Monday, November 9, 2015

Planets and Chainsaws...and Ultrarunning

Both days this weekend I attended a chain saw certification class for my Appalachian Trail maintenance club, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC).

I had to be in Luray, VA early so I left in the dark.  Along the way on Sunday morning I saw this scene in the eastern pre-dawn sky and snapped this iPhone picture:

Heading up in line from the horizon: the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter.

As for the chainsaw certification class, I really think it was worthwhile.   I'm just a self-taught ordinary chain saw use, who like many of us over the years had developed some unsafe practices and shortcuts.  Working one-on-one with an experienced trainer was good to enable me to change a few things on the safety side, and to enhance my skills. 

Plus another class requirement was first aid/CPR/AED training (after all, you're using a machine that can literally kill you).  In my private life, I will feel safer now being around the kids and older family members, in case of health emergency. 

These machines are pretty tough and bulletproof; nevertheless, there is a LOT of care and feeding that goes into keeping a chain saw working well.  So it's not like a Toyota that you can just hop into and drive for 100,000 miles without doing a thing to it!

Oh, and the link to Ultrarunning?  Next time you go barreling down a trail, give some thought to the fact that somebody probably goes there on a regular basis to keep that trail clear of weeds and downed trees.  I ran trails for years--and continue to do so--before I came to the point in my life when my situation permitted me to carve out the time to work as a maintainer.    

Now I get to carry another heavy piece of gear!

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