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Hiking

Hiking the Billy Goat Trail A at Great Falls

We were going to do this hike last weekend but laziness won and we slept in. So this weekend we got up bright and early on Saturday morning to go hike the Billy Goat Trail down at Great Falls. We last did this hike almost exactly one year ago just before Brady started at his new job and we decided it was about time we go do this again.

The Billy Goat Trail A is an extremely popular trail in the region and can be very crowded on the weekends. The plan was to get there around 8 and park in the Anglers parking lot which would have been free but we didn’t get there til after 8:30 and it was full. It was $10 to park up at the main entrance but the parking lot was still relatively empty and we hopped straight onto the towpath to get down to the trailhead. Even though it was first thing in the morning, the trail was already more crowded than last time. Since you’re scrambling on rocks for the whole trail, it’s definitely much easier to maneuver with less people, so on the weekend, the earlier, the better. 

Billy Goat Trail A, Rock scrambling

It’s somewhat hard to see the rock climbers on the other side of the river (see if you can find them!) and there’s also a kayaker in the river. Continue Reading

Fall, Fitness, Food, Friday Faves, Hiking, Vegetarian, Zumba

Friday Favorites #5

Hello there friends! It’s been a while but that will all make sense pretty soon… but for now, I’ve got a quick catch up and some favorites to share with you!

In the middle of June we got a new kitten, Maisie! It’s unbelievable how much she’s grown in 2.5 months! For whatever reason her nickname is Maisie-Ella Mozzarella, she’s a bitey little monster who loves to terrorize our 14-year-old cat Shadow, and she’s got the loudest purr I’ve ever heard from a cat so I guess we’ll keep her. šŸ˜‰

I didn’t get to do a whole lot this summer but Brady and I did get away the first weekend of August to go camping at Deep Creek Lake with my family. While we were there, we went to Swallow Falls State Park for the first time and it’s easily now my favorite state park in Maryland. It gives off a vibe as though you were in the Pacific NW, probably more so because we were there just after a downpour! Continue Reading

Backpacking, Hiking, Life

Backpacking to Harpers Ferry on the Appalachian Trail

I told you we are hooked! We sprung for a full weekend backpacking trip instead of just an overnight and we conquered around 17.5 miles mostly on Saturday and Sunday due to a late start on Friday. Ideally we would have hiked from the I-70 AT trailhead but that would have been 7 miles night one and we just didn’t have the daylight to accomplish that. So the plan was to leave at 3:40ish from Brady’s work, drive both cars out to Harpers Ferry, park and then take one car up to Washington Monument State Park and then start the hike from there. That would have gotten us there by at least 5:30 pm and been just under a 4 mile hike to the shelter for our first night. 

That was the plan. 

Hanna, my sister, was going to come with us for her first backpacking adventure and sleep in our tent while Brady and I were going to try hammock camping. We were expecting 2 Amazon packages to arrive that afternoon containing the second hammock, the tarp, and two 64 oz Sawyer squeeze bags for our water filter. Usually it gets delivered between 2:30 and 3:30 but we were still waiting on it to arrive once Brady got off work so we decided to delay for a little while and hope it came before we left. We played a card game and when it still hadn’t come, we decided to just go knowing it would probably get delivered a few minutes after we left. As we were walking to the door with all our stuff, guess what was delivered! 

Finally we were on our way but since we were leaving later, we knew we were going to be dealing with heavier traffic trying to get out there. We arrived in Harpers Ferry around 6:30 but the signage for where to park was very unclear. We ended up parking at the Cavalier Heights Visitor Center but even that was frustrating because signs said we needed to pay and you could only park overnight with a permit… but there was no one there to pay! We ended up finally leaving at 7, without paying, to drive the 30 minutes up to our start point. Since we were only going to have 1 hour til sunset, we parked on Reno Monument Road in a small dirt lot and started the mile hike in towards Rocky Run Shelter.

Continue Reading

Backpacking, Hiking

Our First Backpacking Trip on the Appalachian Trail!

We finally did it! The first backpacking trip for this duo is in the books and now we’re hooked. We hiked about 8 and a bit miles on the Appalachian Trail and got to enjoy the vista views from Annapolis Rock and Black Rock. If the views are this beautiful here on our east coast mini-mountains then I can only imagine how breathtaking the views are out west. We enjoyed this trip so much that we’re already planning to go out again this weekend. 

I’m behind on posting our Disney trip and I want to get back to that because I want to have it journaled, even if it’s only for myself! My website has been having issues the last week and I’m hoping I’ve finally got it all figured out but it did throw me back a little. So for now, I need to get back to posting my current goings on before I’ve missed all the exciting happenings of my life

Our trek was a mini getaway since it was gear testing and was also a tad last minute. That’s not to say we weren’t prepared because we began collecting gear back in early April but a trip just didn’t work out until now when we were like, hey we’ve got nothing else going on, let’s go backpacking!  Luckily I had all the food and stuff we needed without having to shop for anything so I spent the day on Friday getting everything ready while Brady was at work and we left the apartment around 4:45 pm once he got home. 

We got stuck in traffic because of leaving so late and we didn’t arrive at the trailhead until 6 pm with a tad less than 2.5 hours before sunset. We were going to try and make it to the Pogo Memorial backpacking camp but we knew it would be mostly dark when we got there. Our backup was camping near Annapolis Rocks but I’d read online that camping there was allowed only in “designated areas”.

What did that mean?

Where were these areas?

How was I supposed to know where they were?

How many people could stay there?

I don’t like not having answers. Once we were on the offshoot trail towards Annapolis Rocks, there was finally a sign to answer my questions.  Continue Reading

Biking, Exercise, Life, Week in Pictures, Weight loss

Crepes at Cafe Mezcla, bike rides, and hammocking

It’s been a beautiful week around here as all the flowering trees are fully in bloom and the landscape is greening up. Last week was Brady’s birthday and we were able to do a lot of outdoor adventuring to celebrate. I had been planning a weekend backpacking trip to Shenandoah National Park for the weekend but we didn’t end up going because the weather forecasts were looking potentially stormy and I was also dealing with a strained muscle in the hip flexor area. Sad. We’re still hoping to go this summer and we may try doing a shorter and close to home backpacking trip this weekend.

Since Brady worked late on his actual birthday, we went out on Wednesday evening to Brookeside Gardens to see the tulips before meeting up with his family at Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

Brookeside Gardens tulips in spring Continue Reading

Back Pain, Exercise, Goals, Motivation Monday, Weight loss, Women

April Goals 2017

March has come and gone and another birthday month is in the books. It’s kind of crazy how fast this year has been flying by because I feel like I only just wrote my goals for the whole year and we’re already 1/4 through it! It’s time to move on and share my April goals, but first, a quick March health and fitness recap:

  • Eat vegetable centered meals for lunches and dinners
  • Start weight training
  • Strengthening my back and core
  • Posture awareness
  • Keep track of my steps and water intake for this month: Iā€™d really like to try and be getting my 10,000 daily steps in at least 5 days a week. Iā€™m obviously in favor of 7, but if I can get 5/7 each week this month, Iā€™m going to be pretty happy.
  • Run

April Goals

I’d say that for most of my goals, they were moderately accomplished and I’m improving in each category. Considering that I was sick for most of the month of March, I’m really happy with what got done.  

I’ve only started running in the last week because I felt like I really needed to just be walking. Even now, I’m taking up running slowly because of some issues with my knees. You can see a general workout recap below.

March Workout Recap - April Goals

The biggest accomplishment for the month was getting in my daily 10,000 steps! I really had to work for this one because if I wasn’t being proactive or dedicated to the goal, I would have come way under on most days. The crazy thing is, I’ve started to notice changes in my body due to the step taking and I wasn’t expecting much of it to happen at all. Over the last month I’ve realized that –

  • I’m getting more workouts and walks in. I’m not spending days just sitting around and I’m making less excuses
  • My back still has the same triggers but overall I’m in a better place
  • I don’t think I’ve really lost much weight, but I feel that my body is toning and looking a little slimmer.

Sure, some of this could be because I’ve also been working out as well, but I will definitely attribute most of my success this month to taking my 10,000 steps. It’s like having this goal as a central goal is keeping everything else in line.

I didn’t start until March 2nd so for the purpose of making better calculations, March is going to be 30 days long šŸ˜‰

  • 22/30 days with 10,000+ steps
  • 296,129 steps total
  • Average of 9,871 steps per day
  • Most steps in a day: 16,187 steps

March Steps and April Goals

Part of the step counting motivation has been to prepare for our Disney World trip next month. We’re going to be in the parks for 5 days and if you’ve ever been, you know that there’s usually a ton of walking. The last 2 times I’ve gone, I’ve ended up in a wheelchair for part/most of the trip. I’d really like to be able to handle all the walking and not have too much pain so I’m trying to prep myself to be ready.

Here are my April Goals:

  • Again I’m going with trying to get in at least 10,000 steps in for every day in April. I didn’t get a full 7-day streak in last month so I’m attempting to get a really long one this month – maybe even 30 days! šŸ˜‰
  • Running 3 times a week.
  • Getting in a proper stretch after each run and workout — I really need to start doing this because I keep forgetting and I’m paying for it. I need to do more yoga.
  • Strength training. I have horrible muscular endurance and I’d like to do at least 3 20+ minutes sessions a week with some random throughout the day exercises thrown in to help build up strength
  • Mindful eating. I’ve been realizing more and more how much of my life is focused on food. I love to eat good food and sometimes I just love to eat which leads to overeating. I’d really like to focus on eating slower, enjoying my food, and not stuffing myself.

 

Do you count steps?

In terms of overall health, is there any one thing you can point to that keeps you on track to accomplish your goals?

What are your April Goals?

 

linking with Amanda for this post