Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 - Guntersville

This weekend was our last chance to get out of the house and move around before shipping Esther off to wild west. The air felt cooler and there was much hopefulness and promise of adventure. Our destination was Ellenburg Mountain (mountain in the loose southern sense of the word) near Guntersville. Finding the trail head and navigating several closed access roads slowed us down at first but soon enough we were hiking through the woods.

This is a nut. Also pictured: an acorn.

As we worked our way up the hill it became clear that the storm damage from this last spring was still very much an issue. Uprooted trees were interspersed along the path and places the trunks of the fallen have been chainsawed through to allow passage.

Jake prepared to pounce on any unsuspecting prey.

The weather was not playing nice either. The sun was hotter than advertized and in the shade gnats swarmed around our faces. There was a breeze coming off Lake Guntersville but it never seemed to be within reach, always blowing through the treetops and not providing us much relief.

There are a smattering of geocaches up on this hill, but the storm debris blocked our access to most of them and the few that were in reach didn't interest me enough to look for too long.

The hike wasn't a complete bust. We were together and we were out in it instead of inside away from it.

Jake ponders the edibility of his siblings.
Ben, forced to smile under threat of a beating.
Chan digesting something she found laying on the ground.
We tumbled down the hill and relocated to watch the sun set over the lake.

Chan and Jake preparing their new nest home.

More pictures of the day can be seen here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16,2011 - A Cartographer am I

On Tuesday we dropped of That Girl One for play practice in Hartselle and set out with the boys and our cameras to find things in the downtown area. As I have been doing for a few weeks now, I logged our mileage with the Google Tracks app on my phone. This has been great for monitoring our fitness goal progress but I also wanted to play around with the “My Places” feature of Google Maps and somehow work it into the pictures we were taking. I could have turned on the geotagging feature on my phone’s camera, but I opted to use my more versatile dedicated camera and manually geo-locate the images on the map.

Here’s the resulting Back-Alley Tour Guide of Downtown Hartselle. I didn’t intend this to be a “walk this path, see these things” literal tour guide, but more of a reference of the path we took and to add some sense of the footprint of the area we wandered through.

I think there’s some potential here. I plan to fiddle with this idea a little more in the future.

Here’s the gallery of the pictures, with bonus Chan’Thulu pic at the end.