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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Hiking the Stairway to Heaven

During the summer, my husband and I enjoy hiking in Northern, NJ.  The fall is also nice, but we tend to go more in the summer.  We have more free time as well.

Last week, we decided to head to the “Staircase to Heaven” on the Appalachian Trail.  We’ve hiked several portions including in New York at Bear Mountain.  The Staircase to Heaven is supposed to have one of the best views in all of the state.  Spoiler: It did not disappoint!

stairway to heaven nj

There are several portions of the trail you can park to get to the top. There is about a 2-mile hike/walk, followed by a steep 1.5 mile hike. It’s a longer hike, but it’s scenic.  The closer spot is close to the mountain, where you you have about a 1.5 mile steep and rocky hike to get to the top.  Since we were later and assumed the closer lot was filled, we parked further away and hiked 3.5 miles to the top.

stairway to heaven nj

After an extremely rocky hike, we made it to the top, and the view was fantastic.  So far, it’s definitely one of my favorite views in New Jersey.

stairway to heaven nj

After making it to the top, we decided to explore the Appalachian trail a little further and found a water fall.

staircase to heaven njIt was perfect because the weather was so hot, so it was nice to take a refreshing dip in the stream.  Thank goodness running clothes are basically like bathing suits and dry quickly.  Ha!

staircase to heaven nj

Afer that we took the hike back to our car.  It seemed to go much quicker this time, thankfully.

Other Hiking Posts:

Getting Lost at Bear Mountain and Revisiting (not getting lost)

Seeing a Bear While Hiking

Hiking the Hollywood Sign (LA)

We are hoping to get another hike in before the end of the summer so we will see.  Tristate locals: do you have any recommendations of hikes? 

Questions for you:

Do you like hiking?  Where is your favorite?

Mini Trip to Upstate New York

Last week, my husband and I went on a mini vacation through Upstate, New York.  Those who have been reading LOLZ blog long enough, know we both went to college in Upstate. While we have both been to New York since neither of us had been that far north since graduation. When we left last Sunday, we had no plans and played everything by ear.  After getting home from the Run the Bridge 10k, we just packed the car and drove north.

First, we drove to Lake Placid.  I hadn’t been there since January of 2011.  Last time I went to Lake Placid, it was -30 (not an exaggeration).  This time it felt like the Caribbean and was between 30-40.me running lake placidLake Placid and the Adirondacks are beautiful.  My husband and I both miss it so we spent a day hiking.
hiking in the adirondacksWe went to the Adirondack Loj and spent time hiking there.  It was much colder in the mountains, and I was glad to have mittens, a hat and winter jacket.  We even saw snow on the ground.  hiking in the adirondacksAfter spending a couple of days hiking in the Adirondacks, we headed west to our alma maters in Potsdam, NY.  It’s crazy to think over five years ago, I started LOLZ blog in Potsdam.  potsdam new york

A day in Potsdam was enough.  Honestly, I’m four years out of college, and my friends have graduated, so there isn’t a whole heck of a lot up there for either of us.  A day was enough.hiking in the adirondacks tim and i

We headed down to Syracuse and spent the day enjoying that and meeting up with one of my closest friends (and well known “interneter” (is that a word?) Heather.  We met up at one the local breweries, Empire.  I’ve been to Empire several times and have had a positive experience every time.Heather and IFrom there we relaxed and ran in one of my favorite Upstate, NY parks, Onondaga.  I’ve run several races there, most noticeably, the Lake Effect Half Marathon where I was able to raise 2500 dollars for Ophelia’s Place as well as win.  That race still holds a lot of memories for me and is one of my favorites.  I’ll eventually get back there to do it one year.

The trip was such a great time.  My husband and I enjoyed visiting.  Upstate New York will always have a special place in my heart. It’s where I went to college, met my husband, began to love running and made many of my adult friends.

It feels like such a blur since living in both Potsdam and Oswego.  Even though it has only been three years, it seems like a different lifetime ago!
Questions for you:
Where did you go to college? Have you been back to visit?
Has it snowed yet where you are?

Fall Products I’m Enjoying

I realized that I never did any late Spring or Summer “products I am currently ling” post.

I am nosy and enjoy reading what other people like.  None of these products are sponsored and I’m not being paid to let you know about them.

As I have gotten back into running, there are several running related as well as life-related products I have enjoyed.

Running Shoes: 

None of these should come as a surprise because I do shoe reviews of models I’m running in. Each of these shoes I’ve liked and put over 300 miles in now.  I liked the Hoka Clifton 3 enough to retire the first pair and buy another.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Shoe Review

Hoka Clifton 3 
Brooks Launch 3
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
Nike LunarGlide 9 (review to come)

Clothing:

Janji: 

Coincidentally, We have also brought Janji to work.  Recently I tried this light weight top.  I love the sleeve details and it’s light weight and fits well.

Janji also sends 10% of their sales earned to the clean water.  I like companies that have a back story.
running janji

Saucony: 

I’ve written many posts about various products that I like from Saucony.  Including shoes like the Saucony Triumph, Zealot, and Ride.

Working in running retail, I see the evolution of brands and brand design.  They’ve always had great shoes but they’ve upped their game on apparel too.  I love their fashion forward trends including the Life on the Run collection.  You can tell because I’ve hiked in this tank top every time.

Delaware Water Gap

As we draw more into fall and winter, I’m sure I’ll stumble upon new products and gear to add to the list.

Questions for you:

What gear are you currently enjoying?

What nonrunning things are you enjoying? 

The Time I Saw a Bear While Hiking

This summer, my husband and I hiked a lot.  It was a fun hobby, and we saw a lot of neat and unusual things…most recently a bear.

Even though I’m a blogger and having content can be an issue I decided not to stop and take a photo “for the blog.”  In fact, photographing the bear didn’t cross my mind because honestly, I was scared AF.

This guy on youtube was bolder than me…who knows it could have been the same bear.

So let’s rewind to the entire hike.  We arrived back at the Delaware Water Gap around 12.  We had hiked to Sunfish pond the week before and wanted to go back and explore more trails.  The only thing that worried us was parking, but we shockingly found a spot pretty easily.  (There were around 100 cars in the park but grabbed the last one).

We decided to take the blue dot trail.  It was labeled easier than the Appalachian, but honestly, it was straight uphill for 2 miles.  At certain points, I wish I had taken rock climbing at my college.  Fun fact, for those who don’t know, I took backpacking at school…Delaware Water Gap

The first two miles were almost exclusively uphill on loose rock.  We were rewarded once we made it to the top and took some fun pictures up there.

Delaware Water Gap

We ended up taking a back trail which spanned about 5 miles.  We said we would turn around at 5 miles (because we didn’t want to end up getting lost).  Around 4.95, we saw two hikers coming in the opposite direction.  They said Sunfish pond was about 90 minutes away.  We figured it would be about the same distance to the pond as turning around, so we pressed on towards the pond.

Delaware Water Gap

No less than 15 minutes later we saw the bear in the middle of the trail.  Honestly, I stood there shocked, terrified and unsure what to do.  Would it attack? Was I a goner?  I looked like a deer in the headlights.

I was in pure shock.  I made eye contact with the bear, and he ran into the woods.  It was an older adolescent bear who probably weighed 300 pounds.  My biggest fear was that he was running towards his mom.  You never mess with a momma bear.  Even though brown bears are more harmless than Grizzlies, they are still wild and dangerous.

After the bear had left, we stood silent for about 5 minutes.  The 5 minutes felt like an eternity.  We continued along the path to Sunfish pond and never saw any sign of any bears.  We came across two other hikers, and my first thought was more people so we should be okay.

The rest of the hike went without any more issues. We saw a snake but other than that, we made it to Sunfish pond then hiked the 4 miles back down the mountain.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the hike a lot but seeing the bear was one of the top 5 most terrifying moments of my life.  I saw a few bears while running in college but they were far enough way they didn’t notice me.

Other hiking posts:
Hiking to the Hollywood Sign
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain
Hiking at Bear Mountain Again
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Hiking to Sunfish Pond (where we were hiking in this post too)

Questions for you:
What is the scariest moment you’ve had recently?
Have you ever come into contact with a wild animal? 

Hiking the Delaware Water Gap

As I mentioned in a post earlier, hiking has been something my husband, and I have both gotten into recently.  New Jersey isn’t the state you think of when thinking of great hikes but there are a lot of different fun and exciting trails we’ve taken.

I first got into hiking when I was completely injured from running.  Hiking made me feel healthy and strong.  Even though I’m healthy again, my husband and I are still enjoying the adventure of hiking.

Earlier in the week we drove up to the Delaware Water Gap in north west, New Jersey.  It’s one of the furthest points from our house and took about 2 hours to drive.  We wanted to hike to Sunfish Pond.

Sunfish Pond is a glacial lake formed from the last ice age.  It took us about 4 hours for the entire hike.

This is always a welcoming sign:

bear county

After hiking about 3 miles, almost completely up, we made it to the top of the mountain.  It was a gorgeous view over the Delaware Water Gap and we could see into Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

hiking sunfish pond view

We continued along the trail to get to Sunfish pond.  The pond was well worth the hike.

hiking sunfish pond 1

sunfish pond

t and i

We spent a little while out there and headed back home.  Since it has rained recently, there were a lot of small waterfalls and creeks.  Last time we hiked, most of the falls were dry!

hiking sunfish pond

Other Hiking Related Posts:
Hiking the Hollywood Sign
Hiking to Hemlock Falls
Hiking at Bear Mountain Park (Getting Lost)
Hiking Bear Mountain Part 2

Questions for you:
Do you enjoy hiking?
Is it flat or are there mountains where you live?

Month of July

Month of July Training:

Total Mileage: Roughly 150
Range of pace: X-11 minute (mostly untimed)
Races: 1
Run for the Hill of It
Workouts: 0
Cross-Training Sessions: 11 (swimming and elliptical)
Core Sessions: 16

Thoughts:
For obvious reasons, July was a much better month than June. I was able to consistently build up my mileage.  It’s only been 10 weeks since my injury but I’ve missed running a lot.  I don’t have any complaints with this month of running but I would much rather be running consistently without hesitation.

Me running

My last few months have been boring but every month can’t be the best or most exciting training wise.  Even though I know that, when you are personally dealing with getting back into running, it’s not any easier.

I did do a lot of Hiking:
I enjoyed hiking because I was able to get outside and explore without feeling hurt or injured.  It was something my husband and I could do on the weekend instead of going to a race. I didn’t know I enjoyed hiking that much until this month.
Hiking Hemlock Falls
Getting Lost at Bear Mountain State Park
Going Back to Bear Mountain State Park (and not getting lost)

hiking bear mountain

My Single Race:

I wrote about that yesterday but I’m pleased with it!

Run for the Hill of It

Thoughts for August:
I’ll continue to slowly increase my mileage and jump into a few races.  I don’t have any races in mind but I’ll find a few.  If I can successfully continue to build a base, I will look for a fall goal race.  I don’t plan to add any speed work yet.  I would rather run 40-50 miles with no hesitation, worry or pain.  After that, I’ll begin adding workouts.

Posts from this month:
How to Become a Morning Runner
How to Come Back Stronger from an Injury

Shoe Reviews:
Asics Cumulus
Mizuno Wave Enigma 6

Personal:
A Day in the Life

Questions for you:
How was your month of July?