Early Morning Hike

I had a hard time sleeping last night, I woke up around 4 AM. We had already planned on going for a hike, waking up at 6 AM, but since I was already awake, I asked Gary if he would like to get up at 5:30 AM, since he wanted to start earlier anyway.

We were able to get on the trail at around 6 AM. Gus did not join us this time, because he is still recuperating from a hot spot on his neck.

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We did another section of the mountains to sea trail, about 5.7 miles total.

I think, one of the neatest things we saw on the trail, was the rusted frame of a 1950’s car

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We felt pretty good after completing the trail. A lot better than the first time we hiked.

Afterwards, we ran some errands, which included a trip to REI (yay anniversary sale! March 17th to 27th 🙂

Tick Season Has Begun . . .

Today, Gary and I went for a hike on yet another section of the Mountains to Sea Trail with a couple friends.  We don’t feel as worn out as the first couple of hikes . . .  4.2 miles, 309 feet elevation gain.  There was this big bug on my head that one of my friends saw, and Gary whacked it off my head (photo below).

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It is tick season now . . . there was a baby one on one of my friends that he saw at our resting point.

When I got home, I combed through Gus, every bit of him and found a good number on him – took about 30 minutes.  Luckily I had bought a tick twister before the hike – though a lot of them were already dead (thank you frontline).

If your dog is outside or goes hiking with you, our vet said they can get frontline every 20 days instead of every 30 days.  Gus is due for another dose then.

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When I came inside to shower, there were 2 ticks on my back, and one on my hip.  I’m not sure if they got on me when I was finding them on Gus or on the trail since I was wearing a pack.

Gary was able to get the off me with the tick twister that I had gotten at Petco before the hike.  REALLY glad I did, it worked really well and am going to get another one or two of them for each of our packs and Gus’s backpack.

It works well because it surrounds the tick and instead of with tweezers where it could squeeze them, it pulls the tick out cleanly when you rotate it.  I think it took them longer to get to Gus’s skin because he has so much hair.

SO . . . if you are going hiking, make sure to check yourself and your dog for ticks after.  Pack a fine toothed comb and a tick twister, and make sure your pet is on some sort of flea and tick protection.

Camping and 11 Mile Hike Weekend

On the weekend, we went camping and hiking with some friends.

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We walked on two different sections of the mountains to sea trail, both sections about 5.5 miles long.  The Saturday hike was about a 516 elevation gain, and the Sunday hike was a 418 elevation gain.  It’s interesting how different all of the trails look as you walk them, and even when you turn around and walk the same path, how different they look.

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The Sunday hike had more flowers and such, while the Saturday hike section didn’t have any.  I like the small graveyard we passed.

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Sunday Hike Before the Rain with AllTrails

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The weather forecast was being a bit flakey and waffle-ey for the past couple of days on when it was supposed to rain up until the day of the planned hike, and even today it couldn’t make up its mind if it was going to rain around 11, 1, or 3.

Good thing we went ahead and hiked anyway, because the weather was perfect and started raining at the end of our hike as we were finishing.

We had a really lovely view of the river for most of the first part of the hike, and then a nice walk through the woods under cover of the trees for some of the sprinkles towards the end.

We walked about 4 miles in about 3 hours with some water breaks. 464 foot elevation gain, and a generally nice social hike with our friend Elissa, though there were some steep areas we were all trudging up slowly.

There were some sections that we had get past some large rock/boulders but Gus was awesome and had no issues getting around. It’s so cute that he stops to make sure we are all following behind

We saw two deer in the distance in the woods, fish and turtles in the river, and a squirrel running across the path with something yummy in its mouth. Overall, more wildlife than our last hike which was neat.

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I tracked our trail with an app called AllTrails, which seems to be the best one out there so far (been downloading a few to try out) and free is always a nice touch. I like that it shows you the trail (though further zoom in would be nice – I turned on the zoom feature on the iPhone which give a little extra), easy to search parks, easy to track trail, and seems to be the most intuitive so far. I have read that it seems to be a little on the inaccurate side in distance, and the trail / map we went on said it was 4.1 miles, where the app said we walked 3.5. Though honestly I mostly just wanted a visual track of the route we walked, not so much the distance. And for a free app on my phone I don’t expect everything to be accurate. I’m wondering if GPS coverage is also affected by cellular coverage. When we get into needing more accurate coverage, we’ll be buying an actual GPS device. I also like that it tracks how long we hiked. It’s easy to forget what time you started.

New Hobby: Camping and Hiking

April 6th was the first weekend Gary and I went camping together.

It all started when we were watching an episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ and two of the characters pretended to be dead to avoid from being found by one of the fathers who just got out of jail. So they were hiding on the roof of the building in a tent, and I casually mentioned how we should go camping sometime. Apparently Gary has been wanting to go for a while but I guess I wasn’t ready at the time.

The opportunity arose and now we have a new hobby. Which is nice to get out and away from the computers and work – hiking is good exercise, and camping is a nice way to be simplistic for a weekend.

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The first weekend we went was fun. We started off with a small very inexpensive 4 person tent to see if we would even like camping. Of course we didn’t realize how cold it was going to be that night (32 degrees!). We were freezing and getting up in the middle of the night for a walk to the bathroom house – though fairly close, was not close enough. Some people were sitting in their cars since the gates lock at 8pm. I don’t think a lot of people realized how cold it was going to be.

We made our first meals over the fire and learned some things we should have brought, and what things we already bought that we were happy we did.

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We walked on a 2 mile trail that was close to the camp site. Totally doable.

Two weekends later, we had since upgraded our tent to a 6 person tent which is also 6’2″ tall (no more hunching over like in the last tent), purchased hiking boots, a travel crate for Gus (so he can sleep in the tent as well), and a few other camping upgrades.

We went on a 3 mile hike on Saturday, and a 6 mile hike Sunday(!). And let me tell you, it was supposedly a “moderate” up hills, tree roots, rocks, etc. it wouldn’t have been so bad if Gary hadn’t needed to make it back by a certain time to make a flight that day. On top of a moderate 6 mile being a little more than we should have tackled having been our 3rd hike. It was a nice sense of accomplishment After we stopped being sore a few days later. Gus did just fine with his own backpack of water. Though definitely slept well (like we did) that night.

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Cupcakes and Earrings

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Today was one of my co-worker’s birthdays, so I picked up these adorable cupcakes from Harris Teeter.  How could you not be happy with their smiling faces?  They were super yummy and not too sweet.

I had gotten some earrings with some school mates when I was in 5th grade that are so adorable (little red hearts) that we all got around valentine’s day, so I went to Claire’s again, and looked at their valentine’s day earrings because I was in the mood for something seasonal.  These were too cute (cuter in person) and buy one get one 50% off – so come February 1st (or tomorrow) I’m wearing them!

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