Friday, February 29, 2008

Packing Up and Getting Ready

It's a car camping trip so my gear is a little changed up for it

3 man Tent - check ( I like to stretch out when car camping)
sleeping pad -check
base layer -check
outer layers - check
hat - check
gloves - check
precip jacket - check
emergency kit - check
stove to show off - check
my cute little fuel bottles - check
light sources - check
pillows - check
blankets - check
first aid - check
sunglasses - check
sunscreen - check
camp shoes - check
boots - check
extra socks - check
extra underwear - check
various toiletry items - check
food - check
hiking poles - check
trash bag - check
book - check (currently reading "The Giver")
games - check (cards and travel size blokus)
water - check
GPS - check
camera - check

Wow I'm going to be living in luxury on this camp out and the weather is looking good! I'm bringing stuff for colder weather though just in case. You never know in Texas at this time of year.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another Trip on the Horizon

I'm heading out for a much needed dose of nature. This time I'm heading to a place that fulfills my desire to walk in a pine forest and add in some excellent mileage as well. I've lost another 2 pounds this week. It's falling off since I've gotten back into my beloved sport. But medication is also knocking out my appetite as well.

I tend to not eat as much as I should and that has bad effects, such as slowing down weight loss which is only ok to a degree. But part of the problem of not eating on a good schedule is that my stomach is in a vicious cycle. The less I eat, the more the medication makes me nauseated and the more nauseated I am, the less I want to eat. See?

But more and more each day I want to get healthier. It takes work but I'm dedicated to it. So I'm trying to force myself to eat even though most of the time I can't. I've lost muscle tone, and is another reason I need to eat properly. I'm hoping being back on the trails will help fix the problem, but these things take time.

Monday, February 25, 2008

You made me laugh so hard I had to cry uncontrollably
And needed to catch my breath desperately

You held me so tight at times I felt crushing love
And I never wanted it to end

Then you made me cry so hard I wanted to die
And thought my dreams were surely over

But there is always a spark of hope in my heart
And it gives me strength in need

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Started My Spring Cleaning

Instead of camping this week I got caught up on much needed house stuff. My fish tanks are all clean now, my closet is cleaned out, and lots of stuff went to goodwill. It was all back breaking work but worth the results. Tomorrow I'll tackle a few more things around the house and hopefully get to do some artwork this week. I have too many unfinished paintings and feel a pressing need to get them done.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Disregard last update...if you saw it.

Sorry I had a post here that I decided to pull. I might post it back up later on however.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hey Everyone

Go see my husband's blog...his latest post is really great. It has to do with the importance of voting and why it's a terrible idea to be of the mindset that voting is a waste of time.

High Police Precence EVERYWHERE!

If you live in Austin Texas you no doubt have noticed the super beefed up police presence in our fair city. Jen and I were driving around yesterday doing errands and the police were out all over the place. I have never seen that many police out at one was so strange really. Then it occurred to me that the Barack/Hillary debate in Austin is tonight. So no damn wonder!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Yippy! I Got out and Hiked Today!

My new hiking/backpacking partner(Linda) and I went to Muleshoe Bend today for a little walk about. We were pressed for time and didn't get to walk more than an hour but it was so gorgeous out today and was just wonderful getting out.

I was going to get up this morning and head out to Doeskin Ranch, but for some reason I lost my resolve and desire after I got home from dropping Ben off at school and running an errand. I just told myself I would go tomorrow, all the while kinda kicking myself in the ass for allowing myself to be so lazy and non-motivated.

I was just about to force myself out of my bed and make ready for that Doeskin hike, still thinking I might dawdle too much and then decide I wouldn't have the time, but then the phone rang. It was Linda! Boy was I glad she called. It was just the little push I needed to get moving this morning.

So we went to Muleshoe and maybe were able to walk a couple of miles before having to leave. It would have been great if we had time today to hike the whole 7 miles of trail out there, but that's the way it goes. I was just happy to get out and glad that I walked instead of being a big loser and staying in bed today.

The depression is still hanging on and zapping my motivation and energy, but I do see little improvements here and there so not giving up on the medication yet. It may turn out I'll have to switch to something else, but for now have to stick with this regimen a little longer before deciding it's no good. In any case, hiking really does me a world of good and I felt so much better today afterwards! I'm still feeling pretty happy from it. :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cold Warm Cold Warm Cold Warm

That's been our weather pattern lately, and I'm ready for no cold, only warm. Hoping to either hike or backpack this weekend.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Russell on a Job Hunt

If anyone knows anyone who is wanting to hire a software engineer, send 'em Russell's way. He has until the end of the month to find new employment. His current employer is having a lay off and it will include Russell this time. He is a bit stressed as you can imagine, but I know he'll find a great job soon, but networking never hurts!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Latest Trip Report with Pics

So much to tell, where to begin! I had a really great time for starters. Lost Maples is gorgeous at any time of year and I always feel so happy when I'm there. Linda (a new hiking partner) and I couldn't be more pleased with how kind mother nature was to us.

Linda and I met online at backpacker magazine forums and have been talking for a while now about going hiking or camping. We haven't been able to get together until this weekend though because of schedules conflicting, but finally we got to go backpacking.

It was a great experience. It turns out we have a lot in common and she is super nice. Along with us were her two fabulous dogs Mercedes and Angel. They are a mixed breed with Malamute, Wolf, and I think some kind of shepherd? Anyway I fell in love with both dogs immediately and it was mutual.

We left Saturday morning from her place around 10:30 and had a wonderful drive to the park. The scenery is always so great out that way. I'm not sure what time we arrived at the park, but I think it was around 2pm. We decided to camp at site "G" since "H" was already being used, but found it to be quite to our liking. We took the West trail to the Mystic Canyon trail to get to our site. It was a 2.5 mile walk but we were excited to get to our site and set up.

The dogs LOVED the trail and all along mystic canyon there was crystal clear water in small watering holes all along the stream beds. Linda had never been in that part of the park and she was loving the scenery and smells. It was a fabulous walk.

When we arrived in our camp site and picked out our spots we unpacked and slowly set up camp. We compared all our gear and talked shop about how to save weight, etc... Eventually I got the stove going and we boiled some water for our dinner. The dogs were in heaven and I enjoyed playing with them in camp and doting lots of attention on them.

Linda didn't sleep in a tent that night. She put her tarp on the ground and slept on top of it in a sleeping bag of course. She had a goose down jacket on too. The night got cold but I don't know how cold. She said she was very comfortable. Of course her dogs stayed curled up by her the whole night despite any strange noises. What good dogs!

I slept in my tent as usual but didn't bother putting the fly on. I got a good dose of night sky too as we lay there in the dark talking back and forth after turning in for the night. The weather was great and I was very happy to be where I was. I drifted off eventually to thoughts of the next day and how great it was going to be to get on the trails and soak it all in.

On Sunday morning I woke up sometime before dawn, had to pee, then fell back asleep until probably about 7ish. It was a terrific morning! We had coffee and took our sweet time packing up. Neither one of us was in any hurry at all...we had a WHOLE day ahead of us. We picked our route, packed up, purified some water, and got back on the trail.

We stopped a lot to look at stuff and also took one good long break...about 45 minutes or so. Linda and I chatted while I hunted for cool rocks. The dogs swam and frolicked about in a clear pool next to us. It was such a pretty place we didn't want to leave it! Finally we got our packs back on and moved onward.

After almost 9 miles of hiking we called it a day. Both of us were a little sore and tired. But the drive home was peaceful and I felt totally mellow. Lost Maples treated me right again. It's a keeper for sure. Enjoy the pictures!

Mercedes enjoys a stick in camp

Linda and Angel

Angel is so cute

Here is Angel looking all wolfy

getting ready for dinner

Coyote poop, you can see what appears to be boar's fur in it

part of the trail

More gorgeous out!

Me skirting around an overhang on a moss laden rock

To get to this! A cave mouth...

Dogs enjoying the water

From atop the ridge

Dogs were getting tired but loving it all the same!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Awesome Lost Maples Trip!

I'm too tired to write up the trip report tonight but hope to have something up tomorrow. It was so much fun! We hiked 8.6 miles today! More later...

Friday, February 08, 2008

Destination: Somewhere Fun

I'm happy because I'm backpacking again this weekend and have a new friend to go with me. She and I have never camped or hiked together, but we are both really looking forward to meeting. We met each other in the backpacker forums a while back and have not been face to face yet but get along well over the phone.

She is bringing two dogs with her. They are largish and have a little bit of wolf in them, which should be quite interesting. She says they are a little aloof around strangers at first, but warm up. They also have husky and malamute in them...I bet they are nice looking dogs and it will be fun having them along.

I've spent time today making sure all my gear is in order and that I have everything I'll need. I've got my food packed and my clothing sorted out. It won't be difficult at all to pack everything up and head out. I am bringing 4 liters of water on this trip which is plenty for an overnighter.
It could be in the upper 20's in the wee hours of the morning Sunday morning, but I don't fear getting cold. I've chosen good gear and layer up properly. I love winter camping! The amazing thing is the hike on Sunday will be mostly in warm pleasant weather.

Sunday, February 03, 2008