Tag Archives: sweetheart

Why Do I Want My Honey on the Trail With Me?

Today, as I read my Honey’s blog that she posted last night at cowriterpro.com – her business site, I felt inspired to answer this question in the title of today’s blog. Here is what my quotable Queen said in her blog:IMG_2982

“So what can I do, today, to affect the spreading of love with a skill that I love—the skill of writing. I can encourage you to write to those you love. To tell them how important they are to you. To tell them that they are loved. Tell them about the two or three memories that you treasure. Tell them about how they made you laugh. Edit the part out about how they made you cry. Tell them about the good now because tomorrow isn’t promised. And Forgive.”

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Just knowing she’s there

There are many positive things I could say in response to this advice. I will try to only address why having her on the trail with me is so special – choosing to address just this part – because after all, this blog is about Hiking With Your Honey.

She makes the trail real.

I still like to hike with an athletic bent for speed and conditioning but I love hiking with my Honey because she sees every butterfly, snail, flower and water fall.  Now I SEE the real forest and the trees – through her eyes and mine. One day at Henry Horton State Park  I watched with joy as Loral stopped dead in her tracks to watch five butterflies. I laughed as I watched her try to follow them all with her head and eyes. She was the cutest bobble head ever.

Bobble Head Honey watching butterflies

I love what we talk about

The deep thoughts and the superficial chatter. To hear her laughter and to watch her be silly. One night we hiked back in to the car and drove to near by Pensacola to have a nice meal and she dressed up in the beach bath house because she wanted to feel pretty. After dinner I had a hard time keeping up as she ran along the beach in her bare feet splashing in the surf, laughing, dancing, spinning and giggling at herself for this silly wonderful display.

So happy spinning in the surf

And then I love her presence

Just being together quietly swinging in a hammock, sitting on a log eating snacks and looking out over a lake, snuggling by a fire. On our second night primitive camping on the beach on Perdido Key I woke up over and over because the moon was so bright. Waking up was magical though because each time I would marvel that she was there with me – sleeping peacefully in the gulf breeze.

Just a swingin’

Loral Pepoon, I love you! I’m putting it in writing and giving it to you! Three happy thoughts with three special memories. Thanks for the inspiring post:-)


Could you stop, write down an “I love you” thought, story or tender tribute? Then give it to the object of that affection? Sure you can – give it a try –  It doesn’t have to be eloquent, cute or funny – just be real and make it permanent:-) Who will the loved one be?

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.

Lessons from Being Lost


When I was a child, I spent every minute I could in the woods. As I have grown older it has become harder to find the time and less enjoyable to be in the woods with my sweetheart at home. So we started this journey to find what works for us and meets our yearnings for the outdoors together.

In the last two blogs I told of one of our adventures where I really…actually…embarrassingly…got my Baby lost in the woods. We were dating then and thank God I still get to take more adventures with her after that. It was a short stroll. No significant distance and no obvious hazard. I was lulled to sleep by the fact that it was asphalt in the city and went unprepared.

There are some serious take aways from that night. I realized that I have to prepare at a higher level. It’s critical to have a prep plan as if I might be away from my truck for several hours. I suggest you only take the first step on a minor hike after the day pack is prepped with these things:

Plenty of water-we took a water bottle each that night but now I keep a two liter platypus in the day pack. This turns out to be too much on most little trips but at least we are ready.

Paper map-there is no replacement for having a paper map in a plastic bag in case you lose all power.

Jacket-we each tie an extra layer around our waists  because of awareness that the cold can come unexpectedly from wind, rain and from sun down…if you can’t get back.

Flashlight-the light on my cell phone is now reliable because of a solar power pack I carry. I also carry a flashlight as a backup to the backup.

Backup power-I bought two solar power packs that will each charge my cell phone twice. It is also the back up flashlight because of a light built in the design.

Some of these may seem like over kill or just the results of someone who has had a bad experience…they may be. I’ve been miserable and I’ve been comfortable. I like comfortable so much that I prefer to be over prepared. Even more importantly, my Love prefers to be comfortable.

An Easy Teaser Hike Whets the Appetite

IMG_2809Today, we were to start a one or two night adventure on the trail. Early in the week we made a change because that “time of the month” came early(staying flexible is critical, guys). My honey is exhausted so we picked a seriously scaled down event. One with a short distance, flat terrain, smooth surfaces, near a bathroom, ending with a restaurant meal, a Royals baseball game and good sleep in our own bed at home. (She’s from Kansas City and they are about to win the ALCS!) So I settled in ready to enjoy this time outdoors with her and moved my expectations of something bigger further out in my mind.

The hike was amazing! We hiked for 2.5 hours around Radnor Lake in our city and the trees were beautiful. We took lots of pictures of the lake and the colorful leaves. The temperature was a perfect mid 70 degrees, no rain in sight and more importantly, we were together. We saw lots of turkeys, a turtle, lots of chipmunks and several deer shelling acorns with their teeth.

IMG_2837To my delight, she said, “this is so pretty it really makes me want to go next weekend”. She went on to explain that this beauty, easily found, made her realize that she loves this so much it will be worth some hardship next weekend to see more of it. The plan is to spend two nights and most of three days hiking and camping in almost back country style.

IMG_2816I could have been irritated that we were being so domestic. We were passing lots of people; we were on asphalt part of the time and the location of the trail was so “remote” that we had to wait in line for a parking spot. If I had let my heart go there, I would have missed the magic of being with my bride. The experience of hearing her laughter and enjoying the perfectly timed kiss.  Please don’t miss what it right in front of you. Don’t be so focused on missing the grander adventure that you miss what will really make you happy too.IMG_2787