"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

17 July 2018

Italian Potato Bowls

So, around our house, 3 out of the 4 of us are trying to eat more plant-based meals.  Our youngest daughter, who is 19 and starting her second year at UNH  in late August,where they have fantastic dining options, is totally vegan.  My husband still eats meat but has cut way back on it.  Our oldest eats just about anything except certain pork items and minimal beef.  As for me, I am trying to be plant-based but I do still eat cheddar and parmesan cheese and certain ice creams.  That's it for dairy for me though.  I gave up beef, pork, and most fish.  I eat chicken about 1-2 x a week and salmon about once a month.  The rest of the time I eat plant-based "meats" and foods.  After work today, I browsed online in a vegan site I enjoy and discovered a really easy 30 minute recipe.  I tweaked it a bit and want to share it with you. It was a hit!!

ITALIAN POTATO BOWLS 

3-4 large red potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
dash of sea salt
1 can of northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 fresh, raw tomato chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 zucchini, chopped into bite-sized chunks
2/3 c. chopped sweet onion or scallions
1/2 jar (8 oz) roasted red peppers, sliced
dash of dried basil
dash of Italian seasonings OR drizzle of light Italian dressing
(we use the Wish Bone brand as doesn't contain cheese)
Fresh, raw greens (I used baby romaine and purple romaine)

  • Cook the potatoes in water to cover and a little sea salt until a fork can pierce into a chunk. Drain and keep hot by covering the pan.
  • Meanwhile:  saute the zucchini and onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until just browned; add in the chopped tomato and cook on low for about 3-4 minutes.  Add in roasted red peppers and gently toss.  Sprinkle with a dash of basil.
  • Place beans in microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute.
  • Cook the quinoa-barley mix for 90 seconds per package instructions. Pour into serving dish.
  • Place 3-5  c. of fresh greens in a serving bowl.
  • Set out 3-4 soup bowls and place greens in bottom then add a 1/2 c. grains to each.
  • Then add potatoes, the beans and on top of each bowl, add the zucchini mixture.  Top with just a drizzle of Italian dressing.

This recipe serves four.  To serve more, simply double the recipe!

 For a side dish, add fresh French bread and butter of your choice (we use Earth Balance original vegan butter) or Fresh Fruit cups:  Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Blackberries, Blueberries.

ENJOY!!




as with all of the posts under the faithfixes label, you DO have permission to copy and print this recipe.


13 July 2018

2018 Vacation Faves




I was away on our mountain/lake vacation all last week from 30 June to 7 July.  Oh what a relaxing, refreshing time we had.  The only thing missing was our oldest gal, Courtney, as she had to work due to starting a new full time job in May so doesn't have vacation time yet.  Other than that, the week was practically perfect.  Super hot and humid the first 3 days but a brief thunderstorm pushed through the 3rd evening, and then the rest of the week was just glorious...a little hotter than normal for the mountains but with the lake, it was ok!  Here are 5 of my faves from the vacation.


  • LONG LAKE VILLAGE AND LAKE:  it's perfect.  Quaint, friendly, wicked small.  Our cottage is part of this establishment and the hosts are just wonderfully accommodating and super friendly.  Kitchens are fully stocked minus food and drink and the only thing we have to bring for supplies are our own towels and beach towels. We had a 2 bedroom, one bath, living area and kitchen with a screened in porch with a table and chairs plus a glider.  We've learned to bring little things like hand soap, candles, games, books, some kitchen tools (she provides the basics) etc.  We make it very homey and the dressers and closets are plenty big for a week. This was our third time staying in a cottage there and we will definitely be going back. The village has a post office, library, 2 ice cream stands, a snack shop on the beach, sea plane tours, boat tours, a general store, a hardware store, a small grocery mart and a gas station/convenience store. Several houses plus a LOT of camps.  One state campground and a private campground.  A few little artsy shops and a coffee shop that also sells fudge and other treats.  Not much else! Here are some faves from the dock and cottage: 
Our yard area behind the cottage overlooking Long Lake
that is Owls Head Mt in the background (the high point is behind the pine branch)
 which Dave and I hiked in Summer of 2013
We sat here in the morning sun on the two chilly mornings we had
and in the mid afternoon shade on the very hot days we had.
We also had Dave's camping chair and my chaise lounge with us.
The grill is cleaned out for us every morning by staff.
Wild irises grow along the lake near the cottages
and in town along the nature trail
  • The DOCK: Claire and I (and sometimes Dave) would sit on the dock in the mornings with our coffee and books.  Most of the week we were the only people down at the lake in the morning.  It was just heavenly.  Here are a few fave photos taken from the chairs on the dock:

 
The flag on the dock corner.
Early on the 2nd morning.




Sunset on the first evening
from the dock
  • RELAXING AND READING:  Every single afternoon, we spent on the beach, usually from around 1:30-5 or so.  We read books, swam, floated in tubes that the Shamrock provides, and just relaxed!  We all really enjoyed it immensely and for 2 days my very good childhood friend Cheryl was up there as well!  She had a room in the motel for 2 nights and we had a blast!! We would head back down to the lake in the evenings and drink wine, take photos, and sometimes swim again.  It was so much fun!
CHEERS!
Claire, me, Cheryl
Selfie taken by Cheryl


Claire doing one of our fave things!

CELEBRATING OUR 28th ANNIVERSARY
30 June at The Shamrock
  • EXPLORING!  On Tuesday, Dave and I decided to try a new-to-us trail about 20 minutes south of the cottage.  Our destination was Wilson Pond but sadly, after hiking for about a mile, we had to turn back as the trail became impassable and was NOT well marked.  We did manage to get to Grassy Pond which was pretty and a half mile in.  We also saw a very pretty unnamed pond with many lily pads about another 1/4 mile in.  BUT...it was HOT, HUMID and way too buggy with deer flies.  So instead of doing a 6 mile hike, we did a 2 mile one.  BUT...then on Thursday, Cheryl and I left the cottages early to go to Bog River Falls and it was spectacular. We also drove 4 miles further north west and came to Horseshoe Lake which is a small lake with mainly private camps.  I've had it on my bucket list of places to see for a couple years now and glad we took the time to go. Here are some photos from both places we explored:
Bog River Falls
between Long Lake and Tupper Lake villages
5 July 2018



Horseshoe Lake
West-Central Adirondacks
5 July

Dave on the Wilson Pond trail
3 July
Central Adirondacks



unamed pond
along the Wilson Pond Trail

on the trail towards Grassy Pond
  • FAMILY TIME:  The days before and after my friend left the Shamrock to go back to her home, we had some nice family time.  Claire and I kayaked one evening after dinner; Dave and I kayaked one afternoon before dinner; Claire left Friday morning to go back home for a work meeting, so Dave and I went to Saranac Lake to do some exploring around the village and to get another signature for my Adirondack 102 Challenge. I had never been there and it was wonderful to finally get there. Below are some photos of our family time:
Sunset kayak time



We just can't go to the Shamrock without Claire
doing an arabesque on the dock


playing shuffleboard one afternoon before dinner
what fun we all had!
Adirondack Carousel (inside)
Saranac Lake Village
6 July

horse on Carousel....check out the detail and art!

Black Fly ride on Carousel

Saranac Lake Village Town Hall

Read about the story behind the Adirondack Carousel here.  It's amazing! All of the animals on the carousel are hand carved and feature animals you see in the Adirondack Mountains.
Last sunset from the dock


sunset on last evening as seen from our porch

That wraps up this post!

I know I posted more than 5 photos but they all came out so well.....we have even more on social media and on our phones.  I will create a photobook sometime next winter and our family will have special memories for years to come.

How about you? What were some blessings you discovered in the last week?

Do share, and then link up at Susanne's site for the weekly FFF.




09 July 2018

2018 Book Review #23: The Secret Keeper

This author is one I've seen mentioned on blogs and book sites I like to visit.  I've also seen her books in the town library but had never read one.  This past week, while away on our mountain vacation, I read this entire novel and it was great.

STORY SUMMARY

Laurel Nicholson is the oldest of 3 younger sisters (Rose, Iris, and Daphne) and a little brother, Gerry.  She is 16 years old and lives on Greenacres the family farm in the English countryside.  They are not wealthy financially, but they are happy and rich in spirit. 

During a summer birthday party for little Gerry who just turned 2, Laurel escaped to her tree-house  to dream of the future.  She has a crush on a boy and someday wants to be an actress.  While she is up in the tree house, with everyone else down by the river at the party, she sees a stranger walking up the long road to their farm.  She watches as her mother, who has gone to retrieve the special birthday cake knife with Gerry on her hip, approaches him and begins to talk.  Then, Laurel witnesses a horrible crime.  It is shocking.  In fact, this crime will challenge everything Laurel thought she knew about her mother.  Her mother is Dorothy...a vivacious, loving and practically perfect mother.  Until now.

Fast forward 50 years:  Laurel is a very successful and well-known actress living in London.  The entire family is gathering together at Greenacres Farm for their mother's 90th birthday. Dorothy is not well and the doctors basically say she could die anytime now. However, knowing that this will be the last chance Laurel will have of learning the secrets her mother has kept all of these years, she begins to search for the answers to the many questions she has of her mother and her life before marriage and children. 

 Laurel begins to dig into Dorothy's past.  And what she finds out is very surprising. Her mother is tied in some way to three different people:  Henry Jenkins and his young wife Vivien.  And to a young man named Jimmy. Henry Jenkins is the man who walked up to their farm back when Laurel was 16.  Why??  And what really happened with her mother?  What secrets has her mother been carrying since 1941??


MY THOUGHTS

There is so much to this plot!!  I didn't want to give out the entire story in the above summary so I summed it up as per the jacket cover which leaves out a lot of details about Dorothy's a.k.a. Dolly's life growing up in the 1940s.

The book takes you from 1961 when Laurel is 16 to the present day.  Then it goes back to tell Dolly's story from pre-WWII  England and the Blitz to the 1960s.  Then the next chapter is Laurel's voice in the present day. Laurel will dig up new information about her mother's growing up years and then the next chapter will answer part of that question.  And so on.

It is excellent in character development and setting.  The characters are really believable and so realistic.  Your can just see them sitting in the cafe with their 1940s clothing and hair styles smoking their cigarettes and chatting.  The author does an excellent job with setting.

She also does a very excellent job at keeping the reader interested.  In some places I felt like it was starting to slow down, but then quickly it picked up pace again.

I was so intrigued as to what really happened between Dolly, Vivien and Jimmy that I stayed up very late each night this past week to keep reading more.

There was one quote that really jumped out at me.  It was said by the adult Gerry:

".....we grow and change depending on what life throws at us."
(page 421, The Secret Keeper, c. 2012)

And then shortly after that quote, the ending begins.  And oh what an ending.

It did NOT end the way I predicted.  I was totally surprised and I kept thinking how brilliant this author is to come up with such an ending to such a great love story.

This is part mystery, drama, family saga, history, and romance. But the romance parts are not sappy at all.  If they were, I wouldn't have read it.  It is just a sweet "feel good' story  that leaves you feeling full and satisfied.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.





29 June 2018

End of June Faves

Wow.....my first week of vacation is done and it's the end of June!
We've been out of school now for one week and all kinds of fun has been happening!

I'm sharing FIVE of my FAVES today by linking up at Susanne's site.  We do this to be intentional about living a life of gratitude for all things....big or little.

Here are my FAVES from the past week:

Fireworks at Next Door Neighbors
  • GRAD PARTY:  Our next door neighbor, Melissa, and her husband Paul, had their youngest daughter's grad party after the high school graduation ceremony last Saturday.  The party started at 2 and me and the girls went over for about 2 hours. What fun it was!  Then we were invited back for fireworks around 9 pm.  It was so much fun.  My husband was able to join us for about a half hour in the late afternoon, too.  The party was mostly relatives but because we have been friends with them since they moved in, in 2002,  they invited us as well. We have watched our girls grow up together (our oldest is almost 25 and theirs is 22 and our youngest is 19 and theirs is 18).  We've camped together, hiked, biked, played board games, dinners on the deck, vacations together, etc.  We've done life together!  I'm thankful we got to see Meredith on her graduation day and spend some time with them.
Claire at the Rose Garden
Botanical Gardens, Montreal
Photo by Ashley

  • SAFE TRAVELS:  Our youngest, Claire, drove her car to Montreal on Monday morning.  Her UNH friend went with her after spending the night here.  Ashley is from NH and kept her car here as they took Claire's car. It was Ashley's first time out of this country. I'm  thankful they had a safe trip up and back and that their 2 days in Old Montreal were sunny and fun-filled.


me and my friend Gerri on summit of First Brother
High Peaks Region, ADKS
25 June


looking at Giant Mt (12th highest in NYS)
from the summit of First Brothers
  • HIKING!  I finally got to hike a mountain on Monday.  I hadn't hiked one since last autumn. I've only done flat trails.  So I was most thankful that temps were only in the high 60s in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks and that the sky was a perfect blue and the sun was amazing.  Our photos don't do the setting justice. It is soooooo much better in person.  I chose The Brothers because the hike is made up of 3 summits.  We did the first 2 because they have the best views.  Total distance from car and back is 3.5 miles.  It was awesome.  My niece really loved it.  She is the reason I was hiking Monday.  It was the only day she could go before I leave on my lake vacation and I didn't want to disappoint her.  My friend Gerri went and the daughter (Amanda) of my friend Ingrid went as well.  It was Amanda's first time up a real mountain. At one point, we all had to get up some rocks by getting on our hands and knees and crawling up.  It was STEEP!  We loved it.  It was a great time! We also explored Chapel Pond a bit as we had time.  I'm so thankful for friends and family who like to hike!
my niece Mady (age 10), Amanda (age 22) and friend Gerri
beginning of The Brothers trail


Big Slide Mountain as seen from the 2nd Brothers summit



The Great Range of the High Peaks Wilderness Region
25 June


  • LUNCH DATE:  My cousin Trisha and I had a lunch date in this place on Wednesday.  It was wonderful to see her again. It had been a couple years since we'd gotten together.  She lives about 35 minutes north west of us and is busy with her large family.  We had a nice vegan lunch at my fave vegan cafe in the city and chatted for quite a while. We have plans to get together with our husbands too later this summer.  I'm always thankful when I can connect with extended family members.

teacher gift!
 
  • SPECIAL GIFT FROM SPECIAL STUDENTS:  We have a set of twins in the classroom and I work closely with both of them.  One goes to my daily language group for a half hour and the other one is in my small group/cognitive group.  The family attends my church, too so I often see them in the lobby after they are picked up from Sunday School.   Their mom surprised me with this "happy vacation" gift.  It is a beach towel, magazine, and insulated cup filled with individual packets of organic lemonade mix!  I checked and all the packets have stevia vs fake sugar.  What a great gift!  I'm thankful for thoughtful parents.

That wraps up my faves.

I will be on a blogging break for the next week or so........but I will definitely check out your FFF list.

Have a wonderful weekend and 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY 

to all my USA friends!



27 June 2018

SUMMER HIKING CLOTHES

Dave on the Mt Adams trail
High Peaks Wilderness Region ADKS
Labor Day 2015
On the Summit of Poke-a-Moonshine Mt
Eastern ADKS
June 2015 

What do I wear on a summer hike??

That is one question that comes up a lot among my friends. I learned from experience and from reading various hiking books about how to dress and what to pack.  When the girls were little, I taught them some of these tips as well.  One mistake I have seen, and that years ago as a teen I used to make is:  Denim.  I have seen so many people make the mistake of wearing denim.  It's usually because they are novice hikers or don't do it often enough to invest in the proper clothing. But.... you don't have to have the most expensive hiking gear to hike!  Here is a complete list of highly recommended clothing/gear for summer hiking.  Summer for this article's purposes is June-end of September.  


  • HIKING SHORTS OR CAPRI LEGGINGS:  Think "wick away" material.  You can find these items at LLBean, Dicks Sporting Goods or sometimes T*rget. The shorts I'm wearing in the above photo and that my husband Dave is wearing are a cotton poly blend with some rayon and a wick away material.  Cotton is preferable over denim but even 100% cotton is NOT recommended. You will be miserable if you get wet or if a sudden rainstorm pops up.  If you are on budget, just get running shorts or capris.  If you are hiking in tall grasses, it is recommended that you wear trail pants.  Again, avoid denim and 100% cotton. Denim DOES NOT GIVE and when wet it will be very constricting.  Also, denim, when wet or dry, does not "move" with your body.  You are hiking!  You need to have flexibility in the waist, hips, and butt.  AVOID DENIM. (forest rangers will tell you the same thing...and NEVER wear it in autumn or winter either!). The only times I wear a pair of jeans to "hike" in is if I'm spontaneously walking one of the local park paths.  NEVER in the woods/mountains.

  • WICK AWAY HIKING SHIRTS OR TEES/TANK TOPS:  any shirt you choose should be a wick away material (yes, even in colder months).  I have a separate article for spring hiking but for summer it is highly recommended that you wear a sports bra (if female) and over that, a wick away material found in most hiking shirts.  Again, if you are on a budget, you can find running shirts at T*rget for less than $20.  The one i am wearing in the above photo is from the brand Champion.  I also have a couple of high quality wick away racer back tanks for those really hot day hikes.  Again, in a wick away material. LLB sells them for a reasonable price at the end of season sales.  Or again, check the athletic department in places like K*hl's and T*rget.

  • HIKING SOCKS:  this is vital.  Always.  Wear socks that offer a sweat free experience. It's wise to invest in at least one good pair of socks.  Use a cheaper pair, as your back-up pair, and keep in your backpack.

  • HIKING BOOTS:  I have seen people wearing sandals and flip flops and I cringe. ALWAYS HIKE WITH HIKING BOOTS or even high top sneakers, as long as they don't have a smooth  bottom, will work.  IF you must hike with sneakers because you don't want to invest in hiking boots, then choose running/trail or hiking sneakers.  LLB makes a good, affordable pair that I wear for flat hikes.  High tops are recommended as long as they have the tread on bottom for any trail that climbs. Obviously, hiking boots are the best for hiking.  LLB and Keenes are ones I recommend but any brand will do if you get your foot fitted for them and as long as you have room in the toe to avoid toe jam. Your feet take a beating when on a mountain trail.  


  • BANDANNA: I tie one around the loop of the top of my backpack and when you are super sweaty and come across a stream or other body of water, simply dip the cloth in to the water and place around your neck.  Instant relief!


  • MOLESKIN:  this should be in every hiker's backpack.  See post titled Basic Hiking Gear for a short basic gear checklist.

  • HOODED RAIN JACKET OR WIND-BREAKER: every summer backpack should carry this even if the forecast calls for sunny skies.  It might be chilly on the summit, or (and this has happened to me numerous times in the mountains, especially the Catskills and Berkshires for some reason) a pop up rain or thunderstorm.  Keep it in the bottom of your backpack.  Simple. Get the light weight kind that rolls up.

  • FLASHLIGHT and/or HEADLAMP:  always.  Bottom of backpack.  Because you never know!


  • Other items you will need for a summer hike: 

Foods that include something salty and a lot of protein.  There are some great plant-based protein bars in all kinds of flavors with minimal sugar that make great hiking snacks.  Pack fresh fruit and raw veggies, nut butters, nuts like walnuts and almonds.

WATER!  at least 2 bottles.  Try to avoid plastic bottles and invest in 2 good re-usable ones.  POGO or CAMELBAK are ones we like and highly recommend.  (you must carry in/carry out).

FIRST AID KIT:  at least one person if not every backpack should have a first aid kit.  include bandaids, tylenol or ibuprofin, an antibacterial cream, moleskin, tweezers, hand sanitizer.

BIO-DEGRADABLE TISSUE: for obvious reasons. Please see the Hiking Etiquette post about how to pee in the woods and dispose of human waste properly.

LEASHED DOGS:  if you insist on bringing the family dog, please do everyone a favor and put a leash on it at all times. If's actually required in the High Peaks region.

TRAIL MAP and/or COMPASS or GUIDEBOOK:  for obvious reasons.  Some trails are well blazed.  Others, not so much.  Many of the trails outside the ADKS and Catskills have very spotty blazes if any.  Bring the map of trailbook and do NOT rely on GPS or google map programs because cell service is usually non-existant or spotty at best.  Use common sense!

EXTRA WATER IN COOLER for car:  Keep ice in a cooler and keep on the floor of your backseat in hot weather.  Keep extra water bottles or juices in there in case someone is feeling dehydrated or "sun sick" after the hike.  

And HAVE FUN!! 

 Remember to take only photos and leave the wildlife and plant life alone!!  NEVER PICK THE WILDFLOWERS!! many of them, especially at alpine level (above tree line and on summits) are endangered. Also, never re-arrange rock cairns.  Rock Cairns are there to help navigate hikers along the ridge line or on the summit if the summit continues on to another trail or to another look-out.  It is extremely rude and dangerous to mess with the cairns.  Thank you!!




summit of Cascade Mountain






26 June 2018

HIKING ETIQUETTE

summer 2013
Hurricane Mountain/Gulf Brook lean-to 

Hiking Etiquette.  It's usually unwritten rules that one just sort of learns by going hiking or by having a daddy who taught you well.  (like mine did).  I also picked up hiking etiquette by reading hiking journals, blogs, and hiking guides.  And by observation of other hikers.

It struck me yesterday as I was hiking with a young adult new-to-mountain-climbing hiker, that I should have done a bit of teaching basic hiking etiquette as leader of this fitness group I organize.  

Here are some basic, usually common-sense, hiking "rules" for when you are on the trail/in the mountains.



photo used with permission by Bob Klann
of
theoutdoorsoul.net



  • CHECK IN! (IF REGISTRY AVAILABLE) This is a MUST. Trail registers are typically at the beginning of the trailhead (the start of the trail) or just a few hundred feet in. If you sign in, you are alerting the forest ranger in that area as to your plan and presence.  This way, if something happens, they know who is still on the trail. (ALWAYS CHECK OUT once you get back to the trail-head). Signing in usually involves the name of the group leader or your self, the number of people in your group, your destination (ex. to summit of Blue Mt, or to Mud Lake, etc), how long you plan on staying (ex. 1 day) and a phone number in case of emergency. DO NOT GIVE YOUR OWN CELL NUMBER because you are in the wilderness or typically on a trail with no coverage!  Rather, give the number of the group leader's spouse or a trusted adult who knows where you are and what your plan is.  Which reminds me:  always leave your itinerary with someone back at your home. 
sign in register at Mt Adams trailhead
Photo courtesy of Cheryl A Blask
Sept 2015



  • CARRY IN/CARRY OUT!  Yes this is a NYS law but this should be followed no matter what state or country you are in. NEVER LEAVE YOUR GARBAGE/PAPERS on the ground. NEVER.  Simply pack your food and paper waste back into the baggie you packed your lunch in!  Or bring a small bag to shove all waste in and place in bottom of your back pack to dispose of when you return home. If you see a plastic water bottle (shudder) that someone dropped or other waste, simply pick it up and bring out with you.

  • BURY YOUR HUMAN WASTE:  Yes sometimes nature calls....and you must use the woods as your bathroom.  Find a spot AT LEAST 150 feet off the trail and preferably behind a large tree or rock.  Dig a hole at least 6 inches deep (you can use your hiking stick for this or some people carry a small trowel).  Use biodegradable tissue paper and BURY ALL WASTE with the soil you dug up and add some leaves/branches to the top.  Make sure you are at least 150 feet away from any water source, too. (brooks, lake, river, waterfalls, etc).  Teach your children how to pee in the woods.
rather than further eroding the trail, just rock hop!
Mady on the Cascade Mt trail
Summer 2017

  • STAY ON THE TRAILS AT ALL TIMES!  do NOT walk on the fragile plants/wildflowers at alpine level/summits.  If the trail is muddy, STAY ON IT.  Do not further erode the trails by going off and around.  This is why water-proof hiking boots are vital.  Once you are on the summit, do NOT pick the flowers, or disturb the plant life.  Take photos but hands off the plants!  This will help to keep our earth and woods healthy. In some of the National Parks, you can be fined by bringing back flowers or rocks etc.  Be respectful of God's creation/Nature.

my niece Mady on the Cascade Mt summit
August 2017
Note: she is standing on the bare rock NOT where the fragile plants are located.
to navigate around the summit, is called rock-hopping.  

  • BE PREPARED:  No one really wants to share their water because you should be carrying your own!  Pack the following items into your backpack for each mountain hike/deep woods hike:
                    first aid kit
                    enough water for the length of hike (at least 2 bottles)
                    headlamp
                    map or trailguide
                    food/snacks/a source of protein and a source of salt
                    extra socks, and rain jacket
                    a whistle

my backpack
Spring 2017
Kipp Mountain
photo courtesy of Cheryl A Blask
  • KEEP STUFF OFF THE TRAIL!  If you are stopping to rest, take a water/snack break, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR STUFF in the middle of the trail!  This is dangerous to other hikers, especially ones coming DOWN who might not see your loot.  Simply place your backpack against a tree or rock, and sit on the side of the trail without sprawling your legs all over the trail.  Lean your hiking stick against a tree as well and pick up any food/paper that falls.  The only thing that is "ok" to toss into the woods is an apple core!  That will break down into compost. 
Faith and Cheryl getting assistance from super nice guys
on trail across stream at Poke-a-Moonshine Mt
June 2015
photo courtesy of Tina 
  • ACCEPT AND OFFER HELP!  It is ok to accept help if you need it. Most hikers I've met over all these years of hiking are super nice, respectful people.  Here is a photo where I just could NOT walk on those beaver dam branches. I kept slipping.  Some guys noticed and helped us across.  I've often had to give someone a hand up or down a rock scramble or give out directions.   There is no shame in accepting help and it is downright good etiquette to offer it if you see someone struggling.  Smile, say Hello, etc before approaching someone.  Ask if they want help. And remember....do unto others......

  • KEEP NOISE LEVEL DOWN!  Most people want to enjoy the woods and mountain top experience with as little noise as possible. There's nothing more annoying that someone blasting music from a boom box (yes it happened on Snowy Mt!!) or from their iphone.  TURN OFF THE TECHNOLOGY and save your battery. Seriously, be respectful to nature lovers and people who want to meditate in the great outdoors.  Keep your conversations at a talking level.  Give people space at the summit.  Don't crowd into their area of viewing/eating, etc.  If you are on a fire tower, take your pics, look around and then come down as there are often rules stating that no more than 5-6 people can be on the top/in the cab.  



  • ALL DOGS SHOULD BE LEASHED.  It's actually a rule for the High Peaks and is wise on all other trails.  For my Fit and Fun Group, I have established a "no pets can come" rule.  Keeps things easier!


  • WATCH OUT FOR PRIVATE PROPERTY:  if needing to cross private landowners' property, stick to the trail and be respectful so they will want to continue to allow hikers to cross their land. NEVER toss litter onto private property. If you must park on their land (as is the case when hiking Pine Orchard in the southern ADKS) ask the landowner as a courtesy.  (they will say Yes).  Don't block their driveway or access road.  Leave a note on the car stating your purpose if they are not at home.

  • FIRST COME FIRST SERVE:  This is usually the case for spending the night in a lean-to.  (see first photo above). However, if there are only 1-2 people in a large one, sometimes they will invite another person to stay as well.  It's common courtesy to at least ask.  Also, if the lean-to includes dishes or a broom, etc please leave them there after using and washing them.  Be respectful.  Leave it better than you found it!

  • OFFER GAS MONEY!  If you are car-pooling to a trail-head, offer the driver gas money or offer to pay any parking fees.  I'm not inclined to take gas money but I love it when my friends and fellow hikers make the offer. It's kind. Some of my friends and I have an "unwritten rule" where if one drives, the other one buys the coffee or ice cream afterwards. Again, not necessary and not every driver will take you up on the offer, but it is kind and respectful.

These are the basic rules of hiking.

Now...GO TAKE A HIKE!