Friday, June 29, 2007

Summer Addictions

A little over a week into summer vacation and I have developed some major addictions!

1. Deadliest Catch - Who would have ever thought that Alaskan Crab fishing could be so interesting! My friend Kristen turned me on to it and now I'm hooked! (pun intended!) Basically, the show is Alaskan Crab fishing as it happens on the Bering Sea - nothing scripted, nothing made up, nothing done just for the sake of making it look good, it's true reality TV!

2. M&Ms - most specifically, Peanut Butter M&Ms, they are like Reese's Pieces on steroids!!!!! They have a lot more peanut butter inside them and are just plain yummy!

3. Yoga - I have a pass to my nearby county rec center/gym. I originally joined because of the pool - I'd go and swim laps, now however I'm getting into other activities that they offer. I have been going to water aerobics for a few years now and yes I'm the youngest by a long shot. They have 1 yoga class that is in included in the pass, gentle yoga, it's a beginners class and I went for the 1st time this week and am hooked on that too. I like the Mon instructor better than the Wed instructor though. The gal who teaches on Mon is very high energy and outgoing and the yoga is more "power yoga" than what you think of when you think of yoga - I was very sore the day after her class! On a different note: my treadmill at home is broken, and so today I went to the rec center to try their treadmills....very nice machines! I still like having my own at home (no time limits, can watch DVDs while I walk), but I may use the ones at the rec center occasionally for a change of pace!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


This past week the weather was perfect - low temps, next to no humidity and I was still on "house arrest" due to grass pollen. I finally decided that the pollen count was lower and I just couldn't resist the weather so out I went - figuring that I would pay the price later. I got quite lucky though, I didn't have to pay any price, other than the tank of gas to get to SNP! YIPPEEE!!!!

Over Spring Break I'd begun exploring the southern district of SNP and so I decided I'd continue that exploration yesterday. I found a shortish, easyish loop trail - 5.8 miles, 1,300 feet of elevation gain/loss. At the trails lowest point there was a creek where I could enjoy lunch and a possible foot soak and/or some wading if I was hot.

I was so glad that I decided to go out to SNP - the weather was perfect - 61 degrees as I was driving down Skyline Drive! When I stopped at a picnic ground to use the comfort station and was wishing I'd worn pants - it was chilly! Once I got hiking though, I was working up a sweat.

Check out a few of my pictures from the day...

The view from the overlook where the trail started.

Trail post for the trail I was hiking, with a great view in the background.

When I reached the creek I bushwhacked off trail a bit to a big rock to sit on to eat my sandwich - from my rock I could see this waterfall so I climbed over a few more rocks and walked through a patch of stinging nettle to get this picture!
Rock overhang on the AT on my way back to my car.

There were lots of flowers in bloom on the AT. I like this one with the bug on it!

More pretty flowers - I believe they are columbine of some sort.

This is one of my favorite pics - it came out looking like a professional photographer!

My 1st picture of an SNP bear!!!! I have seen many black bears in the park - both on the trail and from the car, this is the 1st one I have been able to get a picture of! This pic was taken from the car on Skyline Drive and yes I used the zoom on the camera....

Here's hoping for a mild summer with more low temp/low humidity days for more hiking! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Reading Challenge!

On my friend Susan's blog she posted about a reading challenge she was taking part in that she learned about from another friend of her's - Lesley - got to her site for rules and info, but basically you pick 6 books about travel and read them between now and December.

Since I'm traveling to Alaska later in the summer I decided that I would try and read all books about Alaska! I have my 6 books, but I have also selected some alternates, in case I get sick of reading about Alaska! I also already know that I will need to take some time off from the challenge, since the new, and last, Harry Potter book will be released and as much as I think it should qualify, because I would love to got to Hogwarts, Lesley's rules clearly state that all places must be real - despite the fact that Harry Potter is also set in London, which is very real, I don't think it would fly (pun intended! :)

Ok....on to my books!

Alaska Books - 1st picks

About Grace: A Novel - by: Anthony Doerr
Manhunt - by: Janet Evanovich (have heard she is great, but have never read any of her books)
Sitka - by: Louis L'Amour (not big into westerns so have never read anything by him, but feel like I should)
True North - by: Kimberly Kafka
Drop City - by: T.C. Boyle
The Serpents Trail - by: Sue Henry (she has written a whole series of Alaska mysteries)

Alternate Books

Ordinary Wolves - by: Seth Kantner (set in Alaska also, however is not available at my library so might not get read - try not to buy "adult books" since I spend so much on children's books!)
Hey Ranger! True Tales of Humor in our National Parks - by: Jim Burnett (looks really funny, but not avaliable at the library)
There's No TP...on the Road Less Traveled: Best of Travel Humor and Misadventures - Edited by: Bruce Lansky (a compilation of a a number of comedians best travel misadventures - looks really funy - probably a great airplane read, but again, not in the library!)
Endangered Species - by: Nevada Barr (she has written a whole series of mysteries set in National Parks starring her ranger herione Anna Pigeon)
Stormy Weather - Carl Hiaasen (his books are set in Florida and a totally hysterical!)

Ok so I have almost as many alternate books as I do "real" books! So many books so little time! :)

Long Time....No Blog

Hello all my faithful readers - all 2 of ya! Sorry I haven't blogged in a very long time! I have had very little "Playtime" lately. The allergies got really really bad and I have been quarantined inside, then I got a really, really, really, bad sinus infection which kept me from doing pretty much anything for a few weeks - 3 rounds of antibiotics finally made it go away and then it was the end of the school year with all that insanity! School is finally out, the pollen is going away, and soon I should have more stuff to write about! :)

I have some cross stitching to post - but they are all baby gifts so wanted to wait and post after I'd given them to my friends.

First thing - I'm going to write it in a seperate post - is I'm taking my ist ever "Reading Challenge" - my friend Susan has a blogging friend who blogs about books and she has posted the challenge...links and more info above! :)