Lil, Ken, Dawn, and Janelle. Lexi the dog.
--October 10, 2020 at 6:40 PM. Furnace Ridge Rd, New Plymouth, OH, United States
A few weeks ago a friend and I were sitting on my deck, reasonably distanced, enjoying an experiment in food and beer. The old-style apple raisin fritters were a success (and then I learned Lil doesn’t like cooked apples so an even bigger hit). During that time conversation wandered around to talk of friends some of whom we don’t get to see often even when the world isn’t engulfed by a pandemic. Lil had the bright idea that since our friend couldn’t readily travel here for a relaxing weekend we could go to her and take her on a relaxing, winding-down, weekend. Out of that initial thought came some ideas of places to go that would be new and exciting for all of us. We changed places as planned gelled and issues came up. The plan firmed up more with a place settled upon and another friend deciding she could join us for at least a little while if not for the whole weekend. Our weekend adventure to Alum Creek State Park and then, for two nights, Lake Hope State Park was born.
This car-camping trip was really more about spending time with friends and giving everyone a chance to enjoy the company of people they’ve known for years in a situation where, for a time, it would be possible to step back from the larger world. We might rub against each other in odd ways at times, nothing every goes quite as smoothly as you envision, but the opportunity to decompress remains. If the physical location itself has worthwhile attributes that is a bonus.
Alum Creek Lake. At the northern end of my short paddle. It was a lovely autumn afternoon.
--October 9, 2020 at 1:31 PM. Delaware, OH, United States
Lil and I stopped at Alum Creek State Park on our way to fetch Janelle (and dog Lexi). This park is known for a biking trail and is also popular among boaters of various types from paddlers to motorized craft. Alum Creek Lake certainly sees plenty of boat traffic and the creek has charm. Lil had a good, if tough, bike ride and I managed a nice little paddle in my old trusty Alpacka Yak packraft.
We got Janelle and Lexi loaded into the too-full truck (proving once again that nature abhors a vacuum by filling the F150 to the brim) and drove off to Lake Hope State Park. With one thing and another we didn’t arrive until just after sunset. We quickly learned just how sloped our campsite was. We used chunks of firewood to level out the picnic table so we could use it without fear of everything sliding off. Too bad we couldn’t level out the tent Lil and I shared. But we were there and our first night by a roaring campfire eating hotdogs-in-cornbread (sort of pigs-in-a-blanket) and coleslaw was working out quite well.
That night set the pattern for the rest of the weekend. Eat decent food (even if messed up a bit), enjoy good conversations especially after Dawn arrived and we talked her into staying the night (she had already been leaning that way and it just took a tiny nudge), and time spent hiking, biking, or just relaxing under the trees. The weekend would give us all what we were hoping for: good time with friends.
For those that care the video was shot using my iPhone 11 Pro and a new camera out for its first use: an Insta360 Go. This camera is bout the size of your thumb, weighs about one ounce, and is meant to take action shots in short clips of 15, 30, or 60 seconds. It has a single very-wide-angle lens and shoots 1080p video at 25 frames-per-second (technically it is shooting at 2700x2700 but the app it uses to export video only does so at 1080p which is a shame because it throws away so much data). There is no screen. You point the camera in the direction you want to shoot and push the shutter button (or use the Bluetooth connection and app to do the same thing). A video (regular or slow-mo, hyperlapse), picture, or time-lapse, is tkaen. When you connect the camera to your smartphone the app you’ve installed will let you transfer the data to your phone for processing and sharing. No muss; no fuss: in theory. It does work and once you begin to understand the limitations the insta360 Go certainly has uses. It isn’t anywhere as flexible as a more traditional action-camera but for what I wanted it seems to have worked well enough. You’ll likely have no trouble figuring out which shots were from the Go and which the iPhone. I should also note that the video was edited entirely on the iPhone using Luma Fusion.