This morning as I was laying in bed scrolling through Facebook, a memory popped up that a year ago today I announced that I was one of 22 women chosen to be an Ambassador for Hike Like a Woman (HLAW). At the time I was chosen I did not know what this meant other than I would get to connect with women who had the same passion I did, the great outdoors. Well this year has changed me in more ways than I could imagine.
As school and activities are winding down for the summer, it is time to focus on summer plans and bucket lists. I have had many people tell me that their kids want to hike this summer and have asked me about hikes in the area that are good with kids from babies up to Middle School age. This is very exciting to me. Even thought hiking with kids is not always fun, check out my blog post on that. It very beneficial so I have put together my list of favorites hikes for kids in the Monadnock Region. The hikes are in no particular order and I had input from my eight year old. Click on the trail name for a full description of each trail.
Have you ever struggled to do something and it’s bothered you so much that you felt you needed to face that challenge again. Well that recently happened to me, well it has happened multiple times, but the most recent was this past Sunday. The beginning of the spring I had some minor health issues, nothing too serious, but I had to put my hiking on hold for over a month to get myself better. After I was medically cleared to hike again. I did not jump back into hiking like I should have. I did a few easy hikes on short trails with minimal elevation. Due to my daughters activities, home improvement projects and lots of rainy weather, my hiking has been put on the back burner.
Every year my husband gets frustrated with me, as he always asks what I want for Mother's Day and I say nothing. I am not much of a materialistic person, I prefer experiences over objects. Of course I always love the homemade gifts and cards my daughter makes me every year, and I would not pass up a trip to the spa, but overall I do not want my husband spending money on items I may only use a couple times, if at all. I think this year, I finally got that I am more happy with experiences then material items.
When I started my online outdoor adventures I was not sure where it would head. It started out with my social media accounts, then onto my website and blog, then being honored as being an ambassador for Hike Like A Woman, where I have been able to pursue my passion of leading a women's outdoor hiking group and being able to encourage and empower more women to get outside and feeling more comfortable being there.
Anyone who has a public social media account knows that you run the risk of getting random people reaching out to you with various requests or opportunities. I ignore the majority of them, thinking they are spam. The beginning of this month I got a direct message from Adam at Wildish. There was something about this message that made me want to explore it further. Adam was reaching out to me after viewing my social media account and wanted me to be an Ambassador for his company. Curiosity got the best of me and I requested additional information.
There is a saying that goes something like, “behind every good man is a woman helping him along the way” In my case it is “behind every outdoors woman is a man supporting her crazy ideas.”
Recently I checked something off my bucket list I have wanted to do for a while. Old Sturbridge Village located south of Worcester MA and near the Connecticut border, is a wonderful step back in time. My husband and I feel that we were born in the wrong era as the early 1800's seemed like a simpler time. You had to work hard and there was not the luxuries there are now, but you focused more on what mattered like family and building the life you want instead of the constant rush and demands to today's society.
Planning a vacation in New England during February vacation is never easy, especially when you want some outdoor activities. The weather these past few years have made it difficult to plan vacations around winter activities. This year when planning a few days away during school vacation week we put a lot of though into where we wanted to go and what activities we wanted to do. We would have loved to either cross country or downhill ski, but with the unpredictable weather we have been having this winter, we decided to do something more focused on the indoors. Something we rarely do.
One day I was asked by a friend to go for a hike after work. When she first asked me I hesitated to say yes. Going for a hike on a week night? How could I do that when I have a hundred other things I have to do after work? Dinner, homework, household chores, preparing lunches for the next day, the list goes on and on. Plus, I am always drained after a busy day at work, how could I find the energy to go for a hike. The other side of me did want to miss an opportunity to hit the trail so I agreed to meet her after work.
For the last few weeks, life has seemed a little crazy, isn’t everyones, with work, school, basketball practice, hiking groups and other various things, that I felt my family and I just needed a few unplugged hours in the woods. Also I had some yummy food planned for Super Bowl and needed to get some exercise in.
My daughter has been asking me for some time to write her own blog post for my website. I have been encouraging her to share her love of the outdoors. Tonight she has finished up her blog post below. I hope you enjoy it and are able to find some encouraging words to get your kids outside more. "Proud Mommy moment."
Last December I was looking for something to challenge myself in 2017. There are always the same stand by resolutions of I will loose X amount of weight, I will exercise X amount of times a week, I will eat a cleaner diet, I will manage my finances better, or I will spend more time with loved ones, etc. I'm sure you have heard them all. Even though there is nothing wrong with these resolutions and they are important, I wanted something different. I was tired of the old stand by's of new years resolutions that I could never quite stick to. As I was doing some internet surfing I came across the 52 Hikes Challenge.
It is the holiday season and we are always looking for that perfect gift for the loved ones in our lives. I know there are many favorite holiday lists out there, so I thought I would jump on the band wagon and create my top ten favorite things.
One of the things I love about the hiking community is the excitement to share trail information. Recently, a friend sent me a list of local hiking trails that neither of us had heard of. After reviewing the list, there was one trail that stood out to me. Hiroshi Hayashi Conservation Land Trail, which is part of the Sargent Camps in Hancock, NH. The reason that it stood out to me was because of the pictures of a small pull along skiff that you can pull yourself across a stream on. Of course I had to check it out.
The night before a planned group hike my family and I were driving home from our yearly trip to Storyland I thought to myself, “Why did I schedule a group hike tomorrow morning. I’m not sure I am going to have the energy for it.”
Over the years I have had people say to me, "your life looks so great by the posts I see on Facebook," or "I can’t believe how much you and your family do.” Yes, I always post the positives on social media as I feel it should be used for happy events, not for complaining or drama. I know, this is not reality, but I try to make it my reality, plus no one wants to hear about my drama. It is also important to my husband and I to raise an outdoor child, as the outdoors was and is a huge part of our lives. We make it a point to spend as much free time as we can in the outdoors, constantly picking new places to explore. I also enjoy sharing our adventures with others, with the goal of inspiring others to get outside more
I like to think if I ever came across a potentially dangerous situation while hiking I am equipped and educated enough to handle the situation. In my almost 35 years of being out in the woods, I have luckily never been in a situation that was potentially dangerous. While I was on my hike and enjoying my alone time I came around a corner and there was a fairly large coyote crossing the trail. Well I did everything you are not suppose to do.
One weekend during the first summer my husband and I dated he informed me that he wanted to bring me to one of his favorite places, but we had to get up at 5am. At 19 is there anything worth getting up at 5am for? Because I was head over heels in love, I agreed to getting up at the crack of dawn for whatever adventure he had planned.. We got up early and gathered our beach gear for an adventure. After being in the car for about an hour and a half we ended up at Parker River Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island in Massachusetts, where we drove to the end of the road to Sandy point. I could see why my now husband wanted to get up early as there are limited parking spots and at 7am they were already half full. Once down on the beach, I understood why he loved this place so much.
It was our last full day of our time in Vermont and I wanted to do something fun. We have been wanting to check out an adventure park at a ski resort, but they are expensive. While scrolling through my phone I looked through Killngton's Summer Programs, and found that on Tuesday's and Wednesday's New Hampshire and Vermont residents were 50% off for the Adventure Center. I could not pass up on a deal like this, especially on something we have wanted to do.
Waking up morning of day three presented us with another beautiful day, which has been rare this summer. We decided to take in another day of being tourists as well as add an educational activity. We drove back to New York, this time heading for Fort Ticonderoga, to take in a little history. I love deals and on this vacation I used the app Entertainment, it's $1.99 a month, but so worth it as long as you use it once a month. There are a lot of buy one get one activities, which we used at Fort Ticonderoga saving us $23.