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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Hiking Gear ... Hiking Fear

We're becoming real hikers.

Not to say that people who stroll up Pikes Peak aren't real hikers.
Heck, WE went on that stroll ourselves and can attest to exactly how intense it can be. (Especially via the Crags)

No, not bashing others at all.  We're just starting to plan for some new hiking adventures that more closely resemble what I thought "hiker" meant as a small child.

Being raised mostly in Germany, I've been familiar with Volksmarch for pretty much my whole life.  So when my husband and I decided to start hiking here in America, I just saw it as the same thing I'd always done.

You grab your trusty hiking stick.
Load up a pack with water, snacks, and emergency items.
Head out on a five, ten, or twenty kilometer hike over varying terrain.
When you're done, you reward yourself with a nice meal and maybe a medallion for your stick.

But REAL hikers...  those are the stuff of my imagination and the reality of National Geographic Magazine.  I now know that the "real" hikers of my childhood have many names.  Thru-hikers, backpackers, trekkers, multi-day hikers, bushwhacking, and other terms are all what I'm thinking.

In my childhood, I dreamed about putting my whole life into a pack upon my back, heading out into the hills/prairies/mountains/valleys/jungles/deserts/whatever and not coming back until I found God.  Not in the literal sense of course.  Living off the land while being but a ghost through the terrain as I leave no trace of my passing.

I am to become my dream.

Baby steps of course, but a wonderful start.

My husband and I have begun amassing gear for our new adventure.

Most importantly, yes.  Yes, that is a tent in my living room.

A girl's gotta test things out before she uses them.  Gee guys!

We've got a lightweight backpacking tent that while not ideal (a tad heavy) it'll do until we can afford something a bit more portable.  It's not heavy at about seven and a half pounds but heavier than I'd like.  But who am I to argue with a deal?  Scored it for only $25.  I'll make it work.

Other than that, we've gotten a pack, eating utensils, and sleeping bag for the husband, some cooking gear, new carabiners (I'm addicted to anything that clips), some dehydrated prepackaged meals to try, a SteriPen (bought on an amazing Costco deal), a Buff headband, and mosquito nets.

I'm trying my darndest to not spend a billion dollars (since heaven knows we don't have even close) but I'd hate to go out with less than we need to comfortably survive.

Do you ever over-prepare or is it just me?

Sunday, July 6, 2014



by Ralph Waldo Emerson
I do not count the hours I spend
In wandering by the sea;
The forest is my loyal friend,
Like God it useth me.

In plains that room for shadows make
Of skirting hills to lie,
Bound in by streams which give and take
Their colors from the sky;

Or on the mountain-crest sublime,
Or down the oaken glade,
O what have I to do with time?
For this the day was made.

Cities of mortals woe-begone
Fantastic care derides,
But in the serious landscape lone
Stern benefit abides.

Sheen will tarnish, honey cloy,
And merry is only a mask of sad,
But, sober on a fund of joy,
The woods at heart are glad.

There the great Planter plants
Of fruitful worlds the grain,
And with a million spells enchants
The souls that walk in pain.

Still on the seeds of all he made
The rose of beauty burns;
Through times that wear and forms that fade,
Immortal youth returns.

The black ducks mounting from the lake,
The pigeon in the pines,
The bittern's boom, a desert make
Which no false art refines.

Down in yon watery nook,
Where bearded mists divide,
The gray old gods whom Chaos knew,
The sires of Nature, hide.

Aloft, in secret veins of air,
Blows the sweet breath of song,
O, few to scale those uplands dare,
Though they to all belong!

See thou bring not to field or stone
The fancies found in books;
Leave authors' eyes, and fetch your own,
To brave the landscape's looks.

Oblivion here thy wisdom is,
Thy thrift, the sleep of cares;
For a proud idleness like this
Crowns all thy mean affairs.

Friday, July 4, 2014

I... I Have Discovered My Name!

What am I?

Who am I?

You know how at job interviews, self reflection type events, and even those random online quizzes ask you who you are?

Those Buzzfeed type quizzes are the best though!

Which "Mean Girl  are you?  What color represents your true self?  What food represents you? Which Muppet are you? Which city are you meant to live in?  Which Hogswart house would you be sorted into?

All terribly thrilling and I'm sure... scientifically accurate.

The big thing is that they almost all ask a question where you have to pick a word that "represents you"/  That's TOUGH!  If I say "pretty" does that make me vain?  If I say "smart" is it because I think I'm better than everyone else?  Why do I have to just be one?  Isn't it possible that while I don't exceed the norm in any one are that I am indeed a bit smart, loyal, and sassy all at the same time?

Of course it's possible.  Anything's possible oh ye of little faith.  ;)

ANYWAY...  the label for myself.  I found it today.  The perfect word for me.

Fond?  I'm a tad more than fond of the forest.  Haunter of the woods?  Yep.  That's me.  I would haunt the heck out of almost any woods.