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Hiking Ramapo State Forest

Right before my husband left, we went on a trip to Ramapo State Forest.  It just so happened that we got snow the day before.  Luckily I had my Gortex Brooks Cascadia trail shoes which kept my feet warm and dry.  If I didn’t have them, I probably would have been miserable.  Since the trail was covered with snow, we got a little bit lost but still had a good time.  We were out for a long time (from 11:30-4:30) so when we got back to the car, I was exhausted.

Ramapo State Forest is located in both Bergan and Passaic Counties.  It is possible to see NYC. However, it was just a little too cloudy when we went.  We plan to go back in the Spring when it’s warmer (and hopefully not frozen).

When we got there it was fairly empty.  I imagine in the spring and summer, the small parking lot is completely full.  It started with a few small but slippery climbs.

Ramapo State Forest hike

Like I mentioned, I was happy to have my Brooks Cascadia Trail shoes because with the ice and snow, my feet stayed completely dry and I didn’t fall which seems to be the theme here.

Ramapo State Forest hikeMore steps to climb

Ramapo State Forest hike

Because the trails were covered, we got lost a couple of times.  You are never too far from main roads so for the most part, you can hear traffic off in the distance.  Which is actually good, because if we got too lost it would have been dark.   Guess who didn’t want to hike in the ice and the dark while lost?  We also crossed between Bergen and Passaic Counties which was cool enough to merit a photo.

Ramapo State Forest hike

Finally, we made it to the Lookout Point.  Since it was so cloudy, we just took a selfie and turned out.  I was disappointed we couldn’t see New York, but after viewing it from private flying, not a lot will compare.  We decided to take photos in our ugly sweaters.  We wore them all along, but as you can tell it was too cold to just hike in them.  In fact, I was freezing taking that photo alone.  The things you do for the internet…

Ramapo State Forest hike

As it got later and later, we realized how close it would be to dark when we got back.  We had started at 11:30 but hadn’t planned to be out until around 4:30.  Getting lost and being slower in the snow, caught up to us.  The moment I saw the car with five minutes of daylight to spare was one of the best moments of the trip. HA!

Ramapo State Forest hike

I liked Ramapo, and I would definitely go back in the Spring or Summer when the trails were more clear.  It was definitely an adventure when we went.  It reminded me of backpacking in Upstate NY when we went to college there.

You can see more hikes we’ve done here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever hiked through the snow?

Do you have an ugly sweater you love?

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Hiking through Wharton State Forest

My husband and I have hiked a lot.  We’ve been too many states and mountain ranges and we enjoy it.  We might even enjoy hiking more than running.  Something about being out there in the peace is so much fun.  You can read about any our hikes here.

Anyway, you would think we would have already hiked somewhere local and close to home in South Jersey…yet until recently, we had not.  We both had the day off but weren’t in the “mood” to drive 2 hours north to go hiking so we googled a few trails around us.  Someone mentioned the Botana trail in Wharton State Forest so we decided to look into it.

As most people know, south jersey is flat so it wasn’t a mountainous trail.  In fact, it was one of the easier trails we’ve done and we did see a couple of people with pets.  Definitely a much easier trail than last month in Colorado! The trail itself is about 50 miles long and they do host a no frills ultra there.

The Batona Trail itself is about 50 miles longer and wraps itself from the shore to inland.  We hiked about 5 miles and saw a couple of hikers doing the entire trail.  Hiking the entire trail looks like it would be a lot of fun!

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

At the end of our personal hike, there is a water tower you can hike up too.  The day we went, it was closed (and there are security cameras, so I don’t recommend jumping the fence).

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

I know we will be back though.  I think it would be a lot of fun to do the entire 50-mile hike over the course a few days.   Who knows, maybe end at a diner!

Hiking the batona trail wharton state forest nj

To be honest, hiking the Batona Trail opened my eyes that there are gorgeous hikes in South Jersey.  I had always stuck up my nose to hiking in Southern New Jersey but I’m glad we did and I know we will be back.

Other NJ Hikes:
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Hiking the Delaware Water Gap
The Time I Saw a Bear While Hiking

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
Do you like to hike?
What is something interesting you’ve recently found in your area?

Hiking Grey Back Peak Trail

The final hiking post on vacation was also in Colorado Springs.  The Grey Back Peak Trail is about 3 miles and follows a ridge up to a summit.  It’s a fairly easy and quiet trail, and we didn’t see a single person or horse out there (apparently, you can ride your horse).

It starts here on a somewhat single track trail.  You don’t climb much but just follow the straightforward trail for about 1.5-1.7 miles.

Grey Back Peak Trail

There are plenty of rocks to stand and take photos on, if that is your sort of thing. It’s one of the most scenic hikes we have done thus far because you have a view almost 100% of the time.

Grey Back Peak Trail The final hiking post of vacation was also in Colorado Springs. The Grey Back Peak Trail is about a 3 miles and follows a ridge up to a summit. It’s a fairly easy and quiet trail, and we didn’t see a single person or horse out there (apparently, you can ride your horse there).
Once we made it to the end, we were rewarded with a great view overlooking Colorado Springs. We saw several military planes flying too and from the bases. I joked, we can never truly get away from planes. 😉
Grey Back Peak Trail
On the way back down, I wanted to climb up one of the rocks. Most people know by now how clumsy I am, so it was better thought than done. With a running start, boost from my husband, and several attempts I made it up. It makes me look more bad@$$ than I actually am.

In all, it was a great short hike. We were out for about two hours. If you are looking for something relaxing with a great view, I highly recommend the Grey Trail in Colorado Springs.  It was a short but quiet hike.  With a view the entire time, it was one of my favorites!

Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon
Hiking 7 Bridges (Colorado Springs)

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)
Snooze (Denver)

Questions for You:
Do you have a favorite trail?
Have you ever been horseback riding?

Hiking 7 Bridges (Colorado Springs)

To answer the obvious question:  Do you hike over 7 Bridges?

The answer is yes!

My husband and I were looking for an easy going trail in Colorado Springs a few days before we left.  We had done a shorter run in the morning and just wanted something active.

The 7 Bridges seemed like a fun and unique trail.  The path takes you over 7 bridges and stream crossings.  Each bridge looks relatively similar but it’s fun to conquer each one and have “something” to look forward too.

You begin by walking on an easy dirt railroad bed. After about .7 miles, you reach the bend on the road which begins the 7 Bridges trail. It’s about 1.7 miles one way.

I thought it would be fun to take photos at the Seven Bridges but for some reason, I accidentally deleted bridge number 6.  Rest assured, it does exist.

So here we go up the Seven Bridges:

7 bridges hike colorado springs

Number 1

7 bridges hike colorado springs

Number 2

7 bridges hike colorado springs

Three

7 bridges hike colorado springs

Four

7 bridges hike colorado springs

Waving at 5

Insert 6 here, which for some reason I deleted from my phone.

7 bridges hike colorado springs

So excited for bridge 7, that I took a nap while standing

The trail itself is simple and easy and there were plenty of younger kids, as well as a few dogs.  At the 7th Bridge, it just abruptly stops.  I do think there could be a sign that says, end or something.

After we made it 1.7 miles, we noticed a person running with their dog along another trail so we decided to explore.  So we decided to keep going at the top.  Ultimately it led us out towards Jones Park and to some of the most incredible views.

We actually walked on the side of a mountain.  I wanted to show how good I was at hiking, but ultimately nearly fell…so there is that.

7 bridges hike colorado springs

7 bridges hike colorado springs

7 bridges hike colorado springs

Almost to Jones Park

If you are ever in Colorado Springs and looking for a fun hike, I highly recommend the Seven Bridges!

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)

Question for you: What is your favorite hike or area to hike?

 

Exploring Bryce Canyon and Zion Park

It’s taken me a little longer to catch up on blog posts about our vacation.  Between assimilating back into real life NJ, being sick, and preparation for the Philadelphia marathon weekend, it’s been busy.

Anyway, one of the best days my husband and I had was at Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.

We knew we wanted to go to both but timing wise, it wasn’t going to work out to spend a lot of time at both. We decided to drive through Bryce Canyon and look out and then spend a little more time in Zion National Park.   They aren’t too far apart, so you are able to do both.

Personally, we could both spend a lot of time in either.  They are two gorgeous parks!  Hopefully, sometime in the future, we will be able to go back and explore.

Bryce Canyon: 

While visiting Bryce Canyon, we went out to Rainbow point and walked around.  There is a 10-mile hike you can do and look over the Hoodoo Ampethetiar.  If we had more time, we would have done it!

The park itself is easily driveable.  It’s about an 18-mile drive to the tip of Rainbow Point, and there are several spots and opportunities for photos.

Made it to Bryce Canyon for incredible views of the Hoodoos and Rainbow point.

A post shared by Hollie (@fueledbylolz) on

Zion National Park:

Like Bryce Canyon, we could spend days in Zion National Park.  Before arriving, we planned to do a longer hike but quickly realized timing would not allow us too.

We still wanted to get back to Colorado and spend a few days there too!  When we arrived at the park, it was crowded and it was hard to even find parking.  By the time we were able to park and get out of the car, it was nearly 1 pm.

We could have begun the hike but it was a lengthy one and I didn’t want to be hiking at dark.  You had to take a bus to a certain location, then start, then take the bus back.  It was just a lot and if you’ve ever seen me hiking hangry…well…my husband would have left me there. Hiking in Zion National Park

So we just decided to explore and climb up to our own rock.  We didn’t have an exact trail or route but it was more fun that way.  We pulled over at a random spot and just hiked.  Even with hundreds of people inside the park, we didn’t run into anyone.

Hiking in Zion National Park

Sitting in a rock seat

Hiking away from everyone was much better for us anyway.  If you ever go to Zion National Park, don’t be afraid to just stop and explore. Hiking in Zion National Park

You don’t need a trail or destination.  And yes, we actually made it up an entire rock.  You can see the main road in the background.

To be honest, both Bryce and Zion were two of my favorite spots.  Eventually, my husband and I plan to go back.  You could spend days, weeks, and even months just exploring.

road trip through colorado

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)

Questions for you:

Where is your favorite place to hike?

Have you ever been to Zion or Bryce Canyon? 

 

Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder

I have so much to recap with my trip to Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico.  I believe it will take close to 10 blog posts because we did something every day.  We went to Colorado with no plan but two plane tickets and a rental car.  We thought it would be cool to make it to other states, but if we didn’t…we didn’t…

I decided it would be easiest to recap through days (so I didn’t forget too)

road trip through colorado

Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder

As most people know, my husband and I like to hike.  We try and hit a mountain wherever we are.  I won’t say I’m a fantastic hiker, but it’s something we both enjoy doing.  We found a shorter hike in Boulder which seemed like it would be fun.  The mountain, called Flagstaff Mountain, kept confusing us because of Flagstaff, Arizona…

We parked and headed up.  A hiker informed us it was rocky, and I thought: “well I’ve seen some rocks hiking before, ” but the Rocky mountains are so different.  I had recently purchased a pair of Brooks Caldera (trail shoes) and I’m glad I did.  Eventually, I’ll have a review of those shoes later.

hiking flagstaff mountain boulder

We started on the Gregory Canyon trail and intersected with the Ute trail at Realization point.  Together, the hike itself was 2 miles up and 2 miles back.  My husband and I have done easier 10-mile hikes out east than this one.  It was climbing the entire time.  He believes we climbed about 2000 feet of elevation.  In two miles, that is a lot.

hiking flagstaff mountain boulder

Throughout the hike, there were plenty of views of the Colorado State University (which I tried to just absorb some running speed).

We first made it to “realization point”.  Where I realized what a mistake I made hiking in Colorado (just kidding).  It is accessible by car as well if you wanted to drive and park up there.

Then we continued our hike up to the peak of Flagstaff Mountain which was gorgeous.  You could see more of the rocky mountains.

hiking flagstaff mountain boulder

While coming down, we saw a family hiking up.  Their 3-4-year-old daughter was hiking up what I considered one of the hardest mountains I’ve done.  I kept thinking: if this mountain baby can do it, so can I.

hiking flagstaff mountain boulder

The hike itself was moderate, and I don’t think without trail shoes I would have made it to the top.  I’ve hiked plenty of old running shoes but based on the rocks, I think trail shoes are necessary.

So far one of my favorite hikes I’ve done.

Other Hikes We’ve Done:

California:
Hiking the Hollywood Sign (LA)

New York:
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain (Part 2)

New Jersey:
Sunfish Pond
Seeing a Bear at Sunfish Pond
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Hiking Hemlock Falls

North Carolina:
Hiking Greybeard Trail (Asheville)

Questions for you:
What is your favorite hike?  Is there anywhere near you? 
Are you a planner or a go with a flow?

10 Mile Hike through GrayBeard Trail (North Carolina)

10 Mile Hike through GrayBeard Trail (North Carolina)

Due to various things, my husband and I are doing quite a bit of traveling over the next few months.  Before we leave for another trip this weekend, I wanted it to blog about our car buying trip over Labor Day weekend.

Last week, we drove down to Winston-Salem to look at a new (used) car.  As most people know, my husband is fixing a 1987 944 Porche.  What I don’t post much of, is he also has a collector 1989 BMW 328.  Together with my car, it makes up our three daily drivers.  Both of the 80s vehicles are fun but when you have two daily drivers that are coming up on 30 years old, things break…a lot.  It’s never anything he can’t handle (he’s rebuilt the transmission, done things to engine…hell if I know), but regardless between the 3 vehicles, there are never 2 continuously reliable cars in the household.

As you can guess, my husband is very much into cars so he knew exactly what he wanted.  Unoratently, the closest vehicle was in Winston-Salem so that’s where we went.  We had no issues with Flow BMW, purchased the 2015 228i (manual) and it was shipped back to our house in less than a week.bmw 228 i

Honestly, it’s whatever he wanted.  He has supported me for random things and I want to buy and I can only do the same.

All of that being said, it led to a fun road trip to North Carolina.  Heck, we were almost back in Alabama!

Anyway, while down there we decided to go for a hike on the Greybeard trail.  To be honest, it was one of my favorite trails to date.  We got lost a couple of time and went off the beaten path, so it was about 10 miles round trip for us.  We stopped at the falls, as well as the “Walkers Knob” which I thought was called “Walkers Nook”…ha.

We had never hiked the Blue Ridge Mountains before, but we are definitely hoping to get back there again.

Here are a few photos but if you ever get down to the Asheville area, I recommend it.  It took us about 5.5 hours to do the entire 10 miles.

graybeard trail asheville nc

graybeard trail asheville nc

At the top.  I can truly say the view was one of the best I’ve ever seen. 

graybeard trail asheville nc

Other hikes we’ve done:

California:
Hiking the Hollywood Sign (LA)

New York:
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain (Part 2)

New Jersey:
Sunfish Pond
Seeing a Bear at Sunfish Pond
Hiking the Stairway to Heaven
Hiking Hemlock Falls

Questions for you:

What is your favorite type of car?

Where is your favorite hike?

 

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