New York City – 1/12/2020

I had a work trip that took me to New York City. Technically the trip was in Hoboken, NJ. Our hotel and customer were both along the Hudson River. This provides a clear site to Manhattan Island, or what everybody else knows as NYC. I won’t talk about the work trip as its work stuff. I signed a NDA that included not taking photos of the business meeting. Therefore we know that I was a good boy.

For the three nights that I was there, I went out each night into NYC to explore and try to understand a place that so many people love. I went out 3 nights in a row. First night with Ann and the second two with Brian. It would feel wrong to be that far from home and not burn the candle at both ends!

Here are some of the photos in no particular order.

Ann capturing a photo.

Manhattan skyline from ground level.

At the world trade center memorial. It was very moving to be there and put the whole 9/11 into a better perspective for me.

A 20 foot tall metal rose.

The subway system is old and a bit dirty. I didn’t feel unsafe, but it was a bit uncomfortable. Tons of people in a very small car.

Hey look, an aircraft carrier/museum docked. Wish I had time to visit.

A very tiny hot dog place.

We stopped in here for beer. It was a total guess, but just felt right. It has a very awesome feel and I enjoyed the beer!

Walking down a tunnel. Not sure if this is the subway, or the train that goes under the Hudson river.

Waiting in the station with Brian. Its late and we have meetings the next day.

A morning walk before the meeting.

I got very close before this bird had enough of me!

City hall of Hoboken, NJ

If you’ve ever watched Cake Boss, you would probably recognize this. I’ve never seen the show, but had to go to make a coworker jealous. Instead, I ended up getting more broke. One chocolate chip cookie inside there set me back $3.50. I miss the midwest and the prices there!

Its hard not to gawk at the skyline. We’re on a ferry going across the Hudson river.

This is the plaza where CBS films their good morning shows. Packing up Christmas decorations.

If I have to explain this one to you…

It wouldn’t be NYC without getting some of their pizza. This was pretty tasty and necessary after all the walking I did.

Near the end of the trip, I wrote the following and I feel it still applies.

Dear New York City,

I don’t think this is going to work out. I’ve spent the last three nights with you and each one has gotten worse. You were the one to admit that you sometimes have a bad wrap and to give you a chance.

Only one rat was visible the whole time and only for a moment. But that could be because the others were hiding in the hundreds of trash bags out on the sidewalks every single night.

At first I was amazed at ATMs on every corner, but it soon became clear that you needed to stop often as you emptied my wallet with a single transaction.

To navigate your mysteries, I can take a ferry, train, or subway. These choices often intersect each other, but are operated by different companies and each require their own unique tickets. Now I have to go to the ATM again.

To drive in this city (as I witnessed in terror from the back of multiple Ubers) is to audition for a NASCAR race. Each driver is trying to make it to the next intersection through a cunning dance of horn honking, pedestrian avoidance, and jockeying for positing. It would take a trained scientist to measure the meager distance between the cars during this process.

Your skyline is filled with HUGE buildings with lights illuminated on every floor. This is a big waste of electricity. Do none of your residents know how to turn off a light?

Some may say that I’m not a cunning enough suitor to unlock your inner beauty. That I don’t understand you. And that my comment about not seeing a big apple anywhere are not funny.

To that I say NYC, its you, not me.

Heading home today,


All Suburban Orchestra – 1/11/2020

Sonora tried out for and was accepted for the 8th grade All Suburban Orchestra in St. Louis. This consisted of multiple practice sessions at a local school and many hours of at home practice to master the music. Today was the day they presented their music to the public.

We were lucky enough to have some friends and family show up to hear Sonora play. My parents from KC.

Plus Jeff and Mason.

The music sounded as good to me as a professional orchestra. Its amazing how talented the kids are!

Hogan Haake



Brad’s Birthday Surprise – 1/8/2020

To help celebrate Brad’s birthday at the office, we decided to decorate his desk. Eric and I went over to Michael’s Arts and Crafts to pick up some wrapping paper and string. Brad typically rolls into the office after 8:30 am. Therefore we would do it day of in the morning.

Of course as we’re decorating, who should walk in the office early and ruin his surprise, Brad!

We were all disappointed we didn’t get to finish, but Brad sure appreciated the effort we put in.

Hogan Haake

State 30 – Maryland


Our thirty state and third in a  single day. We were pushing our stamina and daylight, but we wanted to get this ride done. When we left, there were concerns about the Corona virus, but we left for the trip anyway. Getting done faster and getting back home seemed like a good idea.

There was snow for the state sign, but it was just very drizzling rain by the time we got to our riding location. We were at the Paw Paw Tunnel Trailhead.The plan was to ride north about a mile to the tunnel, then go through and see the trail on the other side. Come back and ride the other direction on the trail to meet our distance and time goals. It was our second tunnel this day.

When we got there, I was worried that we encountered another closed tunnel, but there was a way through. If you’re curious, go read about the Paw Paw Tunnel’s history.

We walked the unicycles through the tunnel using our cell phones as flashlights. The path wasn’t smooth and it would have been a bad fall down to the water if we fell the wrong way. We found a hole in the bricks on the inside of the tunnel. We counted 8 layers of bricks used to make up the tunnel. This is a heck of a lot of work. Add this to the fact the tunnel is 3,118 feet long. It took a while to walk all the way through. We were both amazed with the quality of the finishing around both sides of the tunnel.

On the far side, a wooden walkway stretched a long distance. We were amazed that somebody thought it was a good idea to put a train track through this area!

Once we got back to the parking lot, we needed to keep riding to get our distance and time in. Here is another interesting part of the path. Again, lots of stone work on the side to drain water.

When we finished our ride, we were exhausted. We finished our third state in a single day. We were cold and wet and just wanted to call it a day. In fact, we were so tired, I left the tracker on and logged 37 miles back to the hotel for the night…

In order to compensate for this mistake, I went to Google Earth that night and measured the distance we rode. You can see in the photo from Corvin’s Journal our actual values.

Our incorrect Strava entry is listed above.

Our map of completed states. You’ll have to look close as its a smaller state.

Total Trip Miles:  168.47
Total Moving Time: 32h 35m
Total Elevation Gained: 4456 feet
Total Hogan UPD: 15
Total Corvin UPD: 9

Hogan Haake