Tag Archives: honey

9 Ways to Decorate Your Camp Site

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Decorating Diva 🙂

What? Decorate? Who knew? Come on guys – tell me the truth. How many of you knew that pitching a tent was considered decorating? Or maybe I’m just the only guy that didn’t get this. My Honey and I used to fight or at least be at odds over setting up camp almost every time.  The tension was thick and when we camped with friends they would notice it too. We loved the whole of the outdoor adventure so much that we would smooth it over each time and move on to happier things.

One particularly awful fight over the campsite arrangements resulted in nearly ruining a perfect full moon night. We managed to still enjoy some parts of the evening but the next day, we packed up and hiked back to the car. We were almost ready to give up on the whole camping component of hiking. It was bad.

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Happy moment preserved! Warming by a fire built deep in the sand.

We drove to the nearest town, found a place to cool off from the heat and sort out our angry feelings. How can two people who love each other so much and love these adventures fight so heatedly over setting up camp?  What was wrong with us?

An idea occurred to my Honey about how to explain to me what she was feeling. It must have been a Divine whisper in her ear because it was so good. And I’m happy to give her big kudos for how she laid out this concept.  In a nut shell – she explained that she needs to nest – she needs to decorate. She went on to explain that she believes that since she is the artsy creative woman that it is her responsibility to make it pretty for me.  I tried not to let my mouth fall open as I listened to her as she carefully and respectfully fleshed out her point of view.

I am very practical when it comes to basic shelter and I value speed only second to staying dry. However, I wanted peace and fun in setting up camp more than I wanted to set new speed records for making camp. I want things done fast so we can move on to more fun but all fun was at risk with my current method…so I was very interested in her discourse.

She on the other hand is like a cat trying to get settled in a small card board box. You’ve seen it I’m sure. You can read about ours in Clivethecat.com my Honey’s blog. The cat circles and circles passing up many perfectly good comfortable positions until the magic one is reached. No one watching the cat can tell why or when the cat will settle down (I’ll tell you in a little bit just how very good her criteria actually is).

This difference between our views gets the infamous credit for why we are so often at odds when it’s time to set up camp! It was a moment of great relief as I began to understand what is going on in her magnificent mind.

As I asked questions and we talked more and more we fleshed out many criteria for nesting – decorating the campsite, if you will. There are more but here are 9 of them:

1. Is the location for the tent level? Sliding down into a crumpled fetal position over and over will really ruin a good nights sleep.

2. If it is just a very slight incline, which way should the foot box point so that our feet are just slightly down hill and not our heads.

3. Is the site free of roots, rocks and sticks?

4. Is the site free of poison ivy and holes that might be homes in the ground?

5. What is the view out of the tent door? Can we see the moon? the campfire?

6. Which way will the wind blow better through the tent in the heat and blow around us in the cold.

7. How does the site look and feel over all as one approaches it from a distance (this one is the one that sound most like decorating and almost completely escapes my comprehension). How does it feel when we are in it? Does it feel like home to her?

8. Will the heat and smoke from the fire cause any damage to our equipment?

9. Which way will the shade travel? How will that effect the temperature inside the tent and should we put up a shade tarp to protect from the afternoon sun?

This is all part of decorating to my Honey.  I suggest that you ask Your Honey what she is thinking because she might know more about this than you think. My camp site architect sure has ideas that make it better!

So happy together!
So happy together!

We used to fight and now we plan.  The fight method: I’d start to set up and she would ask a question. The answer could possibly lead to a slightly different angle or location of the tent or cooking area. It might really be a good idea or she might just be asking for a concession. We would try to process this conversation while tired most of the time and sometimes in the dark.  This would go from frustrating to maddening inside me until we would just fight over every detail. The plan method: Now we spend 10-20 minutes discussing all the influencing elements and then we build the camp. If we are exceptionally tired and/or it is dark, we have concluded that I whip up a camp quickly and we make adjustment in the morning.

So, there you have it…making camp IS decorating?

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What are some more things that you can share that are good decorating tips?

Three Keys to Recovering Your Energy

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Meet me at the edge of the world – where the dirt road ends

On the flip side of all that productivity talk I shared yesterday is the need for recovery.  My rope gets tied in knots so to speak and my ends get burnt and frayed. There’s all kinds of stuff we can talk about for physical recovery but this time I’m talking about your innards, your heart, your soul, your phycy – that thing that makes you be you that gets totally worn out and crabby. My Honey and I have found that we need time to chill. It prevents the total crash and burn if we do it soon enough and it provides needed repair when we go too hard for too long.  How do we chill and get the real benefit for genuine recovery? We do it by making time to connect with friends, by just having talk time with each other and most importantly by being totally honest when talking to God.

Time with Friends – Recovery comes in part by spending time with people like Robert and Ruth. Those people in your life that are genuine listeners and have qualities that you want. We learn from how they treat each other. We listen to their stories of struggle and blessings. It makes us better people when we give an ear to listen and apply what we learn.

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My Honey recovering by the creek

Time Alone Together – Recharging includes carving out time when we aren’t pushing for a goal or destination. When we can just talk about what is on our minds and hearts. Sitting quietly and watching a sun set or listening to the laughing water in a stoney creek. We just let it roll – no agenda – just getting real and remembering why we fell in love with each other.

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Yes, that’s me, sitting in the creek, journaling

Time Alone with God – Rest is the best word I can think of to describe what journalling with God feels like. That almost sounded girly…but it’s true – I have learned to journal and love it. The girls probably know what journaling is but I may need to explain it to the guys. You get a book full of blank paper that no one reads but you and you write down your thoughts, your prayers to God, what you believe He is saying to you or about you. You stick this book in your backpack to pull out in all kinds of ruggedly beautiful places. I have discovered as I relax and just go for it, that He – God – gives me insight on what to do or how to handle a situation. So, often, we sit and listen and write.

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Me and my Honey, Loral. Robert and his Honey, Ruth

This place in these pictures that our friends share with us feels like the edge of the world. You go from highway to one lane blacktop to gravel to dirt…and then…it’s were the dirt road ends. Not only is it a place of hard work but it is a place of laughter and quiet hikes spent sharing what God is doing in our lives. It is a place where no one has to perform to feel loved. Even a Sherman Tank has delicate equipment on the inside that needs to be cared for carefully.

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What have you done to recharge your batteries? When can you carve out some time today to work on a relationship with a friend, your Honey and God?

When I Thought—She Might Be My Honey

I got a hunch on our third date that this lady might be the one. We had gone out for coffee at the Frothy Monkey on our first date. I took her to a Chaffin’s Barn dinner theater for our second. Now I wanted to see if she was for real about hiking and being outdoors.

One month later on another fun trail
One month later on another fun trail

Third Date—I called her up and asked if she would like to go to Edwin Warner Park near where she lived and hike. She responded eagerly which was a great sign for me. She had been there before and knew a perfect trail. I hoped she had experience there and believed it would be public enough for her to feel safe.  I was right and so pleased that she had recent hiking activity.

Exact Snack—Because I wanted to make it special, I asked her what she would like to snack on. She impressed me again when she was precise. No wishy washy response from this girl. No guessing at what she meant. She said that she would like raw unsalted almonds and organic raisins with filtered water. I had the almonds and water already. I snagged the raisins the day before the hike and was ready with my day pack.

Great First Trail—I picked her up at the gate where she was renting because the owner did not trust me with the code just yet. A few minutes later we were gearing up for a day hike in front of the Edwin Warner Nature Center. We walked and talked for a few wonderful hours. I didn’t want this to end…this might be the one. I pushed the envelope a little and asked what she did to develop a close relationship with God. She shared about her devotional life and that she had helped to lead a divorce care class. What a unique similarity—so had I! I was definitely going to pursue spending more time with her.

Healthy Dinner—It seemed obvious to me that neither of us wanted the date to end. I offered to take her to dinner and she accepted. We were starving and settled on the hot bar at Whole Foods. After we filled our dinner boxes with a wide variety of tasty healthy things, we went outside on the patio. The summer night was perfect and we talked on and on. This food choice was another sign that this developing friendship might be long term.IMG_0868

We are married now and pursuing our passions together. We are so blessed to abide in Christ together; to celebrate the outdoors together; and now to get to write together. I can hear the clicking sound of her fingers on her lap top from where I am writing my blog. She will probably beat me by publishing her blog first tonight but that is ok. I can’t wait to read her latest episode of Clive The Cat when I’m finished.

Pondering Your Path

Are you putting effort into making adventures special? Be a student of your lady—it pays off!

Building in Margin

Earth shaking power at Rock Island Falls
Earth shaking power at Rock Island Falls

When I hiked BL (before Loral), hiking was always an athletic event. Alone or with my buddies, I would push the limit of my physical ability doing lots of miles carrying 40-55 pounds. Now hiking with my Honey, we build in margin to allow for beholding beauty and investigation interesting interruptions.

Rock Island adventure—In Rock Island Tennessee there is a park that we now love, not only for the waterfalls but for the memories. We planned to visit three different kinds of waterfall environments and got three memorable interruptions in the package.

At Rock Island on the main overlook below the dam
At Rock Island on the main overlook below the dam

A nursing calf—I was so flexible on this particular soirée that we stopped at the ranger station first. We grabbed a map and listened carefully to the advice our young lady ranger had to offer. Before we got to the first waterfall we passed a cow pasture. My darling got excited because she thought she glimpsed a calf nursing. We pulled over and walked back to where she saw this tender site. I was really enjoying her child like wonder—she had never witnessed a calf nursing. We stood hand in hand looking over a vine covered fence at mama and her baby. The calf would gently head-but her mama’s utter and then drink for a while. This was something normal for me and I really didn’t see it when we drove by.  I mean, I saw a calf nursing but I didn’t see a mama loving her child. We gave quiet homage to God’s glory in creation. We had built in margin.

Powerful earthshaking falls—touched and now eager to see the falls, we finished the winding miles to the biggest falls where the force of the falls shook the ground. We liked this site but it was completely domestic—pedestrian and paved. Without ruining the moment we left for the trail where we could do a few miles and see more falls. Through the trees we could see a spectacular group of cascades on the other side of the river pouring down probably 70 feet into the banks.

Little Falls—almost skipped this one…little sign about little falls on an off shoot trail…glad we didn’t miss it…wet and slippery but unique. Over the top of a small cave ran a little water fall. We explored the cave and took turns looking through a port hole sized opening in the rock on to the forrest below.

Break time on a cliff—About three quarters of the way around the loop trail we were on, my love got more adventurous. Out over the river was an outcropping that just begged us to come sit down for a while. We carefully picked a spot and watched the swilling churning river down below. The beauty came from the power and speed of the river. Had we not built in margin we could not have stopped this long for an inspiring break.

Fog Light restaurant—The third thing our built in margin allowed us to do was to find this new really good restaurant. We weren’t looking for a restaurant…just a bathroom. In the bend of the narrow blacktop there was a sign that said Fog Light. No way this could be a restaurant out here? But it had to be one by the condition and location of the sign. We went to the porch and approached a man using a grill. He turned out the be the chef and owner. He let us use the restroom and invited us back at 5pm when they were open for dinner. He suggested we get there early and boy was it good that we did. We arrived at 4:45 and by 5:00 there were 60 plus people in line behind us. This crowd filled the restaurant instantly when the doors opened and the food was upscale foodie kind of good. With margin built in we were able to eat in a Chicago quality restaurant in the middle of nowhere!

The view from our table at Fog Light
The view from our table at Fog Light

Keep the flow loose we now say. Make plans that include real details and timeframes to satisfy the German in both of us but leave margin for our creative French natures. The level of enjoyment has shot up as we have learned to build in margin.

Do you schedule your day and your fun times so tightly that the least interruption causes you stress? Can you stop for 10 minutes to talk to a neighbor without being late for an important deadline? When you stop and smell the roses does it create stress because you know you “should” be somewhere else? What one thing could you do to build in margin to let a little joy leak in?

For more insights on life and enjoying the interruptions read my wife’s blog—Clive the Cat. She shares what our cat Clive is thinking about human behavior and how his wisdom applies.

Capture the Interruptions

Woodbridge Inn, out quaint spot to make the trip special
Woodbridge Inn, out quaint spot to make the trip special

A hiking adventure interrupts our plans—Several months back we needed to take a trip to a specialist in Atlanta GA. We planned in a couple of stops to make it special and voila! A hike to a beautiful waterfall in a very special place interrupted our plans!

Trip to the Doctor—My Honey fought against a bladder infection for five months. A close friend of hers shared that she had been cured 20 years before by an Osteopath in Atlanta. So we made the trip, got the treatment and the infections stopped!  We planned a return trip for a follow up. It is far enough away that the round trip can’t be done easily in one day.

Plans to make it special—We booked a German supper and bed hotel in a tiny little town partially because of the hotel and partially because of its location. Staying here allowed us to come and go past our favorite German sandwich shop in Ball Ground GA for a meal each way.

The interruption—While leaving the hotel parking lot my Honey announces that she has to go back inside. She wanted to use the restaurant bathroom and there were some decorations that she wanted to take a picture of. This was the interruption. Why did she not go before we left the room? What was so special about the bathroom decorations that we need pictures? I’ve learned to just go with it because wonderful things happen when my Baby makes a deviation. This was all a bit hard for this guy to grasp but we were on a meaningful  journey and I was particularly relaxed that morning.

We take pictures of decorations in the bathroom...
We take pictures of decorations in the bathroom…

The Adventure—She came back to the car with a newspaper and she was excited. She said that she was walking past this newspaper stand and she felt the Holy Spirit tug her heart to stop and get one. When she opened the newspaper at random there was a beautiful water fall and an article about Amnicola Falls. It was only 30 minutes away and we love hiking to waterfalls. Zoom off we went. When we got there, we took our left over German sandwich to a picturesque spot and ate it in a swing by a creek. Then we hiked to the falls, explored a little and stopped at the gift shop for a snack.

Very happy on our "interruption"
Very happy on our “interruption”

The surprise—I had not noticed where we were. The name had not rung a bell yet…until I saw the Appalachian Trail marker. I started to smile…could it be? We went inside and sure enough: this was the starting point where the kick off party is every year for the north bound through hikers for the Appalachian Trail.  The hikers have to hike about eight miles to get to the beginning of the trail and hike back past this park so it’s the start but not really the start. I love the AT and have done part of it. I plan to hike it all in sections during my 60’s. What a cool surprise!

A prophetic foreshadowing form me...
A prophetic foreshadowing for me…

Had it not been for the “interruption” we would not have experienced God’s providence to bless us with a special place  “accidentally”—a place where we had wanted to go for years.

What interruptions are you experiencing? Could they be the hand of God? What blessing could be there for you? Look for more insights on interruptions on a blog my wife writes about the lessons we learn from our cat—Clive The Cat.

Adjusting to an Injury

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Riding up front in our “Gondola”

Injury—Do you have to stop enjoying the outdoors when one of you gets injured? If the injury isn’t completely dibilitating, maybe not. It’s very important to heal and to protect yourself from making it worse; but maybe…just maybe…you can get creative and still have fun.

Frozen shoulder—Our recent injury happened about 6 months ago when out of the blue, my Honey’s right shoulder lost at least half it’s mobility. This came with a significant almost constant pain. At first we backed off of everything because we didn’t know what caused it or how to find healing. After a few unsuccessful attempts to find a solution, we found great care with a long term solution through Dr. Boles at Exodus Chiropractic. While searching for a medical solution, she had the growing awareness that while her should was healing, it was going to hurt no matter what she did. With this attitude in force we started getting creative so we could still have fun outdoors.

Sleeping injured—with a frozen shoulder as “part of the equipment” we picked a tent site where we would not have to carry our supplies too far. This made it easy to haul a dozen blankets to make a really thick mat for sleeping comfort. She didn’t have to carry anything and we could still sleep under the stars in comfort. It is so important to sleep well under healthy conditions but even more so when you are healing.

Gondola Style Kayaking—The next morning, I took my injured bride to a small lake where we put in our two seater kayak. (Well, I guess I should say, My friend Richard helped me put in the kayak and she watched. She will help me again soon.) Eager to see some beauty, my Honey let me lower her into the front seat of the Kayak. I sat in the back and did the paddling. She crossed her legs so that one toe hung in the water and we glided over the glass like surface of the lake hoping for extraordinary sites. We stealthily followed a large Blue Heron from one spot to another and really enjoyed his huge wing span as he flew over our heads. We enjoyed the novelty of watching hornet activity from a safe distance. The nest was bigger than a basket ball and about 40 feet in the air. The sun kissed her face with warmth and the shady spots were welcome too.

Large hornet's next high in the trees
Large hornet’s next high in the trees

If it’s possible, creatively work around your injury and keep drinking in the outdoor experience. It might be just what the doctor ordered.

What is holding you back? Can you adjust your expectations, be creative and still spend happy moments outdoors?

We Did it Our Way!

It’s not my way. It’s not your way. It’s our way!

Natchez Trace where we learned to do it OUR WAY!
Natchez Trace where we learned to do it OUR WAY!

Both of us are at least 40 and I’ll be 50 this December. We both have figured out by this point in our lives how to do all that need to be done. Our methods and strategies have worked well for us. So well that we attracted each other. There is no struggle to learn how to do things out of necessity. We weren’t learning how to do laundry, clean the kitchen, pay the bills, maintain a car or cook a chicken. We aren’t first timers at much of anything. This conviction that we have figured most things out is exactly what got us in trouble. When two people with deeply established life patterns get together, both of you can’t keep doing what you’ve been doing without a crash.  It just doesn’t work for very long. Difference surface and sparks fly.

On a camping trip in Tennessee at Natchez Trace State Park our differences came to a boiling point. We had been carefully taking turns doing things my way one time and then hers another. We hit a point while making camp that night when neither one of us would budge. My method of picking a flat surface to set up the tent conflicted with her method. Maybe we were just tired. I don’t know why we got ticked off by this on this night. We had been so happy to be there. We were camping with good friends from church. It was going to be a great night…but…we both hung on to our way as the “right” way. It quickly brought on a rush of emotional water like being downstream when the Corp of Engineers opens all the gates on the dam at Rock Island.

After almost an hour of talking, we were exhausted and getting nowhere. My Honey tried one more time in the verbal chaos to explain what she was feeling. I listened carefully to her word picture. She talked of what our life could look like if we focused on doing this a new way—our way. She reminded me what it was like when I first joined the department I’m in now at work. I had experience and expertise that got me promoted but my way of doing things from the old department couldn’t be used here. Most of what I knew and had done was transferable but I had to work with my new team mates and develop our way of doing things. There was nothing wrong with my way and there was nothing wrong with their way. We just had to have a new way developed to get things done that would work for everybody.

I slowly got excited! A clear understanding was emerging as the fog lifted. This was a business…the business of love. It was not an indictment of me or my methods when she didn’t want to just do it my way! I wasn’t rejecting her when I didn’t want to do it her way. God was inviting us to a deep relationship as husband and wife achieved by developing a new way called “our way”—taking parts from each of us and making something completely new—a mosaic made up of both of us beautifully reflecting Gods light.

This water shed moment is one we will never forget. Every thing has become “before Natchez Trace” or “after Natchez Trace.” It was that significant when we learned to create OUR WAY.

Leaves on the roof of our big tent; view from our sleeping pad
Leaves on the roof of our big tent; view from our sleeping pad

Collaborative Camping

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Yesterday, I got to tell you about out first night in a tent. I described how we got used to night noises and the fun day we had afterwards to balance out our emotions.

I saved the lesson about collaborating for today. We fought and made up prior to the test run in the tent and here is how it went down…and back up.

I thought that I was the teacher. I expected to explain the parts of the tent and the process and she would watch and learn. I would do most of the work to set up the tent and she would help as I guided her. My experience included setting up many different kinds of tents. I wanted to be appreciated for my knowledge, demonstrate my skill and have a little assistance on the task.

So when I said, “Would you help me?”, it didn’t really mean give me advice. Now, my Honey is an out loud verbal processor. She takes in data and turns it every which way, asks questions and offers ideas that occur to her from this process as they occur. In this environment, where I thought I was the authority, I was not prepared for this method of learning.

She began with “why this?” and “why that?” Then went on to “what if we did?” and “maybe we could try?” I was beside myself. I could not comprehend how there could be so much to talk about on such a simple process. In my opinion, I certainly did not have anything to learn and she would not stay focussed on my “right way to do it” long enough to learn. She was busy figuring it out in a way that worked for her. I did not realize at the time what she was doing and was quiet offended.

We had a little “intense fellowship” that spoiled the tent set up to be sure. She stopped talking altogether and I grew even more miserable with the silence. I did really want a conversation but I wanted it about how I was doing it so she could learn my method. What was I to do now? Within a couple of minutes I just stopped working, stood up straight and gently asked why she was silent. She said that she did not want to irritate me, but she had an idea worth sharing. I adjusted my attitude like a coal miner washing the soot from his face after a long day underground. I asked if she would please share.

What happened next was a God thing. She pointed to a place in the tent’s fly where the fabric was not tight and flat. She asked if it might leak there and wondered if maybe there was a clip or buckle or tie or something we could use to pull the fabric tight. I had my best attitude on and crawled in the tent to look. I expected to demonstrate that it was just the nature of this design. I stared completely stupefied at a clip right where she thought it might be nice to have one. I had never seen it before! I am still wondering if God just put it there to help me learn a lesson about communication and to save our future outdoor adventures from unraveling. I clipped it in place and eagerly crawled out to hold her close. I thanked her for her contribution and promised to work on being collaborative about learning to hike and camp together even when I felt I was the uncontested expert.

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Guys, your lady might want to just watch and assist as you guide her; she might want to just rest while you apply your trade; she might, however, be like my Honey and want to have her thoughts and ideas valued and appreciated by you. If you are not sure what approach is best for her, just ask. I know my Honey appreciates it when I consider what will work for her.

You might find that collaborative camping finds culmination in considerable cuddling…like it did for us that day.

Celebration after Struggle

IMG_2027Our first night in a tent was in Florida in Fort De Soto campground in Pinellas County near St Petersburg FL. We had decided to take on back country backpacking one component at a time and see how she liked it. This would just be the overnight component in a 1.5 person backpacking tent. Breakfast would be back country style too but that was incidental. There was a real bathroom, electricity, and the car was parked right there. It was to be followed and proceeded by restaurant food and an indoor bed. This way we only tried on the tent for style and a little outdoor cooking.

That night we sat on the shore and watched dolphins and fish jump out of the water. When we were ready for bed the wind was blowing about 10 miles an hour in the tops of the palm trees. This was a melody to me but sounded scary to her. You never know what emotions sound will trigger.

ALPS 1.5 man tent-about 4 lbs
ALPS 1.5 man tent-about 4 lbs

My tenacious tweety reported sleeping good when she slept because she really like the top of the line Big Agnus sleeping mat I had for her and her Northface sleeping bag rated for zero was certainly adequate for the 52 degrees.

The times she didn’t sleep was from the night mares of alligators coming to “chomp her”. So saying she was a little sleepy in the morning is an understatement. Be prepared that your girl may not be used to outdoors sounds at first. My Honey concluded as we talked the next morning  that her thoughts were irrational. I shared that time and experience would make her accustomed to outdoor noises and it would then be much better. I got really transparent and told her that I had been scared by some sounds during my first few nights sleeping outdoors. She recovered so much that she was even looking forward to the next adventure in the tent because the sleeping surface was so comfortable.

We settled in at the picnic table with the Jetboil, coffee and tea. Got our devotional books and Bible out of the car and tried to enjoy some quiet time with God. It was difficult because of the sleepless night and some other lessons we learned on that overnighter that I’ll share later.

To provide a reward for this effort…to apply salve to an abrasion…to cheer a cloud covered heart—we struck out in the car for a day in Tarpon Springs. It is a completely Greek town and they were having a town wide street party and we needed it. We sampled fun new food, ate flaming cheese and bought goat soap. We took pictures by the sponge boats, in the tourist cut out of a diver and with the big plastic turtle. It was a fun day that matched in intensity the level of the bad night.IMG_2054

We overcame some tough moments and rewarded ourselves with some very special moments. She now enjoys the tent experience so much more but sure needed a special day back then. She needed a romantic day exploring a very european-Greek looking town…to walk arm in arm all day relaxed and happy to be together.IMG_2058

From this experience we decided to always pair something awesome we know for sure we both like with a new experience that might be challenging.

Recipe for a Romantic Day Hike

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Come on Honey, let’s go!

Here is an actual list for a chilly fall day hike and the concept description—kinda like a recipe.

Warmth—stocking cap, base layer shirt, loose mid layer, jacket, rain gear, hiking pants, silk socks, smart wool socks, hiking boots, gloves.

Light—small pocket flashlight and solar charger with flashlight.

Fire—lighter, wind proof matches, starter block, kindling, eight sticks of fire wood (starter and firewood less than $8 at Kroger).

First Aide—first aide kit, emergency blanket, Tylenol etc.

Food—protein bars, Mountain Home Chili Mac with Beef, Jetboil, fuel, long handled spoon, large bowl to hydrate food, Nalgene bottle with measurement markings, paper towel, bowls and spoons, tea, honey, cups.

Navigation—directions to the park, GPS app in phone—Map My Run, back up solar charger for phone, map of park, detailed directions I typed out for each trail.

Hygiene—Sunglasses, tissues, paper towels to clean up before and after meal, hand sanitizer, emergency toilet paper.

Hydration—2 Liters of water each, day pack with bladder, filter just in case, water for cooking, water to put out the fire.

Memories—plenty of space for pics in phone memory and camera, blankets for the fire, pillows, stadium chairs, beach cabana for the fire.IMG_3084

Day hike concept—Sleep in a little, have our quiet time together with God, pack and drive to the trail head. Pick up fire wood on the way and get to trail about 11:00. Leave the meal and fire time supplies in the car and hike for a couple of hours. I wrote out some directions to a new trail that is not well marked…we’ll see how well I did. If it is short, we will explore and do some more miles. When we finish the hike and return to the truck, I’ll start a fire in the shelter fireplace. We’ll take a lot of pictures all day. I picked a shelter that has a short wall all the way around so that if it is windy we can sit on blankets in front of the fire out of the wind. We’ll make a late lunch using the Jetboil to heat water and rehydrate our meal. Then we will fix our tea and snuggle by the fire until we feel healed enough from the rushing demands of the week. Will douse the fire and head back home. Maybe we’ll get back in time for another game in the World Series.