Homer's Travels: September 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Little Spark Of Positivity

I went for a short walk yesterday (13.28 miles - 21.37 km) and I saw something unexpected that brought a smile to my face.

On a corner, in a residential neighborhood of the Florence area of north Omaha, a woman stood on a corner holding up a sign.  The sign said "have a great day".

The street she stood on wasn't very busy and I doubt few saw the woman and her sign but I'm sure everyone who drove or walked by smiled.

For a few minutes my day was a little more positive.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Reaching The Summit ... Or Not

Today, if I'd stuck to my original Appalachian Trail (AT) plan, I would have been summiting Mount Katahdin right about now.  But who am I kidding?  If I'd had the heart to keep pushing on I most likely would have hiked shorter stages and taken more zero days (i.e. rest days in towns).  Around now I would be somewhere in New England trying to decide how much farther I would go before I walked off the trail and I would be thinking about completing the AT in 2018.

Not staying on the AT has left me a little lost right now.  I never really expected to be home most of the year doing the things I would have done if I'd never heard of the AT.  What an odd,unexpected outcome.

P.S. The AT, the seven days I was on it anyway, resulted in one physical loss.  Two weeks ago I lost the big toenail on my left foot.  I don't think I've ever done any hike of any substance without losing that nail.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Autumn???

I was going to write a post wishing everyone a happy first day of Autumn but it's


outside and that's just wrong.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book: N. K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season"

After seeing the Hugo awards winners this year, I decided to check out last year's best novel.  N.K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season" is the first book of a series. Not only did it win the 2016 Hugo award for best novel but the second book of the series won the 2017 Hugo award.

The book is a fantasy book set in a world where seismic activities periodically wreaks havoc on the world.  The turmoil caused by supervolcano eruptions and earthquakes is referred to as fifth seasons.

The book follows three characters who have the power to control the seismic activity.  They remind me of earth benders from "Avatar: The Last Airbender".  In this world they are second class citizens feared by the 'normal' population and controlled by the leadership.

In the end the three storylines come together and we find out that the three characters were one and the same and each storyline is a different time of their lives.

The book was interesting.  I'm not sure about the world being built by this series but, by mid book, I was sucked in and looked forward to read more.  There are enough loose ends at the end to pull me along to the second book of the series.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads and I will be reading the rest of the series in the near future.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Hey Look At That ...5,000 Miles!

I just noticed that my walk yesterday pushed my total hiking distance over five thousand miles.  It just took me ten and a half years.

Those five thousand miles took me along some awesome trails and beautiful sights.  Kind of bummed I wasn't able to add the two thousand plus miles of the Appalachian Trail onto that total.

I wonder where the next five thousand miles will take me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The Dodge Street Subway And Other Things

Today's weather just screamed "GO FOR A WALK" so I did.  I went on an urban hike starting in the Old Market area of Omaha and heading west along Farnum and Dodge streets before looping north through the Dundee area and back east.

The Dodge Street Subway.
Along the way I searched for something I'd heard about: a pedestrian tunnel under Dodge Street.  Dodge is the main drag of the city.  The tunnel allows children to get to their school without crossing the busy street.  They have recently decorated the tunnel - known as the Dodge Street Subway - with murals.  It's kind of cool.  A few photos of the subway and murals can be found in my 2017-09-06 Dodge Street Subway Google Photos album.

One of the murals in the subway.  The 'famous' Dundee clock tower.

A butterfly on a flower beside a white picket fence.
The rest of my walk took me by flowers and butterflies and other signs of late summer.  In Dundee, where a late June hail storm did damage, the sound of roofers hammering came from all directions.

Pink with a dash of yellow.
I felt good during this walk.  It was not as strenuous as my hike at Hitchcock but it was nearly three times longer.  The cooler than average temperatures made it that much more enjoyable.  Not sure the spark was there yet but I might have spied a glow out of the corner of my eye.

Total Distance: 9.18 Miles (14.77 km)
Total Time: 3 hours 2 minutes
Total Elevation Up: 556.0 ft (169.46 m)
Total Elevation Down: 548.9 ft (167.30 m)

My walking path for the day.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Get Out Of My Way Please

The past few nights a pesky spider has decided that a great place to spin its' web would be in front of the basement sliding glass door (the opening part, naturally).  Now if this was a tiny web it wouldn't be much of an issue but the web is huge!

The web stretches from the top of the slider down to about mid way down my chest.  This places the actual spider at about nose level to me and, I tell you, I nearly wet myself the first night when I just missed walking through it.  The actual spider is over an inch tip toe to tip toe which I categorize as scary huge.

I've destroyed the web three times so far, even swatting at the actual spider with a stick a couple times, but it keeps coming back.