Tag Archives: trail

Healing Woods

How was your weekend? Ours was FAN.TAS.TIC! I was sick for the last two weeks and then I started feeling a bit better Friday afternoon. Finally! Saturday I woke up feeling like my old self. I was ready to get out of the house. I needed to be outside and in the woods! OMG Becky was more than happy to join me and Stella’s always ready to go.

hike, woods, trail

We went to one of my favorite trails. It’s a short one but has lots of ups and downs and rocks and tree roots to navigate. We were here just a couple of weeks ago and it is so much more green now with pops of color from blooming wildflowers. So pretty!

The pond was full of lounging frogs.

frog, pond

They usually jump as soon as they hear us getting anywhere near the pond. Plop, plop. For whatever reason yesterday, they let us get really close. IMG_4356IMG_4357How cute is that guy?! He was huge. Like the size of an 6-week old kitten! He’s for sure the largest frog I have ever seen in the wild.

Totally random, but on the other side of the lake we ran into a group of Spyder riders.


This lake is always a popular place for motorcycle rides, but this was the first time we had seen a group of Spyders there or anywhere actually.

Saturday night I went to dinner with my mom. We tried a new-to-me Italian restaurant. My dish was just okay. My mom loved hers and has had it a few times. OMG Becky has been there before and didn’t like it the first time she went, but loved whatever she ordered the second visit. Not sure if I will give it another try.

Our Sunday was a busy one! I made it to church, brunch, recycling center, grocery store and then finally home to get started on laundry. After I got that going, OMG Becky and I did a little fun shopping! We bought her some new trail running shoes and workout shirts. We also picked up a few items for her grad party. It’s going to be here before we know it!  :-(

After getting all of our chores done and picking up Sassy from their dad’s, Becky and I hit the trails for a run next to the lake. (Sassy didn’t join us because she was worn out from camping at another lake since Friday.)

trail, woods

OMG Becky’s a bit faster than me. Can you see her? She’s that tiny pink dot way, way down the trail. Brat. Poor Stella didn’t know what to think. She’s usually a great running partner, but she kept turning to look at me. She really is a mama’s girl. Becky was not happy with her. Ha!

I should mention, just before I took that picture, Becky was startled when a deer ran across the trail right in front of her. And it was close, maybe just 8-10 yards away. Stella was going nuts wanting to chase it. Not sure what she thinks she would do if she actually caught it!

Then we came across something on the trail that took us a minute to figure out what the heck it was…

turkey vulture

A turkey vulture! Yikes! It took off in flight once we got a bit closer. I tried to get a picture of that, but running and picture-taking just don’t mix sometimes.

Being outside this weekend really healed my soul. I was in desperate need to be in the woods after being stuck inside so much lately. It truly is my happy place! I now feel recharged and ready to tackle a busy week at work.

What do you do to recharge your mind, body, or soul?

What’s the oddest animal you have seen on a hike/run/walk?

Always October

October arrived and seems to have brought fall with it. Though I must say, I am still waiting for the full display of fall colors in the trees here. There are a few trees that have changed, but for the most part things are still green or a bit brown. Boring. But things are looking like autumn in other areas.

Seems our local baseball team is doing okay this year…  ;-)

royals take the crown

If you have read here for very long, you know my family and I make it to a few games every year. It’s always a good time and we are lucky to have so many pro sport options close by. Winning definitely makes it more exciting! It’s been a great ride 29 years in the making. The Royals have always felt like the little team that could. It’s fun to see the rest of the country getting excited and cheering for our boys in blue.

Loyal to the Royals! My birthday is tomorrow and I can’t think of a better gift than winning the World Series. What do you say boys? Continue your 8-game sweep for another 4 games for me? Party likes it’s 1985!

We are also watching a lot of football. My just-turned-six-year-old nephew is playing flag football. His team plays every Saturday morning and we have made it to several games. Nothing cuter than little itty bitty boys chasing each other down the field!

Sassy and I made it out for a trail run yesterday. She’s been busy with her cross country team so we haven’t run together in a while. It was nice to have my running partner back! (I’ll update you on her XC season soon.)

trail run

We saw a few other cars at the trailhead, but didn’t run into a single person. I love having the trail all to ourselves! And we couldn’t have asked for better weather. A bit on the cool side, but full, warm sunshine. Perfection!

We saw a few woolly worms moving about, also.

woolly worm

Two were solid black, one was brown and black. I hope they are wrong! I can’t stand the thought of a long, cold, severe winter.

Soups are back, too! I could live on homemade soups through autumn and winter. So easy, so yummy.

taco soup

Last night’s selection was taco soup. Yes, please! My girls loved this new-to-us recipe. I thought it was pretty good, but think it can be improved. I’ll have to see how I can change it up.

Which team are you cheering for in the World Series? There is only one correct answer!…

What is your favorite soup recipe? Share a link!

What does Fall look like for you?

Now Walk It Out

I think Spring may have finally arrived here! We have been able to spend a lot of time in the woods exploring trails.

It was a little chilly on this day, hence OMG Becky’s hood and my hair down. My ears were cold!

But other days have been pretty warm. Like last Saturday when we found a new trail that we are in love with!


Too bad it’s only a 1.6 mile loop.


It offers a bit of everything. Hills, rocks, roots, downed trees and water views.


Seriously, how can you not love this?

This hike is when we discovered Stella loves the water. We could not keep her out of it!

dog in lake, boxer

We liked the trail so much, we went back to it again the next day. This time OMG Becky’s friend joined us.


The difference this day was the wind. It was strong, creating waves on the lake.

Stella was not a fan. I think they scared her and she did not step a paw in the water. The kids had fun trying to skip rocks.

My sad attempt at a group selfie. #letmetakeaselfie

Have you heard that song? Sassy does a great impression of it that I enjoy much more than the song itself!

We also stopped to visit the bison in the park. It looks like a couple of them may be pregnant. We are hoping to see babies soon!


Don’t worry, there is actually a fence between us and them.  ;-)

Monday, it was Sassy’s turn to pick our trail. She loves this one because of the hill at the end. She loves to run it. Yes, she is crazy and I’m pretty sure not related to me.


Two things I really enjoyed about this hike…

First, OMG Becky thought she saw a dead raccoon next to the trail and let out a shriek.

It was a dead raccoon alright. A dead, stuffed raccoon. So dang funny!

The second thing is this selfie. I think it sums up the three of us pretty well.

selfie, hike

Me, a smiling fool, taking less than great photos. Sassy enthusiastically, talking non-stop. OMG Becky, the quiet observer. Don’t be fooled though. She alternates between quiet and dramatic queen, but in the best possible way.

It’s been a fantastic week of hikes and I’m ready for more!

How was your week?

What are your weekend plans?

If you could take a picture to portray you, what would it look like?

Is That Really a Trail?

Last week I was doing some browsing Google maps looking at satellite images of the lake we live near. It’s a large recreation lake and I was pretty sure there had to be trails other than the one I knew and frequent. Sure enough, I found what looked like a trail. Sunday was on tap to deliver temps near sixties! Trail exploring was a must! The girls even talked a couple of friends into joining us. That made me a little nervous. What if what looked like a trail by satellite was nothing more than a deer run? What if someone got hurt or lost? It’s enough pressure to watch out for my two daughters, but they are more experienced than a lot of kids. Now we are adding other kids the mix? Fingers crossed, we headed out to find this trail.

And find it we did! It was a wide, flat and very well maintained.  I call this type of trail a stroller trail because they are perfect for pushing a stroller on.  Bor.ing.


Sassy looking normal as usual. I swear she is not Jim Carrey’s daughter.

Thankfully, we soon found a trail more our speed!

This part of the trail did not disappoint! It was narrow, muddy and covered with leaves.


We had vines to swing from.

There were rock-covered, steep inclines.

I waited for the kids to get most of the way up because I wanted to run it. It so reminded me of my beloved trails in Oregon! Unfortunately, I ran up it before they cleared it and had to come to an abrupt stop when they all somehow clustered in one difficult spot. Amateurs.

There was rocking climbing by a few.

Tree climbing by one.


We then looped back to a different part of the trail that appeared have been a road at one time. It lead straight down to the lake!



Such a fantastic way to spend our Sunday!

We are currently enjoying a temperature of one degree with a windchill of minus 15. I want Sunday’s weather back! Actually we are getting it back. This Sunday is predicted to be a repeat of last weekend. I’ll take it! We plan on exploring another trail we saw along the way last week. Can’t wait!

Which do you prefer… flat, manicured trails or more natural trails that you aren’t even sure are real trails?

What are your weekend plans?


Muddy Headbutt

We had a surprising warm weekend here! I ended up working all day Saturday, but knew I had to take advantages of the great weather while it lasted on Sunday.  OMG Becky and I explored a new-to-us part of the trails in the wooded lake near-by.



The trail was either all mud…

muddy trail

Or all ice.

icy trail

It definitely kept us on our toes the entire time!

Accidental twinsies.


One of us is less happy about that than the other.

trail bridge

I wanted a picture with Stella. That didn’t go very well. She turned her head quickly, slamming into my face.

It hurt a bit. Lucky for me, OMG Becky captured the moment so I could share it with you. Thanks.

Don’t worry, I quickly forgave the little rambunctious monster.

And sadly, this picture is the best one she got. Me squinting into the sun while Stella tries to make up to me with a sloppy kiss.

Photography gold.  ;)

I think Stella felt bad because she spent the rest of the hike, literally as close to me as possible.

A little too close.

We left the trail a pretty muddy mess.

So it was bath time for all of us when we got home!

I’m sure she thinks this was punishment for the headbutt.  Ha!

What was the best part of your weekend?

Does your dog like baths?

Send Sunshine

It’s a mess outside with black ice and temps in the 20’s. I’m playing hooky from work (it’s okay, I called in a sub) and spending the morning in my pajamas, watching Christmas movies with my girls. I thought it would be fun to share a hike in October that I never got around to sharing.


It was much warmer that day.

And there was sun!


Sun, glorious sun!


Attempted selfie fail.

selfie fail

Love note for me from OMG Becky!

heart-shaped leaf

Sassy picked up a hedge apple only to put her thumb through a soft spot.  Eww!

hedge apple

OMG Becky and I had fun rolling the hedge apples down the trail because Stella would then take off after them.


She keeps  us entertained!

OMG Becky got a funny surprise, too. She was having fun kicking these nut/ball/seed things as she came across them on the trail.

And then she kicked this…


It looked similar from the top and then she kicked it and it exploded mushroom parts all over her foot.  Ha!

And a bit later, this big spider ran across the trail in front of her.



It was the first time we had gone this far on this particular trail. It ended with a paved hill up to a parking lot. Now Stella loves hills. Or at the very least, she loves to run up hills. So as soon as she saw this one the race was on!

OMG Becky and I did not run it. This choice gave the other two a chance to take a break.  I’m pretty sure they were happy about that.

I feel warmer just looking at these photos! Our forecast for this coming week shows temps in the high 50’s four days in a row. Cannot wait!

What are you doing this weekend?

A First for Stella

Yesterday was another gorgeous day in the fifties.  I had to be outside!  I would have loved to get a trail run in, but I had been dealing with an queasy stomach all day.  A hike was about all I could handle.  OMG Becky and Stella joined me.  And slowed me down.  Ha!

trail walk

All Stella wanted to do was play in the leaves.  And OMG Becky always complains that I walk too fast.  Ugh.  Our hike was really nothing more than a leisurely stroll.   So much for getting my sweat on!  Oh well.

We noticed parts of the lake are already frozen over.

autumn lake

We had fun finding rocks to throw on the ice, trying to break it.  I finally got one to break through.  Good times!

The trail was packed with people walking their dogs.  Stella is awesome at letting other dogs approach her.  She pretty much ignores them.  Even the ones barking and pulling at their leashes.  She deserved a hug.

puppy love


As we were on the final big hill to our trailhead, I heard a large something on the trail below us.  When I turned around I saw a horse and rider running along.  My first thought was “Oh no!”  Stella is great with other dogs, but she has never seen a horse before!  How is this going to go for all of us?

horse trail

I decided it was best not to find out.  OMG Becky and I started charging up the hill in an attempt to get to the car before Stella saw the horse.  Luckily the rider slowed down to a walk at the bottom of the hill where the gravel/dirt trail becomes assault.

We made it to the car where Stella threw herself down in the backseat trying to remove her Gentle Leader.

She does not like that thing, but it’s great at keeping her from pulling on her leash.

At first she didn’t even notice the horse right passing our car.

And then she did and became very curious, watching it pass.

But no barking, so I guess that’s a positive sign.

What was the highlight of your Saturday?