Friday, April 8, 2016

Day Hike Kanaskat-Palmer State Park

 A friend and I went for a hike A couple of weekends ago. I have a back country pass on hold for me in Yosemite in August and I am building up for a three-day 30 mile round trip hike.

So I am taking some of the days that I could be spending in the garden and hiking a few mile around some of the more scenic hike in the PNW, building up to overnights and several days. In truth, it has been a long time since I have done more than day hikes. Many years ago after an ex ended up with most of the hiking gear after a bad break up, I just never replenished it. No one I have dated since has enjoyed hiking like I did and, although I have friends that liked to camp, most never wanted to hike to the camping spots.

So I am going hiking alone. But I have to build up my stamina to what it used to be by August. Or at least to half of what it used to be. I also have to replenish some of my hiking gear like a new tent (one or two person), bear canister for food, new hiking boots, etc... I don't have to get them all at once and I am in no hurry.
I have been enjoying the day hikes. They aren't long at this point, a couple of miles round trip at most. No one else on the trail although, it was also a campground so part of the trail wandered past RVs and people's car camps. But we never saw anyone else on the trail. Still early for a hike and there was a storm expected to come through later that day.

It was dry the whole time we were there and lovely. The Green River runs through the park and it was pretty high up the bank with the snow pack as high as it currently is. A lot of water in the mountains right now. This has been a record rainy season in the Pacific Northwest and we have a good snow pack, the rivers are all running high, should get higher as the pack melts.

A lot of the state park trails around here are populated. There are homes close by and as the weather warms, there will be more people on the trails and they do get crowded. The trail I have confirmed in Yosemite only allows nine people a day along it, so I have it pretty much to myself for the three days.

 It is in August, which tends to be the slowest summer month because of the heat, so I expect I might not run into very many people during my time there. First night's camp will be ten miles or so in from the backpacker's camp and parking lot. Second night another ten miles or so.

The plan is two night and three days, round trip of approximately thirty-four miles.

I am in no hurry, and I have have walked further on city vacations. It is doable, but then there is the pack. Three days worth of gear. Which might not be bad if I am smart. Which will suck big green dicks if I am not.

I am hoping to avoid the dicks...

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Backyard Battle

I have a back yard.

Truthfully, I tend to ignore it. It is large, and full of grass and, at one time, a few chickens ran around it.  Once or twice a year I will have a BBQ with friends, but most times, it is just a nuisance. I am not a grass person. I like  a garden that produces food, not just grass.

But I have decided to do something with the backyard. Finally after 16 years.

I have a patio, it is a bit battered and needs a good power washing. But I plan on extending all the way back to the garage this year and building an outdoor tiki bar.

I also still need to put siding on the extension I build for the garage...

Owning a home is a slow process, especially when you have no one to help you.

Anyways, the plan is to extend out the patio, since I am no fan of grass or mowing. But as you can see to the left there is grass. A huge expanse of grass, full of weeds my neighbor complains about.

Me, I can care less. It's grass in my eyes. It does nothing, but cushion my feet and keeps the topsoil from blowing away, Dustbowl style.

But it makes for an enjoyable gathering place. But it needs work, so that part will have to be thoroughly redone. I may have to rent a sod cutter and take it all out to level it and reseed with a grass that is more acclimated to the PNW weather. Whatever that may be at this point.

It's actually a lovely space and good for when company comes for a drink and conversations. 

But it needs to be spiffied. There are two huge cedar trees in the back corner, and so trying to let anything to grow in that location will be nigh impossible and because of their shade I have a lot of moss in the back part of the yard.

I have at least one truckload of garbage that needs to be taken to the dump, three giant Douglas fir rounds from a tree I had taken down a few years back that the ex did not finish splitting like he said he would before I broke up with him. A little of this, and a little of that. But mostly, it is a sea of grass that is predominately moss and weeds. There are dips and holes and rises and slants. I look at it and just sigh some days.

But it needs to be done. I will start on the patio section since that part will be less traumatic and will be more instantly gratifying!