Saturday, June 14, 2008

Questions, Questions: What Guns To Take On The Road Trip?

So we leave tomorrow at about 0730 (yeah right, probably not likely buy one can hope that the only son wakes up before then); and the question of which gun(s) to bring along has popped up in my head. Of course I am going armed, with my regular carry pistol, the Glock 19; but I probably will throw another firearm or two into the car to bring along for some fun shooting should we have the opportunity. I am thinking the S&W Model 17 ten shot revolver in .22LR, and maybe the Henry Survival Rifle. They should so nicely for some plinking fun, and if we get lost in the woods with the Henry, well it can live up to its name and protect us from things like ravenous mosquitoes, crazed chipmunks, Pic-A-Nic basket thieving Boo-Boo and Yogi The Bears, and criminally insane psychos. We may take it canoeing too, and if we capsize our canoe whilst canoeing - it floats - or so they say. One never knows when one may have to shoot at a turtle who has decided to torpedo the canoe. Yes a couple of 22s should make any trip like this more fun; and no I don't really plan to shoot any turtles or other critters, heck not even any mosquitoes...

Later for you,

Hellbent On Hellbenders

It's not the best picture, but it was the only one I could find in the public domain. What is it a picture of, why it is a Hellbender - of course! Or if you prefer the scientific lingo, it is Cryptobranchus alleganiensis - the largest salamander in the United States, heck the largest amphibian in the United States. It is native to NY, PA, WV, VA, NC, SC, TN, GA, OH, KY, IN, IL, MO, AR, MI, AL (hope I got the abbreviations correct). Sadly their numbers have been reduced; and although the causes are not known for certain it is believed that loss primarily has been due to pollution, and siltation. Its last strongholds are in PA, WV, VA, TN, NC and GA.

Brendan and I are hellbent on observing and photographing at least one of these creatures while on our road trip to VA. Of course that will mean a side trip to WV and the Monongahela National Forest, but it would be worth it for us to find just one of them. We have searched for these guys over several years in the Susquehanna River system near Windsor, NY and Binghamton, NY but have never see one even though the streams seemed well suited to them. All of the rivers and streams that we searched had large populations of crayfish - one of the favorite dietary items of the helbender. Still though no hellbenders, and I suppose because of an overabundance of silt in the water from runoff originating on farms and dirt roads.

If you would like to learn more about this amazing creatures, visit this site:

There are some really great photographs of hellbenders on that site; and instead of swiping them for use on my site (I could not get through to the owner of them via email to ask permission) I figured I would link to the site and let you explore it at your leisure. Check out the second picture on the photos page, it will give you a good idea of just how big these critters get.

Now back to refinishing the bedroom floor for me!

All the best,
Glenn B

Road Trip - We Cannot Afford It...

...but I'll be damned if Brendan and I don't get away on our annual road trip for at least a few days. This June marks some big events for him, his last days of high school, the prom, and graduation. Well the last day has come and gone, so has the prom which was last night. Graduation is not until later in the month. Then he starts a new full time job next Friday. Since I am busy tomorrow working on the house, that leaves us with Sunday through Thursday to get away. I am hoping for a drive to Harrisburg, PA to visit sites nearby - maybe Hershey Park, maybe Gettysburg - could be both. Then a drive down to the Shenandoah River Valley where we may camp out (talk about me being cheap, but only if I think my back can take sleeping on the ground otherwise an inexpensive motel). We have been there twice, and he liked the canoe and fishing trips we took on the Shenandoah River. A couple of days of that, then we head back north. maybe we spend a night somewhere in PA, maybe we drive right home. Either way we are home by Thursday at the latest. It is about the only outdoors 'regular' thing I look forward to all year anymore besides a fall hunting trip; but most of all Brendan deserves it. I think he maybe looking forward to it as much as I look forward to it. I hope so, because that means he will really help get all of our gear ready tomorrow night. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to pack for a road trip, now is there!

If you don't see anything left here in the blog from Sunday til Thursday - you will know why.

All the best,
Glenn B