Wednesday, July 13, 2011

For the Health of It

With my rekindled passion for hiking, I thought I needed some new gear. Osprey Sirrus 24 daypack with hydration pouch.
 Also wearing my new Life is Good shirt and a pair of Patagonia hiking shorts that were on clearance at REI.
Did you notice? I also got my hair cut shorter. The long hair was just too hot.
 Patagonia Drifter A/C light hiking shoes with soles by Vibram (the people who make those running shoes with the toes).  Gander Mountain had them on sale. Yay!  These were featured in this month's issue of Backpacking Magazine.  Also got some wool hiking socks at REI. You'd think wool wouldn't be a good choice but it wicks just fine. It's called "smart wool."
We packed up and drove to my parents' house in east Texas for the weekend so I could get in some hiking, geocaching, and family time.

Time to hit the trails at Village Creek State Park which is around the block from where I grew up.
 Temperatures? 103*.  Charlie stayed at my parents' house to swim with his cousins while Chuck, Rachel and I went to the park.  Even though it was very hot we enjoyed seeing the beautiful scenery.

 We picked up a geocache for the Texas State Park geocache challenge.
 And somehow a big tick got on my "passport"!! I hate ticks! They're little bits of death wrapped in scary.
 Another geocache guarded by plastic snakes.
 The trails are covered in white sand. The soil in the area is sandy loam. The sands around the creek are all white but the water is stained a tea color from the tannins in the leaves.
 Several dried up sloughs ran across the trails. This one had cypress knees sticking up. At one time not so long ago there was water here.

Such a pretty (and hot!) hike.

We called it a day after that, got cleaned up, and met my brother and his fiance for dinner and waaaaay too many sake bombs at a Japanese restaurant in town.

Sunday it was time to hike again. I have to get my money's worth from the gear, you know. :-)
 This time we are up further north in Jasper at Martin Dies Jr State Park. I spent many days here as a kid while my dad fished.  The trail we hiked this time was shaded and peaceful until the mosquitoes swarmed us.

 We grabbed our geocache, stopped for lunch at a McDonalds (burger minus top bun and a side salad) then were on our way to the coast. Sea Rim State Park was completely destroyed during hurricane Ike in 2008. I'll never forget that storm. We chose to ride it out at home and it was a pretty scary experience. Tornadoes, high winds, scary sounds, no electricity.

Sea Rim is still trying to recover but they have cleaned it up and it's open to the public now. You can still see many of the ruins around the park.

 After much searching and a little help from a park ranger, we spotted the geocache we had come for. Well hidden!
Sadly, that was all the exploration we had time for that weekend.

I don't know if you can tell or not but I am thrilled with the new hiking gear. I feel like it puts me one step closer to fulfilling my dream of hiking and camping at the Grand Canyon. There are so many places to explore! Plus it's great exercise that doesn't feel like exercise.

Adventure awaits.


  1. Do you hear that?

    The Grand Canyon is calling.

  2. Great photos, Kelly. It looks like you had a wonderful time. I think it is great that you do so many things as a family. I wish my husband didn't work so many hours so that we could do more things together. You all are truly blessed. :)

  3. I love your last sentence--exercise that does not feel like exercise.

    Being twice your age and with breathing and heart problems, that is hard to find, but I finally found a partial solution.

    I belong to a turnkey exercise facility. I bought a Kindle, prop it on the treadmill console and read while I tread. I do have to disrupt the reading to regulate speed and check my heart rate/O2 levels as I have restrictions.

    I get lots of reading-and "tread" longer. The Kindle's biggest advantage to me is no dusty, moldy books stacked high when I am through with them. I had quit reading just for that one reason until the magic of e-readers was invented.

    From reviews I read authors are realizing about the same income they made before e-readers, because despite the relative less price, more of us are buying and reading.

  4. Exercise that doesn't feel like exercise is the best kind of exercise.

  5. I love your active lifestyle Kelly!

    Around these parts, tick checks are part of the routine, especially for people with pets. Lyme (which is where Lyme Disease is named for) is only about 15 miles from where I live!

  6. How damn cute are you?!? LOVE your entire ensemble, especially the socks!

  7. Wow!!! Those pictures are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!!! Enjoy your day, hope you can beat the heat!

  8. Hair looks great! Gear looks great!!!

    Love all the beautiful pictures!

  9. Love your new gear, Kelly! So cool that you are such an active family!

  10. Love your cool gear - and your awesome enthusiasm! Wow, Kelly! Just WOW!

  11. What a great looking hike! Love the REI gear too.


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