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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?

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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 Hemlock Falls

As you can probably see, my husband and I have been trying to explore the state of New Jersey more.  Last week we went hiking and the week before, we flew to Northern New Jersey.  hemlock falls 5

While we don’t have any plans to move soon, you never know what could happen.  I want to leave knowing I’ve explored the state. Plus, without running races, I’ve needed something to fill that space.  To be honest, I miss racing, and I’ve wanted to stay busy too.

hemlock falls 8

Last week we went up to Hemlock Falls in what is considered “Central New Jersey.”  It’s further north, but technically the state boundary lines consider it Central.  The debate of New Jersey is a post for another day, and probably one I have no business sticking my head into.

hemlock falls 7

With that, we went hiking.  The Hemlock Falls Trail is roughly 6 miles long.  We got lost a few and took several detours, so it ended up being about 6.5 miles for us.  My ankle wasn’t bothering me during the hike which I was happy about.

NYC is through the bushes

NYC is through the bushes

Many people don’t realize how beautiful and scenic New Jersey is.  The State is known as “the Garden State” and there are plenty of gardens, nature and scenery to view.  I promise we aren’t all turnpike, pollution, and traffic.

hemlock alls 2

There wasn’t a lot of water trickling through the falls last week, so we were able to walk around on the banks.  My husband is more adventurous than I and climbed to the top.  Since I can barely run in a straight line, rock climbing was not in the cards for me. hemlock falls 6

Afterwards, I left exhausted. Hiking is tiring and a hard workout. It was my only workout that day, but I was the most tired.

hemlock falls 8

Questions for you:

Have you ever been hiking?  Do you have any New Jersey/PA/Delaware recommendations? 

What are some fun hobbies you like to do?

How My Parents Became Proud Owners of a Donkey Named Badonkadonk

Yesterday was national dog day.  While dogs are cute (my parents own two), I’m not really a dog person.  Our landlord said no pets so that is the excuse I use when people ask why we don’t have any dogs.  I like other people’s dogs but I’ve never really wanted dogs of my own.

I tweeted yesterday asking if there was a national pet donkey day because my parents own one of those too.  It seems like everything has it’s own holiday these days, so why not a donkey.

But before explaining the story, let me take a selfie

But before explaining the story, let me take a selfie

Immediately I got multiple responses about the donkey and asking for pictures.  Long time readers know that my parents somehow accumulated a pet donkey but I wanted to spread the joy with everyone.

About 10 years ago, (gosh I feel old now), my parents bought a second home on the Eastern Shore of VA. Unlike where they live now, most of the area is farm land.  They bought it for once both my parents retire to move somewhere peaceful.  The house is beautiful and located right on the water.  There are three houses nearby and a bunch of cornfields.  It’s adorable, peaceful and relaxing.  Neither of my parents are farmers or people that know much about farming.  We’ve always lived in rather populated areas and farming never interested them.

donkey

The previous owner of the house was a farmer himself.  He owned a donkey, a pig, two chickens and two goats.  When he moved out, he asked if he could if he could leave the animals there while he found homes for them.  They essentially could live off the land and didn’t need anything (from my parents).  My parents said sure…

The first time I visited the house, I loled and said we should name the donkey: Badonkadonk.  My parents and brothers thought it was funny.  It wasn’t our donkey and we didn’t expect to see him for more than a few more weeks so we did.

Hello ladiez

Hello ladiez

Long story short, the previous owner never came and got his animals.  The pig eventually lived a good life and passed away.  The chickens ran away (hopefully not too far because the Perdue farm is right down the road).  My parents began renting the house out and opted to give the goats away to someone who wanted and could care for them.  Goats are mean creatures and the new tenants had a baby.  After putting an ad on craigslist that said Goats for free, they were given a new home in two hours.

Bandonkadonk still lives strong though. We have no idea how old he is or anything about raising a donkey.  Google provided basic information and he has never had any health scares (We believe he must be over the age of 30). The farmer said they live off the land.  We feed him horse seed as well as the acres of grass he has access too.   He seems to be happy and always loves visitors.

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