Oh, hello. I haven’t seen you in a while. Well, I’m still here. I’ve just been hiding in my little hidey-hole for the past month. Blogging has been getting lower on my priority-list since my peak in 2012, as I’m realizing I don’t have too much I need to say these days. I’m also finding that I really enjoy hiking a hike just for myself, rather than to write about it. And, finally, I’m also writing less because I’m spending so much of my computer time working on programming for my apps. That said, I still enjoy writing a blog post now and again when I have a really great experience like the week in Baxter State Park at the end of August. For now, here’s a little overview of what I’ve been up to this autumn.
Mapping Acadia National Park
I’ve been living at my parents’ place in Downeast Maine for the past few months before I move to the far south (Portland) this winter, so I’ve spent a lot of time in Acadia National Park, running the GPS along trails and taking notes as I normally would for the Appalachian Trail apps. I’ll add Acadia to my New England Hiker app, and probably make a standalone Acadia app, as well, but that won’t be done until early next year. In order to map out the trails on the island, I’ve hiked almost 200 miles, and biked over 50, often in exceptionally convoluted loops of 17-22 miles, with bone-crushing ascents on those small, coastal mountains. In some cases, I’ve climbed the same mountain three times in one day from three different directions, in order to get trail info for the spaghetti-pile network of trails out there.
This has been a major highlight of the fall– a memorial plaque on the A. Murray Young Trail near Dorr Mountain says it all: “…this island where God has given of his beauty with a lavish hand.” If you haven’t been to Acadia and witnessed that beauty, do yourself a favor and get your ass up there!
Some Other Hikes
My friend, Nancy, and I took a weekend trip into the Dry River Wilderness late in October. Much of the Wilderness area, and almost all of the Dry River Trail, was closed in late 2011 when Tropical Storm Irene laid waste to the mountains of New England. The trail was reopened only a few weeks earlier, so we got some late-season foliage and a few freezing nights in one of the nicest lean-tos in the White Mountains. It’s always a pleasure to spend three days in such a popular National Forest and see not a single person. We didn’t get high enough in the trip to break above tree line, but this was an example of a truly beautiful area. I’ll be back here a lot in the spring and summer.
All Play and No Work? Not Really.
Of course, if all I’d been doing for the past few months was hiking and hiding away in the woods, that would be awfully irresponsible. So the majority of my time has actually been spent working at the computer. I’ll write more about this later, but I’ve been upgrading the hiking apps to improve efficiency in the code, add new topo maps, fix bugs, and add some new features. I’ve also been working with FloridaHikes.com to create an app for the Florida National Scenic Trail, which is getting close to completion. To fill in all my spare time (mostly nonexistent) I’m doing some contract work and also coming up with some ideas for new apps. No rest for the wicked!