Copyright 2014-2020
Challenges Completed: 46ers, Fire Towers (37), Kick Scooter (Round Trip Mohawk-Hudson trail from Herkimer to Albany), and many others.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Willie Marsh Unusual Walk 12/3/20

Since we drove to Albany yesterday for grocery shopping, I did not wanna drive far today for our walk. Decided on Willie Marsh. Got there around noon, nobody there. Since there was some snow in the woods, instead of walking on the trail, I thought it would be fun to walk a different walk today.

where we walked in orange (above) and white (below)

Since we did not preplan it, she dressed like a black bear. But I wore bright blue jacket with orange head cover, so we figured we'll be safe in there. The map shows those roads as Swamp Road and C-4 Road, but they are ex-roads that are no longer used, and motor vehicles are prohibited (snowmobile okay). Unless you know how those roads work in there, you might get lost. 

crazy, we thought we were walking around the marsh but ended up where the red arrow is, then even walked farther down to the yellow arrow...that's when I knew I made an error...things happen in the woods!! this was about 2 years ago I think

We've been in there over a dozen times now. So we're quite familiar with how things work in there, but our first few times were all disasters. We had no idea where we were. The worst one was when we were off by 3 1/2 miles, way off our destination. That's 7 miles of walking on snow in the woods where we did not have to. We were totally exhausted by the end of that day. Forest there is much wilder than you may think. 

Set up bird feeder 4 days ago. The first 2 days nothing came. On the 3rd day one chickadee came. Then it told its members about the yummy seeds, so more chickadees came. Other birds seeing that also came: blue jay, cardinal, finch, crow, titmouse, and more. I give them oiled, black sunflower seeds. 

Corona infections and deaths are getting really, REALLY, crazy now! Two days ago 2672 people died, and yesterday's death count was 2833. And when they die, most of them die a lonely death in hospitals. Why some state governors still refuse to tell their citizens to wear mask is totally beyond me. Those jerks are committing mass murder! You can get daily numbers from:

reading thru The Economist magazine, I saw this...I must have read that paragraph 10 times, as I thought I was misreading it

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Walk on Sir William Johnson Park 12/1/20

Had nothing planned for this lousy, cloudy day. Browsing online, I read about a free Erie Canal 2021 calendar. Cool! Closest place was Fonda library. Called to make sure they were open and had the calendars. YUP, on both count. Went in. Calendars were on a counter, so I grabbed two and left.

believe the photos inside this calendar are from their photo contest
that's our favorite bridge, used for their August photo

Since we were already out, we figured we might as well walk somewhere. Since Johnson Hall is on our way home, kinda, that's where we went. Neat small park for a stroll. 

Sir William Johnson
when we walked toward the statue, I saw two large evergreen trees
coming back from the statue, extra tree popped up, making it three trees the way she stands on the same spot while I went back and forth to take the photos

After receiving a letter from IRS two weeks ago telling me they never got my tax return that I sent on 02/01/20 (although they cashed the check I sent in just a few days after that date), I sent them another return the day after that notice came. Called them today to check if they got it or not. After pressing dozens of buttons and a 30 minutes hold, a guy finally comes on. 

As soon as he came on, I knew it would not go well (I'm not gonna spell it out for you why I thought that way... I'm sure you can catch my drift). I only asked him to check for me if my return was now in the system. All he had to do was to type in my social. He did not even do that. Then he starts making all kinds of excuses blaming coronavirus for any delays. I asked him again. Then that jerk just hung up on me. 

Working from home is okay, but at least companies/gov. should hire qualified people, who possess knowledge on the subject matter with good customer service skills. Funny, when I called SSI (social security) last week, I must have had the same clown as today (very same voice, tone, and manners). Conversation went nowhere, and he was not willing to help at all. And he knew nothing about his job. There is no place to report these terrible phone workers either. Cause no matter what number you call, the same clowns answer the phones. 

On a brighter side (I think) this month marks our 40th wedding anniversary. Will do nothing special. Just open another bottle of wine and hope to make it to our 41st a year from now. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Nine Corner Lake Hike Cancelled 11/29/20

showing the places we walked on the Mohawk
took us 2 trips to cross that creek above
red lines show where we walked on the river in the last week or two

A beautiful day for a hike, but I had to take care of my health concerns, so decided to cancel our hike to the lake. Instead of driving to the lake, I drove to Urgent Care. When I woke up on 11/25 (last Wednesday), I had a bit of pain on my chest with a small lump under the skin, which had turned pinkish due to inflammation. Kept a close eye on it, taking photos of it in the morning and in the afternoon to look for any changes.

I thought it will just go away in a few days. It did not. The lump had gotten larger, and the skin had turned more red than pink this morning. Made an online appointment for 11:00. Got there, luckily no other patients there. By 11:20 I was out of there. PA there diagnosed my lump as "cellulitis of the chest." He said something real odd: "a tick bite may have started it." I never mentioned that I hiked a lot, so his remark sounded odd to me.

On 11/24 (last Tuesday), the day before I felt that pain and the lump, we walked the Kateri trail in Fonda and along the Mohawk River (read that post below). I was pretty covered up that day, so I doubt it was the tick that did me in. I did walk the Hennig Preserve on 11/21. I don't think I came home with tick that day either. Wife says it was probably from scratching the dry skin, and bacteria entered it. I believe that is more like it. OR, since I felt squeezing type of pressure in my chest for a few days before I found that lump, and I was banging on my chest trying to relieve that pain, I might have traumatized lymph nodes or something in there that led to this infection.

I was prescribed a seven day supply of dicloxacillin (antibiotics) for this cellulitis. He mentioned it will work for tick bites as well. I don't think that PA knows exactly what my infection is, but it's a start. I will give it a few days to see if my symptoms will improve. If it gets worse, I will need alternative treatment, perhaps different sort of antibiotics. Or?

nicely decorated by the bridge with Big Band X'mas music flowing thru many speakers on the bridge
many people were out on the bridge/park there today
check out this place if you live nearby

Went to Amsterdam park, while my medication was being filled. As I've wrote a few days ago, beware of dry skin and infections. If something ain't right, make sure you get it checked out. No sense in gambling. I am a bit stressed out now. She tells me I won't die that easily. 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Kane Mountain Walk 11/28/20

10 cars on each side with many out of state plates, oddly nobody parked 100 feet away on the road lot, fish pond and Camelhump Mountain in the background

Did not plan on going up Kane today at all. Left house around 11:15, started to drizzle, drizzled all the way to Kane trailhead. Our destination today was Indian Lake. Got out of the car, still drizzling. Walked to the bridge...super slippery. Changed my mind, as I knew most of the trail to Stewart Lake would be all wet on a day like this. That would not be fun at all.

when we saw this bridge, we said we ain't going that way today for sure
muddy section of the yellow trail...below: she is entering the secret trail...with this photo in hand, maybe you will find our little secret

Got onto the yellow trail for Kane. The always muddy section was real muddy. Walked past that and onto our little secret trail. No mud on that trail, no slippery roots, no stones to hook your toes. Just a lovely trail to the top through nice woods. Soon, when it snows, we could make that entire mountain our trail of our own creation. However we go up or down will be our trail. 

Otter Lake as seen from the secret trail
below: taken from about 100 yards away, young couple trail runners descending on the yellow trail

Got to the tower. Two people on it. We decided to go to the cabin to lunch. Soon thereafter, a couple in their late 20s? early 30s? came up. Commented to the woman that she dressed like a hiker. And asked her if they hiked any of the High Peaks. Learned they were from New Jersey. Said they hiked about a dozen of them. "That's a long drive..." I said. A friend of theirs has a cabin(?) near Lake George, so they used that as a base.

we lunched at the cabin

She asked me if we hiked any of them. So I turned around and showed them my patch. Then we all headed toward the tower. Mom/dad/son/daughter (2 and 4 I'd say) were on the tower. Mom and the daughter (2) were inside the cab. And two flights below them were dad/son. That kid was crying as hard as he could. Did not want to be there. They made up another flight. That was enough for that kid. Never made it to the cab. Poor kid is now traumatized..PTSD. 

now traumatized, that kid will never want to hike a firetower trail again

Then we headed toward our secret trail and descended on it. So today, we went up and down on it. I bet that Red Trail was real nasty on a day like this. Despite the lousy weather, we were able to get out and walk. That's a good thing. Older folks need to get out and get their share of exercise. 

so far so good, hope my hands stay this way all thru this winter

Since this is a hiking blog and, also, a sort of my own little diary, I took photos of my hands today. Nice and clean now, no water filled blisters or itchy redness. We are watching ourselves for any change in skin condition. Dry winter is very tough on old skin. The last winter was the worst ever. We don't ever wanna go thru that again!

bought this yesterday in walmart...wanna try it, turmeric is very good for you....I have tumeric powder but that's difficult to use

Remember, skin covers 100% of our body. Trouble usually starts from the skin. Dry skin can lead to many problems. I believe we now have a better understanding of it all. "Coping" is not the answer. It needs to be managed, and managed well. Experience, trial and error, and all that surely help. But the key is MOISTURE: hydrate from within, lotion-up on skin, maintain correct humidity in the house, and above all, avoid picking and scratching the skin. CAVEAT: messing with dry skin will lead to skin infections. Take it from me. I had hell of a time last winter.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Stroll on a Rainy Cloudy Turkey Day 11/26/20

Just to refresh ourselves, we went for a walk. Looks like the Good Samaritan (park staff?) cleaned up most of the ugly graffiti in the park that we saw there on November 18. We always feel good after a walk, like we had accomplished something. 

today, graffiti gone
used to be this way last week
this sign was not there today, perhaps removed to be fixed

Yesterday we did some yard work. That, too, was an accomplishment. I don't know what they call it, but we have this patch of lemon-like, fruit bearing, low bush with orange flowers. Maintaining this patch has been a challenge for many years. She now tells me they are wild quince with thorns. Then we played with our metal firepit. The bottom finally fell out. Took it to the dump. We need a new one.

how did I miss this sign in the past? very, very old NO PARKING sign
park sign: 1909
can't wait for them to finish up this park to its former glory
heading for that tree
gray and grey skies

Most people in town seem to be staying home quietly on this Thanksgiving Day. How do I know that? We passed several hundred houses today, and they had either one or two cars parked on their driveways, meaning no super-duper gatherings. Good for them, as this county and its surroundings have seen quite a spike with the virus. People are dying.

Nowadays 2000+ a day deaths in this country seem to be the norm. I wonder what it will be like when millions return from their turkey-day vacation. The death count can only go up. With stock market hitting new highs, the rich are getting richer, while millions of unemployed and under-employed don't know where their next meal is coming from. Let us all pray for those in need on this day of giving thanks! 

above: A few days ago we drank this Copper Ridge with twist open cap. She liked it cause it had a light, smooth taste with no bite. It's a pleasant wine. I prefer heavier taste, but after a glass or two, they all taste the same. At $8.94 for 1.5L, we have no complaints.
above: Tonight we are having Yellow Tail Shiraz/Cabernet 1.5L at $9.99. She tells me this wine is a bit too rich for her. This wine has berry taste that is easily detected. I kinda like it. The taste is more involved than the Copper Ridge above. 
tonight's dinner: salad, yam, stuffing, cranberries with berries, and freshly fried Haddock from Price Chopper...nah, no turkey for us

Nice dinner just for the two of us, as always. We fight and argue a lot every moment of our life. I even argue with her in my dreams. But she's my friend, and I am her friend, although she may disagree with the latter. Another day here and gone. Wonder what tomorrow brings.