Thursday, April 15, 2021

That Light At The End Of The Tunnel Just Got Bigger And Brighter

Last Sunday the Wife reached the 'two weeks after the second shot' and I reached that point today.  I can not tell you how relieved and happy we feel.  While COVID is still scary, we feel like the end is in sight.

The bright light at the end of the tunnel.

We both plan to continue wearing masks until the CDC says it's ok to go without.  I'm starting to see older people walking around without masks and I'm surprised how irritated I get.  Some people just can't act responsibly.  The pandemic has changed all of us, I think, and we will always be a little more wary in crowds.

Despite this new wariness, I'm looking forward to going out to lunch with my vaccinated Mom.  I'm looking forward to going to a movie or two this summer.  We're considering going on the driving vacation we were planning last summer.  I guess I'm just looking forward to getting back to something close to normal.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

The Call Of Little Hill

A year ago, on the first anniversary of the beginning of my Appalachian Trail (AT) thru-hike attempt, I posted that I would not be going back to finish the trail.  In the year since I have not been able to get the AT out of my thoughts, especially when I was doing my weekly walks.  It was like my hiking alter-ego Little Hill was calling me.  He left a hole in me that I haven't been able to fill.

The last month or so of my last attempt were incredibly tough.  I always thought the memories of those hard, rocky trails would keep me away for good.  I never considered myself a masochist but neither a quitter and I often wondered how long it takes for bad memories to fade.  Apparently it takes about a year and a half.

I have decided that I will heed the call of Little Hill and return to New Hampshire where I left off, complete the almost three hundred miles to the AT's northern terminus at Mt. Katahdin, and finish what I started.

I'm planning to do this in July/August 2022.  I'm not getting any younger but I want to give time for the Pandemic to work its way through, time to get myself back into backpacking shape, and time for the Wife to retire.

I think it will be a good transition for me from the life before and the post-retirement adventures the Wife and I have planned.  It will also allow me to bring Little Hill home so that hole can be filled once and for all.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Hey Vern!!!

Nothing says Vernal Equinox than flocks of blackbird tourists eating me out of house and home.  I'm sure the local birds are a bit miffed.

Happy Vernal Equinox everyone!!!

Happy First Day of Spring 2021!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

A Step Toward Normalcy

I got my first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine today.  I'm a step closer to normal.  The Wife got her first on Saturday.

It's amazing how one little stick in the arm can make you feel so good.  It's been just over two hours and I don't feel any side effects yet. The Wife only had a brief mild headache.

My second dose is on April first - no joke.  When I get it I will finally feel free.

Sunday, February 28, 2021


This graffiti has been on display for months.  This is a disgrace.  For those who are not aware, "Save Our Children" is a slogan of QAnon, the FBI designated domestic terrorist organization.

QAnon graffiti on a very prominent place along I-80.
It's time for this filth be removed by the city.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Perseverance Gets You To Mars

If you don't know it, the Perseverance Rover (carrying the Ingenuity Drone) will be arriving to Mars at 2:55 pm CST.  You can find information about it HERE.  I never can get enough of this kind of stuff.

My understanding is that there is a microphone on the rover so we can hear the sound of it landing and the sound of Mars itself which will be a first.

The most exciting is the chance to get a aerial views from the drone.  This is also a first and I can't wait to see aerial footage of the Martian surface ... though that won't be for a while (2-3 months from landing I think).

Can't wait to see what the rover finds.

Good luck on the landing NASA!

Monday, February 15, 2021


We've been having some really cold days this past week.  Today the high will be below 0℉ (-17.8℃).  The forecast for tomorrow morning is -20℉ (-28.9℃).  Wind chills ... well they are dangerously low.  Since this cold is coming from the north I blame the Canadians.  They share way too much.

Light buried in snow.
Fortunately for me there is no snow along with this cold so I don't have to go out in it.  Unfortunately the cold keeps me from walking towards the thousand miles challenge.

Yeah it sucks but at least we have electricity and heat unlike many in Texas who are suffering from cold and rolling blackouts.  

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

A Visitor To Our New Feeder

I recently replaced my old Finch feeder that was slowly falling apart.  The first bird to visit was a Dark-eyed Junco.

A Dark-eyed Junco visiting my new feeder.

Today it is very cold and I'm sure this Junco is huddling with all the other small birds that live in our fir tree.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

A Little Frost Can Work Wonders

I went for a walk yesterday crossing the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge into Council Bluffs, IA.  It was a foggy day and it was cold.  Below freezing actually.  The combination was stunning:

Frost on the Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge cables.

Frost of the bridge railing.

A frosted branch.

Why only one branch when you can Frost them all.

Frosted trees along the Riverfront trail.

Most of the five hours that I walked were sunless due to the fog but later on the sun tried to peek through.

The sun peeking through the trees.

One last picture of the Frost on our whirligig on our deck.

Frosty blades.
I know cold is not many people's favorite temperature but the frost that cold can bring just adds wonder to our world.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

What Is That Feeling?

Been a while so here is a Haiku:

Strange third day feeling.
Lack of anxiety, lack of daily controversy?
Could that be hope?

 Whatever it is I'm liking it and I hope it continues.