Friday, May 20, 2016

Let's get our hike on.

If you recall I went to a beginner hike class a few weeks ago. In order to join them on some more serious hikes I need to "prove my worth" by participating in a hike series. The first of which is tomorrow. I have been throwing around the idea of making this a weekend trip but was unsure financially if I could do it.
Today is the day that I need to get my plan on!
I took their planning list and made my own. It really is an over pack for this type of trip but they want to see that we can carry a full pack. I would like some better options but have no time to shop so for now I will pack my old baseball hat and some Off bug spray.
They say it should be a 6-7 mile figure 8 route and the group will be large. I am not really looking forward to that but maybe just maybe a few of the cool ladies I sat with last time will be there.
I should probibly just come home after but I think the laundry can wait and I can have a small adventure on a short budget if I work it right.
I have decided to drive up to the White Mountains after this trip. It ends around 2pm and I am already an hour north from the Cape. I can stay at the New England Mountaineering bunkhouse for $22 and be in the mountains when I wake up. Hot Diggity!
I am super excited and just a little bit nervous but that is my norm when I do this kinda stuff lately. I need a few things to eat but I can secure that stuff while on my way up north. For now the only thing I need is my sleeping bag and a few things for the overnight stay.
My Sunday goal is about a 5 mile loop to the Arethusa Falls and Frankenstein Cliff. I should see 2 waterfalls on this hike, a great view from the cliffs and a train trellus.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Olivia's Adventurous Birthday Party

Originally this girl wasn't going to come but she changed her mind. It was cool and sad to see her trying to hang with the older girls. I am  the oldest but I can see where being the little sister is tough. Kylie is a great friend to both of them so it helped during the sleepover.
By the end of the day we had decided we definitely needed to come back and try it ourselves.
After falling in love with the rope course at Great Wolf Lodge we have been talking about this park opening and Olivia decided this would be her 13th birthday party with 3 friends. It came early as we are super busy around her birthday and this was our best fit.
The weather was nice yet a little chilly and windy. Sadly the wind closed a few of the courses for safety but the girls got to do 3 courses and still had a great time over 2 hours.

After they were all harnessed up they were brought over to a practice station and I soon learned that they were in control of their whole adventure. Um, what??? They were taught how to lock themselves onto the tree and then the line and how to hook their zip line up themselves. I followed alone with the directs as well so I could attempt to help from the ground. I soon noticed that it really is a fail-safe system that one hook can not be removed until the next is secured and at no time are you ever just standing or climbing without being tethered to something.

These next couple photos were their first steps onto the course and it was funny and slow. They were deliberate with their movements and paid attention. I was quite proud of them. Ava and I both played spotter from the ground giving advice and the employees also helped with encouragement on a few that we needed direction or just a "You can do this!!" on one that was basically walking across a 2X6 that was suspended on its side. I will be honest I might have cried too but Olivia crossed and did this course a second time before we left at 2pm.

The timing worked out great too. As you were making your way across the next person was setting up all their equipment so it was a smooth transition.
Below you can see just as Kylie is coming across that 2X6's, Hanna was hooking up to climb the ladder and Drea was prepping to cross next.Olivia is already up the ladder and secured to the tree.

This below is Hanna. I think this was the scariest of all routes that I saw and she was the only one to do it. They closed it before Liv could get on. Her mother showed up just after this and was not surprised. Apparently Hanna is a regular risk taker.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Stories

I am currently reading another blogger- Letting Go of My Story:I am not a broken woman.

I am literally blogging while I read because
to all of it so far.
I had been trying to be more authentic, not hide my feelings, be trapped by my should's or what I think people expect of me.  This is extremely hard when you have spent the last 43 year living like this. My days are pretty much spent doing something and then thinking about whether I did the right thing, fighting the urge to ask others if it was the right thing and waiting for the fall out of my wrong decision. It's really rather exhausting like most of my brain processes.
I have also found myself explaining why I say or do things. I have a horrific story of my past to explain every single thing. Example- I have never done that because I used to be fat. Really? Can I get out from under that fat girl finally it was almost 10 years ago.
I could go on and on with more examples but really it just is me explaining "my stories" again. I spent some time actually talking out loud about this with Dot the other day. It's funny how sometimes saying it out loud unmixes things that your head has jumbled and made into a tight ball.
I really don't want to keep explaining myself, attaching a horrific story as to why and again feeling victimized by the story.
Sure the past has shaped the way I make decisions like walking on a path over and over again wears a trail BUT I make the decision today to happily keep walking that trail or bushwhacking a new one. 
I am thinking of 2 exercises to help me progress past this place. I am beginning to think that this is a bigger movement than I even know at this point but I need to move forward.
1. I want to list all the past.....I can't find the word. Ideas, labels, pains, stories and burn them. Be done with them. They are not who I am, they are things that happened to me.
I think I thought I was being authentic and honest to claim these things. Like I'm a child of alcoholics, I am divorced, I was hit by a previous boyfriend and saw my mother abused by my father. I work in a place where I hear horrible things, I have been treated crappy and harsh words spoken about me. I have put everyone else before me because I do not think I am worthy of love, mine or yours. I have been bullied as both a child and an adult. I have lost everything physical in my life that I thought made me a successful adult.
Just typing these has physically jarred me.
This next part is actually just as hard if not harder. 
2.It is going to be a work in progress and I think I will physically make something to look at everyday. I would like to list the things I actually am. I have seen this done with millions of descriptive words. At this point I can only think of a few surface descriptions of myself. Clearly this will be tough but I hope if I get rid of the old trash thoughts I can make room for the fresh, new, pink, bright, strong ideas about myself.

This year I have really been struggling with my purpose or goal or motivation. I have been rough on myself feeling lazy, unmotivated physically and not able to feel the happiness I once thought I had a good handle on. Just looking back on this post alone I am realizing that the work is being done behind the scenes and it is "hugantic". Rest up girlfriend because only incredible things can come from this. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

NH Ice Castle

How o'how did I let this post not happen???
It is our trip to the Ice castle in NH back on January 31st. I almost just deleted it but the photos are so great. Next year if we go i think we need to head up earlier or sleep over. The town was cute but we basically cruised thru it so we didn't lose our 2pm entry time. Also seeing the castle at night would have been neat but those time slots sell out fast.
After we did a little exploring. Mom drooled over the mountain backdrop and we walked a short way off Rt 3 to the Basin. Just a quick stop but winning the kids over to Winter Outdoor activities was a success. 
So although it is May enjoy the pics and check it out if you can deal with the crowds. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Beginner Hiking-Backpacking Class

I will start by saying....
First and foremost this class was FREE!
For Christmas My awesome Mama bought me a membership to the AMC-Appalachian Mountain Club. I am generally a hike alone kinda girl but if you are going to do that I think you need to stay smart. There is only 1 brain to pick for knowledge. Even though my feet like to be on the ground as much as I can lately I am definitely new and I definitely want to expand so this class would be a start.
I drove out to Foxboro for a 9am to 4 pm class.  9-noon was aimed at hiking and after lunch would be backpacking.
I was first surprised at the amount of women in the class. I would estimate it to be about 2/3-3/4 women also the class started with about 25+ people. After they fed us a delicious lunch and we got into heavy backpacking talk I turned around and was surprised to see almost an empty room behind me. I would say we lost maybe half the class.

The class was taught by 3 volunteer members of the local Southern Mass Chapter. They were friendly, knowledgeable and funny. They also showed 3 different aspects of hiking. It was great.
One man had been hiking for over 30 years and just did it with what worked. One man was more middle of the road with a decent (self-described) gear addiction. He also was more of an expert about wildlife and "Leave no Trace". The third member was a woman who was a pretty avid hiker and she had top notch gear and lots of it. She talked about searching for deals but money clearly wasn't an issue for her.
We were handed a 13 page booklet and I was shocked at all they would cover. They also each had 1-2 8foot tables with gear everywhere. At each break they allowed questions and let us touch their junk.
This class worked so much better for me. I am easily overwhelmed with all this reading of websites but listening to them and seeing it in hand was great.
The hiking topics ran from clothing, packs, weather, safety, bathroom breaks, food/water and what to bring on different types of trips. I can't even go into all that was discussed and the personal stories to go along with it.
They had a nice lunch and while we ate each person started up their stoves. I think 4 total mostly were used to cook and they were all the same type fueled by a small gas canister but they collectively had probably 8-10 varieties to look at. A member dropped in unexpectedly with his food dehydrator and we talked food for a decent amount of time and he let us try some of his barks and leathers. Also Ann made 2 meals with her own dehydrated food and stoves. In no time we were trying Thanksgiving dinner and Shepard's Pie. I would like to add that I could easily make some of this even without the dehydrator.
They also had 2 tents and a hammock set up for us to see. Throughout the class mentioning the curve of balancing money for weight and size. This is a constant sliding scale for most I think, me particularly.
At the end of both segments they offered a hike or backpack series. 4-5 hikes thru the Summer that gradually increase in difficulty. I really am hoping to get in on some of these if I can. One plus is the hike chairwoman stated I would still be able to participate if I didn't have all my backpacking gear. They usually can pair people up to share gear. At this point I need a lot but hope to have a sleeping set up soon. This would at least afford me the ability to Hut camp.
I am excited. Wait, aren't I always excited? Well Hell, if you can't be excited and find something you have fun doing what else are we doing all this life, work, breathing thing for?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Trail of Tears-Barnstable

Monday May 2, 2016
Add another local place to the books. I have heard of the Trail of Tears but mostly as a mountain bike area. It came up on my Alltrails app so I figured Lilly and I would give it a go.  I used their map but after wished I had paid closer attention to the Map Kiosk. It would have been easier to find the single lane more hiker friendly trails. 
No worries, still had a nice quiet time and never saw another soul for over 3 miles.

I am happy to add that if we keep these local trips to this length Lil seems to be doing fine. SHe gets to still do what she loves but I sure do miss her on the big trips.

This must be a dog ramp. Let's try it.

I have taken a picture of this type of tree before. I am not sure what kind it is but for some reason this time of year it always takes me by surprise. When there is no other color out in the woods I feel like these just seem to glow. The picture isn't representing the feeling.

Had  to document the heart alge growing on thr tree. It is kind of our family thing to find heart wherever we can.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cookin' in the Woods

Sunday May 1st Olivia had a friend sleep over and the weather was blah so my original plan to go on a little hike almost didn't happen. Finally late in the afternoon I figured what the hell. The weather sucked but they were okay with getting wet. 
I packed some cups, hot chocolate packets and a bag of Herb Butter Rice. 

I decided to go back to the Moraine Trail off Brick Kiln Rd because I love this woodsy section and the tree cover afforded me some cover last time I was out here in snow and rain. 
At the first major intersection there is a large tree and a good area that was dry so while I set up and boiled some water Ava and Lilly played with sticks while Liv and Emma continued down to the Pond. 
Once the rice was boiling for a couple minutes I placed that pot in a small thermal bag I had brought for it to continue cooking while I boiled a second pit and made them all some hot chocolate.
I was pretty surprised at how fast it cooked and to be honest if it was just me  I would probably need a smaller pot which would be even faster. 
Before I knew it I saw it was 7pm so we hiked back to our car and headed home. Fun time for our first try.

Race Results

09/07/07 Main Street Mile 11:44
05/18/08 YPD 5k 52:57 17:05
06/14/08 Walpole Village 5K 35:27 11:26
06/21/08 Mashpee Fun Run 34:21 11:05
07/19/08 Mashpee Woodlands 36.49 11:52
08/10/08 Falmouth Road Race 1:29:31
08/25/08 Women Running Wild 35:40 11:30
10/25/08 Mashpee Firefighters 37:47 12:10
05/02/09 Cape Abilities 5K 34:59 11:17
05/17/09 YPD 5K 36:41 11:50
08/09/09 Falmouth Road Race 7mi 1:37
10/31/09 Mashpee Firefighters 5K 37:15 12:00
09/11/11 Main Street Mile 12:31
10/29/11 Screech to the Beach 5K 39.13 12:20
08/12/12 Falmouth Road Race 1:34:24 13:29
05/18/14 YPD 5k 44.25 14:17
06/1/14 June Jog 4mi 1:04 16:00
08/17/14 Falmouth Road Race 1:42:04 14:35
09/27/14 Girly Girl 5K 37:24 12:02
10/26/14 Pell Bridge Run 4mi 48:41 12:10
11/27/14 Turkey Trot in VA 5K 35:22 11:23
12/06/14 Jingle Jog 5K 34:42 11:11
03/29/15 Thomas Guinta Memorial 5K 34:14 11:03
04/19/15 St. Margaret's 5K 31:11 10:21
05/17/15 YPD Blues 5K 34:58 11:17
06/07/15 Newport 10 Miler 1:56:09 11:36
06/20/15 Mackenzie's 5K 33:55 10:54
08/17/14 Falmouth Road Race 1:33:51 13:24
10/31/15 Screech at the Beach 36:19 11:40