Birthday Hike and Dinner!


Today, Gary and I went on a birthday hike.  When I texted a friend of mine this, she said “how’s that different from a regular hike?” (since we’ve been hiking basically every weekend).
I said “because there is cake at the end? -haha”

Anyway, it was just Gary and I on an 8.26 mile hike.  I was leading , and saw about 4 different turtles on the trail!  I guess because of all the rain we had, but we usually don’t see any.  There were a lot of orange mushrooms on this trail too.  There was one HUGE log with big orange mushrooms that almost looked like someone threw pumpkins down the hill.  It was on the way back, and if I hadn’t been so hot and humid and tired,I might have gone down and taken a picture.  But I was too tired and didn’t care at that point -lol

After getting back and showering at the house, we ran errands until it was time for Gary’s birthday dinner get together with some friends at a really great mexican restaurant.  I had gotten some mini individual sponge cakes and cut up strawberries and those were the birthday cakes.  Light, healthy, and super yummy 🙂


Sci-Fi Symphony

20130701-171331.jpgA friend of ours invited us to go to the symphony with her for sci-fi music and guest appearance with George Takei (most widely known for being Sulu on Star Trek). Music scores from E.T., Star Wars, Star Trek, and other sci fi movies.

Before the symphony started, there was a darth vader, storm troopers, chewbacca and c3po and r2 in the lobby for people to get their pictures with.

One neat story George Takei told, was how his characters name of Sulu came about. Gene Roddenberry didn’t want to pick a name that was a particular asian race (Korean, Japanese, Chinese) , so he was looking at a map, and there was a sea in asia called the Sulu Sea. So basically his character represents asia in general, not a particular race within asia.

At the end of the evening, the guest conductor conducted the last piece (star wars awards ceremony score) with a mini light saber which was cute.

8 Mile Cycle #2


June 7th Gary and I got hybrid bikes so we could start cycling. I found a really nice bike at Play it Again Sports with upgraded Shimano breaks.

There were no pre-owned bikes for men, so we got Gary’s at Dicks Sporting Goods. Helmets, tyre pump, lights for the bikes and phone cases, tools, oil, etc. (from REI). Bike rack from Performance Bike.

We got the equipment and practiced riding around the neighbourhood, but actually did an 8 mile cycle on June 24th, and then the same route today (the 27th). We beat our previous time by a few minutes, and only had to walk up 2 hills, versus 4 last time. Definitely getting better.

Our goal is to do some cycling tours and trips, possibly some offered by REI. I want to join a casual cycling group, and possibly do a race of some sort at some point. So far I really like it 🙂

7.4 Miles and Venus Fly Traps!

Today we hiked a 7.4 mile section of the mountains to sea trail, and let me tell you . . .  I am SO glad it had rained the days before, because we opted to not bring Gus with us – and good thing.

This section of trail unlike any of the other ones we have done was grassy every other section.  Some of the sections were overgrown with blackberry bushes and prickly vines, and full of ticks.

Every time we went through a section with tall grass, we had to do a tick check – which drastically slowed down our pace.  I was smart since ticks seem to like me – I sprayed myself before we started on the trail so I (unlike past times) had none that I can recall on me.  Gary  on the other hand, had several each time we did a tick check, and our friend Elissa had one or two each time.

By the time we got to spraying Gary, the spray didn’t stick because of all the sweat.

We have decided that we are not bringing Gus on any hikes until tick season is over and the weather is cooler (beach or neighbourhood walks only for now) and I have decided that we are spraying before we start the trails and bringing the big can of spray in my pack.

Tips for Hiking During Tick Season

  1. check for ticks right after the hike if there were no grassy areas check for ticks after each section if you are walking through grassy or overgrown areas
  2. always have a tick extractor of some sort on a carribeaner easy to access.  Mine now lives on the outside of my pack and my Patagonia Atom Sling Bag/Purse.  I wrote about it earlier on a previous blog post (Tick Season Has Begun) and it has been SO GOOD to have on me and easily accessable.
  3. I wear a headband for sweat, but it’s not a bad idea to have something for your head
  4. spray yourself for bugs before you start the hike so the spray has time to dry.  I wear long pants, so I don’t feel too bad about spraying the Off deep woods with deet on since it’s not touching my skin much
  5. check your pack and your boots after hiking!  we found a tick on the shoes – good to find them before they get in your car
  6. this is a general tip for hiking (another post later about hiking tips to come) bring a spare change of clothes for after the hike and check yourself , your pack, and your shoes before they go in a plastic bag in the car.  We found one on Gary’s boots, and Elissa had found one on her pack and her boots.
  7. make sure you check for the tiny ones!  the almost microscopic itty bitty ones that are just as bad if not worse as the larger ones you can see more.
  8. check your back, your hair, your neck, everywhere!


So after the long hike, we had brunch, and then Gary and I went to the Farmer’s Market to pick up my venus flytrap plants that I had been wanting, and I also got another plant called a Drosera (sundew) plant that has little drops of sticky dew on the leaves, and when a bug lands on it, it cant get off.

So yay!  I was able to put them in my terrarium and I think one of the traps has captured a fungus gnatt so far 🙂


Mountains to Sea Trail 7 Mile and Eno 3.5 Mile Hike

This weekend we hiked 7 miles on Saturday on another section of the Mountains to Sea Trail, and Sunday we hiked one of the trails we had done before at the Eno.

I like how the one sections we hiked looks like a ghost 🙂


The section of mountains to sea trail was great. Not only was the weather nice, there were bathrooms half way! We don’t usually get that on our hikes (haha).

There was also the dam we stopped at and saw some people fishing, and one guy kayaking in the water.


There were a lot of trees down from the wind and rain we had earlier in the week. The mountains to sea trail had larger trees down than the Eno trail that blocked the trail a lot more than these photos (taken at the Eno)


We had done the Eno trail before, about two months ago, and it seemed a little more difficult then. We did basically the same trail but went the other way around the loop.

Still a few inclines and stairs but we definitely felt better this time around.


Pilot Mountain


Gary, Gus, and I went to Pilot Mountain for the weekend. Left Friday afternoon and came back Sunday. Set up camp Friday and hung out a bit. For dinner we made corn over the fire with the husks, a Mountain House Turkey Tetrazzini and maybe some fruit? and I think we might have gone to bed early-ish for a 6am wake-up to start hiking the next morning.


We got up, early Saturday, and started on our hike. I wasn’t expecting so much up hill. I mean I knew we were on a mountain, but I was expecting sections of up hill and then flat areas, but there were some really long sections of continuous up hill, and the trails were very rock-ey.

At the top of the mountain there were stairs. LOTS and LOTS of stairs. Steep, many, and by the time we got to them, it was nice and hot out.


The trail was longer than we were both expecting, and we were all exhausted towards the end, but the view from up top was pretty.


Back and camp, we rested, showered, and took a short nap before cooking dinner and then going to bed early-ish again.

On Sunday, we did two shorter trails, maybe 2 miles. Since these were already at the top of the mountain, we had more stairs but it wasn’t AS bad since they Were shorter trails.