Adirondack Hiker’s Gift Guide 2016

Have an avid hiker on your holiday gift list this year? Check this out! I love reading gift guides, so I finally decided to make my own! guide-logo hiking-gift-guide
  1. Big Agnes 15 Degree Down Sleeping Bag - this sleeping bag looks perfect for cold weather camping and should definitely keep you warm and cozy in your tent.
  2. LAMO Footwear Suede Sheepskin Fleece Lining Slippers  - there's nothing like slipping your feet into warm fuzzy slippers for the drive home after a winter hike.
  3. Pistil Clara Visor Beanie - I have a beanie very similar to this one and I love it
  4. Adventure Medical Emergency Bivvy - keeping one of these bivvys in your hiking pack is a must for anyone hiking in the high peaks. I got one as a gift a few years back!
  5. Mountain Landscape Necklace - Etsy is a great place to find unique jewelry for that hiking lady in your life.  *coughcough*
  6. Adirondack Peaks Plaque Burl - With a customizable summit marker, this would make a great gift for someone finishing the 46!
  7. Sea to Summit DryLite Antibacterial Towel - these towels are amazing for camping. They pack down small and are super absorbent and dry quickly!
  8. Stanley Adventure Stainless Steel Food Jar - these are great for keeping food hot! Enjoying a hot meal on a cold summit definitely warms the soul.
  9. Moutain Hardware Snowpass Scarf - fleece infinity scarf. Enough said!
  10. REI Revel Cloud Vest - an extra layer of insulation in the high peaks is always a good idea.
  11. Jetboil MinMo Cooking System - a stove is a  must for winter hiking and  year-round backpacking. I have a jetboil and it is amazing--it boils water in a flash.
  12. Smartwool PhD Outdoor Mountaineer Socks - every hiker loves getting a good pair of wool socks, just sayin'.
  13.  Marmot Fuzzy Wuzzy Glove - keeping hands warm is key during a cold hike--these gloves look like they'd do the job.
Note: I'm not affiliated with any of the above companies, but I have purchased many similar items and highly recommend them.
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2016 Troy Turkey Trot 10K

It's somewhat of a tradition for my friends and I to run the Troy Turkey Trot 10K on Thanksgiving morning. img_0188 img_0186 You may have noticed I haven't been running much lately! I've had a reoccurring hip issue for the past few months. I took the entire month of October off from running and skipped two half marathons I was signed up for, hoping that it would get better. On Halloween I ran for the first time in a month, with short runs here and there after that, nothing over four miles. I had thought my hip was healed! At about mile 5 of the Turkey Trot, my hip started aching (not enough to stop mid-race, however). I managed to finish the race at about a 10:18 average pace per mile, which is okay considering I haven't been running regularly. img_0189 After the race we stopped for some coffee and breakfast, which was fun. I'm so thankful for all my running friends and for the running community, and I miss our group runs and races. I've started doing some hip and glute strengthening exercises in hopes of healing my hip for good, so with some more time off from running, I'm hoping it heals so I can start a training plan for a goal race in the spring.
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Fall in the ADK and Hiking Cliff Mountain

This past weekend was prime for leaf peeping in the Adirondacks! Sunday morning I drove up to Keene Valley to hike one of my favorites, Indian Head! Last summer Christine and I hiked it and I couldn't wait to come back.  Just look at this view. img_4619 Monday was my first day off since Labor Day! Brendan and I drove up to the Upper Works trailhead in Newcomb to go back for Cliff, a peak we orphaned back in May when we hiked Redfield. It was going to be a long day.
It was in the mid 30s when we got to the trailhead. Brrr! We got there around 7 and were on the trail by 7:15. The parking lot was crowded, but we were wondering where they all were since we didn't see many people on the trail. The 4.5 mile hike in to the Flowed Lands was uneventful. We passed the time chatting. When we got there, we signed in and headed to the Uphill Lean-to. We got to the Lake Colden bridge at 9:40am.
Looks like winter here
Looks like winter here
Then it was up, up, up to the Uphill Lean-to. We got there at around 11:45 and stopped for a brief snack before taking the herdpack on the right to Cliff/Redfield, marked with a cairn. I forgot the herdpath splits and Cliff's goes to the right, and Redfield's continues along the Opalescent. At 11:15 we were climbing Cliff.
We got some nice views while climbing. There was ice on the neighboring peaks!  Winter is coming!
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The bog was a sloppy mess, but the "cliffy" sections of cliff weren't as bad as I was expecting. There were lots of hand holds and tree roots to hold onto. There was only one small section where I needed a boost.
We arrived at the summit at 12:30, which was 8.8 miles from Upper Works. We made pretty good time!
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Descending was a lot easier. It included a lot of butt sliding. I had to take my pack off and throw it down first before going down some sections.
After descending the final cliff, our friend took off to hike Redfield, while Brendan and I made our way back to the Uphill Lean-to for lunch. We got back there at 1:40. We shared some lentil soup and cookies. Perfect for a chilly fall day! We also had a visitor, a little Pine Marten! So cute!
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We started heading back at around 2. Again, the hike out was uneventful. We got back to the bridge over Lake Colden at 3:00, stopping for a snack for about 5 minutes. It turned out to be a gorgeous fall day.
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Our speedy friend caught back up with us with a few miles left so we all hiked out together.
We arrived back at the car at 5:45. It was a long, but enjoyable day in the mountains. I've got three high peaks left. It's a bittersweet feeling.
 
Cliff Mountain 17.5 mi RT from Upper Works 10.5 hours, including stops
Elevation 3,944'
Ascent 2,691'
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Gear Used: EMS Gore-Tex gaiters, EMS hiking pants, ExOfficio long sleeve, Reebok puffy vest, LL Bean fleece gloves, Osprey Sirrus day pack, Kelty trekking poles, Keene Durand hiking boots, Smartwool socks, 3L Platypus hydration bladder
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Gear Review – What I Used and Loved During the Trip

I meant to publish this post a few weeks back, but time got away from me! I wanted to do a quick review of the gear I used during our trip this past July. Here is what I loved.

Salomon Women's Ellipse Aero Hiking Shoe 

I was on on the fence about getting new hiking shoes just for this trip, but I am SO glad I did. My usual hiking boots are big, clunky and hot. These Salomons were perfect for this trip. Most of the hikes we did were on well-worn paths. Some were on Utah's slickrock trails. Since it was so dry, I had no problem in these shoes. They were comfortable and supportive and did not weigh me down!

Gregory Women's Pace 5 Hydration Pack

IMG_3111 I originally got this hydration pack for trail running, but it worked great for this trip. It has a 1.5 oz bladder, which was perfect for the shorter hikes we did. I always had it with me on our Utah hikes, because it was so hot, it was important to have easy access to water at all times. It was great! It also had a pocket on the shoulder strap for your phone, keys, etc., as well as a pretty big main pocket for your lightweight jacket, map, headlamp, and first aid kit.

Tasc Performance District Capri

IMG_2652 These are hands-down, my favorite piece of clothing from tasc performance. They are comfortable, stretchy, and still look cute. They are awesome for hiking (although maybe not in wet weather since they do take some time to dry) as well as just walking around or going to dinner. I wore them constantly during this trip!

LL Bean Freeport Flannel Shirt

IMG_2680 I had a gift card for LL bean to use so opted to get one of their versatile flannels. This one was perfect for the chilly San Francisco weather. I also wore it during our hike in Muir Woods. It is now my go-to outer layer when out and about!

Tasc Performance Hit the Trail Skirt

Hiking in a skirt is not something I thought I'd ever do, but this one was so comfortable, I decided to try it (It was toward the end of the trip and was low on clean laundry...) So, not only did this skirt serve its purpose for going out to dinner in the evenings, I hiked it in it to Delicate Arch--a 3.2 mile hike in Arches National Park. Disclaimer: I am a tasc performance brand ambassador! tasc provided me with clothing in exchange for my review and social media posts. All opinions are still my own, though! Everything else I purchased. 🙂 
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Mountain Biking in Klondike Bluffs, Moab, Utah

Our last full day of the trip was an action-packed one. Jordan and I were on the fence about renting mountain bikes during the trip, but decided to go for it on the last day. We were in Moab, after all, where some of the best and most famous mountain biking trails are located. Our hotel was also right across from the best bike rental shop in Moab, Poison Spider. The night before we picked out and got fit for our bikes. I chose an Ibis Mojo HD3, an extremely high end, 27.5 wheel size, carbon fiber, full suspension mountain bike. We asked our friends who had come to Moab previously on a mountain biking trip where the best place to go would be. They recommended Klondike Bluffs, just outside of Moab. The guys at Poison Spider installed a suction-cup bike rack on our rental vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, while we picked out the bikes.  We brought them home for the night so we could get up early and hit the trails the next morning. We parked at the North trail head off of 191 since the South Entrance was closed. The trail names are dinosaur themed because dinosaur footprints can be seen on the trail. Crazy! Here is a great description of the trails. IMG_3746 It was unlike any mountain biking I've ever done! It was so different out here because it was so wide open! I'm so used to riding through the woods, afraid of hitting trees, I actually enjoyed riding these open trails much more. IMG_3748 IMG_3749 IMG_3750 IMG_3751 IMG_3752 Riding the Ibis Mojo was amazing. I can see why it is such an expensive bike. I felt comfortable on it and it rolled over every rock effortlessly! IMG_3754
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Can you spot the jack rabbit?

  IMG_3760 I was worried it would be hard to find the trail, but they were marked very well. IMG_3761   IMG_3762 IMG_3768 IMG_3770 IMG_3771 IMG_3773
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Green Lizard Guy

We stuck to mostly beginner/intermediate trails and rode 11.3 miles total in about 1 hr, 45 minutes. Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 8.04.39 AM We were so glad we decided to rent bikes. We got out early (around 7:30) to beat the heat. It started to get hot fast, and by the time we were done it was in the high 80s. For lunch we went to the Quesadilla Mobilla, a food truck in Moab serving what else--quesadillas! They were delicious! We liked them so much that Jordan and I ate lunch here two days in a row. Yum! When can we move to Moab?
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The Southern Belle - Shredded beef with cheddar/jack cheese, sautéed corn, sautéed onions and roasted sweet potatoes

 
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