Sep 28, 2014

2014, the beat goes on...

My goal On January 1st was to have a "real" hike in every month this year.  I think I've pretty much achieved that.  "Real" means not walking the streets in the town where I love, must be at least 7 miles- ok 5 miles- and... and that's pretty much it.  I'm a big believer in not setting the bar too high- I like that feeling of accomplishment.  Little tiny bars- set way low. 

One way to accomplish this is to plan a kayak trip where you will have to: a) walk to get back to the car or a shuttle, b) plan a kayak trip with an endpoint no car can get to and you have to portage your yak out,  c) plan a yak trip that has some good hiking in the area, d) wear your fitbit as you paddle and it thinks you're taking steps.  I don't know about preferred methods, but B and D tend to come up a lot....

Case in point- June of this year, a quick 24 hour turnaround trip to the Mulberry River in Arkansas.  We employed hiking methods a and c for variety this time....

We loaded up all the gear on the yaks and went 11 miles down river into a national forest.


At the pullout, we were able to explore the forest- sans people, camp anywhere we could find a flat spot, and walk to our hearts content.  Philoboy was content to walk to his hammock.




Every trip I made up the bluff with gear I counted twice.  Steep gets you double mileage on the hiking.

 
 
 
And the next morning, the awesome folks from Turner Bend shuttled our vehicle to us, and we took our usual meandering route home.  Which meant Philo was driving. Which meant I did a lot of deep breathing.  I hear it's good for you.
 
 
 
Kayaking outings that don't involve camping don't count in the hiking days category, but they do count in the good-for-the-soul category.  Especially if you go with good friends.  I have friends who, like me, will never, never, never grow old.  Or is it grow up?
 
We took a little lunch paddle on the local lake (wow- say that three times real fast) with a couple of friends, and not too long after launching, my ear and my boat were full of water.  This is why:
 

 
Uh huh. Surprise attack.  Needless to say, we were all drenched by the time we arrived at marina diner.  But this is exactly why I love these gals.
 
 
Forward to July, and back to Lawton,  We love this place. It's close to home
 
 
 
 
It's where the buffalo roam

 
 
 
And it's beautiful, no matter the season, that's a good enough reason!  Poetry session over.
 
 
 
 
Aaaand now it's August already!  We had one week of the whole YEAR that one of us was not in school/could get off work/wasn't umpiring/not teaching/.. see the problem?  And that was just the Whee! ok, maybe not.
 
The Whee!  Look at the Whee!  She done went and got all growed up!!!!  I can't stand it!  We're having special locks made to keep her in the house.  She's starting to investigate colleges (YAY- sniff, tissue please).  Boys are wanting to investigate her- (GRRR-cattle prod, please).
 
 
 
She hikes, and makes me laugh, and eats, and makes me laugh, and eat.  and eats. 


And she sneaks Helga into places that hippos aren't supposed to be...



And she brings good tidings of peace- or om- or something.



Check back later to find out about the recent power struggle between PAF and Helga. This is NOT a match made in heaven.

Happy Trails, and wherever you roam, may that feel like you're home!

Sep 26, 2014

2014...here and gone

Yup, I know, I get the Slacker of the Year award.  2014 is 3/4 gone and I'm just now updating.  But better late than never- or does that only apply to tax refunds?  So, in chronological order (think about that word- has logic in it, and time is absolutely not logical, but that discussion is over on the philosophy blog...)



February- Black Mesa, Oklahoma.  Where the deer and the antelope roam. 

Where you can straddle the New Mexico/Oklahoma line.  Which may or may not be where the fence is, because state boundaries are no more logical than time.




March, Lawton, Oklahoma, The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, we went on a wild goose chase.  What, you thought the blogging hiatus was because I was in rehab for bad puns?!  dream on....

 
 
 
April-  April is the reason I forgot I blogged. April is the reason I forgot to take my medication.  April is the reason I forgot where I lived... April is the only month this year I haven't hiked. April is the reason I had to buy a new dress for the first time in , hmm like 6 years.  April - was the month my firstborn became Mrs. Vazquez, and was the most gorgeous bride in the universe, and I gained a handsome son-in-law and I tried not to cry at the wedding, and I cried at the wedding, but I didn't cry until I saw her little sister cry, and it was beautiful, and  yes- you'll hear more about this... I have to go get a tissue now...
 
 
 
 

 

May- May was recovery month, regroup month, restart month, reinvent month.  May was the Color Me Rad Run, which is kind of like our Mother's Day Weekend tradition.  And yes, the schmoozer in back photobombing us girls is that new son-in-law.




May was also Told-ya-so month.  As in, Philoboy told me it was not possible to fly a kite out on the water in my 'yak.  Uh yeah- told you so...  


 He also pointed out that my insane need to prove that I can do things that people tell me I can't do will ultimately end with someone in uniform shouting "stop resisting" as they whack me with a baton...  I don't think he really grasps the spirit of the thing...

May was a quick weekend of escape and seclusion,



May is gone.

And I have to stop now, because my blog will implode if I try to load any more pictures at once.  Don't worry, I can hear you panting for more. I'm sure I can catch up without making my hard drive smoke...

ahhh it's good to be back on the Happy Trails!

Jul 27, 2013

Summer recap

Only three weeks till schools starts again!  Katy, bar the door, I'm boltin' outta here! 

I'm really, really not ready to return to the regiment of readin', writin', and 'rithmatic!   It's been a good summer and I am circulating a petition to have it never, ever end.

Why has it been a good summer, you ask?  (I heard you ask, I really did...) Why, thanks for asking!  Let me tell you!

I've taken some fun trips with the hunka hunka hubby....



I've been out 'yakking with my girlfriends; you can construe yakking however you like...




I've enjoyed watching my chickens try to take over the world...

The one trying to fly the coop is the Whee Chicken Wanna Be.  The hens are on top of the house, surveying their domain.


There's a big scuba trip planned, so we scuby doo'd for practice,



whoa, I just noticed, as I was going thru my photos, an eerie similarity.  These pictures were taken in the same week, in two different COUNTRIES....










Yeah, ok so they're like related, and all that, so they should look alike, but how did they make it happen at the same time...? 

I lose a lot of sleep wondering about things like synchronicity...






And the big news of summer, my firstborn, sweet wonderful child became engaged to that cute boy who keeps hanging around...



All in all, summer seasonal success was achieved!  I'm fully expecting fall to be as fabulous as summer was super.

And I do not apologize for the alliterations.  I'm out of anti-alliteration meds....

Happy Trails, and may adventures always be in season!



Jul 20, 2013

I can be Buffalo'ed

Sometimes I can be guilty of complaining "why don't we ever do anything?!" , and then I start going through the pictures on my computer and realize..."oh, it's been kind of a busy summer." 

Actually, I'm not a complainer, I'm a commenter.  Entirely different.

I went through that same process this morning when I was searching my photo files for a training class I'm creating.  It's only been three weeks since we were out and about.  Seems like an eternity.  I pretty much need daily doses of outdoors to remain at peace with humanity.

Sooo, here's the scoop. Three weeks ago or so, Philo and I met some of his family at Ponca, Arkansas, on the Buffalo River.  Ponca is my geographical soul mate.  When I die please bury me on top of the bluff.

This one.



I don't know how things are where you live, but here in Oklahoma and neighboring Arkansas it's been an unseasonably cool summer, so I shall NOT complain...

Waking up to a misty morning, putting on a sweatshirt, and watching the wildlife grazing nearby is pretty much my definition of how life is supposed to be.



I knew we'd be car camping so I packed more than I normally would, including treats for the gang-



Coconut cream cakes in jars.  One jar and a quart of milk and I'm good for the day!  till lunch.

We 'yakked the Buffalo River for a few hours,


 
then hiked. 
 
 
 
Unbelievable!   Gorgeous waterfalls, hidden caves, and gorgeous waterfalls hidden inside of caves!
 
We walked, then crouched, then belly crawled, illuminated by flashlight, back into this cave, into a cavern 20' tall with a waterfall pouring like a Hilton hotel showerhead.  Oh.   my.  goodness



The park perambulations were amaaazing...



Alright, no more complaining commentating.  It's been a pretty good summer so far!  And it ain't over yet!



Happy Trails, and may your next adventure never be too far away!






Jul 9, 2013

Mission: Mulberry River

Sometimes it takes years for a trip to come to fruition in our house.  We suffer from the "drastic Dichotomy" syndrome, in which we either go off in the spur of the moment, and find we left all the food behind, or we plan things to death, until we're sick of it before we ever arrive.

It has to be a pretty good trip to overcome the high expectations of planned-to-death extreme. Occasionally we score.  The Mulberry was one of those score times.

Philoboy and his uncle and cousin had kayaked the Mulberry a couple of years ago, and it was a pretty wild trip, if you can believe the stories. Interestingly, there are no pictures to corroborate these stories. There were also no women along.  Judge that as you will.

So Philo has talked about having another Mulberry adventure for two years now.  "I wish we could do the Mulberry"   "We should do the Mulberry next spring"    "I think you'd like the Mulberry."

Finally I'd had enough- "get in the damn car. We're leaving in one hour for the Mulberry."  I was packed, loaded, shopped, and prepped for a wild river.  We even had food.



I can't say it was a wild river trip, but it was a good river trip, with enough interesting spots to compensate for the 4-hour drive. 



Did I mention we drove, kayaked, and drove back, all in one day?  When I say "get in the car, we're leaving," I don't mess around.



Pretty scenery,



and relatively people-free.  That pretty much covers my criteria of a good trip.  Now, did someone say Montana?!?!