It’s HOT Outside So It’s Time for a Blog Update!

This is one of the first weekends this summer I’ve spent the majority of my time inside.  Between the cycling, kayaking and fishing it’s been a wonderfully busy summer and it passed by quickly.  So here we are during the first weekend of FALL and the temps are in the 90’s.  I thought I’d share some updates about what’s been going on.

I found a box of Pearl Sugar in the pantry the other day & decided to break out the waffle iron for another round of Liege Waffles.  I wrote about these back in 2011 and they are worth the effort.  My only caution is they will gum up your waffle iron with caramelized sugar.  Cleanup is best done after things have cooled down so the hardened sugar can be chipped off.

After spending a lot of time riding the Monon trail these past few months I decided to mount my little GoPro Session to the handle bars and start recording some of the ridiculous stuff  seem to  encounter every ride.  I’ll post some video after my next ride.

On the Podcast front I’ve discovered several new ones this summer.  The ones I found to be the most entertaining are:

Twenty Thousand Hertz – Dallas Taylor does an amazing job bringing you “the stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds”.  My favorite episode so far is the story behind the NBC chimes.

Week in the Knees – Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, the guy who lived on MacDonalds for a month, is back with a weekly recap of the news you might not have head about.

Countdown – Detailed stories about 10 of the most incredible space missions during the race to the moon 50-years ago.  Lots of NASA audio recordings and interviews make it a very well produced podcast from Time Magazine.

After driving near this place for years I finally stopped in the little town of Brookville Indiana and checked out the amazing Brookville Reservoir.  We spent several weekends this summer kayaking and fishing this place and absolutely love it.

Brookville has a great tail water below the dam that’s stocked with rainbow and brown trout.  When the conditions are right it’s an awesome place to fly fish.  The reservoir itself has a lot of bass and other native Indiana species.  We’ve had success fishing from the bank and from the kayaks.  Since it’s only a 90-minute drive from home it’s an easy place to go for a day trip.

I’m looking forward to more beautiful weather this fall.  I need a few more weekends on the water and bike before packing everything up for the winter!

…To be continued

4-Months of Dead Air?

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been 4-months since I last published a post on IndyScan.com.  A lot’s been happening and I’ve obviously not been documenting it here!

My activity on Facebook has increased and I’m giving Instagram another try so the details are out there for those of you who know where to look!  I’m currently testing a plugin that will increase the activity on the blog by posting my favorite Instagram pictures here (just tested it right before this post!).  One of these days I’ll have things streamlined where I can share things with everyone everywhere with a single submission (getting really close to that now).

One of the new activities I’m taking part of this year is kayaking.  I grew up canoeing and have always loved the water.  This year was the year to get back out there.  In May I took advantage of the Rusted Moon Outfitters annual sale (20% off!) and picked up a new Dagger Axis 12-foot kayak.  I used the savings to offset the cost of a really nice carbon/fiberglass paddle and kayak specific life vest.

Dagger-Axis-120-Molten-Top

Dagger-Axis-120-Molten-Side

Having gone on several lake and river paddles I can honestly say this is one hell of a boat.  Very comfortable positioning and ride as well as highly maneuverable.  The retractable Skeg (basically a fixed rudder) makes tracking on open water dead straight and when retracted the boat turns on a dime.

I went on a 2-day overnight (camping) trip with some of the guys from work and I had plenty of room for all my equipment, even though I totally over packed!

Since kayaking has become my preferred form of exercise I decided to add one more piece of gear to the mix.  The Garmin Fenix 3 HR GPS/Smartwatch.  Previously I tried out an Apple Watch and was less than impressed.  After reading the reviews I really wanted to give the Garmin a try.

Garmin-Fenix-F3-HRWell this thing is a completely different animal.  It’s rugged as all get out and does many things very well.  You get all the notifications of a Smartwatch but you also get a ton of tracking info for outdoor activities and it’s completely configurable to match your needs.  From running to hiking to water sports and cycling.  This watch does it all and I could not be happier with the purchase.  It’s great to have an electronic dashboard on your wrist with all of your exercise stats as well as full navigation of where you’ve been and how to get back.  It even has weather alerts (web and barometer based) so you don’t get caught off guard when mother nature decides to storm on your outing.

Screenshot 2016-08-14 13.36.41

The image above shows a solo kayak run from Lafayette Trace (near Bongies in Perkinsville) to White River Canoe Company just south of Noblesville.  15+ miles in just under 5 hours.  It was the first time I got to put the Garmin to use and it performed flawlessly.  All of my distance, speed, and heart rate stats were compiled throughout the trip.  I can use the info to gauge my fitness level as well as track improvements or areas that need worked on.

So it’s obvious my new extra curricular activities have shifted focus away from blogging but at least I’m getting exercise!  Look for more posts in the future along with a few trip reports from upcoming kayaking adventures I plan to have before the snow starts flying.

Until next time…

Hide & Seek for the Digital Age

Remember the old-fashioned Scavenger Hunt? That party game that had the tendency to bring groups together via teamwork as well as cause some trouble as your team did “whatever it took” to win…

A newer, and in my opinion much more fun, version of that game is called Geocaching. If you have a GPS unit (or just about any kind of Smartphone) you too can play the Geocaching “game”.

Geocaching History from Wikipedia:

Geocaching is similar to the 150-year-old game letterboxing, which uses clues and references to landmarks embedded in stories. Geocaching was conceived shortly after the removal of Selective Availability from GPS on May 2, 2000, because the improved accuracy[6] of the system allowed for a small container to be specifically placed and located. The first documented placement of a GPS-located cache took place on May 3, 2000, by Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon.[7] The location was posted on the Usenetnewsgroup[8][9] as 45°17.460′N 122°24.800′W. By May 6, 2000, it had been found twice and logged once (by Mike Teague of Vancouver, Washington). According to Dave Ulmer’s message, the original stash was a black plastic bucket buried most of the way in the ground and contained software, videos, books, food, money, and a slingshot.[9]

I’m glad I read the Wikipedia piece because I totally forgot about Selective Availability that used to keep GPS units from being very accurate.  The day the US Govt. turned it off is the day GPS became a usable tool for the everyday person.

To get started with geocaching all you need to do is go to geocaching.com and search for caches around your area.  I’ll bet there are a few within 1-2 miles of your location (if not right down the street from you).  Here’s a search of the Indianapolis area:

Every one of those little squares represents a geocache.  As of today there are 1,817,076 active geocaches and over 5 million geocachers worldwide.  This is a popular hobby & one that uses online technology to be successful.

As with any “game” there are rules and variations on the game.  The rules for geocaching are pretty simple and it’s very easy to get started.  This 2-minute video explains the basics:

So what does a geocache look like?  Here’s an example of one my son & I found near the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple:

The coordinates got us to this spot and the compass indicated the geocache was about 50′ in front of us.
We followed the path into the woods and something caught our attention right away…
As we got a little closer we saw it. Do you see it?
This is the cache that was in the plastic tube under the tree. What’s inside?
Success! We found a cache with a lot of little goodies inside (they are not all like this). After signing the log book we took an item and left an item we had brought along with us.

As you can imagine this is a lot of fun for kids (young and old).  It’s a great way to spend the afternoon outdoors and in a lot of cases you get to take part in a bit of nature along the way.  Geocaching can be done on foot, with bicycles, or by car.  We prefer to drive to a general location and set out on foot or on the bikes.

As I found out today it pays to become a paid member of the Geocaching.com website.  You get access to “member only” caches that make the game even more exciting.  You also get email alerts and better search tools to find caches that meet your preferred criteria.

If you’re looking for a great family activity that everyone can get involved in check out geocaching.  It’s popular for a reason and once you find a few you’ll understand why!