On Tuesday May 10th, 2011 the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Duanesburg Diner, in Duanesburg. As has been reported before the landscape of Duanesburg has been in a constant state of flux. Where the gas station/mini mart once stood, and the area surrounded by rocks, is now a nice green lawn… like a park.

A couple thousand years from now, after all the OF’s have gone (along with the rest of the human race) and a new race of intelligent beings roam the earth and they come upon Duanesburg, they will ponder as to what kind of beings were on the planet at this time and what kind of ritual took place in this circle of rocks in the middle of nowhere. Someone should chisel in a whole bunch of nonsense on a few of these stones and drive the beings of the distant future nuts trying to figure out what was going on.

Another item the OF’s have discussed in the past (maybe about a year ago) was how useless ethanol was and how poorly engines ran on it, and how many fewer miles per gallon were noticed in vehicles with ethanol in the fuel. In essence we were using more gasoline to go fewer miles, and the OF’s discussion quite awhile ago has come to pass. There is beginning to be serious doubts by many scientists and engineers about the use of this stuff as an additive in fuel. A car engine is not a Bunsen burner nor is any other engine, the one your tractor, or lawn mower etc. These engines are not intended to run on alcohol either. Put that corn back into making grain, and lower the prices on some of the food we need. The OF’s, like always, say with all our years of combined knowledge and experience we are way ahead of the curve on many topics.

In this same vein the OF’s said take the money the government is offering for train upgrading only use it for something that makes sense. Use some of it on repairing the railroad beds and tracks, and maybe the signal systems and use the rest on a few of the highway bridges that are in serious need of repair. The amount of people put to work will be the same if not maybe a little more. If what they planning to do with the money brings in any more passengers on the trains the OF’s will be greatly surprised.

In the group called the Old Men of the Mountains, there are some that are conservationists and really work at it, specifically maintaining and working on the Long Path, and other local parks of interest. This is all volunteer work and some people that use the Long Path and the parks probably think these trails keep themselves clear of brush, and some little leprechaun comes when a rainbow appears and fills all the kiosks with maps of the trails. Nope. It is volunteers like the OF’s that do much of the work (along with others of course); the OF’s don’t do it all by themselves. So hats off to those that willingly do this work.

Another hiking area some of the OF’s work on is Partridge Run which is about 5700 acres in the Hilltowns and Partridge Run is full of hiking trails. People get lost in this preserve because it is a lot of land so the trails have to be maintained and marked. According to the OF’s when taking a walk in Partridge Run it is a good idea to have a map and stay on the trails. Partridge Run is in Albany County for the most part, out in Rensselaerville and that area of the Helderbergs. On a trip out that way stop in at the Hill Town Café for lunch.

The OF’s also mentioned at the breakfast that those nasty little deer ticks are out and about, so for any walk in the woods people should go prepared. Insect spray and covered from head to toe is the best defense. Now is a good time for a walk. It’s not too hot, not too cold, trees and the brush is blooming and fragrant, the leaves are not out full but there is a hint of green, so the hiker is able to see deeper into the woods. Birds are active and singing, but the black flies are out. One OF said there is always something to louse things up and be a real spoilsport…darn Adam and Eve.

Those attending the breakfast this morning at the Duanesburg Diner, where the help actually called the OF’s gentlemen, and these gentlemen were: Carl Walls (back from Florida and was going to wear shorts but said it was too darn cold), Art Frament, and Bob Benac (both back from Florida, funny they looked the same color as most of the OF’s, so it must have been hot down there and they stayed indoors), Carl Slater, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Miner Stevens, Henry Witt, Roger Chapman, Roger Shafer, Steve Kelly, Gary Porter, Mace Porter, Robie Osterman, Harold Guest, Ted Pelkey, Ted Willsey, Harold Grippen, Jim Rissacher, and me.

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