Welcome to Breakfast in America

My photo journal is an eclectic mix of things; there’s no guiding theme or topic. It is whatever happens to catch my attention, what I’ve been thinking, doing, and whatever my current obsessions are. At the moment, they are clearing some of the backlog on my ‘honey-do’ list, backpacking and hammock camping.

Posts

  • Cleome houtteana — Spider Plant

    Cleome houtteana. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Last year, less than half a dozen of these plants appeared in the front yard flower bed. Ginger collected the seeds and sowed them. This year we have been rewarded by this spectacular display.

    Cleome houtteana. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Journals and Ink

    Photograph of four leather journals with fountain pens and ink.
    Journals and Ink — Four journals, four pens, one pencil, and three bottles of ink. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    I felt the need to take a picture, and this is what I came up with.

    Journals. Top to bottom. Backpacking journal, pocket notebook, my personal daily journal, and my work journal.

    Inks. The Iroshizuku Ina-ho is a wonderful burnt green and is no longer available, which is very sad. Diomine Oxblood is one of my all-time favorites, and the Waterman Inspired Blue Ink is a new ink (for me), which I am only now experimenting with.

    Pens. Pilot mechanical pencil, Pilot Metropolitans (three of those — I have more…), and a Sailor Compass 1911.

  • Mammatus clouds over Springfield

    Mammatus clouds over Springfield — Springfield, Missouri. May 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    We’ve had some weird weather lately. I heard about a house being hit by three tornadoes in the past month (around 30 miles from us). This week, we were on the edge of a storm that, according to the radar, was dumping twenty-five inches of rain per hour.

    There’s been so much thunder and lightning it’s become passe!

    Read about Mammatus clouds on Wikipedia.

    Mammatus clouds over Springfield — Springfield, Missouri. May 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
    Mammatus clouds over Springfield — Springfield, Missouri. May 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • It’s that trail cairn again

    It’s that trail cairn again … The obligatory Pole Hollow Cairn selfie. Hercules Glades Wilderness, April 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    By one-thirty I had camp squared away, and I started an uneventful hike back to the trailhead. Uneventful apart from the fact that unknown to me, a tree removed my hunter orange beanie, so I had to backtrack a quarter mile to find it. More miles (or half-miles if you prefer) under my belt. I decided not to stop for lunch, and just after four I was at the Pole Hollow cairn, and by four-forty I was back at the car.

    Trip complete:

    16:38 at the car/Trailhead.

    6.84 mi. +634 -230 2.5mph 2.2 mph.

    Trip Total. 13.21 +832

    It’s that trail cairn again … with the real me — I actually remembered to take my sunnies off, so I took this picture to show I had them on except for the picture. Hercules Glades Wilderness, April 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Jus’ Chilling

    Jus’ Chilling. Hercules Glades Wilderness, April 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    The six-mile hike back to the trailhead should only take three to four hours (depending on if I stop for lunch), so I can sit back, take it easy, and enjoy the forest for a while.

    Gratuitous hammock selfie. I have to make the folks back home think they are missing something. Hercules Glades Wilderness, April 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.
  • Late Breakfast — Biscuits and Gravy, and a cup of Rosie Lee

    Breakfast — Biscuits and Gravy, and a cuppa Rosie. Hercules Glades Wilderness, April 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Day Two

    While I might have said I was saving weight on this trip, I omitted to mention that I carried in a real book to read (though I saved the weight of the Kindle in the process). The relevance of which was that I stayed up far too late reading, and then had trouble getting off to sleep. It had been a clear cool night — 41°F, and I woke up at nine-thirty!

    For the uninitiated, Rosie Lee is Cockney rhyming slang for tea. My father was a Cockney (born in London within the sound of Bow Bells), so my childhood vocabulary was extended by all manner of cockney slang terms.

  • The pollen was prodigious

    The pollen was prodigious. Hercules Glades Wilderness, April 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    As the green-yellow dusting of pollen on my feet attests, the pollen was indeed prodigious. No wonder I was coughing and sneezing.

  • There was a trickle of water coming from the spring

    There was a trickle of water coming from the spring. So, I didn’t have to carry three liters of water (6.6 lbs) six miles? Hercules Glades Wilderness, April 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    With camp set up I headed off down into ‘Deep Hollow’ to see if the spring was running. Much to my surprise it was — just a trickle but enough to have saved me from having to lug in three liters of water! Not to worry, I needed the exercise!

    From my Trail journal:

    — 67°F when I arrived. Dropping quite quickly.

    Stats. 6.37 mi. +196 -584 2.3 mph 1.6 mph.

  • Back at ‘Deep Hollow,’ Hercules Glades Wilderness

    Back at ‘Deep Hollow’ Hercules Glades Wilderness, April 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

    Day One

    I decided to get out for a one-night trip to Hercules Glades. Apart from our Eclipse Trip I’ve not been out this month. An overnight stop at my camping spot near Deep Hollow would be just what the doctor ordered.

    The forecast was looking good, but based on my last visit, water was likely to be scarce. I opted to leave my chair and tarp behind to reduce weight and carry in three liters of water (6.6 lbs.). As my new hiking pole hadn’t arrived yet, I took a chance with my temporary repair lasting another twelve miles.

    I arrived at the trail head at midday feeling very discombobulated. So much so, that I had a false start, and returned to the car and then set off again.

    It’s turkey hunting season, and I met one weary and unsuccessful hunter on the trail. He bemoaned the fact that he hadn’t heard a single turkey call, and finished up by saying that I was much more sensible, and “at least you know what you are doing.” In my two days I don’t think I heard a single shot from within the wilderness, and I certainly didn’t hear or see any turkeys.

    Just after the Cedars Trail (Middle Trail) junction, I met another backpacker with a pair of tired looking dogs taking a rest. She’d spent the night by Long Creek Falls and was heading back to the trailhead. And that was the last person I saw in my two days stay.

    There was a tiny trickle of water at ‘Elephant Tracks Crossing’ (a.k.a. ‘Twin Falls Creek’), and I stopped for lunch and a cup of tea, before moving on the ‘Deep Hollow.’

    At around four O’clock I started bushwhacking towards my campsite, determined to try and find it by compass alone — believe me, finding a couple of trees buried in a forest isn’t the easiest of navigational tasks. Which explains why I was quite pleased with myself when that was exactly what I did!

  • Morning tea on an old stool

    Morning tea on an old stool — At some point in life, we learn the value of eschewing the bright, shiny, and new for the well-worn, used, and patinaed that does its job, and does it well enough. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.