Hiking in Spring

My girlfriend came over today and we had a wonderful afternoon savoring a homemade lunch of Swai fish, rice and a Salad.  She brought the fish and rice and I made the Salad.   Here’s a pic of what the salad looks like.  It has zucchini, squash, grilled corn, grape tomatoes, red onion, pine nuts, red and orange bell pepper with feta cheese over a bed of lettuce and a homemade vinaigrette dressing…yum!


We went hiking at Cincinnati Nature Center’s property called Long Branch Farms in Goshen, Ohio.  Of course, I took my camera and captured a few shots.  Using Lightroom 5, I altered the feel of this one by decreasing the clarity.  I like the muted look sometimes…


There’s a pretty barn there…


Of course Jake had a blast!  I noticed the tree limbs were glistening in the sun…almost as though they were covered in ice…


We had a great time talking and catching up on what’s been going on.  Here’s the barn from a different angle…


My next goal is to purchase a wide-angle lens and start taking photos of homes.  I’ll contact some Realtors and see how I can get my foot in that door!




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Hiking the Rock Shelter Loop Trail

I love hiking and so do my girlfriends, so on our recent girls’ weekend, we went hiking on the Rock Shelter Loop Trail in Morgan Monroe State Forest, Indiana.  I had researched hiking trails in the area, and this trail seemed to be a good choice.  The trail was only supposed to be 20 minutes away from our Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO), but getting lost on those back country roads made it seem much farther.  We couldn’t find the trail head once we were in the State Forest, but luckily I had the phone number for Morgan Monroe State Forest with me, so we called its location.  We weren’t going crazy…there was no sign for it.  The large sign said Low Gap Trail and then once you park and start that trail, there is a small sign (see below) indicating that the Rock Shelter Loop Trail is part of that trail.

Anyway, it was supposed to be a three-mile hike, but ended up being four miles.  I took a photograph of this leaf that was on a slick rocky portion of the trail.  The sunlight was illuminating it…


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Hiking at Elm House

For my annual girls’ weekend, I found a Vacation Rental by Owner in Bloomington, Indiana (aka Elm House) that had everything we were looking for—a home located on 100 acres with hiking trails, three bedrooms for five of us, two bathrooms (a must), a hot tub, and two wineries located within five miles!  If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll recall our first stop was a winery located five minutes from the property.  From there we found the house, unpacked the car and took a quick tour of the house.   Elm House has three short maintained hiking trails on the grounds, so we laced our hiking boots and headed for the longest trail…a one-miler.  There were only three of us at this point.  Two of the ladies weren’t arriving until around 6:00pm.

Here’s a beautiful view from the house looking down at the sawmill that is located on the property.


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Colorado has Glaciers

One of the cool things about traveling and having a blog is it forces you to do research and learn things…like…how many glaciers are in ColoradoWell not specifically how many…but is there more than the one I hiked which was St. Mary’s Glacier in Idaho Springs which is only an hour from Denver.  If you read my last post you know St. Mary’s Glacier is only about a mile round trip–that it’s uphill and at an elevation of around 10,000 ft.

Here are some photos of the glacier and my girlfriend and I.


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Hiking St. Mary’s Glacier

Located only an hour from Denver, St. Mary’s Glacier in Idaho Springs, Colorado is a beautiful hike and at 1 mile round trip is perfect if you’re looking for a shorter length hike and as an added bonus…you can enjoy a 10 mile scenic drive from I-70 to reach it.  Having spent six wonderful days in Colorado (except for having to escape Estes Park flooding), my girlfriend and I had a full last day planned before we left and flew home to Cincinnati.  We stopped at the magnificent Red Rock Amphitheater to take photos before returning later that evening for a concert and were stopping in the quaint town of Golden to have a late lunch after our St. Mary’s Glacier hike.

Here I am taking in the view on the hike…


I couldn’t stop taking photos…it was so pretty!


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Discover Treasures While Hiking

Hiking is such a great way to get exercise, enjoy the great outdoors, and if you’re a photographer, discover treasures along the way!  I’m fortunate to live five minutes away from a 500 acre nature preserve filled with burbling creeks, tons of wildlife, wildflowers, 4 miles of hiking trails and if timed correctly, I can usually have it all to myself.  Tuesday evening my husband, my dog and I took a 3 mile hike and here are some of my discoveries…

Not sure what these are called, but I like…



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Harmony Hill Vineyards

Harmony Hill Vineyards  in Bethel, Ohio is the perfect way to spend an afternoon and/or evening!  I met my Meetup.com hiking club there yesterday and took a short hike…probably a mile…around the vineyards.  The history of the farm is really interesting.  The owners named the farm Harmony Hills after witnessing all of the wildlife existing in perfect harmony.  They grow hay and medicinal herbs in addition to the grapes on their 70 acres of sustainable farmland.  In 2006 they were certified as a National Wildlife Federation Remote Wildlife Habitat!

Here’s the entrance…


And some of the beautiful vineyards…


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Hiking Dayton, Kentucky

Saturday I went on a three-mile hike with my hiking club through Meetup.com in Dayton, Kentucky, which is located along the Ohio River, across from Cincinnati.  It has finally started to warm up some and the sun was shining!  We split into a faster group and a slower group.  I’m always in the fast group, but wanted time to take photos…so I joined the slower group.  In this photo you can see the faster group up ahead…


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Hiking Rowe Woods

Rowe Woods, aka The Nature Center is located in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio.  My husband and I (and Jake the spoiled hunting dog) went hiking there yesterday.  We probably hiked 4 miles.  Hiking is one of my favorite things to do.  Even in this cold, dreary weather–there is beauty!


Snowflakes would drift down lightly from time to time… Continue reading

Hiking with the Clouds

A few days ago, my husband and I headed over to the Longbranch Farms located a few minutes away from our home and took a hike!  The sky was gorgeous and it was warm..50 degrees…compared to recently.


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Hiking on the Appalachian Trail

Hiking on the Appalachian Trail was another bucket list experience!  I discovered that you can hike Lodge to Lodge, so you don’t have to carry a tent and food (other than snacks and lunch), along a 17 mile portion of the trail through Virginia in the Shenandoah National Park.  If you’d like to plan your own trip, the details are here.

These are some of the images I encountered while hiking…


Hiking the Colorado Trail

Hiking the Colorado Trail is a perfect way to spend the day!  The scenery is picture perfect!  I hiked a portion of the Molas Trail, an 8 mile round trip hike, that descends to the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and follows the Colorado Trail for a little ways.


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Hiking Olympic National Park, Washington

Hiking in Olympic National Park, Washington is a feast for the senses!  I was blown away by the natural beauty!  I was there in July of 2011 and the weather was glorious.


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Hiking Petra

Hiking Petra is an electrifying experience!  Although the landscape seems stark…it’s alive with energy!  Over the course of two days, I was able to hike for miles through the ancient grounds, high into the rock formations.  These horse and buggies are available for those that aren’t able or don’t want to walk.


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