sat, 23-feb-2008, 15:46

Tired Nika

good doggie

Andrea is out racing in North Pole and had plenty of handlers, so I decided to stay home. Instead of taking Nika for a regular walk, I waxed my skis and tried skijoring. Andrea taught her to do it almost ten years ago, but Nika hasn’t done it since, and she wasn’t very good at it back then anyway. Today I took her down to the Creek, put on my skis and hooked her up. She knew right away what was going on and she ran straight ahead and pulled like a champion dog. I have a two mile trail that starts on the Creek and then crosses up to the mushing trail in the forest for the return trip home, and Nika was hooked up for about two-thirds of it. On the mushing trail, she was pulling me fast enough that the wind was whistling in my hair and I was worried about what would happen if I fell down (I haven’t been skiing in ten years either…). Luckily, I managed to keep my balance, and except for dipping for poops, she kept up the pace the whole way.

I’m very proud of her. She did a very good job, and both of us had a good time.

tags: creek  Nika  skijor  trail 
sat, 10-nov-2007, 14:55

Bridge and house from the creek

bridge and house from the creek

I took Nika out on the Creek today to see how far we could get on the ice. All of the open water on our property had frozen more than a week ago and we’d noticed bicycle tracks and footprints in the snow, so I figured it was probably safe to walk on. Plus I wanted to see where the bicyclist was coming from. The photo on the right shows our bridge and the house from down on the Creek, and the photo at the bottom of the post is a Google Earth view of the GPS track we walked. The red dot is our house, and the blue dot is where we got off the Creek.

I would have kept going on the frozen Creek, but there was a small dam at that point and I could hear running water just below the surface. Just past the dam was a hole in the ice with water running underneath and I didn’t want to take a chance of falling in or having Nika break through the ice. It turns out that were we went back up onto land is a section of trail between two roads that were originally supposed to intersect. At least that’s how it looks on the map.

The bicyclist is using this trail, the Creek, and our road to travel between the two roads that don’t intersect, which is pretty clever and is probably several miles shorter than where they’d have to go to get around the break.

Garmin hasn’t come up with the software for my GPS for Linux or OS X, but gpsbabel lets me download the data from the GPS and will also convert it into a KML file I can view in Google Earth. It works really well, except that in our area Google Earth isn’t perfectly geolocated, so the GPS track isn’t lined up with the satellite topography shown. The commands are:

$ gpsbabel -t -w -i garmin -f usb: \
    -o garmin_txt,date="YYYY-MM-DD",datum="WGS84",dist=s,prec=6,time="HH:mm:ss" \
    -F out.txt
$ gpsbabel -t -w \
    -i garmin_txt,date="YYYY-MM-DD",datum="WGS84",dist=s,prec=6,time="HH:mm:ss" \
    -f out.txt -o kml -F out.kml

You could take the GPS data directly to KML format but it’s handy to have the text version first so it can be edited before generating the KML file. The -w flag to gpsbabel causes it to download all the waypoints from the GPS, and I usually want just the waypoints relevant to the current track (the -t flag). The text file makes it easy to remove the waypoints you don’t need.

Creek walk, Google Earth view

google earth view

tags: creek  Google Earth  GPS  gpsbabel  house  KML  Nika  trails 
mon, 10-sep-2007, 18:59

finished dog yard

finished dog yard

Well, we’re still moving into our new house, but it finally feels like we’ve got more stuff in the new house than the old one. Last night was the first night spent sleeping in our bed in our new master bedroom instead of sleeping in the guest bedroom. The struggle started almost three weeks ago when we bought all the materials for the new dog yard. Fourty-three 4x4’s, 45 2x4’s for rails and the gate, and later a bunch more wood for the gate on the deck and a set of stairs from the deck into the yard. Not to mention 300 feet of six-foot, “no climb”, wrapped wire fencing and 30 yards of wood chips. My plan called for 4x4 posts sunk between two and five feet in the ground, with notches at the top of each post to accept 2x4 rails that run from post to post. Each 2x4 is also notched so the two 2x4’s fit together, and as a pair, fit into the 4x4 notch. A long lag bolt holds the two 2x4’s together, and attaches them to the 4x4. All that notching took several days after work. Starting on Monday August 26th, we started tearing out the old dog yard, moving the wood chips around the yard, digging holes with a post hole auger, sinking the posts and attaching rails, hanging the fencing and big gate doors, and building the deck gate and stairs. Along the way we also did some painting, and moving the bare minimum of stuff needed to actually start living in the new place (coffee supplies, dog and cat food, etc.). It took us eleven days to get the whole thing done. The first photo on the right (click on the photos to see a larger version) shows the completed dog yard from the deck. The yard connects the deck (and thus, the house) with a covered dog shed at the other end. The dog houses are all pretty far from the house, but it’s the flattest, highest ground, so it makes the most sense to locate them there. There’s a double-wide gate near the houses so we can pull in the pickup truck if needed, and so it’ll be easy to get the dogs ready for mushing. At the house end, there’s a gate to keep the dog entrance to the house (a sliding glass door, unfortunately) separate from the human entrance (the front door). A gallery of all the photos we took during this process is at: Building a dog yard

goldstream creek

goldstream creek

Finally on Labor Day, we were ready to move in. But the refrigerator we’d ordered was being delivered a day and a half early and instead of moving in, we had to wait several hours while they got their delivery truck towed out of our driveway. But since then, things have been going well. Yesterday we rented a moving truck and loaded almost all of our furniture, our freezers, and some other larger items that needed to stay dry for the trip over to our new house. There’s still a bunch of work to be done at the old house, and even more work unpacking and trying to figure out where everything will go, but progress is being made. In a few weeks I might even be able to bake a loaf of bread or read a book! I can’t wait to try some of the recipes and techniques from Peter Reinhart’s new book Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor. Possibly even in a new propane-fueled oven.
tags: bread  creek  dog yard  house  moving 

<< 0 1
Meta Photolog Archives