Disc Golf, Training Trail Chosen, and Being Published

Well, the weekend is over and regardless of the on and off weather and the cooler temps here, we had a good one. Very productive and yet we still found time to have a bit of fun.

My husband worked on his honey do list and accomplished a lot. Me….not so much. Just the usual like meal prep for the week, laundry, and errands.

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I did however visit the gym and had a great Saturday morning workout. And then came home and waited patiently for him to finish all his projects so we could take a trail hike at a nearby campus. I have not been able to make it to this trail since last fall so it felt great to be surrounded by trees again when we finally got here late in the day Saturday.

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Sunday we decided to try and beat the rain and get in a game of disc golf. This was not a great plan since it began to rain on us by hole 11. Thankfully, we had enough tree coverage on this course to keep us almost completely dry and we just waited it out.

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Clearly, the course had seen some big storms just as we all did since there were obvious signs of storm damage.

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We had a great game, with a quick shower right in the middle and were able to continue on until…..the last hole where my husband threw his disc and it never returned to the ground. AGGGG….his favorite disc was stuck in the tree!!!!

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This was not good and I knew he would not leave it here and just go buy another…so after many, many broken branches were collected from the surrounding trees, they were tossed up to his disc and it finally fell to the ground and we headed home.

We ate a fast lunch and then headed out for another hike to the same trail as Saturday since it was so beautiful. There really is nothing better then trees, dirt trail, and good company…..right?

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While walking this trail we finally remembered to grab the GPS and track the mileage since we have been discussing starting to train for our upcoming hiking vacation. This time we need more mileage training than elevation training so we thought this would be perfect. After tracking the mileage we found that its just a bit over 3.5 miles. Which would mean we would need to do this three complete times to match the mileage of our longest trail we plan to hike while in Virginia. Uggg, that sounds like a lot right now but as usual, training is work but it is so rewarding when we reach our destination with energy to spare. So in  about a month we will begin training and hopefully four weeks after that we can reach a total mileage of 10 miles.

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And lastly, we had some big news this weekend from our son. He has had his first photographs published in a local magazine on WI state parks. This is exciting since he is working on becoming a professional photographer. We picked up four of the magazines since parents can never be too proud of their own children.

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Did You Know….

Did you know….that in WI you can purchase your yearly state park entry sticker for full price ($28) and they offer a second sticker for a second vehicle for a reduced rate? We never did until a few years ago and for us this is a bonus since we need three for our household.

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Did you know…. that my dream someday is to section hike the Appalachian Trail? As of today I have 6 miles completed which is hardly a start but it’s still a start. I have read numerous books about it and just started one that was recommended to me called AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller. So far I am really enjoying it.

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Did you know….I cannot mix meatloaf or meatballs without wearing rubber gloves? My husband thinks this is hilarious. Although, he has learned not to laugh at me since he loves both meatloaf and meatballs and if he laughs at me then I don’t make them.

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Did you know….I love to grab takeout menus from various restaurants and recreate some of the dishes at home? I think this is such an easy way to come up with variety for home menus. Plus, typically there are many different things that sound so wonderful and who can order more than one entree while out for a meal. My friend recently chuckled at me when I grabbed menus at every restaurant we stopped at and I told her this is what I do with them. Doesn’t anyone else do this???

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Did you know….pancakes are one of our favorite camp breakfasts when we are headed out for a day of hiking? However, since surgery (January2016) I have a hard time eating pancakes….and I mean a real hard time. Well, as you all know, we have made our first camp reservations of the year and I am also convinced that I can find a pancake I can eat without losing the contents of my stomach within minutes, by this trip. I recently was told to try Kodiak brand so I picked up a box and we are going to give it a test run here at home. Let’s hope for the best since these are full of protein and would be perfect for a prehike breakfast.

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Did you know….that even though our son takes family, graduation, wedding, and professional pictures for everyone else, I have never had him take a professional picture of our family? Why you ask…..well honestly, a nicely dressed, matching outfits, sitting on a stone man made fence is not my idea of what my family is and/or looks like. So why would I want a picture that does not describe who we are as a family? I have some of the best pictures of all of us, us as a couple, and just myself on trails in some of the most beautiful places ever and I cherish these and the fact that he was there to capture the moment with his camera.

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Did you know….that I am so ready for winter to be over with already? We had a burst of spring like temperatures and now we are back to full blown winter. Add in the few snowfalls we have also had since these nice days and ugggg, I am ready to be done. We have some big plans for this upcoming weekend and hopefully it will be all good. I am in the market for some new hiking boots, a stop at Trader Joe’s, and a nice dinner somewhere other than in good ole Green Bay. Hopefully this brightens my mood and if it doesn’t I think we may plan a hike on a WI state trail that we have not visited in a while. Rarely, do we hike south of Green Bay but I recall it being a nice trail. If we make this happen I will be sure to keep you all updated on the trail conditions in this area.

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Cathedral Rock Trail- Sedona, Arizona

This was the first hike on our agenda during our first visit to the Sedona, Arizona area. I had been in contact with someone from this area a few times by email and she simply stated, “it’s a right of passage” to the area and you must give this trail a try. Say no more, I told my husband and son this would be our first hike of the visit and they were all in.

We researched this trail in detail before leaving and found that it was short, 1.5 miles round trip to be exact. It was also rated as HARD in many resources that we read. And after watching two videos taken while climbing this rock from fellow hikers, I knew it would be a challenge but I had my heart set on making it to the top of this rock.

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We arrived in the early morning just as the sun was rising over the mountains. We were told parking was an issue at this particular trailhead and when we returned to the vehicle, the lot was full.

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Note: you will need a red rock pass to park at this trailhead.

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As we prepared to conquer this hike, my boys both stood in awe at this magnificent sight.

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So with camera in hand, bladders emptied, and our packs loaded and ready we headed up this rock.

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We knew exactly where the technical part of this hike would be when we reached it. There is a crevice that needs to be scrambled up and eventually down during this short hike that had my stomach in knots.

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When we reached this crevice, we stopped, packed up our cameras to have both hands free, and I secretly said a prayer. It’s one thing to do these types of hikes on my own, it’s a whole other thing to know my husband and son are right behind me and can fall at any moment. However, it’s the life we live and we love it so we continued after a quick family picture.

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Eventually we reached the top and it was worth every grey hair I gained making it through this crevice. It was amazing. I was so relieved, we made it, worked together as a family, and succeeded.

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We spent about a half hour on the top, taking pictures, resting and just enjoying the view. I can see why I was told it was a right of passage to accomplish this hike. The feeling we felt when reaching the top was indescribable.

However, the thought of going back down is what really had me stressed. Although, I am happy to say, it was much easier than I had imagined to make our way back down the same way we came up. The only difference was we were on our rears instead of our knees. Here is a bit of what down looked like.

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It took us a total of about 2.5 hrs. to complete this hike with about a half hour of this on the top. People we ran into were respectful of sharing the crevice and not rushing anyone on the way up or down. This may seem like a short hike in distance but you will still need plenty of water and when the sun rises above the mountain the temperature rises quickly.

In my opinion hard was an accurate rating but completely worth it!

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What I Am Loving Lately

Another version of what I am loving lately here for you all…

Chobani Meze Dip…Chili Lime Flavor

Goodbye plain old sour cream….this is my new favorite taco topping, wrap addition or even just a quick pretzel dip to throw in the cooler for a picnic. Its got a bit of a kick but the lime flavor evens the kick out perfectly.

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My Go To Lunch Bowl Creation

I am not a big meat eater when I don’t have to be, so during the day when everyone else is at work I get somewhat creative with how to get my protein requirements. I found that this mixture is by far one of my favorites and keeps me satisfied for a long time. And, if you prep your preferred veggies ahead of time it literally takes seconds to throw together.

***I use, 1/2 cup of the rice mixture, two egg whites, one whole egg, one cup of cooked broccoli, and a bit of cheese melted on top. Drizzle with a bit of hot sauce and whaaaalaaaa you have a meat free lunch.

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Our Kayak Trailer

We officially finished and utilized our newly constructed kayak rack on our utility trailer recently. And everyone agreed…..it is so much easier to load, unload and carry the different shape and sized kayaks we all have. IMG_4417

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Summer Pasta Salads

There is nothing I dread more when it’s hot and humid than cooking a hot meal and then having to clean it up afterwards. In the summer we eat many different pasta salads which are much more refreshing that a hot dinner. Plus, being on the go as much as we are, they pack up very nicely for lunches.

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Seeing Our Son Do What He Loves….Photography

It’s great to have a passion in life and when you find that passion, I am a firm believer to chase after it until it becomes reality. Our son seems to have that same belief, since he seems perfectly comfortable carrying thousands of dollars of camera gear on a kayak to capture that unexpected moment. (As a mom….it made me very nervous and it wasn’t even my money that paid for that camera gear)

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Mom Time/Wife Time/Me Time….

Call it whatever you wish, but I often think us mom’s/wive’s etc. forget that if we are not happy, no one else around us will be either. So I have no problem making time for just me when I need to. Recently, mine just happened to be floating in a tube for a few hours alone while soaking up the sunshine.

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Happy Blog Birthday Natural Red

Wow, has it really been 3 years since I wrote my first blog post on Natural Red?

Amazing!

I honestly don’t know what I thought would happen when I started blogging but I am happy to say, I am pleasantly surprised at how it has changed me. I have met so many nice, virtual friends and enjoy hearing comments back from everyone on topics that are near and dear to my heart.

It’s funny to look back and read past postings and see how much our life has changed. Our son is now a grown adult working on his career as a professional photographer.

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My husband and I have started doing more and more things as a couple instead of as a family unit which changes things quite drastically I have found.

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And I have slowly transitioned from loving to do certain things I have been “talked into,”  to finding my own path and following it with confidence. stopped3

(photo courtesy of Quade Byrnes Photography)

I am not sure what the next year will be all about but as usual, I will share my adventures with all of you while I keep a journal to look back on myself some day.

Thanks for reading along…..I look forward to inspiring all of you to try some fun exciting adventures for yourself.

 

 

It Is What It Is………

My week started out pretty good if you like pain and cold weather. I was so happy to have made it to the gym both Saturday and Sunday that by Monday morning I felt exactly what muscles I have not worked in a few months. I was very happy to feel this “good pain” when I woke up Monday morning.

Every morning this week I also had every intention of taking a walk in the morning as I usually do with a friend of mine. However, its was so miserably cold outside all week that I walked my 4-K student to school and decided to return home for tea instead.There comes a time in the winter that enough is enough and I believe I have come to that time. Spring arrived days ago and since then its has snowed numerous times, winds have been horrible and its just stinking COLD! Come on already, have we not suffered enough, lets have some warmth and sunshine.

Anyhow, let’s look at what I did this week for my mental and physical health.

Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, and full body weights minus abs

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical and full body weights minus abs and a family afternoon trail hike 3.1 miles Barkhausen 4-3-16low-1

(photo courtesy of Quade Byrnes Photography)

Monday: rest

Tuesday: 1.5 mile evening walk

Wednesday: recumbent bike 30 minutes

Thursday: 30 minute elliptical and leg/back weight routine, 3 mile evening walk

Friday: rest

Clearly, not a great week in the exercise department.  A few nights I had evening parent interviews to do to replace a daycare family that is moving to another state which really hampered our evening walks. And then, about mid week, I came down with some sort of stomach bug that made me feel pretty miserable. All I can do from this point is hope next week shapes up a bit better.

 

Merry Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner and time is ticking to get all those last minute things done. With that being said, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

photo courtesy of our son, Quade Byrnes

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I will be spending the next few days with family and friends celebrating like many of you I am sure. I will be back late next week to share a recap of our year in pictures.