Tag: Passion

Girls Who Hike

Hey Everyone!

I am back from yet another great, any by great I mean the first half was awesome, and the second half I was just ready to be done. At one point I thought “and people do this for fun?” Then I reminded myself why I was out there.

I had mad respect for the women who can hike 10+ miles in a day, and those who go backpacking, at which point they section hike long trails or even through hike trails like the PCT and the AT. That takes mad endurance.

I would love to be able to work up to having the endurance to hike the whole 7.2 mile trail of 10 falls in Silver Falls state park as well as section hike parts of the PCT and John Muir trail through the Sierra in Northern California. I would also love to do the hike at Lake Louise to the Lake Agnes Teahouse.

I keep watching some of friends hiking adventures as well as vlogs from other women hikers like Cat Gregory, who have helped inspire me to get back into hiking and that I do enjoy hiking and being out in nature.

I am pretty much still in the newbie stage, where a 3.37 mile hike has more than kicked my butt at mile 2.

If I let the whole Trail – 1, Erica – 0, and the whole my boots are still in the process of being broken in get me down, then I will for sure give up I my dreams and not get into shape and not build up the endurance I need to make my dreams of hiking certain trails happen.

I don’t expect to through hike the PCT in the shape I am in. I know that I need to keep doing these smaller hiking and mastering them and continue building on the progress I am making.

I had also taken Winnie the Pooh and Tigger with me on this adventure. I had considered leaving them home but ended up taking them.

Today had turned out to be a beautiful day, which is why I went out for a hike today. I went back up to one of my favorite spots – Mt Talbert. Coming down from the summit trail, I decided to go the long way back all the way around the mountain to get to the parking lot where I left my car. This added an extra mile and a half to my hike and a lot more ascending. On the route I usually do, once you have come off the summit, it’s pretty much all down hill from there. Going the other way on the park loop after doing the summit, and then going back the west ridge trail means descending and then ascending half way up the mountain again a couple more times before you get to where the summit trail takes off from the west ridge trail. Once I was back to that split it was all down hill from there. I will be doing that route again in the future, but I think I will have to start earlier in the day and not wait until the heat of the day, in the middle of the afternoon.


The Lull Between the Storms

Hey Everyone!

I am really trying to get back into hiking. I hadn’t really hiked in almost two years, so all the progress I had made went out the window. So I am starting all over working on building up my endurance. The hike I went on today was only 1.86 miles / 3 km hike and it kicked my butt. My hike gained 417 feet / 127 meters in elevation over the course of the first mile from where I started to the top of the mountain.

It was such a gorgeous day out. The trail in parts was a bit muddy, and other parts were dry. It had rained so much over the weekend (like 2+ inches in about 36 hours). Today was partially sunny and warm, so the woods smelled amazing and the birds were chirping. So besides the blister I got while hiking, it was an amazing day.

Like I said earlier I am trying to work on build up my endurance, so I can knock out these shorter hikes with ease, and start taking on longer and more challenging hikes.

With starting to build up my endurance, I am still working on breaking in my new boots. While I am still getting a blister here and there, one that I got on the way back down is a lot better than three that started forming on the way up on my first hike with my new boots. Overall I love my Danner boots and they fit so much better than the last pair I had. I have also put the fatigue fighter footbeds (ie insoles) back in now that I have started breaking them in and they are loosening up a bit. I think that was part of the problem with the new blister. With the insoles, the backs of my boots were rubbing a different part of my heel than they had previously, so I hadn’t thought to put moleskin on that spot.

Breaking in new hiking boots it a pain, but in the long term will hopefully be worth it if I can get the wear out of them, and have them last for a while. After I got home and got the leather cleaned up, I rubbed in some more boot dressing to help keep them from drying out, and to help them break in more.

The Aftermath of Hiking

Hey Everyone!

The hike I went on yesterday was fun, but now I am paying for it, with a blister and sore muscles and joints. 

I put my ankle brace on my left ankle and I am sitting here with ice packs on both of my knees. I have also taken some Ibuprofen to help with the pain and swelling. 

My left ankle was severely injured about 14 years ago, when I badly sprained it, and was not able to let it heal properly.

I love hiking and don’t want to give up hiking, even though I have old injuries to contend with and am more apt to reinjure them. 

I am quickly learning that footwear is important, and even though I have hiking boots, I feel like they are a bit too loose for my feet, so when I can get back to working again, I need to try out more pairs. I am willing to pay for a quality pair (or pairs) of hiking boots when I find a good fit. 

I know I really need to work up to more strenuous hikes, and get my body used to moving more than I currently do. Getting my muscles and joints used to moving more will help. I also need to do more “easy” hikes and get my body used to elevation gains and descents, as well as rougher terrain. After yesterday I also want to steer clear of the popular spots during peak times/seasons so I don’t have to contend with a ton of people trying to go by, and walking on the rougher edges where I would be more apt to roll or resprain my ankle or pop one of my knees out of joints. Earlier Mornings (like as soon as the park opens or as late as 8:30 – 9:00 am to start out) and the off seasons are good for the popular spots, especially the ones with narrow trails. 

I will be fine in a few days. 

Hikes I have been on

Hey Everyone!

I decided to compile a list of the Hikes I know I have been on, there may be more that I am not remembering at the moment, but these are the ones I can remember.

I am hoping to be adding to this list over the next few years. If you have any recommendations, leave me a comment down below, and you never know, it could show up in a future blog post about hikes I have been on.

British Columbia:
Barkerville to Richfield
John’s Island – Francois Lake
Skihist Provincial Park

Trees of Mystery – there are a few easy trails on this site that I have done

Waimea Falls Park – Waimea Valley, Oahu. It is an easy hike in the valley, up to a waterfall at the end.

Tumwater Falls Park
North head lighthouse & Cape Disappointment Lighthouse – along the SW Washington Coast
Mt Saint Helens Forest Learning
Johnston Ridge Observatory – there are some hiking trails around there that I have done.
From what my brother can remember, our grandparents probably took us on a hike along the puget sound.

Multnomah Falls
Bridal Veil Falls
Fort Stevens State Park
Fort Clatsop State Park
Oxbow Regional Park
Mt Talbert
Mt Tabor
Cooper Mountain Nature Park
Forest Park
Washington Park
Silver Falls State Park (just a portion of it, not the whole thing)
Oregon Caves
South Beach State Park, where the campground is roughly 1/4 to 1/2 Mile from the actual beach line

Chinese Garden and Tram Ride

Hey Everyone!

Hope you all had a good Friday! I know I did. While I was out today, I decided to start an “Exploring Portland” series. I have spent many years here, and yet have not visited many places. I have come to the conclusion that I want to get out and see more, and do more in and around the city. 

Today, one of my friends and I had gone to the Chinese Garden in NW Portland. I have heard that it is the most authentic Chinese Garden outside of China. It has become a tradition for this particular friend and I to go, at least once during each calender. We typically go in the winter, so it was amazing to see it in the spring, as the trees and plants are starting to bloom. We also stopped in at the Teahouse and had some tea. 

I love visiting the Chinese Garden. I love the architecture and how the Garden is set up. It has the central garden with the buildings and other smaller gardens set up around it.  I also have enjoyed learning a bit more about their culture and the history behind the design of the garden. I love how tranquil the Garden is even though it is in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown. 

 As we were finishing up our tour of the Chinese Garden, I was like “what do you want to do now? Go do something else? Get food?” We ended up taking max to the street car to go take the OHSU Tram, as neither of us had ridden it before. There are great views of the Cascade mountains and the foothills as well as some of the other bigger hills on the east side. There were some amazing views of Downton Portland as well. I honestly never get tired of seeing the mountains and the hills even though I have been looking at them my entire life. I have been away from them enough to appreciate them.    

  Today was all about exploring this city that I am living in. I spent far to many years not exploring it, and I have no idea how much longer I will be living here which means I don’t know how much longer I will have to explore this city. There is so much to see and do here, that I want to see what I can before will no longer have that opportunity. 

I am also bring back The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. They kinda had gotten left at home for about 9 months, and for that I am sorry. I love having them along on my adventures and even though it may be a bit “wierd”, it is still not as wierd as vlogging, at least for me. I am still getting used to vlogging. 

New Adventure Gear

Hey Everyone!

Today I was able to go and get myself a new digital camera, beings that I had broken the one that I had this past summer. I got myself a Sony DSC – W800.

I am hoping to take it on its inaugural adventure in a couple weeks. I am also hoping that in 2015 I will be able to get out a bit more on weekends, and go more places. I know that it may be hard at times, beings that I work full time and have food intolerances, but I don’t want the latter to hold me back from some amazing adventures.

This month I have been able to add to my adventure gear, with the REI Flash 22 pack I had purchased on Black Friday, and now a camera for photos and vlogging.

My current job, is a good entry level job, especially since the economy is still tough for the millions of Americans who are out of work. I am thankful for having a full time job, that pays more than minimum wage, and has benefits. It is for now a temporary job, while I am working on a specific project for the company I work for. I am thankful that I have been able to purchase more gear, and I am hoping over the next several months, to however long my job lasts, I am going to work on saving money, so that can have something to fall back on, be able to move for a new job, or take adventures on.

I am excited to be able to plan more adventures that would take me further away from home, that will be becoming a reality is an amazing prospect. I am excited for these adventures, and being able to blog and vlog about them for you all.

I want to thank those of you, who have stuck with my blog through the times of lean content due to lack of being able to take adventures. I have greater plans for myself, the adventures I want to take, and for this blog.

The Most Rewarding Work

The most rewarding work wears you out by the end of the day, gives you the best nights sleep and wakes you up in the morning with the energy, motivation, and strength to do it all over again.

This past week has been a long week. I decided to condense down my blogs to two blogs, my knitting blog, and this blog. Why I chose to condense the other two into this blog had several factors, which included how many followers I had on each, how many total page views I had on each, how many posts I had written on each, how many pictures I had posted to each individual facebook pages. It turns out, that while I had a lot of adventures pictures to repost to this blogs corresponding Facebook Page, on the whole I have a larger audience here, as well as having more posts, and such so I decided to bring the Adventures posts here rather than taking these posts to that blog.

This past week I have spent working on condensing the facebook pages, and remaking some of the videos I had on my Adventures youtube channel on the youtube channel for this blog, and getting everything set to how I wanted it. It has been a long process, but it is worth it, and I can see the benefit of the work that I put in.  I have left my charity knitting blog and facebook page as is, on the account because it has its own audience and is separate enough from everything else I write about that I won’t have a hard time keeping it up.

Looking back over the last ten years, and even so still today, that I feel the pressure to know what I want to do with my life career wise. With that knowing innately how to go and achieve that. I was taught from early on in high school that I needed to know what I wanted to do with my life by 20 at the latest, and go to college, and after I graduated get a job in that degree field. Well here I am, in my mid 20’s, having graduated from college in the height of the great recession and as directionless as most high schoolers. In the years since college I have struggled to find a job, because I was in this catch 22 that I have little “work” experience, and a college degree in Social Science (not Social Work but the broad field of Social Science that encompasses at least 6 subfields, of which I took classes in 5. The one subfield I did not take any classes in was sociology which would be more directly linked with Social Work). I took primarily History classes with a few Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Geography and Poli Sci classes that looked interesting thrown in.

I have spent most of my time since having graduated from college almost four years ago just looking for a job, and I have been so desperate just to get “work” experience that I would take anything I could get my hands on. Times have been tough, and through the hardest parts I have always come back to Knitting, Going on Adventures (anything to get me outdoors, but I enjoy Hiking the most), and Blogging/writing. I have made a couple Vlogs, and I may make more, but I don’t know if, or how much I will keep that up, it is easier for me to take pictures and write about my life and experiences/adventures than it is for me to talk about them to a camera.

In the years since I graduated, and while looking for jobs (and in my free time) I have spent as much time as I can outside. I have found that Hiking especially, but walks are good as well to help clear my head and alleviate the stress that has built up.

The year I spent a week in New York I had made several sweaters, but my love and passion for knitting really began after I had come back from New York, and flourished in 2012. That was really when I had the time, energy, passion and the realization that I could make a difference in a child’s life thr0ugh a simple sweater or a hat. I have learned through experience that while I love working around kids, and doing things to help give them every opportunity, that my personality is not one for being a teacher or working in a daycare or preschool.

Hiking, Outdoors, Travel (a missions trip is definitely on the list of things to do), History (especially when combined with the first three), Knitting (yarn, and knitting for kids in need), and Writing are how I keep pushing forward, and they are what I love. While I am still figuring out/looking for the way that I will get paid to do some combination of it, I will continue looking for work that will at least pay the bills, but not stop doing what I love.