the priest 2013 August!

We started our trip on Friday 🙂 the day was beautiful and the temperature was just right!


We started pretty much at ground level and climbed up to the top of this here mountain. We camped at the top the first day and then Saturday we hiked down a little way to the priest shelter and then all the way back to the car.



From the path near the car the sign says that the shelter is 4.8 miles. My fitbit said it was much farther (although there is some question of it’s accuracy while I am climbing because stride length is vastly shortened and I also use my arms with hiking poles. the fitbit sits on my collar line and may be affected by my arm movements. More experiments are necessary to determine the truth)

Most of the path was much more steep than this. I don’t really have many pictures of the path because I was trying to climb and I was saving my battery for pictures at the top and on the way down.

My fitbit says we climbed 213 flights of stairs or roughly 2,130 feet. This appears to be accurate. Reports of elevation change are from 2000-3000 feet.

This was the view of the fog from my hammock. I didn’t get a good pic that *really* detailed the fog because it was just my cell phone.


This is a fairly typical set up for our hammocks. The tarp spreads on both sides and stakes down to help keep us warm. We stack the youngest and my hammock so that we can share one tarp.


Waiting for the kids to get up. I love the trees and the mountain air and I always feel so pretty when I get up when we are camping. I don’t smell very good but you can’t smell pictures 😉


The girl doesn’t really like to be in the woods. She doesn’t have the same “early morning camping hair” that I do and it upsets her!


We got up and made a fabulous breakfast. Well the boy did. And Chris loved watching him. .

She likes the fire 🙂


We walked out to the overlook and shot some pictures.

The breeze started blowing and I couldn’t help but lift up my face and take it in. The sun shining on my face and the breeze on my hair. That’s heaven to me 🙂

We had to go down (fitbit said coming back up was about 20 flights of stairs) to get to the priest shelter.



Chris likes to climb a lot 🙂

I tried to get on the roof for a neat family photo. But I don’t climb as well as they do.

Try two. Not at all successful.

He put me on his shoulders and lifted me up to the roof line.  I couldn’t figure out how to get up further.


Reading the log book at the shelter. All of the shelters on the AT have log book. This one is set up a lot like a confessional because the shelter is called the priest. Some of the entries were very funny. Many people confessed to killing a lot of ants and black flies.

This was one of the overlooks on the way down.


So on the way up we had been warned about a “downed tree” on the trail that was a marker for a bees nest. We had come through this area after dark and I didn’t know that bees are NOT nocturnal so I didn’t believe that this was the tree that we were warned about. I went to step over the crack and continue down the path and it was like I had stepped into a horror movie. The mental image I had when they started swarming was that of when the mini ships descended from the mother ship in independence day. It felt like that Jeff Daniels movie arachnophobia…. but with bees instead of spiders.

I started getting stung and I tried to back up and get away from the bees but I tripped and fell. I finally managed to get up and start running back up the trail. I dropped my bag and hiking poles and just started running. I was screaming like a mad woman. The bees were stuck in my shirt and stinging me through my sweater so I ripped it off and was swinging it around my head to get the bees away.


They finally stopped stinging me. Or I got far enough away. Or something. I didn’t realize until the swelling went down that I had been stung at LEAST 23 times.


I took these right after I had been stung. I counted 7 stings on my forehead and cheeks. You can’t really see the swelling yet. But my face went totally numb.

I am highly allergic to bees. So when it first happened I took five benedryl. I had to walk the remaining ~3 miles to our car. Luckily I had someone who could drive us home. I wanted to lay down and die. My face went numb and I was having difficulty breathing. I knew that I had to keep moving because if I didn’t then I would not make it to the car.

I ended up taking more benedryl when I got to the car. And more when I got home. I have been taking benedryl around the clock and am contemplating calling the doc to get some prednisone.

I am a big ball of itchy. And I can’t help but scratch. The spots just keep getting bigger. And they ITCH!!!!!


It was a fun hike (well until the bees) and I intend to do it again. Especially now that I know where the bees are and how to avoid them.

Greek-ish stuffed peppers

First off, I have decided that if I am going to take pictures of my cooking in order to blog about it, I have to keep a cleaner kitchen.

Secondly, For a recipe to make it into my “must make often” category it must be simple and not have a zillion ingredients and be fun and taste awesome.

This is one of my staples, I make it about once a month (and considering that when I make it I make enough of it to eat it for a week, that says a LOT about this recipe) .


2 pounds beef (or a mixture of beef/lamb/bison or whatever)

chopped jalepenos (to taste I used about a cup)

1 c flax seed meal (acts as a binder, you can sub bread crumbs if you want)

3 eggs

a medium sized bag of frozen chopped spinach

1 pkg feta cheese

spices (I use minced onions, garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper)

(I also used 5 slices bacon because I had it)

Peppers for stuffing –

I used 8 large peppers and 2 poblano peppers


2 large cans diced tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

1 small can chopped olives

Spices – minced onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, and “pizza seasoning” (which is oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme)


Brown the meat until thoroughly done.

I added the jalepenos at this point. Before the meat was all the way done.

Then I add the spices. I usually eyeball/guestimate based on what we like flavorwise.

Then add the cheese and eggs and spinach. Mix it all well. I usually let it sit for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors mingle.

Prepare the peppers for stuffing.

Slice the tops off, put them in the pan. I made bacon in this pan earlier, so rather than oiling the pan I just used it as it was. Bacon grease is AWESOME!


Make the sauce.

Put everything in a bowl (or food processor).

Blend. I use an immersion blender. I LOVE it. The longest part of this is to open all the cans.

This made enough sauce for this recipe (and I use a LOT of sauce in it!) and enough to have some for the kids to make french bread pizza tomorrow. Most people don’t like to use as much sauce as I do so plan on having some left over.

This is the point where I stuff the peppers. Then I spoon some sauce over the whole thing making sure that the tops are well covered.


bake at 350 for an hour.

This photo is after cooking. I usually serve 2 peppers with a LOT of sauce and a salad so this makes about 5 servings for me.

playground workout

Today I did the playground workout found here.

I know that I can’t always get into the gym, sometimes I am out in an area where my gym isn’t around. Sometimes I only have time to work out when the gym is closed (darn that night schedule). Sometimes I want to workout with people who aren’t members at my gym. And sometimes I just want to show off when I am around friends ;).


So any good workout will work all your body parts 🙂

Core…Legs… Pushing…. Pulling…  

so first I did core work… 

I know that I need to pull my knees in closer to my chest, but my belly is too big for that. I got my knees as close as I could. 

Next for leg work I did some lunges. I did both variations assisted and regular.



For pushing I worked on push ups. I did two levels of elevated push ups and I kinda failed at the regular push ups I tried. But it’s ok, because I still moved my body and I still worked out and I still had fun. 

inclined push ups 

lower inclined push ups (or I almost fell on my face)

regular push ups (or I did fall on my face and switched tactics and they turned into knee push ups)


And I think my favorite exercise is the pulling exercise. I *will* do a pull up. Eventually. I am doing work at the gym (with the assisted pull up machine) to work on being better at pull ups. I am not at all close to actually DOING one, but I am much closer than I was when I started! (I mean look at the crunchies video, I hung long enough to do 3 knee lifts, granted they weren’t very GOOD knee lifts, but I still did knee lifts. I could never hold my body off the ground before I started working out.) 

and then I worked on lower body rows. The bar I chose was much lower than anything I have ever done before. I fell on my bootay. And my daughter messed up the camera and I did it again. And I fell on my bootay again. Just so you guys could see that I am not perfect and I sometimes fall. The important thing is that I get up when I do fall. 


After I did the work out here I did the week 1 mission 1 from Zombie Run (which was a 10 min walk and then 1 min walk 15 second run intervals for 10 or so times and then a 10 minute “free form run” which I mostly walked because I had made it back to the car by then and so I walked up the hill to where the kids wer playing and just walked around up there) I REALLY enjoyed it. I was only running 15 seconds, which is much less than what I worked up to (my max is about 90 seconds) but I had no shin pain durring or after and the only pain in my foot is equal to the pain I had in my foot the last few days. 

Zombies, 5K

I downloaded a new program a long time ago. I have been putting off trying it for a while. You see, last year almost exactly a year ago (it was the end of Aug), I broke my foot while jogging. I want to jog. I want to run. I want to feel the wind blowing through my hair. I want to fly.

But, I have been scared. I don’t like being broken. I missed 12 weeks of work. I was on the couch for 8 weeks.

I can’t do that again.

But, I do other things that are dangerous and have risk of injury.

I climbed Old Rag. (several times this year) I go on multi-day hiking and biking trips. I am not immune to injury.

So…. tonight I listened to the prelude episode.


I am hooked.

I think I listened to it in the best possible place too.

On the greenway, Starts near the YMCA in a residential area and goes towards the park at the other end. Follows the river, with the closed down factory on one side and the factories on the other side across the river. The one end that has street lights has light that flickers on and off.




I will keep you posted….


Runner 5 out.

Sweet potato pie and pork chop scramble


This recipe served three with extra pie

2 medium sweet potato
4 eggs
Allspice (to taste)
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
Cumin (to taste)
Olive oil (roughly two tablespoon)

Mix everything together with the mixer or immersion blender.  Pour into greased pan and cook in 350 degree oven for 30ish minutes (until knife comes out clean). Makes eight slices.

3 pork chops
1/2 onion
1 c sliced mushrooms
8 eggs
Garlic (to taste)
Cayenne pepper (to taste)

Pan fry pork chops until done.  Slice them up.  Add onion to pan and cook till almost translucent. Add shrooms. Cook until nearly soft. Add eggs and stir to scramble.  Add spices as desired.  Cook until eggs are done. 

I serve mine with salsa.  The kids like ketchup. 

This one never has leftovers and even my picky eater lines up to get this before it’s even done.  The pie is good for snacking or pre-workout. I love it on the side of scrambled eggs or just plain 🙂