I went out to Theodore Roosevelt National Park last weekend weekend (Sat-Mon) to hike. My GF had gone back to Iowa to visit the fam, so it was solo. This allowed me to push my hiking intensity up a notch. I did about 40 miles in two days, it was hard and felt good. But wouldn't you know it, the day after I got back home, my left knee was sore and a bit swollen. Damn... getting older sucks! I'm guessing it's just a runner's knee type of inflammation, but it's pretty painful. This sucks because I'm coming into the last couple of weeks of good weather around home and I should really stay off my bike. Making me a bit stir crazy so I thought I'd do a post.
Here are a few hiking pics. The wild life in TR always amazes me just as much as the geography.
General Idea of the Topography you hike through
Loan Bison bull
Here's the heard
Wild horses, normally VERY jumpy, but I got pretty close to this mom and juvenile. I walked up very, very slowly and stopped whenever they looked at me.
Prairie dog, they actually yelp like dogs
There's also been a bit of interest in wine making. Here's a Pic of my closet space. lol
The only two wines that worked out well were grape and apple. I tried a couple of mixed fruit wines that were horrible. On top there are a few bottled successes. The bottom is my fermenting batches. These are actually hard ciders instead of wine. I read they are easier to get right, but this is my first experiment with hard ciders, not sure how they'll turn out. Basically the same process, but not a lot of added sugar. The balloons have a pin hole on top to let the CO2 escape. You can see one isn't standing up up yet, it's only on day 1. If after two or three days I don't see the balloon fill, I'll probably try adding a bit of sugar and maybe a bit more yeast. With the ciders I plan to put a bit of priming sugar into the bottles for carbonation as well.
It's funny, because outside of a few tastes of other people's drinks, or booze for food flavoring, I don't drink. Rather, I havent for over a decade because I used to drink too much. So this is a bit of a strange hobby that just sort-of happened. Although it's fun to taste my creations, they are mostly for the GF, or friends and family. I think the appeal has something to do with the experimentation, and the fact that it takes weeks or months for the finished product. Anticipation is a fun thing. Plus I think it's a good tool in the tool kit, making booze out of almost anything laying around. I got the reusable glass bottles from a lady who bought them for table decorations at her wedding, she had three dozen, but I just took 12 off her hands due to my limited space. Cost-wise, the wine was about $1.50 a bottle to make, the cider will be less thanks to less added sugar.
In other news the GF got a free COVID antibody test through work. We should have the results next week. If she's positive, there is almost no way I am not. It'll be interesting to see anyway.
I ran into an old coworker. She regaled me with tales of horror from the healthcare profession that I've been missing. Not regretting my decision one bit after hearing what she has to say. Although I did have an old work nightmare the night afterwards. It was the first in quite awhile.
The GF's contract ends in two weeks. She's finally realizing that for the first time in her adult life she doesn't have her next contract lined up. It's making her a bit anxious, she's acting like i did right after I quit my job. I feel for her, but it's cute. She's talking about how to save all this money, yada, yada, yada. I told her it's like I created a monster!
When we met, GF was probably a Wheaton level 0.5, I was maybe a 4. Now she's a 4 and I'm a 5.5. So while I'm trying to escape money dependance, she's trying to get as much as possible.
Went to the casino last night with $40 in free play comps and $60 in cash, I walked out with $160 in cash, it was a good night!
Thanks for reading!