Monday, January 30, 2017

Book review - The Appalachian Trail: Hiking the People's Path

The Appalachian Trail: Hiking the People's Path by Bart Smith, Rizzoli New York, 2017

2012 marked the 75th anniversary of The Appalachian Trail and Rizzoli published a highly successful book commemorating that fact - The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America's Hiking Trail.  In fact, it was named a National Outdoor Book Award winner in 2013.  Ironically, that was the very first book that I reviewed for Rizzoli and to date it's one of my favorites.  So I was thrilled when they asked me to also review The Appalachian Trail: Hiking the People's Path

This is a hardcover 7" x 5" edition and contains 224 pages with 170 beautiful color photographs.  Photographer/author Bart Smith was the first person to walk all eleven scenic trails of America and his photographs have been published in numerous books and magazines.  His photographs paint a picture better than some words.

The beauty of this "mini edition" is that is it exclusively photographs.  It allows the viewer to sit and experience the trail and every page is a delight.  Footpaths beckon you to follow as they twist and turn into the distance....

The Appalachian Trail spans 2200 miles and crosses 14 states.  Along the way you will experience thousands of species of plants and animals.  Follow the path which is marked by small white painted blazes.  Shelters are scattered along the trail where you can camp for the evening.  The trail crosses many roads that lead to towns along the way where you can stop, resupply, and indulge in ice cream or grab a much needed shower.   A thru-hike of the entire trail generally takes from 5 to 7 months.  But have no fear, you can access the trail from numerous locations and enjoy shorter hikes that will let you experience the trail.   Tailor trips that will only take you a day, a weekend, or a few weeks.

Marvel at streams burning gold with the setting sun or rushing madly over boulders, lakes laying placid in the dusk and waterfalls frozen in time....

Also included is a list of the plates and where each photo was taken along the trail.  I was happy to see that they did this.  As I was going through the book I often wondered where a picture was taken.  This will be really helpful for anyone who is planning a trip, especially if they want to focus on a particular section.  Go ahead, plan a day trip, a weekend hike or months on the trail.  Get out and explore "The People's Path".  The Appalachian Trail is there for you to enjoy. 

                                            (all images by Bart Smith)

Officially published with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, this jewel of a book will become available in February 2017.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.   Get your copy here

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Book Cover image is the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Estate Sale Finds Jan 25, 2017

It has been unseasonably mild this year.  No snow for over 5 weeks now - are they kidding me????

So we have been pouring over the local ads looking for estate sales to go to and they have been few and far between for good ones. You know, the kind of sales that have great stuff and aren't priced like they are selling at an antique mall.

We managed to find 2 sales this past weekend and we came home with just a few items....

It had better start snowing soon........

Monday, January 16, 2017

Do You Walk 10,000 Steps a Day?

How many steps a day do you think you walk?   Go ahead - take a guess.   Remember what you guessed and we'll see how close you are to the daily recommended amount.

I like to think that I'm pretty active - after all, I am constantly running around doing stuff.  Plus we spend a lot of time outside, geocaching.  In the summer, when we're at the lake,  I am always running up and down the hill to the boat dock, walking to the resort down the street, hiking in the woods.  You get the idea.

But winter, well, that's another story.  I work from home, so some days I don't even leave the house.  My activity level pretty much consists of walking to my office, sitting down and working, walking to the kitchen for something to drink, toss in some laundry, walk back to my office, go fix some lunch, fold the laundry, fix dinner, do the dishes, watch tv and write blog posts.  Sound familiar?  Definitely not a lot of walking activity, altho honestly, I never gave it much thought.

Then my son told me that I should be aiming for 10,000 steps a day - yes, you heard that right - 10 THOUSAND steps a day.  Tony downloaded a free app to my phone called Pacer.  It tracks your steps, sort of like a Fitbit, but a lot cheaper since it's free.  I'd love a Fitbit but I can't justify the cost, so Pacer it is.  I wore my phone on my belt around the house for a few days and I was appalled at what I found out.....  Most days, when I stay home, I walk less than 800 steps per day.  OMG!!!  That is horrible!

According to the Fitbit blog site, you should strive for an average of 10,000 steps per day.  That's approximately 5 miles.  And if you're aiming to lose some weight you probably need to do more steps than that.

Now before you faint from that number, let me tell you - it's easier to reach that goal than you think.  For example, yesterday we went geocaching for a few hours and I easily added 2500 steps to my daily total.  Then last night I hopped on the treadmill and added just over 2000 steps by walking just a  mile.  I did that mile in 15 minutes, which isn't a lot of time out of my day, right?

Here's what I do when I'm on the treadmill.   I walk for 2 minutes at a quick walking pace of 3.5 to warm up.  Then I up the pace to 4.5 and run for a minute.  I keep alternating walking with running like this....
Walk at 3.5 for 2 minutes
Run at 5.5 for 1 minute
Walk at 3.5 for 2 minutes
Run at 6.0 for 1 minute
Finish up with a 3.5 walk until I hit the one mile mark.  Done!  Starting this week I'm going to add 1 block more per week in order to increase my steps.  I can afford 15 - 30 minutes per day on the treadmill in order to increase my steps.  Plus I cheat and watch tv while I'm doing it, so it's kind of a no brainer.

If you don't have a treadmill, then get your butt outside.  Walk around your neighborhood, go to the park, hike a trail, or, if it's raining - go walk the mall - just steer clear of the food court.  Start slow and aim for a couple thousand steps per day, increasing it by 1000 steps per week if you're able to do so.  Go check out the Fitbit website for a complete explanation of what you should do.

At any rate - do something.   Get up and start aiming for your 10,000 steps per day.  So, how many steps do you think you walk per day??  Download Pacer or strap on your Fitbit and see how close you are.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Breakfast in the Blustery Burbs Jan 7, 2017

Last year was so hectic, too hectic, and we logged in our worst year of geocaching yet with only 251 finds for the entire year.  We are going to have to do something about that and step up our caching this year.

Today we attended an annual event - The Breakfast in the Blusterey Burbs.   This is a highly anticipated event run by Greenback, and it's always well attended.

Mom, are you confused about your caching name???  Why are you wearing Wheels name tag?

They had a raffle and mom won a lovely bag of hand made soaps from Linda Shannon.  Linda also makes beautiful macrame items, so check out her shop.   I won a geocoin from Greenback.  Thanks Mike!  If  you're a geocacher, please visit my TB page and discover my TB.  The number is PCQJAR.   That's Mike, our host, in the background with the black sweatshirt....

After a delicious breakfast at Golden Coral we headed out and found 12 geocaches....


We're either a pretty hardy bunch or else just desperate to get out of the house - the temperature today was  4 degrees with a wind chill of below zero.   Brrrr....

It took us longer than it should have to find this cache....

And this cache was in a cemetery and had a cute container....

It felt good to get out and visit with our geocaching friends.  Here's to hoping we spend more time geocaching this year.
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