I have been many things. I am an accumulation of all of my life experiences. I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought and that I am enough! I will continue to find the best in people. I'm at a new turning point in my life as so many have been before me and so many will be after I'm gone. This is me meandering my way through what life has in store for me next.
I have been struggling lately letting my mind wander back playing old reels that don't serve me well. I am glad that I scheduled this weekend months ago. It is just what I needed to slow down and remind myself that life is good if I stop to look around and appreciate it. On my first day hiking the Forest Glen Preserve I made it to the Group Campsite. It is a short easy hike with only one major uphill trek. There were several other campers that first night. They were all having a good time chatting and laughing. They weren't at all doing anything inappropriate I was just hoping for something a little quieter. I took several pictures of spring flowers on the first day. It always amazes me that something so delicate can make its way through those heavy wet leaves from last season.
On this trip, I used my new *Nemo Hornet 2p tent. I had to figure out how to lighten my pack weight so I bit the bullet and bought this new tent. It lightened my weight by 4 lbs! So far I love it! It rained lightly the first night and I had no problems. It was pretty breezy the second night again no problems. I didn't quite figure out correctly how to set up the tent my first night. I thought the company shorted me three stakes. I figured out my mistake the second night. It still was one stake short. I don't think I would need to stake out the back of the tent all the time but in wet and windy weather I definitely would need to. I do still feel like they should have included one more stake for the price.
The photo above on the left shows the back of the tent. In the center, there is a place for a line for the rainfly to be staked out. In my opinion, it is necessary because the rainfly is short here and it is right at your head level when you are sitting inside and if it is raining I would want the rain to flow away from me and not come in the screen underneath.
I am definitely happy that I purchased the two-person tent. It is a tight two-person. I would not have been able to get my pack in a one-person tent. I hope to have a dog as a hiking companion in the future and I will need room for her/him. Another new item I packed was a water bladder. I loved carrying my water in a bladder vs the bags that come with the sawyer squeeze. The bladder was much easier to fill at the stream and it was easy to hook on the outside of my pack for hiking. I was able to hook it in a tree at camp so I could easily pour water from it.
I was a little chilly when I went to bed so I took out my emergency blanket and put that over me. I was warm for sure but I woke up in the night and realized that it had created condensation between it and my quilt. I threw it off fearing it would get my down quilt wet and I would have a miserable night's sleep the second night. Lesson learned I will not do that again. I did find a better use for it the second night. I laid it out and used it for yoga. I didn't slip!
I was very happy with my food choices this time. I still packed too much food. I am working on getting it right. The first night I did not hike far enough to warrant the dinner I made. I couldn't finish it and that bummed me out because I had to waste it. It was a Backpacker's Pantry meal. It was pretty good. Warning it is spicey which I love!
My favorite breakfast on my hikes is good old-fashioned oatmeal and a cup of green tea. I make my own instant oatmeal with recipes I got from a cookbook called Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sports and Adventure by Kadey, RD Matthew. This particular morning I started with Mocha, Yum! I make my mixes a little different in that I add a tablespoon or two of instant steel-cut oats to my mix when I make a batch because I like a little more texture to my oatmeal.
Lunch on my second day was my favorite Zesty Miso Broccoli Slaw from Food for the Sole. The reason this is my favorite is not only because it is delicious but it is a cold soak meal. I love that I can put the water in without boiling it first and twenty minutes later I have a tasty filling meal. In this case, I set up camp and did some yoga to stretch out the muscles after my morning hike after which my meal was ready!
My dinner on my last night was wonderful! Another one of my favorites, Triple Peanut Slaw. This one is not a cold soak. Another thing I like about these meals is they don't take a lot of water to rehydrate. You may wonder why that makes a difference? Well if there isn't a water source you have to carry your water and this way I don't have to carry two cups of water for each meal. I'm learning a little more with each hike. It really does feed the soul.
I have added more pictures of the scenery of my hike below. I hope you enjoy them. If you are interested I have a short video of my trip on my YouTube channel. Thanks for visiting my site.
*Any items that I mention I have purchased myself. I do not get anything from any company for telling you all about them.