Tag Archives: hiking

This is Not Glamping.

16 May

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glamping: shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping.

I don’t know much about that. Somehow, in the midst of morphing from hikers to backpackers, HT has also managed to skip over any logical transition from “girl sleeps in bed, indoors, with running water” to “girl must conform to boy’s sudden ‘ultralight backpacker’ self-classification and must forego even basic comforts of life”. Do not get me wrong, I grew up camping every summer, but not carrying my gear on my back. I ask his counsel when shopping for gear in prep for this summer’s adventures and the man has done his research.

Apparently now we don’t even change our clothes.

We must upgrade from a hand-me-down 10-year old ThermaRest (but it was free!).

We don’t carry tons of extra water (but I’m a superhydrator!).

We must have titanium coffee mugs.

We shave ounces at all costs.

We shave legs to save leg hair weight. (OK, not that one. Carrying a razor would be required and that is just NOT ALLOWED).

I’m going along with it, ’cause Lord knows I dont’ actually want to be hauling a heavier pack than he is when he’s dragging my ass along the trail, but I’m just wondering if we might find a happy medium when we base camp with my family in the Adirondacks over Labor day weekend.

…maybe I’ll even bring a pillow.

Blue Bin Signature

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Do these Merrells make me look fat?

14 May

Yes, they do. They create a spectacular cankle phenomenon, especially when paired with high socks. But do I care?

If you hike with me, you’ll hear me say it. My hiking clothes are, for lack of a better word, a little mannish. I’ve tried to infuse femininity into my trail wardrobe but when it comes down to it, sexy and cute never prove to be practical, and if I’m ten miles into the woods and truckin’ along…

I’ll take performance over pretty any day.

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AT, Smokies in NC/TN (Spring ’13)

A 90 degree hike in Beacon, NY (Summer '12)

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Presidential Traverse, White Mts, NH (Summer ’12)

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Get Me Outta Here!

29 Apr

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods 
There is a rapture on the lonely shore
There is society, where none intrudes
By the deep sea, and music in its roar
I love not man the less, but Nature more

-byron

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I sit at my desk today with a stress fracture in my foot and my darn crutches leaned up against my desk, stalking SmartWool 2012 closeouts and dreaming of dehydrated trail meals. Hardtack spent his weekend backpacking a stretch of the AT in Harriman State Park with a hiking buddy, testing out some new gear and soaking in the first gorgeous weekend of the spring. I’ll encourage him to post some reviews and pics.

I’m wondering when I’ll be back in the woods…

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.

North Rim Trail

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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HIKE & EAT: Sleeping Giant & (GF) Quiche Fit For a King

11 Mar

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We just had the most beautiful weekend weather, so we set out in search of a sunny day hike, less likely to be snow-covered at this point in the season. HT suggested Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden, CT (literally across the street from Quinnipiac). This hike is a little different than our usual trails because it’s a lot closer to civilization and therefore more populated, but the trails are unique, views are great (even if you’re looking out over suburbia) and the biggest draw for me—the terrain is interesting and varied. image-4

The trails start out at well marked trail heads with plenty of parking, maps and all-season composting toilets (bonus!). We wandered our way into the woods with much less of a plan than we usually do, but it didn’t concern me, considering the “contained” nature of this set of trails. Continue reading

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