• Texas,  Travel & Places

    Rainy Weekend in the Hill Country

    Last weekend was spent at Hill Country State Natural Area near Bandera, Texas. That’s about 45 minutes from the outer reaches of San Antonio. We arrived in the dark and didn’t get to enjoy the scenery until the following morning. On Saturday we took a semi-long hike (in relative terms here, 6-8 miles, something like that, no 20 miler) through the park but about half way the mist and rain started. It continued that way for the rest of the day which deterred us from wanting to spend it outside. Instead we detoured into Bandera, a cute old fashioned Texas town with historic buildings and unique shops. The rangers at…

  • Food,  Thoughts

    Thoughts of 6+ Months of Being Vegetarian

    Two years ago I spent a week as a vegetarian. We were still living in Florida at that time and Chris had been sent to work in New Jersey for a week. I’d been toying with the idea of being a vegetarian for awhile, mostly because I’d become interested by learning from my friend Eliana who went from being a vegetarians to becoming a vegan, and I wanted to give it a whirl. Chris being gone seemed to make it a perfect time to put it all on trial. The week was spent well and I learned a lot, mostly that I could be a vegetarian and it wasn’t nearly…

  • Family

    The Places We Live | Pt. I

    As someone who loves being home, wherever I am….since we were married in 2002 we’ve lived in two different apartments, a townhouse, a 70s ghetto house, a tent, two hotels, our parent’s houses, and most recently the small place we are renting now…the abode that we spend our time always forms memories. Every time we packed up a house I would walk room to room and remember the different things that happened in the room, the little memories that were made. This summer when my mom and I went to visit her cousin and and daughter Elizabeth we all got to talking about the old places the grandparents had lived…

  • Food

    In the Kitchen | Orange Marmalade

    A coworker gave us a bag of oranges from a tree in her backyard. I thought Chris might make juice with it since he made juice with oranges from natural areas in Florida, but apparently those were sour and made for orange-ade’s and these, well, these were for making marmalade. He spent half of last Saturday researching recipes and watching YouTube videos before making a batch. He had to re-cook it a bit because the first round didn’t gel, but it worked out! Now we have jars of marmalade for a good while!

  • Hiking,  Texas

    Pine Top Campsite via the Bush Mountain, Marcus and Tejas Trails

    When we left Dog Canyon the next morning the sky was relatively clear. The forecast did not predict any significant problems so we left the campsite with an intent to take it easy along the way to our initial destination, the Tejas campsite. We planned on stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery, take lots of breaks and really soak it all in. On the Bush Mountain trail we headed in a westerly direction along the crease between two hill tops. We followed on the flat terrain for maybe a mile, perhaps less, before starting our wind up the hill. Initially we’d bundled up but as soon we we…

  • Thoughts

    Living Adventurously

    I’ve started and re-started this post multiple times, fumbling for the right words to use. The first draft felt too self involved, the second aimless, and the rest were drafts in my head. Living Adventurously. It is more than just taking off, quitting your job and vagabonding around the world. Of course, it is that too, but there are all sorts of smaller, side adventures as well. Part of the draft writing has lead me to realize that while I might not have felt I was adventurous pre-Appalachian Trail, upon closer inspection of my life, I/we had been fairly adventurous. Perhaps I hadn’t taken as full advantage that I could,…

  • Hiking,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Dog Canyon | Guadalupe Mountains National Park

    We rose at the McKittrick Ridge campsite the following morning to clouds. It had been quite windy the previous night and a few times it sounded like rain outside, but despite all of that, the ground was relatively dry. We ate a hurried breakfast, taking the tent down first in case the bottom fell out of the sky, so that the tent wouldn’t be wet later. I asked Patrice and Justin if they were awake so they could get up if they wanted to get back down to the McKittrick Visitors Center before the rain came. We were expecting at least a 70% chance of rain for the day, as…

  • Reading

    Paddling the Wild Neches | A Review

    A few months ago we were in REI when I spotted this book, Paddling the Wild Neches. Having spent the better part of spring and summer working on and around the Lower Neches River near Beaumont I thought it would be a fascinating read. Ever since we did our two thru-thikes I have been intrigued by those who also paddle source to end (or sea) down rivers, particularly relatively unknown or lesser known rivers such as the Neches. I think many people in Texas know about the Sabine since part of it forms the boundary of Louisiana and Texas, or maybe the Trinity and Red Rivers, or particularly the Guadalupe…

  • Thoughts

    December Music

    Currently playing either via YouTube, Pandora or KXT.org. Give ’em a whirl. What are you listening to? Reformatting my computer tomorrow so I’m looking forward to starting clean and will return with the rest of our Guadalupe Mountains trip later this weekend!