Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Out of Georgia

My hike to Sacrifice Cliff

I'm deep into the Appalachian Trail now, at least in spirit.  I've "hiked" over 56 miles so I'm just past Tray Mountain in Georgia.  At the same time, I'm continuing to read trail memoirs.  One of the stories I've added was the Barefoot Sisters.  I got their southbound book free awhile ago.  So I thought, why not revisit that and then read the northbound journey for this?  I got so into their nobo (northbound) story that I forgot to check to see when they hiked as far as I have.

Bly Gap.  Where the heck is that on my list?  I had copied it all out from a page by dwhike, printed it double columns and back to back.  And then I noticed something silly.  My last mile marker from Georgia was at 76.4 miles, then it skips to NC at 273.2.  I was missing 198 miles of information.  So I am farther from the border than I thought I'd be.

My tendon is getting better, I started to do strengthening exercises on it now.  I'm limiting myself to under two miles an outing now, less if the terrain is not very flat.  This sounds pretty wimpy compared to what real thru-hikers go through.  However, once this injury is totally better I'll be able to hike longer and harder.

Since moving to Montana, I've lost about five pounds just by hiking.  My body already feels different; stronger legs, more stamina and the fat seems to literally be dropping.  I even had a dream last night that I had this ridge of muscle going down the side of my leg from my strength training.  It was kind of weird but also a badge of honor to have earned it.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Walking the Appalachian Trail from 1,800 miles away.

Almost a year ago, I started a Faux Appalachian Trail Hike.  One of my friends attempted to hike the trail and so I became curious and read some books about people who hiked it.  And then I read some more, and still more.  For awhile I seriously entertained the idea of hiking the AT.  But then reality came back and I realized that hiking the trail wasn't real likely for me.  And so, I came up with an alternative plan that would allow me to follow the trail while staying where I am.

The plan is simple:

  1. Take walks in my area and track the mileage
  2. Use a mileage chart from the Appalachian Trail to track your progress
  3. (Optional) Read trail books up to the point of your AT mileage i.e.  if you've hiked 41.5 miles, you're at Low Gap Shelter, so only read up to that point in the book's progress.
Then, realize that by walking 5 miles a week, you'll reach Mt. Katahdin in about eight years.  Time to step it up.

I'm currently at Sheep Rock Top, 40.94 miles in. Of course I'm reviving this walk at the time that I'm dealing with tendinitis in my ankle.  So my mileage is low and slow.  However I'm finding this a lot more fun now that we've moved to Montana.  There's so many trails to try and it encourages me to be outside and in nature.  Even a 3/4 mile walk is worth the effort.  And someday soon I'll be able to add on more miles each week after the ankle recovers.  

These are the books that I'm reading along with my trail walking:
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (classic)
  • Rethinking Life on the Appalachian Trail by Gary Bond
  • Skywalker - Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Walker
  • Between a Rock and a White Blaze by Julie Urbanski
  • Timberrr!!! Or How I Fell Down the Appalachian Trail by Amy "Timber" Hiusser
  • Lost on the Appalachian Trail by Kyle Rhorig
I'll add another one, since my kindle folder can hold eight titles on a page.  And since Hiusser didn't complete the trail, I'll add another book when I finish that one.  Each night I read the book that's on the bottom of the list on my kindle.  Then I'll read to the point of how far I am on the AT.  As I've slowed in walking to let my ankle recover, I'm often not reading more than a page or two.  Hopefully I'll be recovered before it gets too cold to hike.  

And that's it.  I get to hike the Appalachian Trail vicariously through other people while still sleeping in my own bed at night.  Now this, I can do.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Konmari Lists

My purse station!

Here's the list of categories for Konmari sorting.  I've culled this from the book and various other sources.

The Beginning Three:

  • Clothes
    • Tops
    • Bottoms
    • Clothes that should be hung
    • Socks
    • Underwear
    • Bags
    • Accessories
    • Clothes for specific events (Indian clothes in storage)
    • Shoes
  • Books (in storage, sorting kindle books)
  • Papers

  • CD's/DVD's
  • Skin care products
  • Makeup
  • Accessories
  • Valuables (passports, credit cards, etc)
  • Electronics
  • Office Supplies
  • Stationary, writing supplies
  • Tools and home maintenance
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Linens and rags
  • Blankets
  • Craft supplies
  • Gift wrapping, cards, boxes
  • Toiletries
  • Kitchen
    • Food
    • Dishes, flatware, cups
    • Cooking utensils and bowls
    • Appliances and tools
  • Decorations
  • Furniture
  • Pet items
  • spare change
  • Mementos
  • Photos

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Happy Joyful Socks

So, I started Konmari.  The Magical Art of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  Currently we're in a transitional place after moving 800 miles away.  We've gotten rid of lots of stuff and moved from a 4 bed, 2 bath, 2.5 car garage into a 2 bedroom apartment.  We'll have a house again soon, but for now we're here.  There's stuff in our garage in boxes, the rest is int he apartment with us.

The closet.  I thought I minimalized before, but there's always clothes that gets old and stained.  Eventually, I'd like to get to the point where ALL my clothes fit into a carry on.  Here's my closet before:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

41 by 41 Halfway Mark

It's been a little over 6 months since I started this 41 by 41 journey.  I sat down, made a list of 41 things that I thought my 41 year old self needed to accomplish.  Some have been wonderful, some challenging and others I'm realizing are not going to happen.  So in this update, I'm also editing a few of my goals.

For example, the riding my bike to the farmer's market isn't going to happen, the market won't be open until after my next birthday.  I realized that the reason I didn't do this one is that I didn't feel safe riding down the highway.  Instead, I'll change it something just as challenging, but still achievable.

I'm also so close on quite a few of these, that I imagine there will be a few upcoming months that I'll look like an overachiever.  There are 21 items left and 6 months, which leaves 3.5 things to do each month.  Still very doable.

Here we go:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Faux Trail Hike

Last Monday, I ran for 3 minutes.  Wednesday, 4.  Friday, an amazing five.  I didn't think I could do the five and now next Monday is 6 with Wednesday 2 sets of 4.

I have no lingering soreness from the runs so it's a good sign that my body is able to do this.  However, with just these small walk/runs 3 times a week, I'm concerned that it's not enough to bring down my weight and get me in shape.  Weight-wise, I gained a little these last couple of days but I was kind of expecting it.  Since being sick a couple weeks ago, I lost a bit and I think my body is equalizing itself.  Hopefully that's done with and it's all downhill now.

The last couple years I've been reading trail journals, Appalachian, Pacific Crest, The Way, etc.  It's not feasible for me now but maybe someday.  In the meantime, I'm going to take the miles that I go on my walk/runs and see how far I would be on the Appalachian Trail starting in Georgia on Springer Mountain.  I do realize that a treadmill, a paved neighborhood or a state trail is no comparison to the real trail.  I don't have physical mountains, I have mental mountains to cross.  And no backpack or bugs or pumping water or bears, you get the picture.

So that's why this is a Faux Trail Walk like a Faux fur is to a real fur.  No animals were harmed in the walking of this trail.  I'll use this guide to gauge how far.

Going back to the beginning of my running schedule, I've gone 7.72 miles which brings me past the logging road, almost to Hawk Mountain Shelter.  Only 2,170.58 miles to go.

Friday, September 19, 2014


I was sick last week.  So like usual, I did a marathon watch of a television show.  This time I chose the Amazing Race.  Suddenly, I was hooked - I watched every season that I could for free.  What was it about this show that was touching me deeply even after I was well again?

Then a phrase kept popping up in my mind, "run the race."  I went to the verse in Hebrews that tells us to run the race of faith.  And not only to run, but to run so as to get the prize.

There was a team of two guys a couple seasons back, Tom and Andy.  They were quite good at anything physical that they had to go through and enjoyed it.  It was like the world was their playground.  On top of this, they were Christians and ran the race with integrity.  When it came down to a foot race for first place in a leg, they ran and won it by seconds.  They ran to win the prize.

I wondered, what would it be like to be in a race like this and able to go through each obstacle with joy as this team did?  More than that, isn't that what Hebrews is calling us to do in life?

As my mind spiderwebbed, I realized that not only do I want to run the race spiritually, but also physically.  Just think what could be done if my body was ready to face physical obstacles.  And in being fit and able, the mind is shaped and ready as well.

Time to start running again.  I started this week on a different C25K schedule than before.  Because I can still run a lot more than I did when I started the first time, I stepped it up.  This schedule starts me at running 2 minute intervals and today was 3.  I got through each training run by mental games.  It wasn't about the physical condition of my body rather it was my mind overriding and encouraging me to complete the task.

Once I'm able to run 3.1 miles straight, then I'll work on other things.  One step at a time.