Tuscarora in Tuscarora: Part 1


My recent trip on the AT has re-igniting my interest in hiking. I decided to take advantage of this unexpected gust of motivation, and try to log some miles toward the DCNR State Forest Trails Award.

My plan for the moment is to try to complete as many miles as I can on out-and-back dayhikes. This means walking twice as many miles, but I also get to go whenever I want, without being beholden to anyone else’s scheduling constraints.

In any event, walking alone deep in the woods is good for your spiritual well-being.

So, I drove out to the Tuscarora State Forest, parked the car at the hiker parking lot, and set out to walk to the northern boundary of the State Forest. I stopped off at Flat Rock Vista to take a photo.

Me at Flat Rock Vista

Me at Flat Rock Vista

I continued my way down through the Wildcat Hollow, where I came upon a little cascade in the stream. I stopped to shoot some video. I discovered that I am a very awkward personality on camera.

You can see from my hat and the lack of foliage, that I am very far behind on my blogging. This hike was about 6 weeks ago.

I continued hiking north until I crossed the boundary of the State Forest.

Leaving State Forest Land

Leaving State Forest Land

At this point I had finished the Tuscarora Trail from PA 233 to the edge of the State Forest. I just needed to get back to my car. Not wanting to retrace my steps, I decided to loop back on the red-blazed Warner Trail.

Intersection of Tuscarora and Warner Trails

Intersection of Tuscarora and Warner Trails

Not far down the Warner, I came upon a swollen creek.

This was a calamity. I didn’t want to walk around the rest of the day with wet feet, but turning around seemed like a cowardly way out. So, I took off my socks, rolled up my pants legs, and forded the stream.

Ready to ford the stream

Ready to ford the stream

One of the reasons I hike in trail runners instead of hiking boots is that the trail runners are supposed to dry out quickly if you get them wet. I was now in a position to test that theory. I hiked on for about two more miles, then stopped for lunch and gave my shoes some time to dry out.

Shoes drying out at a lunch stop.

Shoes Drying out at a lunch stop.

By the time I had eaten my lunch and was ready to hit the trail again, everything was dry. I put my socks back on and hiked back to the car.

Here is a map of my adventure. The blue line is the Tuscarora Trail. The Red line is the Warren Trail. The green is the boundary of the state forest.
[osm_map lat=”40.266″ lon=”-77.41″ zoom=”14″ width=”600″ height=”600″ type=”Ext” gpx_file_list=”/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/tuscarora_sf_boundary.gpx, /wp-content/uploads/2014/04/warner_trail.gpx, /wp-content/uploads/2014/04/tuscarora_trail_04-17-2014.gpx” gpx_colour_list=”green,red,blue” extmap_address=”http://a.tile.thunderforest.com/outdoors/${z}/${x}/${y}.png” extmap_init=”numZoomLevels: 17, transitionEffect: ‘resize’, sphericalMercator: true” extmap_type=”OSM” extmap_name=”Outdoor” marker=”40.27401,-77.42696″ marker_name=”car.png”]

So, That takes care of PA233 to the edge of the State Forest, and I already hiked PA233 to Cowpens road a long time ago. So, I’ll be starting my next hike on Cowpens Road, and heading south.

Grove’s Mill

Exterior of the mill and the tail of the mill race

Exterior of the mill and the tailrace

I took a tour of Grove’s Mill yesterday. They said this is the oldest continuously operating water-powered mill in the United States.

Here are some pictures.

I added the mill and the millrace to OpenStreetMap.

[osm_map lat=”40.975″ lon=”-76.955″ zoom=”18″ width=”600″ height=”450″ ]

Middletown to Bainbridge and Back


Yesterday was the first warm day in as long as I can remember. I wanted to ride bicycles, and Sloth said he did too. So, we rode our bicycles from Middletown to Bainbridge and back.

We stopped to take pictures of the Three Mile Island power plant.

Three Mile Island

Three Mile Island Nuke Plant

As we got closer to Bainbridge, we saw signs for the historic Haldeman Mansion. We detoured a bit to check that out.

Haldeman Mansion

Haldeman Mansion

On the way back, we came upon Shady’s BBQ, so we decided to stop for lunch. This was the best idea we had all day. I heartily recommend the horseradish cole slaw.

BBQ for lunch

Lunch – Photo by the Sloth

Now that we had bellies full of pig, continued our journey. We found a really creepy old stone building that was falling apart. We stopped to take some pictures.

Spooky old mill. in ruins

Spooky old mill. in ruins

Hole in the wall

Hole in the wall

Our route took us past Falmouth, home of the world famous Falmouth Goat Races.

A sign for the Falmouth Goat Races

Home of the world famous Falmouth Goat Races!

Here is a map of our adventures. I added the Haldeman Mansion and Shady’s BBQ to OpenStreetmap.

[osm_map lat=”40.114″ lon=”-76.709″ zoom=”11″ width=”600″ height=”450″ type=”Ext” gpx_file=”http://blasphemous.bike/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/activity_457313869.gpx” extmap_address=”http://a.tile.thunderforest.com/outdoors/${z}/${x}/${y}.png” extmap_init=”numZoomLevels: 17, transitionEffect: ‘resize’, sphericalMercator: true” extmap_type=”OSM” extmap_name=”Outdoor”]

Here are even more pictures.

Dellville Covered Bridge


There are 14 old covered bridges still standing in Perry County. Using my advanced OpenStreetMap Kung-Fu, I have begun work on a map of them.

I rode out and found one of them a few weeks ago. (Yes, I’m a little behind on my blogging.)

Perry County has a lot of hills, but the scenery is worth the effort.

An Old Barn

It was about 16 miles from my house to the bridge.

Entering the Bridge

This is what the inside would look like if your eyes were on the sides of your head like a cow’s are.

Interior Pano

When you come out the other side, there is a little picnic area. I stopped here and had my lunch before riding back home.

Delville Covered Bridge

So, there’s one bridge down, 13 to go.

[sgpx gpx=”http://blasphemous.bike/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Delville.gpx”]

#30daysofbiking – day 24 – Dutch Cemetery


A week or so ago, I was looking at maps, trying to plan out possible adventures to the West of my house, since my standard loop is getting a little stale.

I found a tiny little road that dead-ended in a farmer’s field. The road is called Dutch Cemetery Road.

I flipped over to satellite view, and wouldn’t you know it, it looks like it dead-ends in some ancient cemetery.


So, Sloth and I decided to ride out there to what there was to see.

We rode up the hills, and down the hills,

Sloth Rides down the hills

And up and down more hills.
We rode down scenic country lanes with evil, evil steep hills on them.


And, we found the old Dutch Cemetery. It was very spooky. All the tombstones were sinking into the ground in random directions.


A Veeeerryyy sppoooooooookyy Photosphere!

[sphere 4777 autostart]

After we took some pictures and ate some snacks, we rode back to my house. A hilly 21 miles all together. My legs are sore, but it was a fun ride

There are more photos in the Gallery, but be warned; they are all very spooky!

Ride Stats:

A Preview of Coming Attractions


What the world needs is an Open Source, Open Data, self-hosted replacement for Stava, Dailymile, Runkeeper, etc.

phpMyGPX as Ridelogger?

Using phpMyGPX as a ride logger?

I downloaded phpMyGPX yesterday afternoon. I was up most of the night studying the code. I’m not a very good programmer, but it seems possible that I might be able to modify phpMyGPX into what I’m looking for.

I’ve got a crude prototype of a ride report up and working.

Mapping the Sprawl


I’ve been doing some armchair mapping of the West Shore area for OSM.

The whole area is a gigantic clusterfuck of sprawling housing developments and go-nowhere roads. It’s easy to get lost in there, and have your 10 mile bike ride turn into a never-ending marathon of dead end roads, cul-de-sacs, and near misses by Volvo driving soccer moms.

OSM Map West Shore area near Harrisburg, PA

Once I get it all mapped, maybe I’ll put together a “bicycling guide to the West Shore”. I know I could have used one when I started out.

Poplar Forest in OSM


I have noisy coworkers, and so I listen to podcasts while I’m at work to help keep my sanity. Today, I was listening to old episodes of the the Thomas Jefferson Hour.

The episode I was listening to talked about Poplar Forest, which was Jefferson’s second home / retreat. Today it’s sort of a museum, and I noticed that it wasn’t yet added to OSM. The Yahoo images weren’t very good, but I could see the building, and I knew from the podcast that it was an octagon with a long rectangle sticking out the side.

So, I drew a crude octagon, then told JOSM to arrange the nodes in a circle. I think it came out pretty nicely.

Poplar Forest in Openstreetmap

Some time ago, I added a node for Monticello to the map, so now you can plan your Jeffersonian vacation with OSM.

Monticello in OSM

I think Mr. Jefferson would like Openstreetmap. After all, he commissioned Louis and Clark expedition to map the American West.

Clark's Map

I’m pretty sure he would have been in favor of share-alike licensing, too.

He who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

No doubt if Alexander Hamilton were alive today, he’d own stock in Navteq, plan his travels on Bing, and call us all “intellectual voluptuaries.”

Alexander Hamilton loves Microsoft

Michael Arrington on OpenStreetMap


The other day, one of my coworkers forwarded me a link to an article on TechCrunch about OpenStreetmap.

For a moment, I was exited to see OSM getting some press. My excitement faded rapidly, when I saw the article made a rather glaring factual error. It claimed that OSM is a product of Cloudmade.

Sloppy journalism is nothing new, and nothing to get overly excited about. In the comments, a few people tried to correct the mistake, pointing out that OSM is a project in it’s own right, and Cloudmade is a company that uses the OSM data.

Mr. Arrington replied to these comments that he “fully understand[s] the relationship between Cloudmade and openstreetmap.” Clearly he does not.

To say that Cloudmade is in charge of OSM is an error of the same magnitude as saying that Canonical is in charge of Debian. It’s totally ridiculous, and anyone who spends 10 minutes poking around the web could have figured this out.

Arrington then goes on to insult the entire readership of TechCrunch:

“for the vast majority of our readers [the relationship] just isn’t relevant.”

Evidently the difference between the actual facts and made-up malarkey is not relevant to the TechCrunch readership. Maybe TechCrunch is the high-tech equivalent of the Onion, I don’t know.

Not content to insult his own readers, he goes on to slag off the entire open source universe.

If even 1% of our readers gave a damn I’d write a post explaining how projects like these are able to stay on track, and why there is always just one for profit company guiding it.

Evidently he thinks that open projects alway have a for-profit company behind them. I’ve been an active contributer to OSM for over three years now, and I’ve never once been “guided” by Cloudmade in any way whatsoever. Does anyone know what for-profit concern is “guiding” Wikipedia or Mozilla? I sure don’t.

After several more comments tried to correct Arrington’s mistake, he decided that the OSM community is “nasty” and closed down the comments.

Well, sorry TechCrunch. We’re open source people. When we see a mistake, we file a bug. We tried to help you fix your buggy article. It’s what we do. You didn’t listen, and so your article is still broken, and you look like a fool.