Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   the elusive split-rock landmark
Friday, April 19 2024

Note: I left the first version of this entry at the cabin without uploading it to, so I wrote a second version (the one below) entirely from memory. It is now the official version. To see the original, go here.

location: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, NY

I'd neglected to mention that yesterday I'd taken a recreational 150mg dose of pseudoephedrine and had tried to subsequently moderate my alcohol consumption. At Ray & Nancy's little dinner party, I'd drunk a fair amount of Lambrusco wine and then numerous tiny glasses of various liqueurs but then stopped for awhile. Back at the house, I'd had a couple of drinks, though I'd stopped earlier than I tend to when on pseudoephedrine, and evidently my restaint worked, because I awoke this morning feeling great.

The plan today was to drive up to the cabin all by myself, without even bringing the dogs. While Gretchen was off walking Charlotte, I packed the Chevy Bolt with the things I figured I would need for the weekend, which mostly electronics, food leftovers, and yet more bluestone. [REDACTED]
As usual, I drove to the cabin via the scenic route (through the northeast Catskills and the village a Middleburgh). But this time instead of stopping for provisions at the Hannaford in Cairo, I stopped at the Stewart's near the northbound Thruway exit in Saugerties to get what little I needed (a bag of trashy "On The Border" corn chips and a sixpack of Juice Commander DIPA so I'd have a road beer). Otherwise I had plenty of food, either in the form of leftovers from the past week or things that I needed to eat in the cabin's refrigerator.
It was about 49 degrees both inside and outside the cabin when I arrived, and I was in no great hurry to start a fire, as I'd been perfectly happy when it's been much colder in the cabin. Eventually, though, I got a nice fire going. And then I assembled the equipment I would need for another trailblazing walk down the nascent Lake Edward Trail. In addition to the usal equipment: a pair of bush clippers, a compass, and a cellphone, on this evening's hike I brought a large plastic bag and my firewood hauling backpack in the hopes that I could gather some midden soil from the high cliffs.
Instead of taking the new trail extension that goes directly to the pond near the top of the high cliffs, I decided to walk downstream along the semi-permanent brook to see if I could find evidence of where I'd crossed it when sketching out a crude trail alignment near a year ago. I didn't find such evidence, though I did find some blaze-orange tags someone had clipped to the trees in something of a line that closely followed where that alignment would've gone. (A couple years ago, Gretchen had marked an even more nascent version of this trail in a few places with some old red packaging ribbon, but these clips were different. They have little spring-loaded jaws allowing them to quickly grab onto little twigs or whatever. They seem designed for marking an area in a way that is easily altered. This means someone else has been through marking this a small part of this same landscape for some other purpose.) Following these blaze-orange clips, I somehow imagined I was significantly north of where I actually was, because when I randomly came upon a pond, I assumed it was a different one from the one I knew about not far from the top of the high cliffs. But then I saw the hunters' blind and realized I'd somehow gone south into a familiar landscape. So I backtracked and went looking for the massive split-rock that forms an important landmark along the nascent Lake Edward Trail. Though I knew about where it was, somehow I couldn't find it, so I gave up and found my way to the bottom of the high cliffs. There I used a gardening trowel to gather from a pellet-manure-rich midden fanning out from a void in the rock. The material was more composted and had unexpected roots just below the surface, making it difficult to gather as much as I'd expected to be able to. But I still managed to get twenty or thirty pounds of it into my plastic bag. From there, I hiked northwestward again to where I knew the split rock landmark should be, and eventually I found it, hidden behind another landscape feature that rendered it impossible to see in the distance from the south. From there, I backtracked roughly along the alignment for the Lake Edward Trail to the semi-permanent brook, clearing away sticks and branches along the way to make the trail more obvious for me the next time I hike through.
By the time I returned to the cabin, I was cold and wet (it had been raining earlier, though not while I was hiking). So I took a nice hot bath, ate some cannabis, and drank some booze (though not as much as I normally would on a Friday night at the cabin).

A tiny old neglected cemetery along Old Johnstown Road a little north of Fonda, NY (42.972644N, 74.3717430W). Click to enlarge.

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