Sunday, March 21, 2021

Hiking: Emma Carlin Trails in Palmyra

Happy Spring! We enjoyed our second day of the new season by hiking the Emma Carlin Trails in the Kettle Moraine Southern Unit today. We covered 3.06 miles hilly miles total in a little over an hour.

Getting to the trailhead is easy. It is south of Hwy 59 and off of Hwy Z. Parking at the trailhead requires the state park pass. There are restrooms, a water fountain, and picnic benches at the entrance. 
Since this is our first longer hike as a group so far this year, we decided to stick to the shortest trail, which was the brown loop. The hiking and mountain biking trails were clearly marked at the trailhead.

Here is a link to the trail system map PDF.
Along the way, you need to look for the arrows designating the color trail you are following. But be careful, we almost went the wrong way at one point. There was a brown square on a tree, but it blended in and did not feature an arrow on it.
Can you spot the brown square? We couldn't!
The trails were somewhat muddy in spots (which we expected post a wet winter), but overall looked dry and rocky like this photo.

Craig spotted this beautiful plant. We have no clue what it is, but we saw it in a few spots right along the trail.
We had never seen this grating on a trail before but it provided nice traction as we hiked uphill.
We always enjoy seeing the kettles along the way. The path we took was quite hilly and we were pretty high up at one point. 
Even the fallen trees are beautiful.
We were wondering what happened to this tree!?
It felt good to be back on the trails again! It was mom's first time using her trekking poles. They are wonderful to have on trails like those we hiked today that are rocky and filled with tree roots. 
The trailhead for the Ice Age Trail is also accessible from the parking lot at Emma Carlin. We'll have to head back out there to check out that trail sometime. 
The Ice Age trail entrance featured these pretty trees, which I love lately.
Two good reminders found on the car parked next to us. Getting outside makes me feel like I'm living the life I love by moving my body, getting sunshine, being in nature, seeing animals and birds, and being with those I love. 

Emma Carlin Trails 
Co Rd Z, Palmyra, WI 53156

Sunday, February 7, 2021

My Everyday Life [Weeks 2-5]

Here's what's been happening around here the last three weeks!

Pema is obsessed with this tissue paper from Christmas. He comes into our bedroom every night and plays on it. Weirdo!

I took a full day of PTO on Friday and since I had to go to Trader Joe's nearby, I stopped at Outpost for the amazing tofu sandwich I had been craving for months. 

New wreath for our front door! Our old one was falling apart and it drove us nuts. I found this modern one at Target. 
Craig started growing green onions inside and they are already so big!
Adventures in patching up walls and painting Ugh! The previous owners didn't label all of these various blue colors they tested on the walls. Now we'll have to bring a paint chip in to match and I hope it's perfect.
Sun chasers. 
Gorgeous winter shadows seen on one of my daily walks.
February TBR list. I read 10 books in January and I'm on track to read 100 this year. 
I read this one last weekend during a snow storm. I liked it, but it was much more of a memoir than I expected. 
My baby and I. He snuggles up on my shoulder or chest like this so often. 
Reading Caste by Isabel Wilkerson while riding my indoor bike. It was such a good read! 
Even Craig is getting around to reading a few books this year! 
This is what Pema does to get my attention during the work day. He comes to visit me in the office sometimes and insists on me touching him, otherwise he does this.
Baking banana bread with nosy Pema.
A beautiful but deadly backyard visitor. The next day, he caught a squirrel or a rabbit. 
Craig hasn't been hiding his crush on Adriene during our month of doing yoga on YouTube. He especially liked her bright blue pants this day. Men!
January 20, 2021, the sun came out for a new administration. It literally felt like a weight had been lifted. 
Yoga with cats is always adventurous. 
I tried to hide away to read upstairs but my stalker found me. 
This made me laugh and then I felt guilty, as sometimes I turn a bad five minutes into a bad day.
My German has already improved so much with Duolingo. 
A beautiful backyard visitor. She had two friends with her. It made for awesome lunchtime entertainment. 
I'm trying to eat healthy and fresh in the middle of winter. I have been craving avocado toast with various toppings lately and radishes really hit the spot a couple of weeks in a row. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

My Everyday Life [Week 1]

Here's a look at my first week of the year. 

We started out with some rime ice on the trees a couple of days in a row. It made for some beautiful sites on my walks. 
Craig and I stuck with doing yoga nearly every day - we doubled up practices on Saturday and skipped Friday. We both feel stronger and better already and we're only nine days into the practice. 
I listened to this excellent podcast on a long walk to drop off a book at a friend's house. 
Pema the poser. I love how he wraps his tail around his feet. 
I stopped to watch a couple of pretty hawks on a walk. Caught this one mid-flight. He didn't like me watching him.
Picked these up at Costco and they were a good post hike snack.
If you're vegan and miss the traditional taste of cheese, go get this! It was so delicious on grilled cheese paninis. 
Pema always watches animals on tv vs in real life. No surprise that he liked the seals on Sunday morning today. His ears kept moving back and forth while he watched them.
Even though I am barely drinking alcohol and might give it up for a while, I drank some hard cider while I watched a Mixology class on zoom. I learned a lot and the teacher definitely knew his stuff!
I was excited to see this amazing vegan restaurant featured in Veg News magazine! 
Lots of food this week! We did some shopping so we have a whole new set of items to eat. I found this at Costco and it's really good. I seem to prefer this brand over other vegan cheese brands. 
I always forget how tasty a big bowl of steel cut oats is. I am not always hungry first thing in the morning, so I don't tend to make this during the work week.

Happy to report that Craig is still eating salads. Still can't believe he wouldn't have touched a bowl like this when I first met him. 
This is the week that I discovered I really enjoy winter hiking. I remembered my Leiki poles this time and they were a necessity on the trails with deeper snow. 
Due to the political divide becoming bigger in this country and the attempted coup on the Capitol this week, there was a lot of negative energy happening on social media and on the news. It's important to face these issues and change them, but it can also feel really heavy and depressing. 

I find that going into nature really helps me focus on the positives in my life and gives me energy the rest of the day. The sunshine certainly helped too. 
Now mom and I need to get out there on some snow shoes and see if we like it!
I went solo hiking as Craig's feet and hands get cold really easily. That way I could also push myself more and get more of a cardio workout in on hills like this one.
I'm trying to read more books on race this year and I started with this great and important book. It's a quick read with a great perspective from a black woman. 
My buddy Shiva. On Saturday, he was following me around the house all day.