REI

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Hiking Bingo

HIKING BINGO

(Free Printable Bingo Boards)


I created these bingo boards as a fun way to entertain the kiddos while on the trail. These boards are made for a more Florida Trail style, but you can trade out different items for something in your area. Such as Palm Fronds, you can trade out with Vines, or another type of tree. I have placed 3 bingo boards below (same images just different order for different players). 

Please feel free to print them out and have fun!




Saturday, October 14, 2017

Markham Woods MTN Bike Trail - October 14th, 2017

Markham Woods MTN Bike Trail - October 14th, 2017


I heard about this trail while at my recent Wekiva Wilderness Trust Meeting. We are made up of volunteers that help promote and maintain the local state parks run by WWT. One of the board members is an avid mountain biker and helps to expand these trails so everyone 
from bikers to hikers can enjoy them. 

The trail can be a little hard to find, in a way. And what I mean by that is that you can pass it very easily. It's located near the soccer fields near Lake Sylvan Park in Lake Mary. The paved Seminole Wekiva Trail actually runs right thru this park, so if you follow the paved trail it'll end up at the entrance of this preserve/park. The park has really nice bathrooms, always clean, a bike wash for your bikes, and even a little repair area with tools!

We started on the the Lokassee Loop then headed to Mitch'd Up, and rounded back to the front part of Gatorback alley (on the left side of Lakosee Loop). The trails are very well maintained, not too wide, only about a single person path. Pos too the natural elements of the property have been left, which I LOVED!!!! There is a road nearby but you only hear it for about 15 minutes before the trail turns and you're back into the woods. On the trail we saw lots of wildflowers in full bloom, sometimes just fields of them. It was magical. Then other times we came across hidden swamps and lakes. Some had flowers on lily pads floating in the water. As you go along the trail get a little more rugged. The Mountain bikers have built hills and valleys in the terrain to make it more interesting of a ride. It also makes for a more challenging and fun hike! I love anything with some elevations, because here in FL we have none, LOL. 

At times you can think your getting lost, but in the end you're not. There are side loops that connect back onto the main trail, and some of them have really pretty hidden meadows and fields of wild flowers! All in all I think this small and little known trail (for hikers) is a true gem. It's definitely a must do and see if you re near by in the area. And don't worry about the mountain bikers running you over. They're all super friendly, love to stop and chat, and always use proper passing etiquette. 

Please enjoy the photos below and get out there! Go enjoy this little known gem, hidden in the suburbs of Lake Mary, FL. 




(the map of our trip at the bottom of the blog is flipped upside down from this map)

























 

(Hiked 4.12 Miles)

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Thanks for reading and...

Until Next Time, Keep on HIKING!!!!




Sunday, October 8, 2017

My "Ah Ha" moment in the rain!




It's been almost a month since we were hit by Hurricane Irma. Almost all of our normal hiking trails in the area are still closed, and the only ones open are "urban" paved paths. While out for a run on one of the paths last week, after working out, it began to rain. I kept running, enjoying the cool wet breeze that brushed against my face, and the rain drops dripping down my back. As I continued on the path, and the rain got harder, I felt as if my body had an "Ah Ha" moment (as Oprah calls them). For the first time in a long time I was completely relaxed and at ease. Not a care in the world, just enjoying the obstacles that would normally stress me. In the rain, I found peace, and then purpose. I realized that life is too short, and that in my day, some quiet time to relax and reflect is needed. Many days I am so busy, just one things after another. From making sure my daughter stay on her normal schedule, working on marketing for my husband's business, volunteering time on social media for two organizations, and keeping up with the day to day chores of being a stay at home mom. Very few times in a day do I have even 5 minutes of peace and quiet. Yet, while running on that path, in the pouring rain, I had it. The peace and quiet that my body, mind, and soul had been begging for. I actually took a moment to stop running and began to walk, to take in every single drop of it. By the time I got back to my car I felt like I had gone thru a full mediation experience, and was completely energized to take on the day.

So what did I learn from this? Sometimes, when those moments happen that would normally stress you, take a moment and see if there is something positive in it. For me, running in the rain was my moment. After all it's just water, we won't melt. And, take some time for yourself each and everyday. In the peace and quiet with no technology distractions.

I know this was a short one, but I just had to share. Have a great week everyone, and KEEP ON HIKING!!!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Journal - Going from a Baby to a Toddler while Hiking!

Going from a Baby to a Toddler while Hiking!

8 Month Old Infant (Jan 2017)

15 Month Old Toddler (August 2017)

Over the past few months, I have had a major shift and change in the way we go hiking. When my husband and I first started hiking our daughter was only 6 months old. Hiking with her then was fairly simple. Just get lots of diapers and wipes, have two bottles ready to go, and a change of clothes stored in the carrier. She was quiet, didn't need to get out too often, and usually slept most of the time. Now that she is a "Toddler" it's a WHOLE new ball game. We have to bring more snacks than an adult can consume in one sitting, multiple sippy cups (because she almost always manages to throw it into something absolutely disgusting, like bear poop)! 


When she was an infant, we would stop every few miles and change her tiny little diaper, and she almost never had an incident where she needed a change of clothes. The only times we usually changed her clothes was to either take off or put on a jacket if it was chilly or warming up. We still have to bring lots of diapers and wipes, but now two changes of clothes are also a must carry item. I learned why to bring TWO changes of clothes when she decided to have not one but TWO, yes two, explosive diapers when we were miles from the parking lot. And one time one of those were so bad it was all over the carrier, down my back, and dripping down my legs. All the while Jolene was in the carrier just giggling and laughing. I was just praying that she didn't put her hand in anything and start finger painting. 


When she was an infant, taking breaks was more for mommy and daddy. If she was hungry just prop the bottle up for her and keep going. Her way of enjoying the adventure was looking around and exploring the world around her. Those days are LONG GONE! We now have to stop every 2-3 miles to let her out and run or she literally turns into a little demon baby with her over dramatic tantrums. I mean, seriously, why do toddlers have a "life ending" tantrum over you taking away a leaf that she can't eat?! Or scream like they are being murdered when you tell them to not touch poison ivy?! Thank goodness we are usually the only ones on the trail during these times. People tend to look at you crazy when your child isn't acting like the 100% perfect angel. But, who's child is perfect all the time?!


Then, it's a complete balancing act while walking. My daughter will see something that sparks her interest and will jerk her whole body to one side of the carrier, without notice, so I feel like I'm being jerked to the ground. Thank goodness I've never fallen, but I can attest that my balance is slowly improving, lol. My husband has always been better at balancing her crazy jerks than me. He grew up surfing, skateboarding, and is just a natural when it comes to balancing. Hopefully, Jolene, our daughter takes after him instead of me, lol. 


But, with all the crazy stressful moments, it's amazing to watch her discover new animals and plants. To follow a butterfly with the most eternal wonder in her eye, the first time she saw a deer run in front of her she immediately wanted to chase it and see what it was. Seeing her discover this amazingly wonderful world has made me feel so blessed. I can not express in words the emotions that flow through me knowing that she is seeing things that people on wish they could see. She is discovering nature not by what's on TV but by what she can actually see, hear and touch. I do not know what it will be like when she is no longer a toddler but a KID. And, I do not know what it'll be like when we have another baby one day. To have two kids at two different stages in life to pack for. But, no matter what I will do it, and I will get thru it. Because raising these little humans with the love of nature surpasses my comfort any day!

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Thanks for reading and...

Until Next Time, Keep on HIKING!!!!