Sunday, February 16, 2020

Goofy rabbit trail

Didn't post yesterday (February 15), though I did finish this one by 9 p.m. so I could have done so. Barely. I think I'll shoot this off to scheduling for publishing in the morning.

After five days with no dedicated workout I was finally able to hit it hard yesterday morning. As a nice bonus, the weather was beautiful. Sunny, temps in the low 40's, and no wind!

Red and I went 4.7 miles in circa a buck-twenty. Up and down a lot of challenging slopes and over a lot of challenging terrain. I moved right along but I didn't push it all that hard. Hard enough for some good cardio and to work the kinks out of my legs, but not hard enough to ignore opportunities to make videos or to simply enjoy the outing on a beautiful day.

I wore my Salomon trail running boots and they weren't quite up to the terrain. They're very nice and very light and very comfortable. They give reasonably good ankle support. But they're just the wrong platform for prairie hiking. My Salomon hiking boots are a bit heavier nut much more betterer on the uneven ground of the prairie. They also have a softer lug compound which provides much, much better grip on the ice. The trail running boots might as well be skates on smooth ice. But that's how you find stuff out -- by trying it.

Salomon, btw, is a French company. Many of their boots and shoes are manufactured in Vietnam. Who saw that coming?

I didn't want to post up a lot of jarring mal de mer video so I eschewed use of the chest rig and pseudo go pro and did all the video with the canon handheld. I think it came out okay.

But I also didn't want to post up only boring hiking videos, so I took a gander across the interwebz, looking for an interesting video to post as well. I quickly found Armed Services Screen Report, Issue Number 114, on the Periscope Films u2b channel. It's hard to make out, but in the opening title screen it looks like the date is MCML, or 1950.

One of the first things to pop up was a brief (very) clip of a P-61 launching what looks very much like a North American Aviation GAM-77/AGM/28 Hound Dog.

It looks like it's got a thin delta wing and maybe but probably not a canard. It's also got no vertical stab. What may or may not be a jet engine appears to be mounted on a centerline pylon well aft on the airframe. While the layout is quite similar to the Hound Dog, it's not that similar. Definitely not an AGM-28. So what is it?

The proposal request for the Hound Dog didn't come out until 1956, the contract wasn't awarded until 1957, and the first flight wasn't until April, 1959. As an interesting aside, the AGM-28 was powered by the Pratt & Whitney J52-P3, a non-afterburning turbojet in the 7,500 lb thrust class. Versions of this motor powered the A-6, EA-6B, and some versions of the A-4, all sub-sonic jets. Yet the Hound Dog could allegedly smoke along at Mach 2.1. Cool, eh? If my guess on the date of the video is correct, the mystery P-61 missile launching took place about a decade before the first Hound Dog ever flew. So what the heck is it?

Thanks to the wonder of the interwebz it was dead easy to find an answer. It even looks like it might be a correct answer. In 1947 and 1948 the U.S. Navy borrowed P-61C's from the USAAF/USAF for testing the Martin PTV-N-2 Gorgon IV ramjet powered air to surface missile. I say again, cool, eh?

Anyway, here's the video that caused me follow a goofy rabbit trail. It's actually kinda neat. and only 20 or so minutes long.

And now back to where we began. Blue grama against a blue February sky and Red doing Red stuff.


Every sparrow. And more Red stuff.

Hiking blather about boots, more Red stuff, scene of the former crime.

The place where I fell on the ice eleven days ago. What happened?

And what happened here?


It was a good hike. Even if I can't tell wind velocity from air temperature.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Good videos and a good report. I am getting to know the land in your part of the world as well as I do that in mine.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Thanks Paul. For some reason your comment made me think I should get a drone and do some of the camera work that way. Need to do some 'vestigating.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. You look justifiably pleased with yourself!

    1. It was a good outing on a beautiful day and I'm not dead yet. That always puts a bounce in my step.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Scott!

  3. Hiking boots made in Vietnam? If you haven’t heard of “goruck” and their special forces background, you might find that story VERY interesting? (as i did...) and inches me that much closer to buying a pair of boots from them! (TL:dr = SF veteran with time “in country” recently returns to Vietnam while in development of the boots for GoRuck)

    1. That is an interesting story. I might have to try a pair of their gen2 boots when they come out.

      Snow Kids:

      Thanks for stopping by anc commenting cT!