Monday, June 30, 2014

One Year Old Today

Sun screen, check Finger food, check Fluids, check 
Day 10 (6/30/14)

The most important thing about today is that it is Wades 1st year birthday. What better way to spend part of it then on the bike trail. Summer is finally here and it is rather warm (82ish) so it takes a little more preparation to get out on the trail. First you need some sun screen, some finger food and lots of fluids. I also mounted a thermometer viewable from the outside on Wade’s chariot so I can keep track of the temperature in his pod. It was a little windy when we took off but mostly it was from the side or at our backs so it was of no consequence. Later would be a whole different story. As I expected, because of the wind last night only tripod was not affected. My plan was, since there were quite a few people on the trail, to ride out and repair on the way back. I knew there would be very little chance for new building since it was warm and we had a limited amount of time. The plan started out fine. I rebuilt what was left of “Prairie Build” and was moving on to the next one when I noticed the wind starting to pick up and clouds gathering in the west. I determined to stop and rebuild the next one anyway. When I had it finished I tried to take a picture of it and my camera gave me a “memory card error” message. I had been having trouble with it so it wasn't totally unexpected but it is only a year old. I messed around with it and got a couple of pictures but then it quit for good. Considering the wind and the lack of camera I headed for home. It was not an easy ride, especially the parts that were directly into the wind. The trailer makes a pretty god parachute with wind screen up. Wade was awake by then however and seemed to be enjoying it, judging by the jabbering that was going on behind me. That boy can make anything better. It never did rain.
My view

What a cute Birthday Boy

Prairie Rebuild

Wind Proof I hope

Saturday, June 28, 2014

End of the Week

Even the trail repair crews are getting into the spirit 
Day 9 (6/27/14)

It is Friday and Eileen has the day off so it is off to the bike trail with Wade. This is the end of the first week of Grandpa sitting for Wade. He has done very well and taught me a lot. I now know how to clap on command and that what goes up must come down and many other life lessons. It is another beautiful summer day. Things are starting to look up. While other parts of the country are wondering how they are going to survive the drought conditions Wisconsin people were starting to wonder if they should be building an ark. Although there are still huge mosquito breeding pools along the trail it is starting to dry out some. Our goal was to make it to Oostburg and back. It is only a matter of eight miles but when you have a one year old with you and you want to get some building done it is an accomplishment. Fortunately Eileen had the foresight to bring some finger food and water with us. Most days he sleeps most of the trip but today He was determined to stay awake for most of the adventure. He was very good but we could tell toward the end though that it would not have been much longer and he would have wanted out. I only built one new construct from scratch but continued to add to a couple more. It has been a great start to the summer. Four more weeks left for Wade to attempt to teach this old dog new tricks. 
This should balance

OK Lets take a different approach 

Heart of Fools

Snack Time

Again with the Ants

Happy Friday

Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's not how far or how fast but what you do and what you see

Wade Illustrating the Forces of Nature
Day 7 (6/25/14)

The Dolmen project is not entirely about outdoor fun and recreation. There is a great deal of research and development that goes in behind the scenes. Much of the morning is spent with Grandpa trying new elaborate ideas while Wade illustrates how vulnerable they will be to the forces of nature. We have a vast array of building materials to work with so that we are able to ensure every scenario. Occasionally we take a break from our studies to journey to the magic gate. This amazing portal allows free travel for the kitties between our realm and the underworld and back again. It is a place of vast mystery. Wade has spent a great deal of time studying this anomaly. All that research can really tire a guy out and Wade was fast to sleep soon after leaving the driveway. It was a beautiful day, by far the best we have had so far. Surprisingly there were not a lot of people on the trail so we were able to do some building. I still spend a lot of time scavenging for materials. Where I think there should be resources sometimes there isn't so I end up working with what I can find. That is kind of the idea anyway but sometimes the pickings are quite meager. I am sure after a couple of weeks we will have located some good stashes. Wade must have really enjoyed the nice weather because he slept right up to the last build. It can’t get much better than it was today nice sunshine, good company (although very quiet) and creating.
Research and Development

Another failed attempt

Perhaps this?

No Way

At the mystery portal

Question of Balance rebuild

Tripod gets a Dangler

A Start

Dare I call it Slender man 

Another start

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Family Affair

Day 7 (6/25/14)
Me and My Little Buddy

Grandma had the day off so she joined Wade and me on our daily ride and build. Yesterday after our ride a storm went through so I was surprised to find everything still standing, although our first build had some parts missing. Tomorrow perhaps we can fix it. It was another cool damp morning with a heavy fog that you could feel like a thin mist pelting your face. We used the trip to check out future build sites. The area where “Dangler” used to stand has really grown up and I think somebody must have taken the steel for scraping. Although I found the wood and the rocks from the original sculpture there was no sign of the parts that had given Dangler its name and character. I will probably look future but since it has grown up so much it would not be visible anyway. When we got to the site of the old “Prairie Build” I decided to stop and make my one build of the day. Unlike the area around Dangler there seemed to be materials and a nice area to build in. I may have to build a few more there. As I was finishing up the new “Prairie Build” Wade began to wake up so we started making our way back home. We had gone further out then I had gone with Wade before but he seemed quite content on the ride home. Tomorrow is supposed to a nice so I am pretty excited. Maybe summer will make it to Wisconsin yet.
Grandma Daycare

We really need to make a Bigfoot Crossing Sign

Working on my first and only build

Somebody is wide awake

New "Prairie Build" 

Are we home yet?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Good Day to Build

First Build with Wade
Day 6 (6/24/14)

It feels good to be back on the trail again and even better to have my little buddy with me. Today was our first day of building. OK, maybe Wade doesn't do a lot of building but he is there for moral support. We started building almost as soon as we hit the trail. I had built there before and knew there would be a nice supply of materials. I was right and although they were protected by biting ants I am getting pretty impervious to them by now. I was happy with how the first build went together. I now have two concerns while building. One is not being seen while building and the other is making sure my partner is comfortable and happy. So far they both have been easy since there are few others out on the trail and Wade falls to sleep almost as soon as we hit the trail. He missed a lot of wildlife today though. I saw deer, cranes and lots of bunnies. The deer must be used to people because he just stood and watched until I slowed to get my camera. Then he was gone. The second build I had to wade out into the water the build and since I wear crocs it’s not a problem. I love my crocs. This second build was small but intriguing. By the time I was finished with that build the sun was starting to poke out. I wanted to make one more build and that was “Tripod”. “Tripod” is my oldest and dearest build and although it has gone through many incarnations it has always been there from almost the beginning. It is up but by no means finished.  I decided not to take any chances with my little ward waking up crabby so I called it a day and headed back home. Just as I stopped to check for traffic at the end of the bike trail he looked up and around and was wide awake for the rest of the ride home.
Getting Started

First Build Finished

Water Build

"Tripod" is Back

Monday, June 23, 2014

Grandpa Daycare

Day 5 (6/23/14)
1st Stop

Welcome to Grandpa Daycare. A lot has changed in the last seven years but without a doubt the best is the addition of our Grandson Wade to the family. Although he tried to come into the world almost four months early, through the miracle of modern medicine, they were able to postpone his arrival for another month and a half. He was a small but healthy 3 pounds 7 ounces when he was born. Now it is almost a year later and Grandpa gets to take care of him in the mornings while Mom and Dad teach summer school. The plan is to spend as much time as possible on the bike trail. Today was the maiden voyage and except for it being damp and foggy all went well. Mostly I just wanted to check out all the equipment and make sure everything was working properly. About twenty minutes into the ride my partner decided to take a nap which thanks to his bear buddy neck brace worked out well. I am guessing by the jabbering going on next to me he is now well rested. I can see that we are going to have a lot of work to do since last summer I had little chance to do any building or even maintenance. Everything is down and in many cases the materials are even gone. Right now after all the rain we have had it is a little wet to do much building but perhaps the sun really will come out tomorrow and we can get some building done.
Ready to start down the trail

Maybe Ill just rest my eyes

OK maybe Ill take a quick nap.

Nothing left of American Gothic

or Tripod

And just a little wet to rebuild

Wild Roses

The little stream is now a raging river