Cold Wind Blowing In

Ice coffee for the win!

Winter’s around the corner and I’m already ready for hibernation…oh wait humans don’t do that.

Darn.

But that’s okay— I’ve got some trips south lined up and I’m looking forward to fall in the Ozarks!

Keep wandering,

BJ

‘The Comeback Kid’

I’m still alive!

Well—par for the course I’ve been neglecting this blog for almost a year. I feel guilty about it sometimes but I’m not going to lie. I’m tired. I don’t feel like I have a lot going on other than work, Hunter, and trying to get caught up on all the other little projects and graduate classes I have. But it does build up overall and all I want to do is sleep. Plus, depression factored into most of the early part of the year—postpartum, fall out from the Covid-19 stuff, and just life in general. It happens, talk about it, we go to the doctor to fix physical ailments. Getting your brain checked out is good too. On a positive note, I’m doing a lot better and I’m trying to get out and about as much as possible before the weather gets ridiculous! Although… this might be the year I bite the bullet and invest in good winter gear and get out there.

“I like this stuff”

I have done a few little hikes—nothing major. Mainly, because work tied me up a lot this year. While not as short staffed as we have been, we did have to hustle to get stuff done. I also took on some new duties and now, more than ever, I’m looking at a computer screen more. I don’t know why but I find this more exhausting than doing major events with hundreds of people. I just want to sleep or relax and not think about anything other than Hunter and engaging stuff for him on weekends.

Weekend fun!

Plus, figuring out how to travel, mitigate exploding diapers, and pack everything I need for a two-day trip is astronomical. But I’m working on it! It’s also a little tricky to juggle the dogs—some public lands they’re allowed but a lot of places *cough NPS sites* are not as dog friendly as others. **Side note, Freya is loving the hiking life.** I get the why but it’s tricky and boarding gets expensive. I’m thinking about doing a video about traveling/hiking/dogs/baby now that I actually have weekends off with Wade again. I’m privileged that I have an awesome husband that helps me work through stuff and is willing to help me with my “little side projects”—once I get a game plan figured out, I bounce it off him and we run through it. He keeps me from getting stubborn, pissy, and flouncing away in anger. I teach him patience, which I have a lot of unless I can’t figure out how to make something work or math’s involved. Wade doesn’t have patience but he’s working on it, lol.

Wade the lifesaver when shopping lol

I truly respect single mom’s and dad’s who do all this alone. I also think you’re a witch. Magic is involved somewhere I’m sure 😉

So aside from the doldrums early this year, it has been a wonderful year! Hunter just turned one, we’ve done some hikes, and I’m working on getting my writings out there. Plus, working on my photography, the Pennington Books project, and my little side hustles to fund my hiking passion.

I’m also going to make some more posts on here before the end of the year!

Here is a little catch up/way back Wednesday post of some of this year’s hiking/baby/traveling highlights so far!

We had to go to my hometown in Missouri for a funeral in February which was the first time Hunter got to meet his grandparents on my side of the family. It was a bittersweet trip to say the least, but we did some wanderings on the old family farm.

This spring we checked out the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge—I know I go there a lot… but it was Hunter’s first time! I talked about that in an Instagram/Facebook post, but I didn’t do a little blurb on here. Maybe I should just do a little one paragraph post on here to at least keep it active… I’ll think about that for the future.  

Wade did most of the heavy lifting that day—it was spur of the moment trip, so we didn’t have the carrier or even the chest harness. Hunter had a blast and wanted to grab everything; poison ivy worried me, but dad did a good job corralling him while I had the camera.

We came back out a couple of times—we brought the dogs and the baby hiker set up. Which worked out well if we had plenty of snacks.

I had a family reunion in Oklahoma and other than wandering in Bass Pro in Springfield, MO we didn’t really get any hiking done while we were there.

My sister made a return trip to Nebraska with my niece! They arrived to a concerned Hunter giving them a once over and then it was a week of fun and adventure. We checked out the pool, floated the river (sans Hunter), and checked out the Badlands!

Finally, Las Vegas… I still don’t care for cities, but the food was amazing. There were several fun things to do—the Stratosphere was awesome (if you’re not afraid of heights). Wade and I want to go back and do it at night (and do the jump, well I do) and check out some other stuff. Due to timing, scheduled events, and a few other things (Wade…) I didn’t get to check out Red Rocks Canyon NCA or the Hoover Dam. I was a little bummed by that, but Wade was like a kid in a candy shop—or one of those cartoon animals when food is involved, he really enjoyed Guy Ferrari’s burger joint.

Wade preparing to devour a monster burger…

Locally, we took Hunter for a nice hike through our local city park– which is amazing!

That’s the short, condensed version of what’s happened so far this year. We have some stuff coming up and I will keep you all posted—even if it’s just a photo and a blurb!

Keep wandering,

BJ

P.S. Happy Birthday to my little man!

Focus? What’s that? (mini-post)

I got nothing. It’s been a trip that’s for sure.

I’d like to say I was just so busy with family, work, and grad school again but it wasn’t that.

I just lost focus.

I lost motivation.

I lost the concept of time.

Actually, what day is it?

I jest, but there were a few times where the weeks blurred together not going to lie.

I was just making it through the day and having joyous cuddles with my little man– he was the highlight of everything. And Wade, he’s a highlight too, except his ridiculous beard.

I’m finally bouncing back and feeling more motivated. Writing, reading, adventuring don’t seem like a chore to be avoided now.

I had some help though. I had a great doctor that helped talk through some options and did a full work up. It looks like my insomnia I’ve been dealing with for ages might be related to sleep apnea.

I’m finally coming back together!

Keep wandering,

BJ

Back and Ready for it!

It’s been a while!

Those of you that follow me on Instagram and Facebook probably know that I’ve been struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety. In great news, I’m finally coming out of the fog and starting to do the things I enjoyed.

Here’s to new content, updates, and maybe some new videos and photos coming soon!

Hunter and I at the Fort Niobrara Overlook

Keep wandering,

BJ

It’s been a while…

Hi all,

I fell off the map. Sorry about that.

Things got a little hectic again. Time got away from me and my blogging plans went off the rails.

I had a major round with seasonal affective disorder again. Adding to it was anxiety and stress caused by postpartum issues, plus COVID-19 wasn’t helping my outlook.

I lost interest in a lot of things for a while. But I’m doing better now. I’ve also started working on some new content for this site and a few other projects

I’ve mainly been working on the JP Brand Books project. (check that out http://www.jpbrandbooks.wordpress.com

I’m going to post some of the stuff that I wrote over the last few months. Some I might leave as is, some I’ll edit to remove all the cuss words I used…

I’m hopeful with the weather getting better and vaccines becoming more prevalent I’ll be able to get out on some hikes.

I can’t wait to get this guy out on the trail!

My little wild man

Thanks for your patience.

Keep wandering,

BJ

Hayduke Blues

*I wrote this two weeks ago and forgot about it… sleep deprivation strikes again…

Hi all!

It’s been a busy month and a half again! The baby has me in a foggy addled state. We’ve been getting outside on the nicer days but between my recovery from the c-section and Princesses recovery I haven’t felt like getting out much.

Plus we’ve been hit by snow a couple times.

I’m a wannabe sleeper at the moment; there are days I want to hibernate. I have the fat for it… yeah my work out plan has taken a sharp turn off a high cliff. I need to get back on target or soon I will need to buy new pants.

I’m also a little worried about my mental health this year. Normally, I get a bout of seasonal depression during the winter. I’ve written about it before so I won’t bore you with those details. But this year is different. The baby and the normal baby blues is rearing it’s head but I haven’t had any severe postpartum depression. Then there is the elephant in the room: COVID-19.

Due to that, my side of the family didn’t get to come up for the birth of my son nor are they going to get to see him in person anytime soon. I. Hate. It.

It’s made me feel a tad isolated.

However, I’m trying to stay positive and I’ve been calling home a lot more and trying to do video calls. It’s a work in progress.

Enough of the maudlin stuff.

So what’s new you ask? I’m watching documentaries!

*crickets*

Most people don’t like documentaries. My husband barely tolerates when I watch them.

However, I’m living vicariously through real life drama… and as long as I’m feeding Hunter or giving him cuddles he doesn’t care what I watch.

Hunter!

While I’ve watched everything from politics to the two documentaries on Fyre Fest, I’ve decided to stick to ones tied to my blog.

I just recently watched a documentary on the Hayduke Trail called Figure it Out on the Hayduke Trail. 812 miles in the desert criss crossing Arches, Canyonlands, the Grand Canyon, and Zion. It would be a fun hike but I don’t know if I could complete it without figuring out a way of carrying a ladder in Canyonlands…

I’m *ahem* below average height (barely above 4’11) and watching some of the stuff Money Shot (Alex Maier) went through I’d either need the ladder or a partner. I would love to section hike it at some point in time. I would also have to get into much better shape and get more experience backpacking in desert conditions.

My stars, how I miss the Grand Canyon. Only there once and all I want to do is go back. Partly to hike it again but also to raft down the Colorado River.

I wonder how to make it a family hike but I don’t think Hunter’s up for and I don’t think Wade and I could get the time off…

In other news, I’ve about finished all my writings *I decided to set a goal of posting on all my sites at the same time with stuff related to my labor experience and it’s taking time to get everything done.*

I’ll have the post about the weeks leading up to Hunter’s birth and the labor story posted soon- my self imposed deadline is Thursday but I no longer make promises….

I started a TikTok account…please come laugh at my efforts.

We also got an adorable puppy! Meet Freya!

Keep wandering,

BJ

P.s. send coffee…

Adventures in Motherhood

Hi all…

It’s been a minute.

I need coffee, a shower, and a nap… the order doesn’t matter.

Once again the blog got neglected but this time I have a good reason… a tiny almost ten pound reason. Hunter takes up a lot of my day- then there are the naps.

Plus, I wanted to wait to write about the birth story once I recovered and got all the funny details out of Wade. I don’t remember much once they gave me the “good stuff” during the C-section.

I’ve been rewording, rewriting, and rethinking this post- it’s a little personal but at the same time I think it’s worth telling.

It will be coming out here soon!

I’m also going to add a post about weeks 38-40 before I drop my birth story.

After that I hope to return to some more normal hiking posts but winter is creeping in…

Keep wandering,

BJ

He really is the best thing about 2020!

Feeling Lazy at Week 37…

Hi all,

I’ve been busy with grad school (again), “helping” Wade get the nursery done, and finishing up some stuff for work before I go on maternity leave. I haven’t gotten out an explored, nor have I done any book reviews. I’m hoping to change that soon…

I’m to the point in pregnancy where I just want to lay around, keep my feet propped up, and stay cool. I feel so lazy.

But! I’ve been working on some content for my Baby Wipes and Day Hikes page which is now live!

Introduction to Baby Wipes and Day Hikes page!

Contrary to my laziness quip above, in the last two weeks Wade and I:  

  1. Cleaned up the house
  2. Went through all the baby shower gifts (I hope to get the thank you notes out soon…)
  3. Finally got around to putting the nursery together (99% was Wade… but I helped- someone had to hold stuff…)
  4. Packed our hospital bag
  5. And spent a little time at the river with friends!

It felt great sitting in cold water even though it took a few minutes for me to acclimate to it…

I’m hoping this week on my way down (or back) from the doctor I can swing into the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge. Hopefully I can take a little time and at least wander through some of it- I need to get outside, I’m getting that itch. Even with the swollen feet I need to do some exploring.

I’m finishing up editing on my dad’s book we’re reprinting through Kindle Direct Publishing. I’m now working on redoing the cover art and getting it all uploaded for our Oct 1st deadline. So exciting!

Short post… I’m sorry…

Keep wandering,

BJ

P.S. I want cookies and a nap…

P.S.S. Technically, I’m at week 38 now but when I wrote this Monday night it was 37…

Book Review: Dances with Marmots…

Here goes the first ever book review! I decided to start with the book I just finished; Dances with Marmots: A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure by George Spearing.

“From Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail”

“4300 km, 5 months and a lifetime of unforgettable memories…”

For my non-imperial friends, 4300 km is roughly 2,672 miles.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I always like reading books from the point of view of “people from off.” This is a turn of phrase I heard a lot growing up in the Missouri Ozarks; it essentially means anyone that wasn’t from my neck of the woods. Now, that I’m older and have been “out” more I tend to use it for folks from other countries that come to the US for vacation, hiking, and travel.

I love the outsider looking in perspective.

Even if it’s almost twenty years old…

George Spearing’s writing style reminds me a little of Bill Bryson- it might stem from time spent in British countries but it is endearing. So are some of his short quip-like poems in the book.

The book kicks off by how he was influenced to go out and hike… by a book. Citing a book by Stephen Pern and the Continental Divide Trail- I’ve already added it to my extensive reading list.

“He wasn’t reading about it, he’d done it!”

And just like that I’ve been called out by a book.

George picked the PCT for ease of access and food delivery. I did find the international planning interesting- even though it is twenty years old he does provide decent information for international hikers and with better internet services that’s gotten easier!

I wonder if there are similar books about New Zealand… *fondly remembers childhood enjoyment of Xena and Hercules/LOTR and wanting to visit and hike some of the places shown…*

He gives us a rundown of his physical abilities- firemen, but hasn’t hiked extensively. Like many newbie or wannabe hikers…

His high spirits and get it done attitude help him out through the five month journey- plus the friends he makes on the trail.

As for the title… he has some encounters with Marmots along the PCT. He actually had an interesting conversation with them and had several run ins with the little critters throughout the book and liked their company.

I really enjoyed chapters 5 & 6, his adventures with bears, flatulence, and postal employees were funny in hindsight.

He includes several photos (in black and white) of his adventures which gives a richer picture of his journey.

He has a direct- simple and honest- approach in his writing and the humor makes it flow really well.

Like I said, I enjoyed it!

Possible Cons for some folks:
Some of the content is now outdated (published in 2005)- park and trail policies have changed a little, the trail is far more popular now, and a thru/section hiker will have a slightly different experience than George’s experiences.

The editing was a little loose- which coming from me, is funny considering I don’t notice a lot of my mistakes until nearly a week after I post something. And I proofread シ…

As a Kiwi (New Zealand) writer, some of his jokes and colloquialisms are hard to follow at times. But a quick Google search (woodland Noddy) or context clues make it easy enough to figure out. Plus, he does explain some of the misunderstandings.

It seems he shortchanges the northern section of the PCT- a lot of the more interesting adventures and learning curve stories happens on the southern section, California. But it would have been nice to see more information and stories from the Oregon and Washington sections.

Keep wander…eh…reading?,

BJ

P.S. I’ll have to come up with a new sign off for the book reviews…

P.S.S. If you want to pick this book up…
Just an FYI, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

P.S.S.S…? Drop a comment for the next book you want reviewed, pick from photo! Otherwise I’ll just go down the stack in order.

Baby Blues and Hiking Boots

I need bigger hiking boots…and flip flops…maybe I’ll just go barefoot. My feet are swelling and right now shoes of any kind are the bane of my existence right now.

Plus, fun fact a lot of women that have babies wind up moving up a shoe size- so, I might need to find bigger hiking boots for the future.

Joy, joy.

While I’m cranky about the changes, I’m happy to be a mom.

I just hate buying new shoes, jeans, etc.  It’s the whole reason I got back into shape several years ago- I didn’t want to buy new clothes.

It was another slow week/weekend for me. I didn’t do a lot of hiking- although, Wade and I checked out the Nature Trail at Cody Park in North Platte after my doctor’s appointment.

Cody Park is a nice little park off Highway 83. It’s not got a lot in the way of hiking trails- the Nature Trail only goes so far before it became to overgrown to comfortably walk in the flip flops and shorts. Plus, at 35 weeks on a hot day I wasn’t feeling too adventurous.

However, it’s great for kids and the plant life is beautiful. I also like the little zoo they have. They even have peafowl… FYI only the males are peacocks, the females are peahens, and when they are together peafowl. There’s your learning lesson for the day!

We then headed to McCook for the night. The next day we had a baby shower for my sister-in-law.

The Roshone siblings are having a banner year- three babies, all boys, within two months of each other, almost.

That’s a lot of blue… or in our case green*… clothes, blankets, and so on.

*I like green…I wear green for work…the bridal party colors were green; we did the accent wall in the nursery in green…. I might have issues.

I just feel so exhausted right now- which is, according to the books, normal. I felt bad at the baby shower because my feet were swollen, and I just sat around a lot- and at one point dozed off in my chair.

I’m now at week 36… I can no longer see my toes and bending over is a chore. Sleep is golden when you can get it and Hunter is using my lungs as a trampoline–the bladder as a speed bag.

Wade finally got to see Hunter moving his feet against my stomach… it reminded him of alien… he said he would see me in 18 years. He’s not as funny as he thinks he is…

We’re in the home stretch though!

We’ve been reviewing the books and prenatal classes.

Learning how to swaddle.

Trying to find cute little baby hiking boots.

In daddies’ case, cute little work boots to match the Carhart overalls he got for him…

Keep wandering,

BJ

P.S. Compression socks are life now…

Wandering Sisters!

This weekend wasn’t long enough.

For a couple reasons.

One, my sister, P.J. flew up for the weekend- I wish I could have kidnapped her and kept her up here for a few more days… or a month…or a year…

My sister! Checking out Norden Chute.

Two, we had to pack a lot of stuff into mainly one day… I need more sleep and my poor feet are swollen- nearly three days later…

But it was worth it!

She is the best big sister in the whole world! Not going to lie I needed a girl’s day with my sister- between the pregnancy, lingering SAD symptoms, and Covid my mental health was blah at best. I wasn’t as bad as I was during the shutdown, but I needed a “break.” She helped break me out of my funk and we had a little fun- plus, she didn’t treat me like glass.

The best thing about living in rural Nebraska is that you’re two-three hours away from everything. The bad thing about living in rural Nebraska is you’re two-three hours away from everything.

PJ’s flight came into Grand Island at 10:30…pm. Three and a half hours away from Valentine.

I had a nice sunset drive going down part of the way. Then I was driving into the dark which night driving never really bothered me. However, with pregnancy I have to stop every five minutes, it felt like, to walk around, wake up, and go to the bathroom.

But we timed it well, I pulled in on the airport road as her flight was landing and was pulling into the airport terminal while they were taxiing. Originally, I was just going to wait for her outside in the idle lane, but Hunter was excited and bouncing on my bladder…

So, after a quick circle and finding a parking spot I ran inside. Well, waddled inside- my eyes zeroing in on the bathrooms. I saw PJ but I was on a beeline. She thought it was funny and met me right at the doors to the bathroom.

We hugged after we got back outside.

Then food! Late night drive throughs are awesome, and we got to chat and catch up in the parking lot of Raising Cane’s. New car didn’t want to eat in it- I’m weird I know…

A late-night drive through the Sandhills was fun- we stayed awake and somehow, I made it without needing a bathroom, lol.

We got to Valentine at 3 a.m.–we stumbled in and went to bed after saying we’re getting up at ten to go exploring.

Surprisingly, we did get up at ten, we had breakfast, and then the exploring began.

Snice it was a short trip I decided to show her the highlights along the Niobrara National Scenic River. We drove out to the Niobrara Valley Preserve to check out the Norden Chute. It’s one of my favorite places and the drive along the river valley kind of reminds me of home.

We hopped out of the car and meandered down to the river and took the trail that leads to the chute. It’s a little steep heading off the parking area down to the river side trail. PJ said to “be careful if you fall and go into labor I don’t know where I am, nor how to deliver a baby.”

So, she did treat me a little like glass, but she didn’t harp on it…

I was there in June- the water has dropped a lot. Which is normal but still noteworthy.

I apparently make people worry- I walked up to the edge to get some photos and my sister is like… “You’re going to die!”

Well, not that dramatic but she still was like move back this way…

I wandered into the water which felt good on my footsies. Yes, I say footsies. 

We spent a little while taking photos- even photos of each other…

We hoped in the car and went up River Road- it was fun showing my sister where I usually spend most of my time in the summer. She’s visited before but in the winter and a lot of the locations are inaccessible during that time.

I actually convinced her to come back (hopefully next summer) with the kids for a float trip! I’m happy about that.

We made a bathroom pit stop at Brewer Bridge. Then headed to Smith Falls State Park.

Smith Falls State Park is home to the tallest waterfall in the state of Nebraska and is on the banks of the Niobrara River. We made the one-mile trek to the waterfall. Since it was a Saturday, I warned her that there might be some… inebriated… people around. But we hit it in the late afternoon and the crowds weren’t too crazy.

It was a hot walk.

By the time we hit the slot canyon the temperature decrease felt good. One of the best things about the Niobrara River Valley is the hydrology and geology. Because of the geology, the Ogallala Aquifer is near the surface and there are places where it seeps out creating waterfalls. Since, the water is mainly from underground it stays around 50 degrees- even in the summer. So, the waterfalls and side creeks are gloriously cold!

My hot, cranky, and pregnant self loved that the temperature dropped. I was ecstatic when we got to the waterfall and I could put my poor swollen feet in the water. I just wished I had brought a change of clothes or a towel because I wanted to crawl under the waterfall for a little while and just chill. Best perk of my job during the hotter months.

PJ thought it was cool! And cold…

All too soon we were heading back to the vehicle; luckily, I have awesome a/c.

The original plan was to stop at the Fort Niobrara NWR upper overlook and then head on to the house for dinner–then head back to the lower part of the refuge after dinner. However, the truck ahead of us had some interesting characters… that seemed to be inebriated… or at least the guys in the back seat who was poking his upper body through the back window and digging in the cooler and waving at us while the driver slowed down… they turned off so we decided to head on to town and walk the dog before dinner.

We made a good call.

After the dog was walked, we headed to one of our local restaurants- Peppermill. It was really good, and Wade met us there for dinner.

Afterwards, I dragged him out to the refuge for maternity photos– he hates getting his photo taken but since PJ encouraged him to tickle me, he was a good sport about doing it.

PJ got to do my makeup and hair which made her happy- she does a great job. I think she would make a great makeup artist if she wanted too!

I was so happy to be home- my feet and legs were swollen. I propped them up with a big glass of sweet tea and we decided to break the news to my mom that PJ came up.

My parents are older and don’t travel as much–especially with a pandemic. However, mom wanted to see me pregnant and all, so we felt bad that PJ flew up. It’s easier for PJ to fly out of Dallas since she lives in the metro area, like me the parents live several hours from an airport.

Once she realized who was on the phone… apparently, we sound alike… she wasn’t too upset. An hour later we were finally off the phone and popping popcorn!

We then binged watched Grimm until late in the morning. We also said we’d get up at 8 and hit a few of the last spots before taking her to the airport in Grand Island….

Wade and PJ were up at eight… I was unconscious until like nine…thirty.

So, we had to amend our mornings activities.

We hit up the Cowboy Trail Bridge- I about died. It was weird normally the mile hike out and back doesn’t bother me, but I was sweating, hot, and cranky by the time we got to the middle of the bridge. But it was worth showing it to my sister- she liked it. I wound up getting mad the last little bit of the trail and speed walking to get to the car so I could get tissues and Wet Ones to wipe the sweat out of my eyes and clean up my face. Plus, down a bottle of Gatorade.

Looking back, I think I pushed it the day before and even that morning–I don’t want to hold back but the baby does put a lot of stress on the body and I’m 35 weeks. Hence why it’s three days later and I’m still recovering.

Then it was the long drive to Grand Island- we did stop for lunch which took a little longer than we thought… well the trip out to the bridge and actually stopping for lunch took a little longer than we thought it would.

We also–Wade and I– thought that the drive was only three hours (Wade) and the flight was at 3:15 (me).

PJ was in the back seat…. uhm… my flight is at 3:01…

“It only takes three hours- at this point in Broken Bow we can make it in two, so you’ll have thirty minutes.”

I am checking the driving time on my phone…

“This says we’ll get there as the flight is taking off…”

Que panicked mode.

Wade might have exceeded the speeding limit a time or two, but we made it with twenty minutes for PJ to get through security and board.

I love that Grand Island is a small regional airport with two gates. Plus, the security line isn’t crazy and the one benefit of Covid-19 only “x” number of passengers on the flight.

Because of the panicked running we didn’t have a tearful goodbye- although, after she was through security and waiting to board, we stared at each other through the glass and texted how the weekend was too short and that I should have just kidnapped her.

Ten minutes after getting into the terminal they started boarding- fifteen minutes she was in line and going through the gangway.

Wade and I watched her plane taxi off, get clearance, and hit the sky.

She was home nearly an hour and a half later.

We were still driving.

Keep wandering,

BJ

P.S. I get to see her again in about a month!

P.S.S. We made it home before the sunset and had a nice walk with the dog.

One last thing…. check out Pike Creek Girls on Instagram it’s a little project us #wanderingsisters are working on! https://www.instagram.com/pikecreekgirls/

Best Laid Plans

Well…

That didn’t go as planned.

Also short boring post this week.

The doctor appointment went well but we didn’t leave as early as we would have liked going to North Platte and then we didn’t leave North Platte until almost six and I had a dog that practically ran me over to get outside when we got home.

So, there was no stopping at Thedford or the Valentine NWR this week. Luckily, the art gallery is going to hold onto my pictures, and they signed me up to sell on commission there… I’ll see if my photography is good enough to sale. Exciting.

This week is going to be work and reading heavy I’m afraid…

Other than when I’m hanging out watching Ultimate Frisbee- then I’ll be taking some photos or falling asleep in my awesome lawn chair!

But my weekend is going to be fun- I have a surprise visitor that is going to do some local adventures with me!

No, it will not be an early delivery lol. Sorry friends and family that keep making cracks about how it’s twins or I’ll be giving birth early- the doctor said I’m on track for a late September date, as expected.

Since it looks like my adventures are coming to a middle for the time being how about we change it up a little more. I showed my stack of books on hiking and adventure last time. How about I toss in a review of the books I’m reading?

At least this way I can feel productive and still talk about hiking (and river adventures)!

I’ll probably do them as a separate post that starts with “Book Review:…”

**Due to some whacky planning, I’m taking a couple of grad classes in history during this time period too… however, I doubt you all want to hear about early colonial America or the Age of Enlightenment so I will try to not to get the book reviews confused…**

Heck, I might even reformat my blog and play around with other themes.

Reinvention is important in this day in age!

In other news, I’m working with my dad to republish a book he wrote in 1970 about a hunting dog in the Ozarks. It’s great to collaborate with him on stuff like this- I’m hoping we can do more things in the future!

Book in question- one of the original copies. We’ll probably do some new cover art!
Back cover…

I’m also being horrible and putting the Baby Wipes and Day Hikes behind a paywall…

I decided since I probably will be backing off on some of my other jobs, but still need to fund Hunter and I’s hikes, I would just put that page behind a monthly $5 fee.

I was just going to do a tip jar but unless you fork out almost $300 for a business plan you can’t use that plugin… If I get some more traffic/followers and some of my other ideas pan out I might change the format to the tip jar but for now, I’ll just stick with Stripe and the $5 subscription. I might also switch to $15 a year- which puts the monthly price at $1.25.

I might do a poll in a later post to see what people think…

I will be putting highlight or blurb whenever I make a new post on the Baby Wipes and Day Hikes in my “main” blog so you can decide if you want to read more/subscribe.

Keep wandering,

BJ

P.S. Milk gives me heartburn…but Hunter still craves it…

Bored…I’m Bored!!!!

Short post this week, sorry about that.

Yeah…after that nine-day work week my weekend consisted of me doing laundry (only productive thing I did) and eating Oreos on the couch…

Oh, and walking the dog.

I’m turning into a boring person.

It’s just not the same as going somewhere for a hike.

However, I did read a wonderful book on hiking… Dances with Marmots- A Pacific Crest Trail Adventure by George Spearing

If you have any recommendations or want to hear about one of these books let me know!

I have a friend on social media that got out and was hiking some mountains in Japan; now I’m itching to go somewhere and climb a mountain. However, between the Covid-19 restrictions and lung kicking that’s not going to happen- so, I’m drooling over his photos and jealous. Thanks @bnheise

Sadly, the closer I get to the due date the less my doctors seem to want me to do anything- I understand why but it’s sending me into a funk. Plus, with the extra weight and the whole growing a small human the heat of summer is getting to me- it’s making me cranky.

**plan any future children to be carried to term during the winter… the internal heater will be nice.

So, more sitting in the A/C and reading books on other people’s adventures. Some are re-reads. Nothing, wrong with that but there goes my winter reading list… although, this year I will have a new buddy to spend the winter with.

I’m back to my normal grind and have an upcoming weekend- I’m hoping to do something this “weekend.” I do have a doctor’s appointment in North Platte this week and I will be going by the Valentine NWR. I might take a little time and wander there…

It’s hot mom!

Keep wandering,

BJ

P.S. Send me your favorite hiking reads!

P.S.S. Decaffeinated sweet tea is not the same!

33 weeks!

Baby Brain and Long Work Week

Sigh…

This was the week I had my days off moved around. I’m working a nine day stretch and other than walking the dog I haven’t been doing much… I’m on day 7.

So, I’m not sure if my brain is fuzzy because of baby brain or the long work week…

But on the cool and fun front, I now have a weekend day off with the hubby coming up for the rest of the summer season- so maybe we can go do some small adventures together or do a babymoon before Sept. 29th!

I’m hoping we do something involving water because I’ve heard its great way to “feel” weightless while pregnant. Right now, anything thing that will help take the weight, pressure, and relieve the spreading of my pelvis sounds nice. However, we’re probably going to work on all the baby stuff we keep procrastinating on, like the nursery.

Normally, I do the adventures on my own (weekend vs. weekdays off conflict in the summer) but he’s been worried about me going off and doing my own thing at 7 months pregnant… or 5… or 2… he’s cute and a worrywart. Plus, with all the closures with Covid-19 this has been a slow hiking year for me.

Princess enjoying being out and about!

So, while it’s been a rough year, I’m hoping to do some stuff before the baby comes because I’ll be in mommy mode in the fall, which I’m excited about. I’m also hoping to do some small momma and baby hikes to check out some gear and introduce my little one to the trail- we might take daddy along too. We’ll see how it goes.

Since my adventures…and time off… will be limited for the next few days. I’ve been reading, watching shows (I feel like tv is rotting my brain), taking photos, and writing. Hopefully, I’ll have some more content for my poetry Instagram soon.

I did talk the husband into taking the dog out to the refuge the night before last for a longer walk- mainly because I’m getting bored walking our normal route. We drove through the refuge looking for “my” badger before heading up to the upper overlook to walk the dog.

Usually, there are only a few people and they stick to the two overlooks that are paved and sort of maintained. Wade worrying about my balance and not wanting me to stress walking on uneven ground (the man thinks I’m made of glass sometimes) decided we’d just stick to walking around the prairie and not walk down the non-existent trail that follows the ridge line to a rocky out cropping that reminds me, kinda, of home. It overlooks a bend in the river- between that, the rocks, and the smell of pine it alleviates the homesickness.

*So, does walking straight up a hill through sumac on a hot day- that was work related (at least they don’t think I’m made of glass) and it was the shortest way back to the truck. I can safely say that little adventure two weeks ago cured some lingering homesickness I had to experiencing an Ozark summer for a while. The view was great though. *

I’ve also spent the last two nights trying to take photos of the moon- I have a long way to go- here are some of the more successful shots. I like a challenge and I will figure out how to stack photos to create a cool landscape with the moon overlooking it all- it just might take me years to figure out, lol.

I’ve also spent some time cleaning up my office- between working from home earlier this year (darn corona) and deciding to reorganize to make it more efficient it turned into a disaster zone. I did find my planning folder and maps for an overnight backpacking trip in Badlands I was working on back in January. Before corona and before finding out I was pregnant I had planned on doing the trip in April. I might adjust it for next spring and see if Wade will be up for solo baby duty for a night…  

Maybe by then I will have more knowledge of nighttime photography and I will be able to get some great star shots over Badlands… we’ll see.

Keep hiking,

BJ

P.S. decaffeinated coffee and tea doesn’t make me nice in the mornings, my poor co-workers/husband…

P.S.S. the photo is from 31 weeks, as of 8/4/20 I’m now 32 weeks and I feel as big as a house some days…  

My lungs!

Day Hikes and Baby Wipes

After the “big” trip to Wildcat Hills… if you can call two days a big trip. It was back to the normal day to day show; with a few highlights!

The baby shower was a blast! The theme was on point for me- camping/outdoors stuff! I loved the snack table and there was some adorable decorations! I have so many boxes of baby wipes…

The punch and cupcakes were my favorite lol- I’m glad some of my peeps were able to make it in person but the Zoom call with family and friends spread out over the US was awesome too.

Since I’m now at 30 weeks I’ve had to cut back on a lot- my doctors don’t want me spending massive amounts of time out in the heat. Plus, they want me to cut back on carbs… potatoes, pancakes, cake- the good stuff that makes me happy. And due to some questionable swelling with my legs they don’t want me taking super long walks…or hikes…

Which means it’s walks around the neighborhood with the dog and short day hikes…

Why can’t we go out before 5 pm? We can have a super long walk…

More on that in a minute. Let’s catch up for a second…

In order to stave off the boredom and still get out and explore I’ve been playing around with photography more. I’ve been working on getting lightning strike photos and nighttime shots- I missed out on the comet though…

It’s a work in progress but I’m liking that I’m keeping busy with something. I haven’t had the “nesting” phase of pregnancy and Wade has been procrastinating with getting the nursery painted and fixed up… we should probably work on that stuff…

However, Princess will be very happy once the thunderstorms stop for the year. She’s not tolerating the sound anymore and we have to hang out in the basement with her… otherwise she dives into Wade’s clean clothes or under my side of the bed. Her Thunder Shirt helpes though!

I’ve also started writing more…on everything except this blog lol… but I’m hoping to fix that. I might branch out to some other topics- including hiking with a baby which I might create a page set of just “Baby Wipes and Day Hikes” posts.

I’ve also binged watched some shows and movies- the Old Guard is amazing!

It’s been a bit of blah couple weeks honestly. I need to get out and do stuff but pretty much any time I sit still for longer than five minutes without something to engage me- I fall asleep. However… I don’t stay asleep not like this crew…

They sleep like this all the time… I’m lucky if I can stay asleep an hour…

My plan for my days off this week was to head out to Norden Chute and the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge but Monday I woke up ate a bowl of Cheerios and promptly fell asleep again…luckily the cat didn’t knock my coffee over like she did the last time. Tuesday wasn’t much better, but I did get laundry done!

She always wants what’s in my cup… never Wade’s…

So… it’s been mainly the walks with the dog and a few hikes out at the Fort Niobrara NWR; where I got my lightening photos… this was kind of a boring hiking talk… the dog is happy though.

So happy she’s outside she can’t sit still for a photo…

I’m hoping to have a new adventure or at least something actually hiking related in the coming weeks- even an exciting dog walking adventure would be nice to write about…

Keep wandering,

BJ

P.S. I need cake…