what I'm up to

Ultimate Coffee Date - What I've Been Doing Lately

It's December - the final month of the year!  While 2016 was definitely the year of "that just happened..." it's been one of the best ones for me professionally in a really long time.  So, pull up a chair, grab your favorite mug, and join me for our virtual coffee date today.  Here's what I would tell you today if we were just relaxing and having a cup of coffee. 

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you... how excited I am to let you know NoKey finally quite his corporate job to come work with me at A Walk in the Woods!  One of the big things he wanted to accomplish when we moved here was to find a smaller business to work for.  We've both done work for huge corporations and smaller places and we both love the family feel of working for a smaller business.  It's so exciting that we'll have the opportunity to work together and develop our own guiding styles. 

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you... speaking of work, I got a "promotion" so to speak.  I'm now our "backpacking coordinator" and am developing new programs and backpacking routes as well!  It's been really exciting to see the changes taking place and knowing that the ideas I have are good enough to bring about some of the changes as well!  You can check out all the changes over on their website!

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you... that I'm still not sure what the heck I was thinking signing up for the Pistol Ultra on New Years Eve!  While I've had time to train on a treadmill recently, due to joining a gym, I'm still just wondering what I've gotten myself into!  I honestly thought I'd have a lot more time to train!  How is it that events sneak up on us so quickly?!

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you... I am however, super stoked to be running the Millinocket Half Marathon in only one week!  This little town means so much to both NoKey and me.  Seeing this grassroots effort go from only 50 runners last year to an estimated 1000 this year just makes my heart happy.  I'm looking forward to getting back into town, eating at my favorite restaurants, and seeing some of my favorite people again.  

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you... it doesn't feel the holidays to me this year.  Maybe because it was just so warm all summer.  Maybe because I was just so busy for the past few months that it doesn't feel like December yet.  No matter the reason, I'm just not feeling super festive yet.  Any ideas what I can do to bring some holiday cheer into my life?

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you... The wildfires here in town have been devastating.  I am planning to write a separate post about them early next week.  I started to yesterday and it just got exhausting.  I'll have more info for you guys soon. 

What would you tell me today if we were able to meet up and play catch up?  Have you had some good news recently? I'd love to hear about it!

This post is a link-up with Coco @ Got 2 Run 4 Me, Lynda @ Fitness Mom Wine Country, & Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner!


Ultimate Coffee Date - What I've Been Doing Lately

Another month has come and gone... and that means it's time for me to play catch up with all of my readers!  Here's what I would talk about with you today if we decided to go out for coffee. 

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: I'm so glad October is finally over!  It was definitely my busiest month and it feels like I was hardly home at all.  While I love my work as a backpacking guide, I definitely spent more than 2/3 of the month in the backcountry.  I really missed running and spending time with my dog.  

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you:  I'm also excited to be able to train for my ultra marathon!  I only have 6 weeks to train for it at this point, but I'm not worried for a few reasons.  1) It's only 50K and I feel like it's doable. 2) The cut off time is more than 50 hours. 3) I was backpacking or hiking at least 60 miles per week during the month of October.  Even though I didn't run further than 9 miles at a time, I was still getting in my endurance training!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you:  For the first time ever, I had to end a hike early due to wildfire.  There are quite a few fires burning in the southeast right now due to the severe drought we are experiencing.  Several parts of the Appalachian Trail are closed due to fire. We actually came up on it burning and had to hitchhike out a day early.  

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: That my most recent blog post absolutely blew up on the internet last week.  I'm super proud of it and, if you haven't read it yet, I'd really encourage you to do it.  It came from a place near and dear to my heart and I hope it inspires people.   

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you:  That I'm ready to get my diet back on track.  Being that I've been backpacking so much in the past few months my regular eating habits have flown out the window!  Gone are my cravings for fresh fruit and veggies and here to stay are sugar and snack cravings.  When Extra Toasty Cheez-Its are a diet staple, it's time to clean things up a bit!  Even with the holidays coming, I'm pretty confident I can do it.  

That's everything that's been happening with me this past month.  What would you tell me if we were meeting up today to catch up? 


Ultimate Coffee Date - What I've Been Doing Lately

It's hard to believe another month has come and gone and it feels like I hardly even blinked!  So, in the spirit of having a relaxing morning, pull up a chair and a cup of coffee to see what we have been up to lately over at Sprinkles Hikes. 

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: That it has been four years since I completed the hike that changed my life forever.  It's hard to believe it has already been four years since summiting Katahdin - 9-11-12.  We chose the date to mark NoKey's birthday and make it a great memory in our minds.  We even waited six days to summit to make sure we got the date perfect.  It was definitely worth it.  If it weren't for my thru hike I have no idea who I would be and what I would be doing today. 

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: how proud I am of NoKey.  He has been training to run his very first half marathon - the Millinocket Half Marathon - on December 10th.  I hired the amazing Abby over at Back At Square Zero to coach him through the build up to make sure he doesn't overtrain.  He dove in head first and hasn't looked back.  

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: that I know I've been neglecting the blog recently.  I have a ton of ideas for posts during my "off season" and can't wait to share them with you!  It's been incredibly hard to get things written down recently due to my hectic schedule.  I promise to share them all soon!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: I have started a new AT Shakedown program at work!  If you're looking to do a thru hike in 2017 and you've done your research and purchased your gear, but are overwhelmed at all the information on the web for preparing to leave civilization behind for a few months? Let an experienced long-distance hiker help you! On our AT Shakedown Hikes you'll not only get to practice using all your new gear, you'll also learn how to throw a bear line, use your guide book to plan out your days, and even how to plan and prep mail drops or resupply stops. We will also cover basic first aid and fire-building skills. After your shakedown hike you'll feel confident and ready to tackle the journey of a lifetime!
For info, contact info@awalkinthewoods.com!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: I am super, duper excited for fall!  While it's true that the next 5-6 weeks of my life will be incredibly hectic, I'm definitely ready for cooler temperatures, camp fires, and sleeping outside!  I absolutely love backpacking in the fall months.  

How was your September? Is there anything you're definitely looking forward to in October? I'd love to hear about your month - leave me a comment below!


Ultimate Coffee Date - What I've Been Doing Lately

Hey guys and welcome to September!  While it's meteorologically speaking technically fall, it definitely doesn't feel that way around here to me...!  Summer has been hot here in the Southeast and I can't believe it's technically over.  While it seems like summer flew by, August went by fastest of all.  In fact, I didn't realize it was already September until earlier this week when my schedule showed the end date of September 4th.  I guess it's been busy around here!  With it being the first Saturday of the month, it's time for my Ultimate Coffee Date catch-up post.  Here's what I've been up to recently. 

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you:  That I'm totally obsessed with cold brew coffee now.  With August being so incredibly hot all month long we gave up drinking hot coffee and just let it go cold in the pot before drinking it.  With all the buzz I've been hearing for months and months about cold brew NoKey and I finally decided to try a brand from the store only to find out we're absolutely smitten with it.  

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: Some of my favorite trips of the season were in August.  This month I played REI Adventures Camp Host a few times - meaning I didn't actually do any hiking during the 4-day camping trips.  I stayed back in camp and prepped food all day and I loved every minute of it!  I'm super excited to have this new aspect to my job.  While I absolutely love hiking and guiding, it's nice to switch things up a bit too!  Speaking of switching things up...

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: I've taken on so other responsibilities at work as well!  With two of our ladies due with baby girls this winter, I'll be taking over some office duties to help fill in.  If you try to reach the office I work in throughout this "off season" chances are we'll be talking to each other!  I'm also taking on some additional responsibilities to help out with all the paperwork we receive for backpacking trips and gear rentals.  I'm super excited to be learning new things. 

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: I did some hardcore adulting this month.  Early on in August my washing machine caught on FIRE and needed to be replaced.  I also helped NoKey rescue two stray dogs, made optometrist appointments for both of us, got NoKey into a great dentist, and found us primary care physicians.  Adult level: Expert.  

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: Labor Day Weekend totally snuck up on me.  Like I said in the first part of the post, I didn't even realize it was almost September/Labor Day until first thing Monday morning!  How in the world did that happen?!

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you: It's time for me to start seriously running again.  All summer long I've been training with NoKey for his Couch to 10K program.  We're both running a few races together this fall, including a 5K, a 10K (maybe for both of us, but maybe just me) and NoKey will be running his first half marathon in December.  I'm also signed up to run The Pistol 50K on New Years Eve and maybe even helping pace a friend in the 100-miler at the same event.  Time to get serious again about running!

Well guys, that was my month in a nutshell!  I really feel like I've been slacking on blog posts here lately.  I've been pretty busy with trips this summer and haven't really been inspired to write about much of anything and for that I apologize.  Is there anything you'd like me to tackle on the blog coming up this fall?  I'd love to know what you'd like to see on the blog.  Leave me a comment below to let me know!

This post is a link-up with Coco @ Got 2 Run 4 Me, Lynda @ Fitness Mom Wine Country, & Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner!


Trail Talk Tuesday - Things I've Been Doing Lately

While I normally try and have an adventure post for you guys on Tuesday afternoons, this week will be a little bit different.  It's not that I haven't been hiking, because I have, but because I do a lot of the same hikes repetitively.  Here's a little update from the world of Sprinkles & NoKey. 

Spring seems to be here now in the Smokies!  The early blooming wildflowers have sprung, the trees are blossoming, and we even recently needed to mow the grass.  While I still think we are going to have one more cold week in the near future (because we always do!), I think we've definitely transitioned into warmer weather.  Due to my erratic work schedule and NoKey's mostly set, but strange, schedule we haven't had time to do much hiking together.  The hikes I've been doing for work have mostly been short, less than 3 hours a piece, and I've done mostly the same routes each time.  I do love being a hiking guide, but it doesn't really make for good blogging to write about the same trail over and over and over again!  Also, many places we hike are on quiet nature paths or off-trail hikes, so they don't really translate well into adventure hiking.  

I am feeling more comfortable being in charge of guiding people though!  While I'm technically still "training" it actually feels very natural to me to point things out to people.  I've done a little bit of testing this out on a few friends I've taken on personal hikes and I think it feels pretty natural in conversation to talk about plants, trees, the neat volunteer projects happening here in the park, etc.  Even though the hiking part of the job isn't challenging, teaching people about the park I love so much has been such a rewarding experience.  I'm truly lucky to have fallen into a job like this.  

All this talk about hiking also brings me to another part of my hiking life - what is my next long hike?  NoKey and I talk about this a lot.  It's so funny how after the AT we were pretty much set on taking some time off, but after our shorter hikes in the summer of 2015 we just want to hike some more! We've been talking over long trail options and we've really narrowed it down to a few with one major contender (and spoiler alert - it's not one of the Triple Crown Trails either!).  All of this will depend on how much money I can save up and when I can take the months off work.  If we get another warm winter next year, that will definitely mean we will probably take off for a few months!

In other backpacking news, I recently did my first solo trip guiding a backpacking trip.  It was a lot of fun to do a shakedown hike with a wannabe thru hiker.  I have a newbie backpacking trip going on this weekend, which I am really looking forward to doing.  I also have a week-long hike on the Appalachian Trail planned in a few weeks right after my marathon (because I'm a crazy person!)  Anyway, I feel like this post has rambled on long enough.  I just wanted to write down some of my recent thoughts to let all of you know what we've been up to recently. 

Have you spent any time outside recently?  Is the weather feeling like spring where you live or are you still stuck in the snow?  Leave me a comment and let me know!