Random (but not really)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

What’s in My Hiking Bag (Or, A Geek’s Hiking Bag)

I love the Lifehacker bag posts. I love seeing the tools and toys people keep in their bags, and I’ve found a couple things I discovered I wanted/needed viewing those posts, so I decided it would be fun to show you my hiking bag.

We typically do day hikes, usually several hours long, eating lunch before we leave, and stopping for dinner at a local restaurant before heading home. (Unless we’re hiking at Coopers Rock.) And taking pictures is a good excuse to stop and enjoy where I am–reminding myself that I’m out for the journey rather than the destination.

What do I take hiking?

Hiking Bag

Everything (with the exception of the hiking staff) fits into the bag. Plus two smaller water bottles.

High Sierra Diplomat Lumbar Pack (I prefer hiking with a lumbar pack to a backpack. When I take a backpack, I add even MORE stuff, like wildflower guides and maybe an extra camera lens.)
Canon EOS Rebel Xsi camera
FlexARMOR X dSLR Camera Case
Vaultz Mesh Bag
Garmin Oregon 550T (link is to newer version)
Eneloop AA rechargeable batteries
Tracks Compact Travel Staff
Sea to Summit Accessory Straps
PackTowl, medium
PackTowl, small
Seattle Sundries, Gardener’s Gold Soap
Dried fruit (in Ziploc bag)
Dark chocolate (in a Ziploc bag)
Vitamin C drops/throat drops (in a Ziploc bag)
Pill case with Acetaminophen
WetOnes wipes
Lip balm (spf 15)
Hand lotion (spf15)
CeraVe SPF 50 Sunscreen (not pictured)
Samsung Galaxy S5 cell phone
Garmin Fit app

Just in case items:
Spare camera battery
Spare eyepiece
Extra SD card
Gallon size Ziploc bag (for if it suddenly downpours)
Kershaw pocket knife
LED flashlight
Waterproof matches
Pill case with anxiety meds (from Etsy)
Girly stuff (in Day of the Dead bag (from Etsy))
Ankle wrap (not pictured)

Also, when hiking near creeks and streams (when it’s warm), I’ll clip a pair of water shoes onto the outside of the bag so I can hike up or down the creek.

NOTE: Michael carries the first aid kit and toilet paper and two larger water bottles.

Obviously, several items are specific to me: the ankle wrap and acetaminophen are because of my ankle, and my ankle was initially why I started using a hiking stick, but it’s so nice to hike with, Michael now uses one.

Written by Michelle at 8:11 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,Travel  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Rhododendron Trail, Clay Furnace Trail, Ridge Trail, Rock City Trail, Rattlesnake Trail, Eagle Trail
Distance: 2.1 miles
Elevation: 422 feet

All pictures were taken on the Rattlesnake trail, because I like rocks.





GPS coordinates are available for all images.

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Traveling WV: Berkeley Springs State Park

You can’t really hike Berkeley Springs, as it’s tiny. But it’s still pretty.





Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,Travel,West Virginia  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hiking WV: Cacapon State Park

Location: Cacapon State Park
Trails: Ziller Trail, Ziller Loop Trail, Central Trail
Distance: 5.0 miles
Elevation: 1561 feet



We hiked ALL the way up to the ridge line, but aside from one place on the way up (where we didn’t want to stop) there wasn’t much of a photogenic view.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a gorgeous hike, just that the forest isn’t generally photogenic.

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,State Park / Forest,Travel,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Flower Pr0n: BONUS Flowers!

These are what I found when as I wandered around my yard this morning. (I have a small yard, so it wasn’t a very long wander.)







Written by Michelle at 4:17 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Sunday Flower Pr0n







Written by Michelle at 10:46 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hiking WV: New River Gorge: Kaymoor Miners Trail

Saturday was gorgeous, so we went to New River Gorge. We’ve gone to Bridge Day in previous years, but hadn’t spent any time hiking the gorge, and so didn’t realize just how many miles of trails there were.

We are going back again, hopefully many times.

Location: New River Gorge
Trails: Kaymoor Miners Trail, Arrowhead Trail (Clovis)
Distance: 4.0 miles
Elevation: 1228 feet

The top part of this trail is steep and rocky, but very beautiful. The recent rains meant the creeks and streams were full and since we were going down the side of the mountain, there were plenty of waterfalls both large and small.



Because the trees are just starting to leaf out, you can still see the river and down into the gorge.


The lower part of the trail is all steps.


More than 800 steps.

But at the bottom, were the remains of the processing plant, coke ovens, and town, which were fascinating.









Elevation Chart:
(the place where it flattens out is where we took the Clovis Arrowhead trail, so we could stretch our legs)
How it came out on FitBit:

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hiking WV: Hawk’s Nest State Park

So, well, we’ve now been to Hawk’s Nest, and can check it off the list.

It wasn’t a bad park–though it is obviously long in the tooth–there just wasn’t any hiking there. Might be a nice place to stay, however, if you were hiking New River Gorge.

Michael snapped this pic of a hawk.


It was a pretty day, and you can see the trees are leafing out, but the New River was high and muddy.



There are steps going down to Lovers Leap Overlook. This was one of the places that the age of the place was showing. The steps are slowly crumbling and decomposing. There aren’t a lot of steps, so it isn’t a big deal, but it made the park look in need of upkeep.


Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Flower Pr0n!

Saturday we went to Hawk’s Nest State Park and New River Gorge National Forest.

Redbud was blooming everywhere–the roadsides were pink with it in many areas (including along the interstate).


Some Bleeding Heart at the bottom of the Kaymoor Miner’s Trail in the New River Gorge.




Sunday we went to Coopers Rock for a quick hike (it’s supposed to rain, but we’re still waiting).

There are violets everywhere.







Written by Michelle at 3:29 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Flowers,Photos  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hiking WV: Coopers Rock State Forest

Since Saturday was lovely, but low mileage, we went to Coopers Rock on Sunday.

I didn’t mean for our hike to be quite as long as it was, but 3:15 and 6.5 miles (closer to 8, with meandering) later, there it was.

Gorgeous day, and although the streams were all full, we avoided the muddiest trails.

Location: Coopers Rock State Forest
Trails: Clay Run Trail, Mount Chateau Trail, Rhododendron Trail, Roadside Trail
Distance: 6.5 miles
Elevation: 937feet

Clay Run Trail



At some point I’m going to remember I don’t really care for the Clay Run Trail. The first half (or even 2/3) is relatively open and sunny, on a right-of-way/maintenance road. It’s not terrible or anything, but it’s not what I really want when I’m hiking.

On the bright side, there are once again frog eggs to see.

Mount Chateau Trail





This is easily my favorite trail in the whole forest. It runs along a stream and it’s beautiful. You can take any number of trails to get there (Rhododendron, Clay Run, Iron Furnace) and when you get to the end, you can sit on the bridge and watch the water.

Once it’s warmer I plan to again start bringing my water shoes so I can hike the stream some more.

And you get zero pictures of the Rhododendron trail and Roadside trail, because at that point we weren’t stopping for much of anything.

But there is water running beside parts of the Rhododendron trail right now (and it is also muddy in spots, but not bad), which is always a draw for me.

Written by Michelle at 7:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  
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