Being one with the Beach

Hey Everyone!

This past weekend I had gone to the beach, and was able to spend 2 nights there.

The past couple weeks have been crazy preparing for the weekend away. It got even crazier this past Wednesday when I started getting things together and putting my gifts together for the other ladies.

Friday morning before I left, I had mixed up a batch of gluten free, dairy free, egg free, cranberry orange pecan muffins to take with me.

I had managed to get out f the house by about 11:00 am Friday morning, from where I headed out to Astoria. I spent a few hours there, where I got lunch and went exploring. I stopped at Fort Clatsop, and walked around a bit.

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Once I was done exploring Astoria and the forts, I headed south, stopping in Rockaway to go for a walk on the beach.

I absolutely love the beach. The beach is one place I never get tired of seeing or being at. I have been going to the beach since I was a baby, and while I have a healthy respect for the ocean and its power, I love it. On some level I guess I take it for granted like I do the Mountains, but I am still in awe of the mountains and the ocean every time I see them. The part the I guess I take for granted is the fact that I know they aren’t going anywhere, and that they will always be there any time I want to go see them and visit.

Saturday afternoon, myself and some of the other ladies went down to the beach to go for a walk. We walked at least 2 miles.

I was kind of sad Sunday knowing that I was going to have to leave and return to the City life. While I was ready to be back to having my own room, I wasn’t ready to leave the beach.

I still miss the beach very much.

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Hiking Season is Well Underway!!! Mt Talbert

Hey Everyone!

Today turned out to be another beautiful day, with highs in the upper 60’s, or reaching 70.

While I had been wanting to go for a hike at one of my favorite spots today, I really didn’t want to spend the gas to go there and back today, so I went to Mt. Talbert instead.

While this his was not as long as the hike I went in last week, there was a greater elevation gain (367 ft vs 313 ft) over a shorter distance going up. The paths are also a bit rougher.

I definitely enjoyed my hike today, and I love seeing how the scenery can change in such a small area, with different types of trees, and it being more wooded (with more Douglas fir trees) versus sparser tree grouping that are deciduous trees.

I had gotten a container of the Danner boot dressing and had applied some to my boots over the weekend. That has definitely seemed to help my boots soften up and not be so stiff. While I am not going to say that my boots are 100% broken in, they are definitely more so this hike than they were the last hike.

I also used moleskin and bandaids on the areas where I got (and still have remnants of) blisters to give them a little extra cushioning.

I have definitely missed going hiking and I am glad to be getting back into this activity that I love so much. I am also glad I invested in some new hiking boots that are working out better for me than my last pair.

Hope to be out Hiking again soon!

Hey Everyone!

After my hike the other day, I knew the chamberlain’s leather milk wasn’t strong enough to really help me get my boots broken in without completely tearing my feet apart.

Wednesday, which was the day after my last hike, I ordered some of the clear Danner boot dressing. Beings that it is from the same brand my boots are, it’s been designed for my boots and to help break them in.

I got it in just a bit ago and took the time to get my boots rubbed down with the dressing. Beings that it is supposed to be dry and warm (for this time of year) between now and sometime Tuesday morning, it is the perfect time to let them soak in the dressing over the weekend. I will check them over the weekend and see how they are doing.

I hope to get out and go for another hike on Monday, and see how the Danner boot dressing helps. By then, I am hoping my blisters from the last hike will be better. I will definitely bandage up the spots where I got blisters the last time really good, to protect what is left of any existing blisters and help prevent further damage.

This is turning into a lot of time, money and effort to get my boots conditioned and broken in. I am really hoping it is all worth it, and I can get them broken in (and soon) and have my boots last for years. Beings that they are the stitch down full grain leather boots, if I can keep the uppers conditioned and in good shape, they should hopefully be able to be resoled when the time comes.

Hiking Season is Here!!!! Cooper Mountain Nature Park

Hey Everyone!

It has been a beautiful day today, here in the Pacific Northwest. I have been dying to go hiking for a couple months now. Between being sick and being rainy and cold it just wasn’t conducive to going out.

I also wanted to continue working on breaking in my new hiking boots. I did pull out the insoles I had put in, and they did fit a lot better, but still need breaking in. Even though I covered up the blisters I got the other day really well, they are still sore, and I got another couple that aren’t so bad. Like I said in another post, I am learning where I need to put tape and such before I go hiking again, and I also want to let the blisters I have get better.

I haven’t been hiking in about 9 months, and I only went about three times last year, so I really haven’t been hiking regularly since the end of summer 2016.

I am trying to ease myself back into hiking and keep at it. My Goal when I was hiking was to try to get to where I could knock out these 2.5 – 5 mile hikes easy without needing to take breaks in the uphill portion. That is what I want to work toward again, especially since I never accomplished it the first time.

While I have no real goal to doing anything like hike the PCT or the AT, I definitely want to be able to take on longer and more challenging hikes with a bit more ease. Like I mentioned, I want to say in my last post, I definitely want to section hike through some of the PCT thorough the Sierras in Northern California.

Today I did about 2.75 miles at Cooper Mountain Nature Park, which is one of the local hiking spots in the area that I liveZ it is currently one of my favorites, especially since I am very much a beginner hiker. The trails are more maintained, which is nice. It’s nice since I haven’t hiked for a few months and I also have old injuries that like to rear their ugly head whenever I start any sort of exercise again. I am hoping that with time, and keeping at hiking, it won’t be so bad.

I also like Mt. Talbert. The trails are not as maintained as Cooper Mountain, but it is another good one for someone who is getting back into hiking and isn’t super difficult.

As a kid I hated hiking. As an adult and being able to go hiking on my own, at my own rate or with a good friend who also hiked at a similar rate, hiking became one of my favorite pass times. I love being outdoors, especially in the woods. What I didn’t know as a kid, was how much of a country girl I am (I was raised in the city), and how much accepting that fact would help me come into my own and be at peace with who I am.

Breaking in new Hiking Boots

Hey Everyone!

Today was just one of those days where I just needed to get outside and get moving. It also helped that I have new hiking boots I am trying to break in.

I went for a roughly two mile walk, to get a feel for my new boots and how they wear, and the areas that rub and are blister prone. I did end up with a blister on the back of each of my legs from where the top of my boots were rubbing. Even with socks on, I got blisters. I also have a couple of spots that it also wouldn’t hurt to use moleskin on in the future.

I also noticed that with the fatigue fighter foot beds and socks that have a little padding on the bottom, my toes were pretty squished. I am going to try going for a walk a little later in the week with a pair of regular thickness socks and see if it is any better, as I really don’t want to pull out the insoles and go without them. Though if it ends up being taking out the insoles or potentially losing a toenail, I will ditch the insoles, as the boots felt fine without them when I tried them on.

I am feeling like I won’t be having the issues that I did with my old pair of (cheap) boots, with my heels slipping around and my feet sliding forward in the boots causing blisters on the side of my heel.

I am definitely hoping I can get these boots broken in, sooner rather than later. I would love to be building my endurance back up and be able to take on longer and more challenging hikes.

Now that I am home and cleaned up, I also put some blister bandaids on my blisters and trying to drink more water.

Preparing for Hiking Season

Hey Everyone!

In my last post, I wrote about buying new hiking boots.

Since then, I had ordered some insoles for my boots hoping that they will help my feet while hiking. Considering the last pair of boots I had were not the right pair for me, the pair I bought are definitely a better fit, and I got the insoles to help support my feet while I am out on the trail.

I had also ordered a leather conditioner, to help protect my boots and maybe help them break in a little quicker. I want these boots to last for a while. Even though I got them at a good price, I still want to take care of them. Getting them broken in will also help with the comfort aspect.

Both of these products I ordered arrived today, which I was a little surprised by, as I was not expecting one until tomorrow (the insoles) and the other (the conditioning cream) until next week. So I was happy the conditioning cream also arrived today. It meant that I could get my boots conditioned today and let them dry while I getting over a cold, and on a day that is semi – dry and not freezing cold.

Now the only thing I am waiting on in terms of hiking stuff is the roll of moleskin I ordered.

Bought New Boots

Hey Everyone!

That’s right! I did it! I bought new hiking boots. I definitely need to get them broken in before I do any major hiking.

I was starting to get a bit of cabin fever because it has snowed on and off this whole week, so I went to the Danner Factory Outlet up on NE Airport Way. I bought a pair of Danner Mountain Light Cascade Boots, which is the same style of boots that Reese Witherspoon wore in the movie “Wild”.

I decided to go with the Factory seconds that I found in my size. They look good, and that while they have have more minor imperfections, they are still well made (and cost less than the Factory firsts).

While I was out today, and beings that the roads were totally fine by early in the afternoon, I also ran to the mall to go to REI and Eddie Bauer. Yep, outdoorsy girl heaven right there.

At REI, I picked up a couple pairs of hiking socks, mainly for while I am trying to get my Danner’s broken in, and saving the socks I make myself for once my boots are broken in. I also picked up a travel wallet, mainly because it can hold my cellphone as help me stick with only the necessities for going out and about. I also picked up a new flip lid for my 20 oz hydroflask, in blue so it will match, and a pink rubbery bottom for the aforementioned hydroflask.

While I was at the mall I went in and went to Eddie Bauer, and picked up what they call the “connect tech travel bag”, which is a smaller purse like bag that can fit a wallet, cellphone, keys, a small tablet and a few other necessities.

I love going shopping at REI, and Eddie Bauer is nice when you are looking for something in particular.

Danner is a Portland company with roots going back to the 1930’s. REI was started in (and is still based out of) Seattle, and Eddie Bauer is based out of Bellevue, Wa (a suburb of Seattle). The Seattle area is local enough for me.

The hiking socks I bought as well as the Danner boots are made here in the USA, which makes me feel even better about them.

This spring and summer I am definitely wanting and needing to do some more hiking.