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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Age Isn’t Always Just A Number

Sometimes your muscles and bones remind you that you’re not 18 anymore, you really are getting old.

Motrin is my friend.  Usually in 800 milligram amounts.  Why, you ask?  Because sometimes the areas we pin hunt are really rugged areas, like this:


The picture doesn’t do justice to this twenty five foot deep ravine, choked with fallen trees and brush.  Of course, the boundary line went right through it, and so did we.  Very carefully.

Fortunately, there were no spills.  Here.  I did take quite a digger face plant on ground that was more level and where there was no reason for the fall.  Except that I’m clumsy, or getting old and the feet don’t lift as easily as they used to.

One thing we’ve found very helpful is hiking poles.  I have a pair that I got in Finland some years back.  I almost gave them away, thinking who’d need them?  Somehow, they ended up in the Journey’s storage compartment for use someday. Well, that day came and they sure are handy.  Marti uses one and I use the other.  We still have other gear we carry when we pin hunt, so only one hand is available for the pole.

The other useful item we’ve been able to use is fellow volunteer Laura.


Having her along helping us has actually increased the ground we cover and pins we find.  She has some pretty sharp (read: younger) eyes and has been able to find pins and tree markings a bit faster than we do.

We have our routine down to a science, once we locate the trees that have special markings indicating a nearby pin, I use the metal detector to locate it and then often have to dig through leaves and dirt to expose it.  Then  Laura jumps in and wraps the pin with plastic tape (to make the pin easier to find for the next hunters in the next survey, about five years in the future).


Marti is the “Map Maven”.  She has the map that is our guide to the areas we’re checking.  As the pin is wrapped, she crosses the located pin off the list as “found” and points us in the next direction.


Long sleeves, long paints, gloves and orange vests are part of our working outfits.  The orange vest are for protection from hunters, it is hunting season around here.

Every area we survey, we find encroachments onto Corps land, like this driveway.   Marti is standing next to the truck  where the property line is and I’m taking the picture from where the next pin is located.  Drawing a straight line between Marti and where I’m standing, you can see someone needs to relocate a part of their driveway.


We’ve been averaging 4 to 5 miles of hiking through all kinds of terrain every time we pin hunt.  It’s a lot of fun and very satisfying work.  Especially when there is plenty of Motrin to come home to…  ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Motrin, Advil, what ever it takes is my mantra! I know the job you are doing is hard, but I am envious of the workout you two are getting. And to top it off, you are in such a beautiful part of our U S of A!

  2. Age isn't a number. Glad you have a bit of the Motrin to get you to your true age. With all this workout you two are getting, you can probably eat twice as much as you used to without gaining an ounce.

  3. Way to go guys...4-5 miles a day on some tough terraine is a great accomplishment. We love our hiking poles, especially the 'older' we get;o)) Be safe, careful and keep having fun!!!

  4. We like our hiking poles too, especially in the mountains. Al would never to do any pin hunting....I can just imagine all the poison ivy there.

  5. Fresh air, exercise and having fun how can you beat that!

  6. I know what you mean about the Motrin- when we do framing at habitat we get sore. We bought our hiking poles about 10 years ago and I thought we spent way too much on them. It turned out to be some of the best money we ever spent.

  7. Advil is our friend :) Hiking poles are always in the Jeep just in case :)
    I can't believe you replaced Andrew and Owie with Laura! Are they jealous???

  8. Looks like a great way to get10000+ steps in a day. Me too on loving my poles. Aleve is my friend on an overdoers day. Amazing how many violations in just 5 years.

  9. I have come to feel like my poles are an extension of my arms. I feel fragile when I forget to take them on a hike. The only time they seem to get in the way is on baordwalks or stairs. I too have tripped over nothing and fallen for no good reason. With poles I am a four footed creature. Much more stable.

  10. Hmmm...we have poles in the trunk of our car but have never used them. Maybe it's time. Hope those bright orange vests don't lead hunters to believe you are the elusive 'two footed orange deer'.

  11. I can sure buy stock in Motrin myself. These days on my feet at Amazon are keeping me stocked in meds :) Say hi to Laura for us!

  12. I still can't imagine someone building or paving without knowing just where their property ends!