A New Year: Muse, Views and Brews

In the past month, it’s been a struggle to find subjects that I would like to blog about.

My resolution to walk at least 10,000 steps every day has been fairly easy to keep but not necessarily in any exciting way.  Hiking to the top of Gray’s Peak in Colorado is my idea of exciting.  Doing laps from the laundry room through the kitchen around the living room to the end of my son’s bedroom and back again?  It’s just kinda sad, but that has been my fate with some of the below zero weather that we’ve had lately, along with my full-time caregiver status during Justin’s Christmas break from school.

The highlight was our January 1st hike at Gibraltar Rock, promoted by the local Ice Age Trail Chapter. Continue reading

Winter comes to the Ice Age Trail

Due to my frugal/cheap nature, I was one of the last humans to give up my dumb phone from Tracfone in favor of a smart phone  I still cheaped out, buying the least expensive iPhone, an SE (small edition).  I justified my lesser spending on the basis that it fits better in my hand and pocket (which it does).  Even I have to admit, however, that I really like some of my apps that were not previously available to me with the old flip phone.

One of the features that I recently discovered was the default “health” app, which combines with the pedometer app to keep track of my steps/mileage.  I don’t believe the pedometer is completely accurate, but it’s close enough.  What I immediately determined was that there were quite a few days when I just wasn’t getting off my butt.  As a result, I set 10,000 steps per day as a goal.  That works out to be about 4-5 miles, and I frequently exceed that by quite a bit.  The major benefit to me is that I no longer have very many days when I don’t get in the 10,000 steps.  If it’s 3 pm., and I’m still “in the red”, I make every effort to get enough steps in to get “into the green” and make the confetti rain in the app.  Kind of silly, I know, but the app keeps me from sedentary days, especially helpful when it’s wet or cold.

The main gun deer hunting season is over, so I am back at my regular hikes on the Ice Age Trail.  Today, I ambled from the the Lodi Cannery property off Hwy 113 to the bluff overlooking the Lodi Marsh.

I don’t generally hike with a hiking stick or poles, but I change that up during the winter when the trail is snowy or icy.  I use a pair of cross-country ski poles that I kept after giving up cross-country skiing.  The poles definitely give me more of an upper body workout on the uphills and provide balance for moving more rapidly on the downhills.

Frankly, I love this time of year for hiking. There are so many positives.  I rarely see anyone else hiking.  No bugs.  I don’t get too hot or cold.  I burn lots of calories.  Plus, cold air is so wonderful to breathe.  There is a freshness to the air that one doesn’t encounter in the summer.  The dry prairie winter colors are amazing to me.

Gratitude vs. More-more

A minister who gives me something to think about is more likely to see me on Sundays.  This week, our minister told a story that stuck with me.  When this pastor was a youth, he worked summers as a day camp counselor for fourth graders at Marshall Park on the western shores of Lake Mendota. Continue reading