The snow’s gone- so are my studded mountain bike tires

I absolutely loved riding my Pugsley on the trails on and around Ragged Mountain today.  I have been waiting for this ride all winter- my first, where there’s solid ground is under my 4” wide tires instead of snow, ice, slush, and mud.  I rode surprisingly well.
14 Bubbas of the Woods suited up to hit the trails around the Camden Snow Bowl, where we departed from parking at the tennis courts.

A full dozen o" Bubbas clumped up above Massey Falls
A full dozen o” Bubbas clumped up above Massey Falls

Back in December, we were able to move back and forth between the Snow Bowl parking lot and the Rollins Road trails by riding over the ice on Hosmer Pond.

Ian showing off on Hosmer Pond in December
Ian showing off on Hosmer Pond in December

Initially, we headed over to the superbly constructed Rollins Rod roller coaster. This evolving project is as good as gold to us.  There’s nowhere closer where the flow is as extensive as it is here, all accessed through the little slot at the end of Rollins. This is a place where you just open up, and forget worrying about unexpected roots, rocks, or streams that might interrupt the fast swooping.
There was some mud.  Here’s proof:

Nelon's pedal, jammed up with wood
Nelon’s pedal, jammed up with wood

And his Mukluk with a drive train that’s going to need a shower:


Here’s the ride:

2f4339e9-db54-4fcc-9d6e-82aad5097386Once again, I enjoyed accumulating the data, via my Strava app.

e77dbb5d-67cc-416d-999e-a1493b0b52ebI had my chest strap/heart rate monitor linked to my trusty Etrex30 GPS. (handlebar stem mounted).  Fifty-six percent of the 2 hours and 15 minutes of hard riding had me pumping out 145-160 beats per minute (BPM). I am very surprised to see that I spent 26 minutes in the 165-186 BPM zone.    I’ve kicked off the start of the warmer weather biking season weighing under 200, some 15 pounds lighter than have been for this time of year.

I may have my Medicare card, but I’m still good with my heart.

From Nepal April 26th, 2015 about medical and nursing volunteers in #Nepal after the earthquake

My friend Joe is in Nepal this year teaching rural nurses to save souls. He himself has saved more than one life.  We never know when we are called back.  Bless you , Joe.  I am relieved the hear that you are uninjured.

Joe sent me an invitation to stay with him in Nepal this season and line up a good trek, but I declined.

–>Nepal April 26th, 2015 –about medical and nursing volunteers in #Nepal after the earthquake.

Maine Coast Men

I will be giving a 90 minute workshop on Why I Walk at the

50th Maine Coast Men Gathering.  I’ve also volunteered to help prepare a Vietnamese meal to be served Saturday night.

I have been attending these twice yearly convocations of men for at least 20 years. This is a big one- The 50th! By now we just may have learned on how to do it right.

I look forward to reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones at what I consider our local Body Shop for the Soul, and it’s right here in my home town of Lincolnville, ME .

I encourage any interested men to sign up and check us out.

I have never gone home disappointed.

Click the link above to get registration information.

This event will be held in the deep woods of the Tanglewood 4-H camp,  along the historic Ducktrap River.

What’s The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life ?

On our seven mile round trip walk to breakfast in Austin, Texas
On our seven mile round trip walk to breakfast in Austin, Texas

“…the ideal dose of exercise for a long life is a bit more than many of us currently believe we should get, but less than many of us might expect”- NY Times

Where’s the sweet spot?

Last December, my son Lincoln suggested that I raise my daily activity goal to 1 hour a day. He’s steered me right many times since he stood by my side at age 3 and told me that it was a bad idea for me to try and drive my 1964 BMW motorcycle up a plank and ride it into the shed for winter storage. He was right. I was bruised up pretty bad after I fell off the plank with the bike ending up on top of me.

So I took his advice, about the one hour a day fitness goal. Lincoln also recommended I pony up the $59 a year to upgrade my Strava cycling/ running app to Premium level, where I have been able to set time, distance goals, and help myself stick to the hour a day average.

A quick check on my Strava Training Log reveals that since January 1, 2015 to date I have aggregated 486 combined biking, walking, and running miles. My hourly total is 123 hours in those 121 days yields a weekly average of 427 minutes, or 61 minutes a day.

Regular readers of my blog know that I stopped going to the gym (after 43 years)  after I returned from my 2013 thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail. Doing so has increased my fitness, lowered both my body weight and total cholesterol below 200 for the first time in my adult life,  allowed me to lose 15 pounds, and ramped up my engagement in nature.

So, click on the link below to find out if you also might want to ramp up (or down in some cases) to an hour a day.

Additionally,  one of my blog readers suggested I read Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It .  It’s excellent!  Reading it now,  I found this: “The USDA [United States Department of Agriculture] guidelines have suggested that up to ninety minutes a day of moderately vigorous exercise- an hour and a half every day!- may be necessary just to maintain weight loss, but they have not suggested that weight can be lost by exercising more than ninety minutes.”

The Right Dose of Exercise for a Longer Life –

Thanks, son!


This is one CDT Hiker that I’m lookint forward to be following. I am also looking farward to receiving her soon to be released PCT book.


source: source:

The Continental Divide Trail runs 2,800(ish) miles along the spine of the US, from the Mexican border in New Mexico to the Canadian border in Glacier National Park, Montana. The CDT is only partly “finished”, which means that a good chunk of the route is jeep roads and cross-country navigation. Hiking the CDT is a bit like what I imagine hiking the PCT was like in the seventies- wild, remote, arduous, not a lot of trail or infrastructure. Sections of the CDT have various “alternates”, so the trail varies in length from 2,800 to 3,100 miles, depending on how you hike it. My intention is to have the “full CDT experience,” so I’ll take the most scenic and challenging routes available to me. I also hate (paved) road walking.

The saying for the CDT is “Embrace the brutality.” I start the trail May 5. I’ll write a blog…

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Backpacking Stories For Active Boomers – Uncle Tom: via

I submitted this article to more than 7 months ago. It just showed up  the front page of their e-magazine.

Read the full story here–>> “Uncle Tom” Jamrog Receives the Triple Crown is a website dedicated to assisting Baby Boomers and beyond in finding the latest information on getting the most out of life for active seniors at any age. Their focus is in the fields of human powered outdoor activities and adventure travel, including geo-caching, and they encourage people with experience in areas such as health, aging, humor, to share their advice and stories.

Local Adventures Way Down South

I’m known as Opie here in Austin. Opie is known for slinging a fishing pole over his shoulder, hopping on his bike, waving bye-bye to Aunt Bea, and heading off into the Mayberry’s countryside for local adventures.

Ever since I read Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes, I’ve been embracing the concept of enjoying outdoor adventures on my own turf, wherever that might be. B1hi_AiCcAEFeWE Alstair Humphries’ idea of going local is catching momentum. There is a detailed explanation of microadventures here.

For the past five nights, my side kick Tenzing and I have been camping out in our host Mike’s back yard. photo

I been hiking in and around Austin the at five days.

The first morning I was here, I fired up the Garmin eTrex 30 and did a long loop walk of a couple hours. That first morning, I saw a turtle, nesting parrots, house plants by the sidewalks that were Hulked out to giantness, as well as some some most unique signage.

Pole dancing academy
Pole dancing academy

The next morning, Tenzing joined me. Sniffles, AKA Chameleon Boy, signed on with us then next morning. By the time yesterday rolled around, all of the folks in the house massed up with me and made the 7 mile round trip to El Chilito for breakfast.

Pounding pavement to burritos
Pounding pavement to burritos

The stunning Hamilton Pool was the object of our awe the next morning.

Mike and Dusty going in
Mike and Dusty going in


Sniffles coming up
Sniffles coming up

Later that day, we headed northwest of Austin out to Hill Country, where we had a most pleasant afternoon hiking at Enchanted Rock State Park. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Big times
Big times

The next day, we had another local adventure here: Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center.

Grandfather trees abound here
Grandfather trees abound here
Tenzing, uplifting
Tenzing, uplifting

Yesterday, I reunited with my fellow Triple Crowner, Richard Wizard and his fiancee, Emmie. We took in a fun loop around Lady Bird Lake where we paused for picture of the two of us, standing deep in the heart of Texas.

Uncle Tom and Richard Wizard, hanging and hiking yet again
Uncle Tom and Richard Wizard, hanging and hiking yet again

Strava tells me that I’ve logged 50 miles of walking in the past five days. I’ll take smileage wherever I can get it, even in a city of close to 2 million, deep in the heart of Texas.

Uncle Tom’s 2007 Appalachian Trail Journal- April 10

I’m now reading reports of  hikers moving north from the start of the AT this season, and it’s got me homesick bad for The Trail. One of the things I do now is to get on the internet and go back to my Trailjournals to revisit where I was on a particular date, like today.  The post from April 10, 2007 was just before I entered the 70 mile slog way up into the Smokies. I hiked 162 miles in exactly two weeks, reaching Fontana Dam, gateway to North Carolina’s Great Smoky National Park.

Lifetraveler, packing heavy. We finished together on April 15. LT worked a minimum wage job for a few years to save $$$ to do this hike.

Check out my entry here–>  Uncle Tom’s 2007 Appalachian Trail Journal

Sugarloaf’s First Fat Tire Festival

Weather at the Sugarloaf Fat Tire Festival eventually cooperated.

John riding shotgun
John riding shotgun

I was able to put together a decent ride on Saturday, after the thermometer dropped below freezing.

Hard packed and ready for rolling fat.
Hard packed and ready for rolling fat.

Friday afternoon, when the air temp rode to above 50 degrees, the riding was less than ideal. I only racked up about five miles – the distance from our rented condominium, on the slopes, to the Nordic Center, which was the base of operations for the action here on fat wheels this weekend.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The cross country trails here are well groomed, wide as a highway, and fairly solid underneath, but I had trouble on the uphill segments, my rear wheel sinking in the softness on Friday.

Fifty riders paid $40 each to race early Saturday. It looked to be a slog up the slopes, with a good deal of hike-a-bike to reach the high point and then a good slide down. None of us raced- the surface looked to be too loose and soft.

The cold came back Saturday afternoon. By 2 pm, it dropped under freezing, so I decided to head out with Buck, Ian, and Blaine and ride around for a couple of hours. Much better surfaces, allowing for some very fast downhill swoops.  photo 7

As long as you stayed on the packed track, you were smiling, but veer off the snow highways and you were going down into the deep snow.

Ian, halved !
Ian, halved !

The Bubbas represented well, with a dozen of us occupying the condo- I had a clean bed in a room with Tom P., John Anders and Tim Sewall sharing snoring shifts with me.

It cost each of us $100 for our share of the rental for the weekend, a most excellent location, and place to hang for the weekend. Thanks to Blaine Curtis for setting it up.

I volunteered to cook breakfast for the gang on Saturday- eggs, bacon, home fries, English muffins, coffee. Suzie Cooke organized the most excellent Saturday night dinner in the condo. On Sunday, John Anders whipped up an excellent batch of breakfast burritos, with Buck kicking in a massive plate of bacon sausage from Maine Street Meats in Rockport.

Sunday was the day of my longest ride.  Maine Huts and Trails hosted a Stratton Brook Lunch Ride on Sunday.

Suzie, Buck, and Rick ready to flow
Suzie, Buck, and Rick ready to flow

We sampled their winter trail system with a ride up to Stratton Brook Hut where we congregated with fellow Fat Tire riders, before heading back down a spectacular descent of close to two miles on the Oak Knoll Trail.

Ian and Buck enjoying the Stratton Hut
Ian and Buck enjoying the Stratton Hut

I am pleased to work in 27 miles of winter riding this weekend.  Who knows how the riding will go back home, beside Penobscot Bay this week?

This was not my first time fat biking Maine Huts and Trails.

Here’s my  October 26, 2013 blog post from my maiden voyage on a cold October day,   from Route 27 to spending a solitary night at the Flagstaff Lake Hut.

I’ll be back for next year’s Fat Tire Festival and plan to hit up the Maine Huts and Trails again in 2015.