Posts tagged Hiking
When I first started running I had the all or nothing mentality. More often than not I was in the “all” boat. No matter what, I was out running. In other words, no excuses. The same could be said about my diet at the time. As time moves on I’ve learned more about life and more about myself. What it comes down to is that there is a time and a place for “no excuses”. But if I live my life day in and day out with that mentality I’m really setting myself up for failure.
For instance, I’ve learned to listen to my body and accept that there will be a day or 2 during the month where I will have uncontrollable female cramping issues. I recently read a post about how women should push through this and not use it as an excuse. For several years I took this advice to heart and attempted to push through, only to be met with disastrous results. Then one day I asked myself, “Why am I doing this to myself?” Call me crazy, but not being able to run because of cramps that cause me to double over and have bodily fluids coming out of both ends of my body is not an excuse. Needless to say, I’ve learned to understand when it’s appropriate to push through discomfort and when it’s time to dial back. Not only with this, but my body in general.
While “failure” may be immediate, more often than not it won’t be experienced in the short term, but in the long-term. Of course this could mean physically. For example, continually pushing your body resulting in a nagging injury. That goes back to the idea of when, how intense, and how long to push yourself. Another aspect to consider is mental pressure. A big reason I run (and why many others do too) is for “therapy”. Unfortunately at times I’ve allowed my therapy to become the cause of my anxiety. Vicious cycle, eh?
Those are both very important. But what’s even more important to me? Understanding that while I run, my life isn’t all about running. Or while I hike, my life isn’t all about hiking. And so on. I love it all but my life is so much more and I can’t let one single thing or activity consume me physically and mentally. If I choose to block out the rest of my life, relationships, needs, or obligations, then that’s the biggest failure.
As I got ready for my run this morning I saw the look in Viking’s eyes just begging to be taken for a hike. It’s been months since he’s been on the trails due to heat and rattlesnakes. He must sense the coolness in the air because any other day he wouldn’t bat an eye at me preparing to head out. After seeing him I was torn. I wanted to run but I wanted to give him the opportunity to hike. I couldn’t do both but I could do one. That’s when #wycwyc came to mind.
A couple weeks ago Carla AKA MizFit, a fellow blogger I admire, brought #wycwyc to my attention. It means: what you can, when you can. (Come to find out it was her friend Roni who came up with the concept). Dealing with my injury and changes over the past year it really struck a cord. It’s no surprise that ever since I saw the hashtag it’s been in the forefront of my mind.
There’s simply no way I could deny Viking the chance to go for a hike today simply because I wanted to fit in a run. Sad as it sounds, at the age of 11 I know Viking’s years with us are limited and who knows how much longer he’ll be able to truck through a hike. So while I didn’t get a run in I was still active and got to spend time with my boy. #wycwyc.
It also comes to mind during my lunch time runs. Due to my limited time I can’t knock out big mileage, but I can still get in 2.5 miles or so. Or when I do have time but cannot run the entire distance due to my nagging (but healing) injury. #wycwyc.
To me #wycwyc isn’t about killing yourself to fit it all in. It’s also not an excuse. It’s respecting yourself. It’s respecting your life. It’s respecting your relationships. To me that’s the most important of all.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
It seems like it’s been forever since I last went out for a hike. So long ago, I can’t even remember the last time. Crazy! Due to my injury it’s been over a month since I even hit the trails for a run. Recently there’s has been some recent rumblings on twitter between local adventurers (who also just so happen to be #omniten…yes!), so this past weekend we finally hit the trails.
One thing I was told last year was that winter in Phoenix is usually signified by a large storm system. Since we rarely have rain here in the desert when it hits you know it. Beginning on Thursday a storm system made it’s way into the valley and voila, “winter” was here. Even with the rain we weren’t going to let that hinder our plans. We’re just now heading into prime hiking season here in Arizona.
I made my way over to meet up with David of Wilderness Dave and then we hit the road to meet Adam of Hiking The Trail. I’ve hiked with David before but this was my first experience with Adam. This was also Adam’s inaugural hike since moving to Arizona. Yes, another Omniten that moved to Arizona. (See, I’m not the only one that made the move!) It’s cool seeing the Arizona Omniten family growing. Having hiked with David I knew to go in and expect the unexpected…and it happened again. Within minutes of meeting Adam he went back his vehicle and found that it had locked itself. Yep, keys locked in a running Jeep.
Thankfully, with the assistance of a friendly ranger and the guys’ MacGuyver-like skills they had it unlocked within 15 minutes time. And now Adam has a creatively shaped antenna that will always remind him of the experience.
By the time we made it to the First Water Trailhead in the Superstition Wilderness the rain had let up. While I didn’t want windy rain conditions I think we were all a bit bummed when the rain stopped. Alas we still got to play in the puddles and mud. I quickly decided to just soak my feet and trudge through the creeks that were created with rainfall runoff. There was no way I was going to avoid it so why not just leap head, er feet, first, right? I’m not an in-between type of girl. I either want to stay clean or go all out and get dirty.
After the initial creek crossing we continued to trek an additional 4 miles through varying terrain. It was amazing to see how green the desert had become with the cooler weather and rain. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed so much water in the desert. Then we made it to Boulder Creek. Per David the creek rarely has much water but when we arrived it was flowing steady.
Our initial plan was to stop there and turn around, until we saw a cascading waterfall on the other side….then we just had to cross. So I hiked up my pants as far as they would go and slowly made my way across. I found the cool creek water rose well above my knees and the current was moving faster than I had anticipated. My only goal? Stay upright and not fall in. Success!
We then made our way to the beautiful cascading waterfall and settled at the bottom of the falls, taking it all in and enjoying the sun as it was trying to make an appearance. After a quick bite to eat and hot cider thanks to David and his JetBoil it was time to climb the falls.
I’ll admit, if it weren’t for David I wouldn’t have done it. I didn’t trust my strength but with his assistance and encouragement I made my way up to an amazing sight. It was the perfect opportunity to test how well my Columbia Millennium Blur Jacket kept me dry. It worked like a charm and I was very happy that I had listened to David and made the climb.
Photo Credit – Wilderness Dave
At that point it was time to traverse Boulder Creek one more time. Thankfully no one fell in and we began to make our way back to the trailhead.
What a great day. I’m continually reminded that I’m not only lucky to live in such a beautiful location filled with adventurous opportunities, but also that I have some of the raddest people to share it with.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As planned, this past weekend I made it up to Flagstaff to tackle Humphreys Peak. My friend, Rozanne AKA Mountain Matron, and I drove up Friday night in hopes of adjusting to the change in altitude while our two other friends, Laura and Tiffani, decided to join us Saturday morning. The drive up was pretty uneventful but no matter how many times I venture north out of the valley it boggles my mind how much elevation we gain in just a few short hours. To put it in perspective, Phoenix sits at just over 1,000 ft while Flagstaff is at 7,000 ft.
On our trip up we had plenty of time to discuss our game plan for the following day. Rozanne also happened to touch on the expected weather. While I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect on the mountain I didn’t realize Flagstaff in general was so cool at this time of the year. Now, wouldn’t you have expected me to research that too? Considering I’m a planner and analyzer I have absolutely no idea why I didn’t. Thankfully the forecast looked clear and we were greeted with absolutely gorgeous weather as we arrived into Flagstaff. After grabbing a quick bite to eat and grabbing some vegan fro-yo (Say what?! It was so good I went back the following night too….) we made our way to the Ski Lift Lodge and settled into our cozy little cabin for the evening.
While the Ski Lift Lodge is pretty simple and basically like a hole it the wall I loved the tiny quaint “village” it created just 7 miles from the trail head. I also loved how anytime we’d step outside the subtle fragrance of ponderosa pines filled the air, reminding us that we were no longer in the big city.
Due to the cooler weather and needing to wait for the others to arrive, our day didn’t start out as early as my normal hiking days. However, after touching base with Laura, Rozanne and I decided to hit the trailer sooner than expected realizing that we were going to take it slow and expecting Laura and Tiffani to catch up to us.
The hike started out in a “meadow” of sorts which in reality is where the green and blue ski runs are during the winter at the Snowbowl resort. It was crazy to see the ski lifts above as we made our way across.
Within a half mile we found ourselves on a damp and heavily wooded trail. (Crazy to think that this is just 2.5 hours away from the desert in Phoenix.) This part of the trail provided a steady incline full of exposed roots requiring little exertion. Over time we could slowly feeling the grade increase at a faster rate along with my heart rate. Sure enough Laura and Tiffani caught up to us. After a brief conversation they carried on.
Realizing we’d be dealing with a change in elevation from Phoenix (the main reason we arrived in Flagstaff the night before), not to mention the 3,333 ft of elevation gain we’d experience on the trail, I made sure to educate myself on symptoms of altitude sickness prior to our adventure. While I’ve hiked Picacho Peak, quite honestly I am new to this sort of adventure and I’ve never dealt with such a drastic change in elevation. With that being said, I had absolutely no idea how my body was going to react.
Surprisingly enough my body adapted quite well and I had no outward symptoms that I could tell. Unfortunately Rozanne wasn’t so lucky and seemed to have some issues getting her breathing under control. We decided to continue on, keeping a slow pace, and ended up meeting a couple who were also going a slower pace. The trees began to thin out and soon we found ourselves exposed and heading up, up, up.
Once we reached the saddle Rozanne thought it best to stay behind, not venturing to the summit. Feeling pretty darn good, knowing Laura and Tiffani were ahead of me along with many other hikers, and with Rozanne’s encouragement, I decided to push on to the summit.
Immediately after the saddle the trail terrain was once again changing and I found myself scrambling up boulders. The wind was picking up and there was no one around me that I knew. I’m not going to lie, at this point I wanted to turn around. But I didn’t. The summit was within reach and I was going to get it!
About halfway between the saddle and summit I crossed paths with Laura and Tiffani and told them to take Rozanne with them on the way down and that I’d catch up. I hauled tail to that summit and bagged the peak. Yes!
With the exception of the wind the weather wasn’t too bad but I could see clouds moving in. Knowing that bad weather can hit without much warning I grabbed a few photos and decided to once again haul tail down the mountain. About halfway to the saddle the weather decided to turn and the hail started coming. Lucky for me I was wearing my Columbia Compounder Shell that not only shielded me from the wind but also the hail. As for the girls that were up there in tanks and shorts, they weren’t so lucky. (Poor planning on their part….You don’t need to have name brand gear, but come on, do a little research and at least try to be prepared.)
Upon my return to the saddle I happened across 2 other hikers that we had befriended on the trail. They had passed us up and were ahead of us, meaning they were returning to the saddle as I was heading the the summit. When I got back to the saddle they were still chilling there. The first words out of there mouth, “You already made it to the summit and back?! You booked it!” Yep, that’s me. I don’t mess around.
I continued along the trail wondering if I’d somehow catch up to Laura, Tiffani, and Rozanne but realizing my chances were slim. Surprisingly enough I ended up finding them just about halfway down the trail. While all of our legs and feet were burning, and we were all ready to once again see the meadow, that last piece of the trail went by fast as we all chatted away. After 11 miles on the trail we made it.
I knew going in that it was going to be a challenge…and it was. But what an awesome day and experience. Totally worth it. But now I’m back to, “What’s next?” Hmmmm. Any challenging adventures you’d recommend?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
After just 3 hours of sleep, on Saturday morning I made it to the trails to log miles for the 100 Miles For The 100 Club Run. How’d we do?
As you can see, the event was a success! Thank you to everyone who donated and those that decided to come out and run. I truly love my PHX running community.
What’s next for me? Hmmmm…..
You know how some people require a race to get their butts out to run? Thankfully I don’t have that problem. However, I do have the problem of always wanting an adventure on my horizon. For instance, having a vacation, trek, or something exciting in the works. With all the transition over the past year along with the most recent excitements of having DH on tour, seeing Celine Dion in Las Vegas when my parents came to visit, and my recent trip to NYC with Nokia, I haven’t necessarily been at a loss for adventure. However, over the past 3 weeks I kept thinking to myself, “What’s next?!” and there’s nothing. I’m finding ourselves slipping into a routine. Some may appreciate a routine and in the past I would’ve been all for it. Now, after knowing how much routine can wreak havoc on my OCD-like tendencies, not so much.
This whole scenario really messes with me. There’s the old adventurous, buzzbomb side, that’s always “Go. Go. Go!” and then there’s the side that I’ve recently been working to tap into that’s thinking, “Stop planning. Let things happen. Enjoy. Be here now.” Can I have both? I’m sure I can but once again I find myself with the task of finding that elusive thing called a “happy medium” I so often have difficulty finding.
While I still don’t have an answer for the above issue thankfully I had a friend come to my rescue and invited me on a short weekend trip. Soon we’ll be heading up to Flagstaff to hike Humphreys Trail to Humphreys Peak, the highest natural point in Arizona. Humphreys Peak is the highest of a group of extinct volcanic peaks known as the San Francisco Peaks. Most people would think of Arizona as having mostly deserts, but there are several ski areas within the state, and actually 25 peaks over 10,000 feet. Crazy, right? One of the ski areas, known as the Snow Bowl, is located at the base of the mountain.
At only 10 miles roundtrip it doesn’t seem like such an adventure that will test our abilities. However, when you throw in over 3,600 ft in elevation gain, the possibility of altitude sickness (remember, we’re coming from the valley), and the unexpected weather that may be thrown our way, we are sure to be tested. And I am stoked.
Who knows what adventures will come after but for now this gets to be my dangling carrot.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
I think it’s pretty obvious now that I’m living in Arizona hiking and trail running are part of my weekly activities. I make it a point to hit the trails a minimum of once a week and oftentimes more. As my time on the trails increases I’ve started to acquire more gear. One piece I had the opportunity to test out recently was a Ribz Front Pack. Initially I hesitated on the idea of accepting gear in exchange for a review, especially since I wasn’t already a user of the product. But it did fit my own personal rule of being something I would be willing to spend my money on. In all seriousness I’ve had my eye on a Ribz Front Pack for awhile now.
Some may see it as a bit of overkill since I’m not really into overnight trips and I stick with short day trips. Why the heck do I need all of that space? However, for me it’s not about the amount of space, but the accessibility. Allow me to explain…
Being new to exploring Arizona I still find myself in awe of the natural beauty around me…something I hope never changes. It’s absolutely amazing out here! What some people may not know is that I love photography. True story. In no way am I a professional (not even close), but if there’s a picture that can be taken I am taking it. Needless to say, with the gorgeous surroundings out here and my love for photography I’m rarely without some sort of camera.
When I hit the trails my love for photography tends to go into overdrive. I don’t just settle for my cell phone for photos, nor do I just take a point in shoot or my DSLR. I’m known to take them all. Yes, when I’m out hiking the trails chances are you’ll find me with my cell phone, Nikon DSLR, and GoPro. (Hello tourist!) In my defense, each one provides a different ”service”. Phone provides easing uploading to social media platforms, DSLR gives me the fancier shots, and the GoPro has the awesome view aspect and can record video.
Prior to testing out the Ribz Front Pack I wore my DSLR around my neck. This isn’t a huge issue but on longer hikes it would start to weigh on my neck. Not to mention, I don’t know how many times I whacked it on the rocks as I’d scramble up surfaces. That’s never good for a costly piece of equipment. As for the other cameras, I either had to take off my pack each time I wanted to use them (inconvenient) or I held them in my hand (not real safe since it’s always good to have your hands free and clear). So as you can see, I needed some help.
With the Ribz Front Pack I don’t have any of these issues. Each camera can have its own pouch which means my organizational OCD personality stays happy and I have easy access to the cameras I need whenever I want. Most importantly, my cameras stay safe and I stay safe.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Ribz Front Pack for free from Ribz as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations in consideration for review publication.
After coming home Thursday evening and finishing my blog post about the passing of my grandma and celebrating life I found myself going through the motions of preparing for another workday to finish out the week. I had the feeling of “Hold on! Wait a minute! How can I write all of that and yet not do anything to celebrate life??” I was torn because although taking a day off of work is easy for something like this, I wouldn’t be attending a funeral or any of the other typical bereavement day type of things. After batting the idea around and with the encouragement of a friend I went for it. I was taking a bereavement day. But I wasn’t taking any ol’ bereavement day. No, I was doing it my way, Buzzbomb Style, and I was going out to celebrate life. (BTW, did you know the nickname “Buzzbomb” was given to me by my grandma? True story.)
I woke up early, called off of work, packed my day pack, and hit to the road to Sedona…one of my favorite places in the world. I’m not going to hash out again why Sedona holds a special place in my heart…it just does. To me it’s magical and is my happy place. The perfect place to celebrate life. I had somewhat of an idea of where I was heading but no exact game plan for the day. I was rolling with it. Just under 2 hours into my drive I rounded the bend and the beautiful Red Rocks came into view. That’s always the moment when I feel my eyes light up and the smile spread across my face. By 9am I was on the trails surrounded by mother nature and all of her beauty.
Nothing like the red rock and blue skies of Sedona
I have yet to be on a busy trail in Sedona but given that it was also a weekday it was pretty empty. Other than a few couples here and there I was by myself along with my thoughts and memories. Happy memories. While speaking to my friend Dave the night before he gave me a few trail ideas. I chose Brins Mesa which was absolutely perfect. Not strenuous, but a nice climb it get my blood pumping. When I reached the mesa I found what remains from a 2006 wildfire. The mesa was ravaged, which was pretty sad to see. As I trekked through the damage I happened to stumble upon a group of wildflowers growing out of a bunch of tousled rocks.
So often I see metaphors for life of my trail hikes/runs. As I stared at the wildflowers the thought that came to my mind was, “Through death, there is life.” A perfect metaphor for the reason I was out on the trails. After the wildfire I’m sure there were no signs a life. A dark time, if you will, for the mesa. But here we are, 7 years later, and the mesa is slowly coming back to life. In no way will it be the same as it was before, but life is present. Here were these wildflowers, the minority in their surroundings, yet they were providing so much sunshine and positive life to their surroundings. In life, I want to be those wildflowers…positive energy and light.
After a quick lunch I decided to search out a location I’ve had my eye on since we moved to Arizona, Devil’s Bridge. Devil’s Bridge is a pretty iconic location for Sedona which also means it’s a bit popular. Unfortunately for those without a high clearance vehicle, or not on a Jeep tour, it’s a longer hike for the average Joe. I drove our Jeep Wrangler to Sedona and got to do a little “off-roading” to get to the trail. This meant less of a hike and a new experience for me. We’ve never really taken our Jeep off-roading and I was going at it solo. Needless to say I had some belly laughs as I set out on my adventure. It was pretty rad.
I arrived at the trailhead safely and once again took to the trails in search of Devil’s Bridge. Given that I got to drive in meant it was a pretty short hike.
Some hardcore hikers often say Devil’s Bridge isn’t as exciting as people make it out to be. Blame the novice hiker in me, but I thought it was awesome and worth it.
The second half of my days also lead to yet another metaphor…One that I’ve experienced before, but still a nice reminder. “Some of the most spectacular views require taking a rough road.” What if I wasn’t willing to go off-roading to get to Devil’s Bridge? I would’ve missed out! Even more, what if I chose to go down the rough road with a scowl on my face? Sure, I would have gotten there but how enjoyable would that adventure have been?
Although fun, celebrating life doesn’t necessarily require living an adventurous life or always being on the go. More importantly, it’s about recognizing what has been given to us, being grateful, and celebrating it all…including the ups and downs. Because after all, it’s those ups and downs that ultimately make up this thing we call life.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
There aren’t too many things I’m afraid of, but when it comes to things I am afraid of, snakes top the list. It’s not like I’m simply afraid of them. It’s a serious phobia. Once I was working at a animal hospital and my coworker was walking towards me. Not thinking anything of it, he brought his pet ball python out of his jacket (that I had no idea he had with him). Needless to say I ran from one end of the hospital to the other, screaming, shaking, and folding into the fetal position. So when I say I have a phobia. It’s serious.
I have taken some big steps to overcome this fear. At the same hospital we had a boa constrictor come in for an anesthetic procedure. While I didn’t handle or get near the snake while it was awake I worked up the nerve to enter the worm, touch the snake with a glove, and then proceeded to touch it without a glove. I know this may not seem like a big deal to some but to me it was HUGE. Although I have no plans to handle or own a snake in the future, and I still have major issues, I have continued to work on my phobia by exposing myself to snakes more and more.
I’ve heard warnings over the past month or so and there’s no getting around it, It’s rattlesnake season out here in Arizona. Eeek! So what’s a girl to do? Stop hiking and/or trail running? I don’t think so. Especially after I’ve seemed to have my mojo back.
Reports are mixed. Some people say I’ll probably never see one, saying I’ll have to search them out if I really want to see one (uh, no). While others say that it’s not necessarily if I’ll see one, but when I’ll see one. Either way, I don’t have plans to stop hiking/running so I figured it best to educate myself on snakes and such.
You’ll notice, I have absolutely no photos of snakes on this blog post. Yeah, that’s because in my research darn near every article had photos of snakes. While this helps me face my phobia of seeing snakes it wasn’t doing much for my blood pressure. So for those that are coming here to learn a little something, you have absolutely no fear of seeing real snakes. I promise.
I guess this is also when I should say I am not a doctor and am not offering any medical advice. I think it’s probably obvious considering I don’t know what the heck I’m doing half the time on trail. I educate myself and prepare but the element of surprise is all part of the adventure. (Let’s just hope that surprise isn’t a snake, right?) I just thought if I was already doing the research, I might as well share it here.
My main takeaways and facts I never knew:
Don’t put your hands or feet anywhere your eyes have yet to visualize.
Don’t rely on the sound of a rattle for warning. At birth, rattlesnakes have the first segment of a rattle, which is called a “prebutton.”The prebutton is lost the first time the snake sheds its skin and is replaced by a button. Each shedding episode that follows adds another segment to the rattle. Only when there is more than one segment can the rattle produce sound.
Rattlesnakes can swim and wet rattlers don’t rattle.
Snakes are most active when temperatures are within their optimal basking range. This appears to be about 75 degrees F with cool ground and the sun shining. They are mostly likely to be seen when the air temperature is between 70° and 90°F, regardless of the time of day.
We’re afraid of being bitten, but snakes bite to defend themselves. If frightened, they will first try to escape or hide.
If you do walk into the range of a rattlesnake, calmly back off as quickly and quietly as you can. (Hard for me, because I’m going to want to RUN!)
A rattlesnake’s strike distance can be up to one third to one half of its overall length.
If you’re bitten:
Remain calm so as not to increase circulation and thus the spread of the venom. And in the case of runners, don’t continue to run either.
Do not elevate. Keep the bite below the level of the heart.
Wash affected area.
Remove any potential constrictions such as jewelry or clothing because swelling will occur.
Don’t tourniquet a bitten limb.
Get to a hospital ASAP.
Anyone else remember when they used to say, “You need to suck out the venom when you’re bitten by a rattlesnake.” ?? Yeah, don’t do that. That alone was worth me doing my research because that’s probably the first thing I would’ve done if I’d have gotten bit. Definitely glad I’ve done my research.
I may or may not have had my 1st rattlesnake warning this morning. While running I heard a rattling sound come out of nowhere from my right side. I must admit I didn’t follow the rule of walking away slowly but only picked up speed, running like a bat out of hell, not looking back. =/ Yikes! Fingers crossed I’ll never have to deal with those last steps…
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
This time around Leann and I headed out to the Superstition Mountains to conquer the Siphon Draw Trail to the Flatiron. Leann is veteran of the trail but this would be my first attempt. The trail called for a decent elevation climb along with distance and climbing/scrambling, all rolled into one. I’ve been eyeing this hike for the past month or so since being introduced to the idea. Leann warned me that with the closing of Camelback for renovations this trail has been pretty busy. I was forewarned. As always, we were on the trail by 6:30a and on our way.
At approximately 2 miles we came across a rambunctious troop of boy scouts I’m guessing were near 5th grade in age. They seemed to be having a meetup so we passed by with in hopes of staying in front of their crowd. Unfortunately for us that didn’t happen. They followed behind us and just as we were about to make the initial climb they were on our heels. None of the boys were wearing appropriate outdoor gear. I’m not one to say you have to wear/have the most recent trends but wearing canvas boat shoes do not qualify for good hiking gear. Each had a small water bottle but that was not enough for this climb. Then the fact that several of them looked like they were about to pass out and the dad’s channeling their inner football dad by yelling, “Go! Go! GO!” repeatedly, it was insane. Add to that the screaming, running everywhere, kicking/throwing rocks. Oh my. As they made the initial climb not paying attention to their surroundings, making rocks tumble down, causing concern for our safety, we tried to stay back.
But I was rocked. I wasn’t mad per se. I was more concerned. Concerned for their safety. Concerned for nature. My mind was all over the place and couldn’t focus. If I wanted to complete this hike I had to be on my game. Thankful that Leann understood my thoughts, we ended up turning back. Sadly, as we made our way back we witnessed the wake they left behind. Froot Loops and Skittles on the trail, along with random trash as well. Ugh.
Some would ask, “Why didn’t you say anything?” I thought about it. Really, I did. As everything was going down I was trying to formulate the best course of action and I couldn’t come up with anything. The boys weren’t at fault. Yes, they were being crazy, but they can only be as good as their leaders. As for their leaders, it’s not as though they were out to do harm. They were doing what they know…not that it was right. I couldn’t come up with a nice or effective way to communicate my concern so I kept my mouth shut, although it may not have been the best or right thing to do,
Just the day before on Twitter the topic of #HikerChat was Leave No Trace….and here it was, people paying no attention to what they’re leaving behind, happening before my eyes. We are all guilty of taking advantage of Mother Nature’s offerings. I have no more right to be on the trails than the next person. Trust me, I’ve had some deep thoughts on this. For instance, should I even be out there causing further wear and tear or erosion? Should I hike less traveled trails or stick to the more traveled trails? I dunno if there really is a real good answer. However, just like anything I can do my best to preserve what has been loaned to me.
As we made our way down the trail we noticed a sundial and bridge along the path. Both were Eagle Projects from boy scouts over the years. How apropos that the bridge referenced “Leave No Trace”. We also came across another much more subdued boy scout troop. Not only were they enjoying nature but brought out their rakes and shovels, working to preserve it. This gives me hope.
What would you have done?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Something I’ve asked myself many times over the past year is “What is my passion?” I’ve gotten frustrated. I’ve beaten it to the pulp. I’ve felt defeated. How can I find a job that has to do with my passion when I don’t even know what that passion is?! I tabled the idea and went about my life, revisiting it every so often. And yet the same thoughts would enter my mind. I love running. I love photography. I love social media. But love is different than passion. Could I see myself doing these as a job. Yes, but only if I put in some effort….a lot of effort. Some may say, if you want it bad enough then you will put in that effort. Very true. But that just proves to me that I don’t want to do any of those as profession, because I have no underlying drive to put in that effort. At least at this time in my life.
I’ve taken the next steps with attempting to officially jump into the world of social media and found that it wasn’t for me. Or how about when I’ve tried to make my blog a bit more “commercial” and not followed my heart? Anytime I’ve shifted something I enjoy into something closer to work I’ve found that and becomes a burden and less enjoyable. Do I really want to do that with something that I like?
Over the past several months I’ve obviously been trying new things. Trail running, yoga, hiking….I’ve literally been embracing every opportunity that comes my way. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to find my passion(s) in the process.
From twitter chats to blog posts, this past week I’ve had so many different experiences that lead to an aha! moment.
Like my gratefuls, my passion isn’t as specific as other people’s passions. It isn’t an item or something you can really touch. It’s a state of mind. It’s the seeking of peace, happiness, adventure, all rolled into one. That passion allows me to seek out new opportunities and experiences. Hence why I’m always ready, willing, and able to try new things…or why we decided to move across the country.
How in the world would I make such a passion into my job? Ya know, I have absolutely no idea, and quite honestly I don’t know if I’d want it to be given my previous experience attempting to do so. For now I’m loving my job and am grateful that it allows me to pursue my passion. At this time it’s something that doesn’t burden me nor do I bring my work home in any way. In turn I have the ability to focus on planning new adventures and experiences…living my passion.
So I guess you can say that I’ve found my passion and it’s been right under my nose the whole time.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
When it comes to drinking, I’m on top of it. No, I’m not talking about alcohol. I’m talking staying hydrated. That’s what happens when you have a history of kidney stones My drink of choice? Tap water. No fancy bottled water for me. As for the actually bottle I use for my water. Now that’s a deal breaker. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a sensory person. Sensory meaning if things don’t feel “right” then I’m not a fan. Surprisingly enough I’ve found not 1, not 3, but 3 water bottles that work for me….all a little bit different.
Several years ago I had a Swiss Army bottle that was similar to the wide-mouth Nalgene bottles. The biggest issues I had was that it seemed to collect slime and stink real easy, it wasn’t BPA-free, and I don’t know how many times I ended up wearing my water due to the wide-mouth. Knowing it was time to replace my bottle I went on the hunt.
Klean Kanteen – I purchased this bottle when the whole BPA-Free craze started. It made sense to stay away from plastic for obvious reasons. With the smaller mouth opening I no longer found myself having problems wearing my water. However, I have to admit I wasn’t a fan of the bottle. I felt that it somehow changed the flavor of my water. Years later I’ve held onto the bottle and have found that it’s one of my faves. Looking back I’m wondering if the “different taste” was all in my head. I’ve never had problems with slime or stink which is a definite plus. This bottle has taken so many beatings, yet although it has a few dings it’s still holding strong and has a ton o’ character. When I hit the trails this tends to be my go-to bottle due to being so light yet sturdy.
Life Factory – Like most I was drawn into these bottles with how cool they look. I stumbled upon these at Whole Foods when I wasn’t 100% sold on my Klean Kanteen. I loved the concept of a glass bottle, yet it being protected by a webbed silicone cover. The mouth is a bit wider than my Klean Kanteen but not as huge as the old Swiss Army bottle. Depending on the day I have to be careful not to spill much water, but for the most part I have no issues. Like the Kanteen I’ve had absolutely no issues with slime or stink and it can be thrown into the dishwasher….silicone covering and all. I love the loop on the lid and find myself using the handle to haul it places. Although it’s thick glass and covered with rubber, I personally wouldn’t dream of taking it on the trail for fear of dropping it and/or busting it on some rocks.
HydroFlask – I was introduced to HydroFlask by Wilderness Dave. After discussing his love of their bottles on our adventure last weekend he was gracious enough to hook me up on an extra bottle he had around. I’m not going to go into all the specifics because Dave does a rad job doing that. What I can say is that I dig it. The best way to explain it is that it’s a mixture of my Kleen Kanteen and Life Factory bottle together plus a bit of steroids mixed in. I have yet to put it through a true test of resilience but this bottle is like a tank. Instead of worrying about it being crushed by the rocks it is the rocks that should be afraid of getting crushed. I’m not a coffee drinker but having the added insulation will be a definite plus come summertime when I need an icy cold beverage. I look forward to putting the bottle through its paces out on the trail but so far it’s a winner in my book and leaves my water bottle line-up looking pretty darn good.
Are you a water-drinker like me? What’s your go-to bottle? Anyone a fan of Camelbak or Geigerrig-type packs? That’s my next step….find a high capacity water carrying option for the trails.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)