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It’s March 26th Already?

26 Mar

I hate when bloggers disappear for months or years and then make excuses for not blogging.

So, I will pretend I’ve been blogging all along, with no hiatus to speak of – because you don’t deserve to listen to excuses and I shouldn’t be making them!

So what’s up in the world of Blue Bin and Hardtack today?

FACTS:

  • Spring is here, but it’s not. We’ve had a fire in the fireplace 2 of the last 4 nights.
  • We’re coming up on 6 months married (amazing!).

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  • I’m working on a travel bucket list for 2015.
  • We’re both in physical therapy for separate injuries (he’s recovering from surgery like a champ).
  • We took up cross country skiing this winter, and loved it (but have not yet purchased gear).

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  • We have been cooking less than we should – let this be a public proclamation of intention to improve upon that.

 

So – look for some throwback posts over the next couple months as I share things worth sharing that I may have missed (our honeymoon!!!), some future planning posts to keep the fires of excitement burning for new adventures and new travels (island kayak camping with old friends!), and hopefully some guest posts (ahem, Portland cousin who shall not be named)!

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Good to be back (not that I was ever away).

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I gotta fever. And the only prescription is less cabin.

27 Mar

I’m sick of the indoors. Even our charming love shack. Sick of the cold. Sick of the exorbitant cost of oil heat. Sick of making tea instead of smoothies. Sick of wet wood in the fireplace and dirty snow on the sidewalks.

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But I’m trying to channel happy. Spring, my usual least favorite season, is coming. It has to be. ‘Tis the season for eyeing new outdoor gear, making hike hit lists and planning excursions!

Allow me to share our trip list for 2014 (a work in progress).

  1. Block Island, RI
  2. Indian Lake, NY
  3. Baton Rouge, LA (sis just got residency placement down south!!)
  4. Ithaca, NY
  5. Richmond, VA (it’s a NASCAR thing)
  6. Honeymoon TBD!!!!! (out west is the plan)

And our hike list:

  1. Devil’s Path
  2. Breakneck Ridge (a holiday tradition)

What have we missed?

Bra Burning & 90s Gear: Backpacking Mt. Greylock, MA

21 Oct

HT and I agree hands-down, fall is the #1 season of the year. So, we took a little trip up to the Berkshires two weekends back to fit in a backpacking trip before the weather gets colder and our weekends get busier. Leaves, chilly nights and new toasty gear, fires, what’s not to love?

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We’d just picked up the AMC’s Best Backpacking New England book so we started there in deciding on a hike and we landed on the “Have a Grey Day” Mt. Greylock loop. I love how this book titles its hikes like the Abs Diet titles their recipes.

We also just got our hands on a new digital luggage scale (cool!) so we packed up our packs and weighed them for the first time. Yikes. Can you guess how much we carry for ONE NIGHT in the woods? Well first, I was super impressed with my base weight of 14.7lbs. But then, I added water and a few more toiletries. And I’m a BIG hydrator so I don’t skimp. Hello 24 lbs. Sheesh.  HT’s pack was heavier still…I’ll have to ask him to reweigh so I know for sure. To be fair, he carried the tent and a bit of my food…thus the uneven loads. And he’s a gentleman, of course.

So we headed into the woods with our usual gear and some grub left over from the Long Trail stock up (Mary Jane’s Farm Organics, Umpqua oats- now at Costco!) plus a box of those delicious Anna’s super-thin ginger snaps. We started up the mountain mid-day (later than we ‘d hoped) amidst beautiful changing leaves and rolling farm country hills. The trail from the bottom is the Hopper Trail, which meandered for a bit before it started to climb and climb. I was happy to hear HT huffing and puffing as much as I was on some stretches. I stopped him at one point to remind him that I’d been not only out of the hiking groove a little lately but also hadn’t carried a pack since early July. I just wanted to be clear that this hike was not a race. To me, at least.

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The trail was gorgeous. In that area, the leaves had clearly already peaked but enough remained on the trees to make for some spectacular forest views as the sun descended in the sky. There’s also just something so striking about orange and red leaves rimming a flowing creek. I love that kind of imagery.

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East Coast Summer

19 Aug

Back from a brief summer hiatus, I’m now posting from Cape Cod. Mostly, I’d like to share some pics. More to come, I’m back in action!!

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A Celebration in Asheville, NC: The Ithaca of the South

22 Apr

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Oh what a treat. I recently returned from a great trip to Asheville, NC with my (big) little broski. He even earned a trail name on the trip. I’ll reveal that in a minute. The trip feels like a blessing now, considering the past year’s events…

Why Asheville, you ask?

We’ve both been told for years, “Ya know what town you’d really like? Asheville. It’s like the Ithaca of the South.” So about a year ago, we planned a trip, just for fun. Our sis had a companion flight she donated to the cause and we booked an airbnb. Then the unthinkable happened and one year ago today, little bro got in a really, really brutal car accident. He teetered on the edge of survival and was in the hospital and rehab for months. He underwent surgery after surgery and my family took turns manning his bedside. On top of repairing damage to internal organs, he had extensive, complicated orthopedic reconstruction in his hip and ankle (which he’d previously had reconstructed after jumping off the 2nd story porch onto a trampoline. lovable idiot.).

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HIKE : Taughannock North Rim Trail & Gorge Trail (Ithaca, NY)

3 Apr

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As promised, before Spring is ACTUALLY upon us, I want to share a favorite, favorite hike when I go back to Ithaca, NY, my happy, hippie hometown.

Taughannock Falls State Park is located just down the road from my Mom’s house, on the outskirts of Ithaca proper. It’s on the west side of Cayuga Lake and ultimately the falls feed into the lake at Allan H. Treman State Park.

A couple weekends back Hardtack and I took a little trip to Ithaca and I finally got to introduce him to some of the waterfalls of “Ithaca is Gorges” fame. We hiked at Taughannock two days in a row because he was so impressed by the scenery.

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On Saturday, my mom and family pooch Moose, AKA Macybean joined us for a short but beautiful trek. We parked on the turnoff on Gorge Road, just up the hill from the intersection with Willow Creek Road. You can see it in the bottom left quarter of this little map. Start hiking up the gorge from here (a left turn into the woods from your car). Continue reading

Ithaca is _____. A Townie’s Top 10

21 Mar

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We headed to my beloved hometown last weekend for a break from that so-called “reality” and to show HT the sights. He’s come there with me before, but he’s never really had a chance to see the I-town I know and love. As a townie, I have a pretty solid go-to list of must-dos, must-sees and must-eats. Thought I’d share!

Yes. Ithaca, NY is Gorges. But it’s much more.

1. Ithaca is Delicious.

Ask me where to go to get a bite to eat any time of day and never, ever  be disappointed?

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Ithaca Bakery, an Ithaca institution. There are branches all over town, but downtown is the best (and closest to home). We grew up eating dozens of IB bagels per week, stopping after church most Sundays and I never leave town without a locally sourced, fresh, bagel sandwich when I visit these days.

FAVES: Melissa and Mexican bagel sandwiches, Sherwood Forest panini, sticky buns & carrot cake

400 N. Meadow Street
Ithaca, New York 14850
607-273-7110
Open Monday-Sunday 6am-8pm

2. Ithaca is Active.

I give Ithacans credit. Bad weather does NOT keep them inside. It’s almost always cold and or gray (or will be in a couple hours) in Ithaca, but it doesn’t stop people from getting out and enjoying the gorges, trails and fresh air. I love hiking Taughannock’s Rim Trail when I’m home, just a mile or so from my Mom’s house and pretty spectacular for a local mini hike on a well-maintained trail. She’s lucky to live so close to something so naturally stunning. Look for another post on this hike in particular, soon!

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There are also great mountain biking trails like Shindagin Hollow (dad’s favorite), bike paths throughout the city (and a “share the road” mentality) and a general appreciation for being outdoors among locals. Ithacans are good at dressing for all weather. Growing up, the radio weather guy’s favorite sayings were “wintry mix” (9 months of the year) and “The three Hs, hazy, hot and humid” (the other 3). C’est la vie! My Ithaca upbringing made Burlington winters in college and Boston winters post-college seem like NBD.

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