Monday, February 22, 2016


  This weekend I took my Cub Scouts to the annual Klondike Derby.  For those not familiar, the Klondike Derby involves a dog sled type sled that the scouts pull around to different stations where they need to work together as a team to accomplish the tasks involved.  At the end of the day, they work together to pull the sled in a race.  It was a fun day, but that's not really what I was focusing on here.  Because there was so much walking involved, I decided to work on breaking in my new hiking boots and wear my pack.

There isn't really much time before we head out again to finish our first section hike, so I used my scout weekend as a "get ready for my hike weekend".  There was a lot of snow, a lot of mud, a lot of mucky water and a lot of change in the temperatures (cold in the morning and night, warm in the afternoon).  I'm happy to report that the boots worked beautifully.  Other than about 20 minutes of feeling a little cold in the morning, my toes were fine.  I trudged through melting snow, mud and a few inches of water and my feet stayed dry.  I didn't have any issues with my pack, and I'm sorry I didn't add a little more weight to it.  I only had a few pounds in it and no where near the weight I know I'll carry on the hike.

All in all, it was a good day.  I was exhausted and my muscles ached, but it felt good.  And it was great being in the mountains close to the Appalachian Trail (the trail actually passes by the Camp's property).  Soon I'll be taking sunset photos from the AT!

Monday, February 15, 2016

New Kicks

After trying different tying methods, 
I finally came to the conclusion that my hiking boots just didn't fit right.
(You can read about the beginning of the boot saga here)
So I headed to REI.
Let me just say how awesome REI is.
I know they're expensive, but this is one instance of getting what you pay for.
By being a member (that is a one time charge of $20 for life),
you get the privilege of a 1 year return policy.
That means, you can buy something, use it, and if it isn't working for you, you can bring it back.
So, despite he guilt of wearing the boots for nearly a year, 
I returned them.
I then went about trying on several different kinds.
I tried the same boot I had in a different size, I tried Keens, Salomons, Vasques and who knows what else.
None felt right.
Finally, discussing the issues with the sales associate, 
he suggested I try the Salomon Quest 4D II GTX as they have a narrower heel cup
and that seemed to be part of my problem-
I have narrow heels
(I have duck feet, narrow in back, wide in front).
They were, of course, $70 more than the pair I was returning.
I wasn't going to try them on because I wasn't planning on spending any more money
(other than maybe $10-$20).
But my mom said to try them, 
and my husband said to see how they fit.
Of course, they fit perfectly.
My toe does not slide forward at all.
and when I lace them one of the fancy ways, 
my foot doesn't even budge a millimeter. 
I'm lucky I have such a great husband who said to go ahead and spend the extra money.
I love them!
They have excellent ankle support which I need because of a bum ankle.
And I can attest to the waterproof ability.
I wore them to go take care of my chickens
and proceeded to accidentally dump 3 gallons of cold water on them.
I never felt a thing.
I'm pretty sure these new boots will make me hike faster.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Back to the Grind

So, there's only about 2 1/2 months until the next attempt at the big backpacking trip.  Crap. Really, I thought I had, like, 3 or more months left.  And I literally did the math just now so, really, CRAP!
At least I did get back to the gym today.  As I've mentioned, I've gained 20 pounds.  That is on top of the 20-25 I needed to lose, so now I need to get rid of 40-45 pounds.  That seems impossible, though I know it isn't if I stay on track.
Tonight's workout wasn't more than 45 minutes or so.  I did 15 minutes on the elliptical, which is an improvement over the typical 5 minutes and I'm done.  Plus I walked and jogged, so overall it was a better 15 minutes in general.  Afterwards, I headed in to use the weight equipment.  I worked my abs, and I worked my legs.  Tomorrow I'll switch and work on my arms and back.  My husband wasn't in the mood to exercise tonight, which is unusual.  He's usually the one ready to camp out for hours and I'm whining to go home after 30 minutes. I guess I'm just really not happy with the weight gain, or the limited time to get ready.
So, rather than rush home, we sat in the sauna.  The husband isn't a huge fan of the sauna.  I have discovered I really enjoy it.  The heat feels good on my muscles, and I use the time in there to try to meditate somewhat.  I've also read that saunas have several benefits: stress relief, cleansing the skin, relaxes muscles and relieves joint pain, flushes toxins, improves cardiovascular performance, induces a deeper sleep, burns calories and helps fight illness.  Since I can use all that stuff, I sit in the sauna (though tomorrow I'm sitting in the whirlpool).
I've also changed my diet.  I've been eating unhealthy for weeks now.  So today I made sure I had a lot of salad makings on hand.  I'll be cutting out bad carbs like bread and sweets (God, how will I survive??!).  So, wish me luck!  After this week of working out, I'll be bringing my pack to the gym with weights in it to start getting ready for that reality.
Only 2 1/2 months??!