to OSM (another announcement about the changes, explaining why). Looks like Geocaching.com is responsible for something like 2,000,000 hits to Google Maps per day and Google wanted to start charging. Fair enough. But how does this change work in the real world?
It’s been a long time since I’ve gone for a midday ride. It’s been so horrendously hot it’s not been worth it. But with Tropical Storm Lee in the area, we got clouds, wind, and cooler temperatures. I really would have preferred we get some rain along with it, but I’ll take what I can get at this point. I took advantage of the temps and went for a ride.
I’ve been planning to visit the Upland Island Wilderness for awhile. I ordered a map from MyTopo for this area last summer and I’ve been trying to get out here since. On the 4th, with the wife out of town, I figured I’d go hike in the Upland Island Wilderness. I wanted to see the longleaf pine savannas and the spring-fed bogs at the exposures of the Catahoula Formation and photograph some of the carnivorous plants.
The trip didn’t work out how I had hoped. The trailhead area was pretty dilapidated. Something public isn’t available, but I don’t know what.
Upland Island Wilderness full post
(1780 words, 14 images, estimated 7:07 mins reading time)
I didn’t post any updates for awhile and I apologize. I had finals to deal with and hardly went to the office at all. And when I did, there was bad weather brewing so I wound up driving. So Week 2 was a wash. I didn’t bike to work, but then again I hardly drove, either. Week 3 was another matter. I biked in most of the week but wound up driving a couple of days for inclement weather forecasts. The forecast bad weather those days didn’t end up happening until well after dark, so I felt cheated.
The SFA Outdoor Pursuits planned this trip for the stretch of the Angelina River between Highway 63 and Martin Dies Jr. State Park. I was stoked to do this trip. I’ve done a decent bit of paddling, but I’ve never camped out of my canoe before. My wife and I signed ourselves up and hoped for the best.
We had a full roster, but had a few last minute cancellations. A couple of those spots got filled, so thankfully we didn’t wind up with a small group. It was a good group of folks. The group dynamic worked pretty well, and I never saw any conflicts. Unfortunately, I’m absolutely terrible with names so I only remember a couple of the folks who attended. My lack of short term memory in general doesn’t help here.
I did another camping trip at Ratcliff Lake. The place really makes sense as a destination with it so close to the house. Just have to wait for the weather to be agreeable before I’ll go. I’d have a hard time camping when it gets 100+ in midsummer.
I had a big test earlier this week and I needed some R&R. The plan was to leave the house on Saturday morning, set up camp and then go hike a little in the afternoon searching for a geocache or two along the way. My wife lacks a hammock, so she opted to sleep in our big car camping tent with Biner. I wanted to sleep in the hammock because I haven’t used it all summer.
Camping at Ratcliff Lake full post
(997 words, 11 images, estimated 3:59 mins reading time)
I got the new GPS out for a hike and some geocaching on this day. I started out by loading the USGS topos for the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest (SFAEF) onto the Oregon from Topofusion. I chose the topos because many (but not all) of the trails on the SFAEF appear on the topos. It also shows the boundary of the forest, locations of some pipeline right-of-ways, and locations of some wetland areas. Important information for what I wanted to do.
Garmin Oregon 450: First Hike/Geocaching full post
(542 words, 4 images, estimated 2:10 mins reading time)
Yeah, I’m not new to the game here. This GPS has been reviewed all over the internet already.
But, I decided that the Edge 705 wasn’t really for me. Here’s why:
- I hated the little joystick on the etrex series, and I didn’t like it any better on the Edge.
- I only used the heart rate monitor a couple of times, and never when riding the trails.
- I never really made much use of the speed/cadence sensor. I only ever used it on the trainer. Never on the trail.
Garmin Oregon 450 full post
(863 words, 3 images, estimated 3:27 mins reading time)
Wow, I’ve gotta say this thing looks WAY cool. I was doing some searching online for some kind of mp3 player that has enough storage to fit my whole music collection. I know the iPod classic has a big storage option, but I don’t like Apple, especially the iPod/iPhone. I wanted something else. Enter Archos 5 Internet Tablet. With up to 500GB of storage, it certainly fits the primary need I had.
Archos 5 Internet Tablet full post
(716 words, estimated 2:52 mins reading time)