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02 October 2007 @ 09:05 pm
2007 walnuts, yet another new bike trail  
One advantage of 80+ temperatures continuing clear into October like this is that I can continue my boat testing like it's still mid-August. Tomorrow another rig is arriving that I ordered from California. If I am happy with it I'll be writing more about it here.

This weekend, however, I was out on my bike and on foot.

Ohio, and especially Dayton-Cincinnati-Columbus has the most extensive network of inter-connected bike trails in the country.

Yet another long new one from downtown Dayton is almost finished. I rode it several miles Sunday until I had to turn back when I met the asphalt machines extending it north.

By next year it should go clear to Charleston Falls, Tipp City, and Troy, and even farther to Piqua and toward Lima in the next few years, along the Great Miami River.

Then, I got on the Stillwater River bike trail to get to the places in the woods where I found all the walnut groves two years ago.

I discovered some beautiful new areas with even more walnut groves Sunday.

But only two trees had dropped the walnuts yet and only one had walnuts there long enough for the green husks to be softening.

Unlike two years ago, I am de-husking right in the woods and then briging back just the nuts in shell. (No leaving them on an island til the husks are gone now that I know the racoons swim over and steal them.)

I got 164 Sunday, removed the husks and washed the shells in the river. I spread them in the sun on the balcony and was very pleased to find they had dried enough to begin cracking them yesterday (Monday)when I got home.

I bought a carpenters vise and mounted it to a frame made of 2 x 8s and this works really well.

I sat on the balcony and put the apparatus on my little portable table and cracked quite a few walnuts yesterday and today. The quality is excellent. So, I expect to bring back many more throughout October.

This coming weekend is going to be hectic here in Grafton Hill because our other big annual festival, Octoberfest, is happening on the corner, at the Dayton Art Institute. It draws even bigger crowds than the Greek Festival at the church next door, that was in early September as usual.

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