Category Archives: adventure

A Really Tough Hike

On Monday, we went for a hike. Same general area as our most recent hike…about an hour from here at the beginning of the Appalachian mountain range. The trail-or should I say “trail”- was an out and back to some waterfalls. Total distance was 7 miles.

The Google listing described the trail as a difficulty level of moderate to strenuous. Well let me tell you, it was the most technical trail I’ve ever hiked!! And by technical, I mean roots, and rocks and creeks to Ford. And just as a frame of reference, I have hiked for 2 days on the Inca trail.



It was a beautiful hike along side Panther Creek In Habersham county in Northeast Georgia. At times, we hiked next to the creek, at other times we were 40 feet above the creek, hiking a narrow path built into the side of a steep valley wall. At certain points, there really wasn’t much of a trail at all…we literally climbed strategic tree roots to find the next part of the path.

We came to a flat, un-rocky, non rooty portion of the trail, and ran both out and back. There were lots of people on the trail that day, and we were by far the oldest.


By the time we made it to the falls, it had started raining heavily. Now the trail was slippery and muddy (oh why did I wear my brand new Adidas Boost running shoes?).

Actually, “we” didn’t make it to the falls. Only my husband did. The last stretch of trail before the falls the ‘path’ was straight across a single downward- sloping piece of giant granite outcropping. It was wet and slick looking. I have the world’s longest tail bone. I could only imagine slipping and cracking my tail bone, and not being able to get the 3.5 miles back to the car, and not being able to run…. so I said no thanks, I’ll look at the view from here…through the trees.


There was poison ivy everywhere. I know we brushed up against it a thousand times. I consulted Dr Google, and apparently poison ivy rash doesn’t show up until 7 -10 after exposure. So now we are on poison ivy watch. Every little itch is cause for hysteria!

Overall, a really good hike. Beautiful, strenuous, rewarding…

I have to say though that I was super
worn out afterwards. Maybe this had something to do with the fact that I’d run 11 miles just before the hike?


A Sunday Adventure

Didn’t run yesterday. We went for hike instead. We are very fortunate to have some beautiful sights not too far away.

But before I tell you about our hike, I have to share a photo that I captured earlier in the week. This guy was fresh out of a nearby lake, trailing seaweed and moss from his back as he wandered down the sidewalk.


Not sure if you can see, but his tail is dinosaur like! It was a snapping turtle.

Our Sunday hike was at Tallulah Gorge which is a Canyon/waterfall site. It is famous as the filming site of Deliverence (a disturbing movie from the 70’s starring Burt Reynolds and featuring banjo music, and backwards Appalachian hill Billies).


The bottom of the gorge

The trail went from the north rim, down across a suspension bridge.


to the bottom


and back up to the south rim. Lots of steps involved


It was a beautiful day and we saw beautiful scenery… All about an hour from our house!

My sister is a big runner too. And she lives in the area of the gorge. When I told her we had hiked there, she told me that she and her running friends try to go there every week for ‘hill’ workouts!

A Squirrel on Safari

We have A LOT of squirrels here in Georgia.  They are everywhere. And while at first you may think they look cute with their little hands holding acorns up to their mouths, really they’re not.  They are  dangerous and expensive pests. In the winter, they like to come into houses for warmth and nesting.  Once they’re in, they do damage by nibbling holes into your roof which in turn allows water in…


For several years, we had an on and off problem with squirrels in our attic.  We cut down 2 beautiful trees that were too close to the house which allowed the squirrels access to our roof.  Eventually, we had to get a new roof, which was hugely expensive!  (Not all due to the squirrels, it was also an old roof).

One time I saw a neighbor’s beautiful new Porsche Cayenne with its front end smashed in.  He had rear-ended a car in front of him that had unexpectedly and suddenly braked for a squirrel crossing the road. So overall, we don’t like squirrels.

As I mentioned last week, we went on safari in Botswana several years ago.  It was an amazing trip where  we got to see many rare and beautiful animals.  Some of the highlights were the African wild dogs, an elephant family with a baby that was only about two weeks old, and a male lion.  DSC_0477DSC_0478DSC_0176DSC_0397DSC_0398

When you go on safari, the very best (and almost only) way to see all of the animals is by open air Range Rover.

botswana book 14

The Range Rover fording a river

Some of the time, we had the Range Rover, driver and tracker all to ourselves.  Other times, we shared the Range Rover with others.  For two days, we were paired with a nice couple from South Africa.  Luckily, my children behaved, so I think that this couple was able to have a nice time too.

While you’re out driving around, the tracker is hunting for animals for us to see and photograph.  If there is an animal that we are particularly interested in, we can request that the driver stop, or give us some more time for photographing.  One of the days that we were with the South Africans, we saw an African wild dog pack kill an antelope.  It was gruesome but amazing to see the whole thing.  Not only are the wild dogs very rare, but to see them hunting was even more rare!  On the same day, we also saw TWO honey badgers.  These too are very rare.

And now here’s the funny part…After seeing some of the most amazing sights and animals, the most enthusistic reaction all day from our traveling companions was when we saw a squirrel!! We had to stop for a good while for them to take pictures.  We tried to be polite and not laugh, but I’m sure we failed.


Pearls of Wisdom – 2016 Goals

I have two children.  A son who is 20, and a daughter who is 15.  One of them is just starting to value the advice that my husband and I (sparingly) give.  Can you guess which one?

I had a really good pearl of wisdom the other day.  One of them liked it.  The other one responded with a comment along the lines of:

“Who do you think you are? GOD preaching to me?”  So, there you go. Here it is

worst then first

It seems like my day goes better if I get the worst thing over and done with first!


I’ve also been trying to get across that happiness is something that is earned…not something that comes to you while you’re laying on the couch playing with your smartphone.



And lastly, a basic lesson for everyone:


Both literally and figuratively


If I can get these lessons learned in my own life as well as taught to my children, then I will consider it all a successful journey!

Today I am trying a  link up with  PattyErika, and Marcia!  Thank you ladies!!Tuesdays-on-the-Run-2


Big Adventures Re-Cap 2015

So overall, some pretty good adventures this year.  In no particular order, here they are:

April 20, Boston Marathon

By far the biggest highlight for 2015! In fact running in the Boston Marathon is in my top 5 of ALL lifetime experiences.

I was so fortunate that my mother and daughter came with me. wp-1451316402051.jpeg

The whole trip was such and awesome experience!

I went to high school outside of Boston, and it was the first time my mom and I had been back in over 30 years! Someone had bought our old house…and then tore it down and put up a new one!!


Replacement house

The day before the race, the weather was beautiful, sunny and high 50s.  Race day, not so much.  Heavy rain and REALLY cold (low 40s).  But so what?? It was the Boston Marathon!

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Crappy pic…screen shot from Marathon photo.  Still too cheap to spend $30 on a single photo download!!

I finished the race with a less than speedy time (4:18).  My BQ was 3:49, so I was a little disappointed…but not really. Again, it was the BOSTON MARATHON!

Spring Break In Costa Rica

Fun trip with 2 dopey teenage girls.

Snorkeling, jet skiing, white water rafting, horse back riding, mud baths, zip lining…Great adventures!

Rolling Stones Concert, June

My husband and I had each seen the Rolling Stones once before…when we were teenagers back in 1981.  The 1981 concert was pretty awful.  We were in Dallas, TX on Halloween and the weather was absolutely horrible. Flooding, cold rain and the concert was outdoors. The rain was so intense that the concert was cut short.

This time…AWESOME!  The weather was perfect. And the Rolling Stones were fantastic.  It was my teenage daughter’s first concert.

The Rolling Stones

June 9, 2015 The Rolling Stones Bobby Dodd Stadium, Georgia Tech


First High School Cross Country Race

Our son ran cross country when he was in high school and we had become huge fans of the sport.  We hoped that our daughter would  run too when she got to high school.  We knew she would be fast, but she doesn’t often  do what we want…

But she joined the team, and quickly became one of the top performers! Her first race was in Florida, and we drove down there to watch her.  She did great, and placed, and helped their team win 2nd place overall!


Aren’t they so cute??


Thank goodness we took the time to drive to Florida (6 hours) to watch her run!  That  turned out to be her only race of the season.  She got a stress fracture, and missed every other race.

So those are the highlights of my year.  I’d love to hear about yours!

Today I am trying a link up for the Weekly Wrap hosted by Holly @ HoHoRuns and Tricia @ MissSippiPiddlin.   See rules here. Thank you ladies!


Dorky Tuesday

Everything I did was dorky or dumb yesterday!

Let’s Start With the Run

The weather has changed, and its a bit colder now.  For some reason, the cold is REALLY bothering me this year.  Not sure why, b/c last year I was fine with rolling out of bed and going OUTSIDE to run in the 20’s in the dark.  So far this week and last, it hasn’t happened.  I’ve lost a few pounds.  Could this be the reason I’m feeling colder?  (And by a few, I do mean a few…6ish). Even when I’m not running, I still feel like I can’t get warm.  And yesterday was no exception.  I left work early, and got ready for my run.  I dressed to accommodate my coldness.  Full hoody, tights…couldn’t find the gloves or I would have put those on too. I even had the hood up when I left the house.   Well…I got outside and felt a bit overdressed.  Went back inside, and changed, then checked the temp.  It was 58 degrees!


Next Up: Meeting Daughter’s New Boyfriend

Do you remember how nervous you were the first time you met the parents of your new love interest?  Let me tell you, it doesn’t get any better when the roles are reversed.  I have to say, I wasn’t so much nervous as anxious.  What do you say??? How do you start a conversation with a kid who’s so nervous he’s about to pee his pants? What do I have in common with this kid that I can have a conversation with?  I’m pretty good in social situations.  It’s one of my superpowers.  But even I couldn’t come up with anything to say. Eventually, I talked about soccer with him. But yeesh!  I couldn’t wait ’til they left!

dorky looking parents

Is this how dorky I looked?


Feeling Old

When I was meeting the boy, I realized I couldn’t see him.  I didn’t have my glasses on.  My daughter and the boy left (thank goodness), and I went searching for my glasses.  Really, I searched multiple times in every spot of the house that I’d been in.  I wandered around for at least 15 minutes and finally gave up.  Put on some old heavy glasses that slip off my face when I sweat/run and headed out the door in my overdressed fashion.  When I went back inside to remove some layers, I found my glasses.  Oh Boy!


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving… I’m running a half marathon.  Then a small Thanksgiving at my house.

I’d like to wish all of you good luck and speed in your races tomorrow if you’re running.  And a Happy Thanksgiving to all (or Happy Thursday to my UK and Canada friends)!!


A Trip and Race in Barcelona Spain

Several years ago, my husband and I had the huge great fortune of having a friend invite our daughter to go on spring break with them.  All of a sudden, we had an (almost) empty nest.  My husband decided we had enough travel points to take an extended weekend trip.  He is an awesome trip planner and asked me where I wanted to go.  My only request was that he find us a destination with a race.  So on Wednesday, we booked a trip for Barcelona Spain…and left on Friday!

View from the (then) brand new international terminal in Atlanta

View from the (then) brand new international terminal in Atlanta

The race (Cursa El Corte Inglés), an 11k,  is the 5th largest race in the world with 65,000 runners. It is a free race, without T-Shirts, or bling…..or starting waves.  But, if you had one of those permanent round plastic chip timers that gets tied onto your shoe, you could start in the single corral reserved for ‘real’ runners.  We didn’t have the timers, but got SUPER lucky and found the importer of them right here in Atlanta!  I drove over and bought 2 from them.  The lady who was helping me cracked me up.  She said “You middle aged ladies are SO competitive!”  I thought to myself ‘Yeah, I could kick your AS_ in a race’. (So…I guess I proved her point!)

The race was on Sunday, and we arrived on Saturday.  We picked up our race bibs and did touristy things the rest of the day.  Our hotel was on the famous La Ramblas blvd, which is a pedestrian only walkway with hotels, markets, restaurants, cafes and museums on both sides.

La Ramblas

La Ramblas

marzipan that looked like produce in a La Ramblas market

marzipan that looked like produce in a La Ramblas market

Race day was cool and sunny.  We lined up to start just as the sun came up.

Race Start

Race Start

The race itself was awesome…through downtown Barcelona, left turn towards some beautiful, palace looking place, right turn up a giant hill that eventually dumped us into the Olympic Stadium and around the track (big thrill).

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

Then downhill, and finish at a park near the start in downtown again.  It was SOOO funny, there weren’t ANY spectators.  And in fact, near the finish, the was an elderly couple crossing the street right in the middle of the race (of 65,000 people).  They looked a bit bothered.

My husband and I didn’t find each other at the finish, but met up again at the hotel (which was pretty close).  Showered and food time.

Lunch at an outdoor cafe

Lunch at an outdoor cafe

Discussed our race...we don't run together, but we both had to walk up that big hill before the stadium

Discussed our race…we don’t run together, but we both had to walk up that big hill before the stadium

After lunch, we wandered back to the park where the race ends.  There were still people finishing!

Photo op at the race finish

Photo op at the race finish

The rest of our trip was more touristy stuff, and tapas bars!  Good Times!

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Where is the most ‘Exotic’ place you have ever raced?  What are your exotic race destination goals?  I want to run the marathon in Istanbul…it cover 2 continents in 1 race!