Muse by David Teitsma

My attempt to understand and be understood.

Today was an exciting day! We spent the day hiking up to the peak of Algonquin, the second highest peak in New York.

Below is one of the many times that we purified water for drinking / cooking.

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We had to hike about two miles before the trail started to ascend. Once it started to get steeper, it only got more and more steeper. In fact of the 2,500 feet we climbed, the majority of it was in the last 3/4 of a mile. The trail transitioned from muddy and rock like yesterday, to rock like steps, and then a scramble at the end (the steepest part). Needless to say it was all difficult and technical; it was the hardest trail I’ve been on.

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A stream paralleled the trail most of the way up. We saw countless waterfalls and pools. This definitely added to the scenery. For some reason we each took only a liter of water. We desperately needed more so twice I asked several other hikers if we could use there pump to purify more water. In the end I drank at least four liters of water, and we all realized that we should of carried our pump and needed to in the future.

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Here I’m pointing to our goal, the peak. About this time, I was ready to turn around a call it a day. We were climbing so much, and it was extremely tiring. Later I found out that almost everybody else had the same thought about turning around.

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Here’s the part towards the top were it was steeper. Just a long section of rock we had to scramble up.

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Here' we’ve reached the tree line.

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The peak on the left in the back is Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in New York.

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Here we are at the top. It was great to reach the top and just look around. We could see very very far and we could see many mountains fading into the distance. I would have loved to stay at the top longer, but Kelly was waiting patiently for us and it was getting a little late.

Again Mt. Marcy is in the background.

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If you click the below photo, you can see the larger version of this 360 degree shot.

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Brian and I are pointing to Flowed Island were we stayed.

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Here’s another example of the trail below.

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Kelly made it over half way up and decided to wait there. She did incredible considering that she is pregnant, and I’m amazed that anyone that is pregnant made it that far! 

On the way down we saw several people that were still starting to climb up. Calculating how long it took us to climb, these people would be hiking in the dark on the way down. We heard about some other hikers that were hiking for over 18 hours from the trailhead that we started at to the top of Mount Marcy and another peak. Crazy is all I have to say.

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The way down went considerably faster, but we were all ready to be back. Once we made it back to camp, we made dinner, and then played card games before bed.

Yesterday I left Grand Rapids first thing in the morning, and drove to Detroit. There I met up with Brian and Beth and we carpooled to Nick and Kelly's in East Palmyra. Yup that took a whole day. Once there, we packed and got made sure that we all had everything. Unfortunately, I realized that I left my camera in Detroit, and wasn't going to have one on the trip. This is a major bummer, even though everyone else has a camera and I'll be able to grab their photos.

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Today we woke up early again and left on a four-hour car ride to the Adirondacks. Slowly hills appeared, which grew to foothills, and then mountains started surrounding us. We arrived at the Calamity Creek Trailhead, had a brief lunch while dodging bugs. At the trailhead we met up with Joel and started our hike to Flowed Lands 4 miles away. I tried not to say it too much, but I was pumped / excited to be hiking / happy to be surrounded the beautiful creation. The wide path narrowed after a mile to a single trail. Slowly the slightly damp dirt and pebbles changed to thick, wet mud and huge rocks as the trail began to climb.

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Starting our hike!

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From left to right: Brian, Joel, Kelly, me, and Nick

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Her Beth stood in for Joel.

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Here is the muddy trail.

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Some points we all helped each other get through.

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Here I am comparing my belly to pregnant Kelly.

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After four hours of hiking we arrived at Flowed Lands. The first lean to that we came to was unoccupied, but we scoped out several other ones to see what the options were, but they were all taken. So we settled into our camp, unpacked, took the bear canisters up the hill far away from the lean-to (about 1/4 mile). The bear canisters are small black plastic barrels that a bear can't pick up or get into. Previously you would hang your food or anything with a scent (toothpaste, deodorant, soap, ....) from a branch but the bears learned how to get it done (so they could brush their teeth of course...). Now it is mandatory that you use a canister, and not any canister, but a black one without a screw top.

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We then went down to the lake and started cooking. We keep things simple we brought dehydrated food that all we had to do was just pour in boiling water and then let it sit for 10 minutes. I really enjoy the meals as they are tasty, just beware that there is a lot of salt in them.


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Here we are making dinner.

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This was our ‘dinner rock’.

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After dinner Joel and I went for a quick hike to scope out the area. I love to explore. Before we turned off the lantern we played a game of Euchre (of which Joel and I won).

I'm pretty sure we all went to sleep wondering if we would have a night time guest wake us in the night. Black bears are very active in this area and frequently visit the campsites at night to look for food. We were cautious and made sure that everything that had a smell to it was in the bear canisters. The lean-to we slept in was just three walls so it was easy for something (bugs, squirrels, raccoons, bears) to visit in the night.

Below is the tracklog from my GPS (well most of it…until it freaked out with about 3/4 of a mile to go).

iPhoto is a great program to use to manage your photo library. I've made some great photobooks and calendars in it. Unfortunately there is no (useful) instructions on how to switch to a different program. I recently decided to make this switch and was faced with this problem. There are a couple of different methods that blogs have described however they don't:

  • Preserve the Events (the groups of photos) but are instead organized by the date that the photo was taken.
  • Preserve tags or keywords. I've spent a lot of time tagging photos and don't want to have spend the dozen of hours re-tagging photos!
  • Make it easy. Other ways require too many steps and chances for error.

The method I used eliminates all these concerns. Here we go:
  • Download Aperture, request a serial number and install. This is only a 30 day trial but it is fully functional for those thirty days and you should only need it for a couple of days.
  • Import your iPhoto Library into Aperture. When you first open Aperture it will greet you with several options, including Import your iPhoto Library.
  • In the projects tab in the left pane click on Events under iPhoto Library. You should see all your photos in iPhoto in the main pane, if you don't go to View - Browser Only. Make sure no photos are selected, if they are click in the empty space in-between photos.
  • Create a folder where all your photos will be exported too (I put it on my Desktop).
  • Right click on Events and go to Export, then click on Versions.
  • Browse to the folder you created two steps ago. The Export Presets should be set to JPEG- Original Size. Choose how you want the folders organized, which probably is Project Name (this will create a folder for each iPhoto Event). Name format enables you to choose how each file is named. Current Version Name will keep the original file name that was used when it was imported into iPhoto. If you want to have it rename each photo, choose one of the other options.
  • Click Export Versions. Now Aperture will be busy exporting for a while. It took my computer about three hours to export 10,000 photos. Aperture will alert you when it is finished!

All your photos will now be in main folder separated into different sub-folders by Event (if you chose Project Name in the Export options). The tags were saved to the meta-data so your new software will (if compatible) be able to view and edit these tags.

One disadvantage about this method is that it exports only the current version of the image. If you made any changes to a photo (cropping, color balance, brightness / contrast, ...) only the latest version is available. In case I need an original (and I doubt I will), I'm backing up the iPhoto Library to my external hard drive so I can retrieve it later and also have an off site backup.

Now you're no longer stuck with iPhoto!