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Category Archives: Personal Musings

The One-Day Hike, again!

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So, a little news.

I successfully registered for the Sierra Potomac One Day Hike again this year. If you look back through my archives, you can find out how well that went before. (Spoiler: not so awesome as I would have liked.)

The plan this year is to participate in more Sierra Potomac training hikes, and get some new shoes … wearing hiking boots and not walking shoes last year was my biggest mistake, one I do not intend to repeat. I’m hoping of course that the weather cooperates as well. It has been pretty uncooperative so far this year.

I’ll keep things updated here with training hike progress!


So, Being Absent

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I really do not have an adequate excuse, my readers, for why I haven’t been posting. It’s true that I haven’t been able to hike since the beginning of December, but still, I could have been posting about the seven hikes I’d gone on since the middle of the shutdown until then.

I’ll at least intersperse the pictures in this post, as a way to get back on track.

I can’t explain it, I try to parse why, and sometimes I think the pressure of feeling obligated to do something every week was getting to me. Maybe it was a resurgence of some depression symptoms, or a manifestation of my anxiety. It could have been just extreme procrastination, which itself is just another manifestation of my depressive habits.

But again, there’s no use for excuses, just .. explanations I suppose. I am feeling better and more motivated. The comments while I’ve been away have been good, and the internet friends I know who have asked me about my hikes have been helpful.

Now that I have picked up a Chromebook, it should hopefully help. Also now that I have a new, working phone, that will help as well. If I am not able to actually make it out to hike, I’ll at least go take a drive and post explorations of roadside interestingness, museums (which I’ve done in the past) and places I’ve eaten at, in the hopes that you all will find that something interesting to read.

I will resist the lure to sit inside and hibernate as I have been doing, and just get out and do more. Hopefully this year I can actually merge my purchased domain name into the blog and get it hosted instead of just sitting out there.

Anyhow, thanks for continuing to look at the site and for commenting and so on, I’ll keep it in mind in the future.

The Missing Hikes (which I suppose I can re-hike and write about in the future!)

Buck Ridge/Mary’s Rock (during the shutdown)

Hawksbill Mountain (the first snow I saw in 2013)

Gerhart Shelter (a pleasant place to have lunch)

Catlett Mountain (the stairway to forever)

Hogback Mountain (When I had to use my SO to place a lunch order for me)

Trout Pond (A Hidden Gem in WV)

Piney Ridge/Range View Cabin (a 13-mile epic hike with very few pictures to show for it)

Thanks for sticking with me.

Sorry For The Absence!

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I’ve had some illness issues that have kept me away from the blog for a little while, but never fear, I will be updating things very very soon! Thanks for sticking in there, people!

New Obsession – iNaturalist

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So, I was flipping through a magazine, and saw a recommendation for a website and app: iNaturalist. Seemed pretty neat, so I decided to check out the app and the website.

They have an app for both iPhones and Android phones, the Android one is slightly primitive but it seems to work alright. You take a picture, or attach one from your gallery, and upload it. If you’re not sure what it is, the helpful people (many of whom are botanists and other types of researchers) can help you identify it.

Their site is also easy to use, and you can keep lists of flora and fauna that you’ve seen or that you’d like to see. There are also research projects that you can join to help naturalists; I joined a project on the Redbud (Cercis) genus of trees.

It seems like another fun thing I can add to my hikes and a way to feel more useful.

And if you do join, follow my observations there!

A Year Ago Today

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So, no hike this week. It decided to both snow and be incredibly cold, and although I had planned on visiting a museum to make up for the lack of a hike, it seemed with all the ice that it would be a better idea to just stay indoors.

So I did, and tried to work extra hard on the elliptical machine.


So, a year ago today, I decided to start logging the food I ate with a little app called MyFitnessPal. I had been feeling pretty crappy about my weight for a long time, and had taken some tentative steps towards correcting the problem, but this was my first real effort in a long time.

“I’ll just start seeing what I eat and see how badly I am doing,” I said to myself. Boy, was I being bad. I mean, it could have been a lot worse, but I generally dislike most fast food, and I pretty much cook dinner every night.

However, when you cook dinner for 4 for two people and eat it all, you have a problem. I’d often eat whatever leftovers my SO hadn’t eaten either, so I was often eating enough food for 3 people at a time.

I hate wasting food, and I love eating, so that was a big issue. I also love to bake things, and baking a batch of cookies and eating most of them was also a problem.

So, I started taking steps to correct things. I had pretty much given up on soda and coffee for a while by this point, only occasionally drinking them. I also cut out fruit juice, as drinking it with breakfast often left me feeling dizzy by lunchtime. I limited myself to tea and water as my main beverages. I started eating a regular breakfast of oatmeal. I started cutting down the portion sizes at dinner.

And I started walking. At first, it was only 30 minutes of walking, but as time went on, I moved it up to an hour worth, and then I added in my weekly hikes. Walking every day and listening to audiobooks while I did it really helped, along with the portion size changes, and the tinkering with menus to eliminate high calorie foods.

I think the difference now between when I tried to do this before, is the change in technology. My phone is with me all of the time, and I can even scan barcodes, and look up foods in the database, so I can make better choices. This gave me no excuse to not log my food.

As I lost the weight and as I exercised more, I felt some of the symptoms of my depression lessen. It’s not totally gone, nor is my anxiety. I am not sure if I can ever stand a stressful environment again. But I am trying.

One year ago, I weighed 248 pounds. Today (well, as of last Saturday, actually,) I weigh 159.


I still have a bit to go: I would eventually like to hit 140 pounds. I feel like I’ve come a long way. I can hike 10 miles up and down a 1500 ft incline. I have more energy. I don’t feel like I’m dying when I go up all the stairs in the house I live in.

Here’s hoping another year will be as productive as this last one has been.

Looking back on the Year Past

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Yes, I am still here! The holidays kept me from hiking, and all the busy times preparing for Christmas dinner (I cook) left me too drained to even make a little blurb, my apologies!

I am still here, I plan on continuing to hike as much as the weather will allow me to in winter time. I also plan on posting more than just hike summaries in the days to come, to keep things more informative.

The Year Past

This last year, I looked at myself, weighing 248 pounds, feeling like crap all the time, feeling crushed and hopeless from depression, and I decided to do something about it.

I started walking. I’ve made a couple of attempts at this before, but nothing really seemed to work. I tried making it a habit, I tried making it fun. It took me really committing to it, making it the first thing I do in the morning, and eventually adding in hiking to get it to stick.

Although I started walking in February or March, I didn’t start tracking it until April. There are also a few times where my phone has died and I’ve lost how far I’ve gotten, but keeping that in mind:

  • Distance traveled: 794 miles
  • Total Time: 281 hours
  • Calories Burned: 104, 783

When I started walking, I averaged 2.56mph. In December, I averaged 3.14mph. I also lost 85 pounds during that time, and I’m feeling a lot better.

I still have a ways to go, but I think that all in all, the previous year was a good one.

So, what to look forward to in the coming year?

My goals are to lose 23 more pounds, continue to hike as much as I can (weather allowing) and to walk or use the elliptical every day. I’d like to expand my blogging some, branching out into possibly writing my opinions about some of the equipment I use. I’d like to maybe get my own domain going as well.

The year looks great from here!

Another Week Lacking a Hike

I was all set and prepared to head out on a hike this week, but a foot injury has me out until next week at the earliest.

This bums me out, because the weather was beautiful.

Fear not though, for I shall return!