From the couch to the trails

Category Archives: Uncategorized

I feel like this video is a quote of the things that we said while going through the haunted house last night. Although, I do distinctly remember saying to one of the ghouls “pardon me” and there were a lot of “that’s not nice”‘s being thrown around….. but Stop it and Is this over where the top of the list.


Got out on the trail today (details to follow)

All those fears were erased and I am so glad that we were able to get out there.

It just goes to show….


I am so looking forward to getting back on the trail this weekend.  We have not done any Autumn walks.  I really want to see all of the beautiful leaves.  BUT….  yes there is always a but in life right 🙂

My but is my fears.  If you are interested in my list of fears read on….

-I fear that I will not be able to hike as far as I had in the past due to the hiatus

-I fear that I am going to get out on the trail and my foot is going to start hurting and I will not want to walk back —this is the big one—

-I fear that hiking is not as much fun as I remember

-I fear that it wont be as much fun hiking when its too chilly to stop off at a swimming hole

I don’t know about you but when I go into something with no expectations…or do something for the first time it is a lot less scary that getting BACK into something.

So what is the solution to all of these fears?

The prescription I gave myself is from now until Sunday it will be nothing but positive self talk.  And a little extra at the gym to make sure my legs are nice and strong and ready for a walk in the woods this Sunday.



When I started out this blog I was doing Ideal Protein.  Which is a High Protein, Low Cab, Low Sugar, Low Calorie Diet.  It is a toughie!!  I mean a real toughie.  It is similar to the Adkins Plan where in you are forcing your body into Ketosis and keeping it there.  This means NO CHEATING!  Or you have just ruined about 3 days of fat burning.  

This diet worked GREAT!  I did not have to exercise.  It took the weight off quickly.  And I did not have to think too hard about what I was going to eat.  They provided 3 meals a day and I got to pick 8oz of protein and 4 cups of veggies a day.  When I started this diet I weighed the MOST I have ever weighed (including pregnancy) and I had little motivation to get me going.  A friend of mine was doing amazingly on IP so I decided to give it a whirl. They have a FREE workshop you can attend that gives you a feel for what the diet is about and how it works.  It is a bit pricey but for what I needed it for it worked great.

I still go there every week to weigh in and get advice from the coaches and I still buy some of their food because there are some that I enjoy and are a healthy alternative to other foods.  But, I decided to stop the diet for two reasons.

1.  I will be going back to school to take a class soon.  Seems like a silly reason right?  Yeah well not really because this diet left me feeling foggy headed.  There were times when I just could not think straight.  This is actually pretty common symptoms of this particular diet.

2. The second reason is that I went on vacation to Michigan and while we were there I decided I was going to take a break from the diet.  While on this break I realized I had SOOOOO much more energy and endurance with carbohydrates in my body.  We went on several hikes and I felt like a million bucks.  I would have some good days after a hike on IP but for the most part a 4 mile hike would wipe me out for the day.

I have slowly been adding carbs back into my diet… but now I am at a place where I don’t know what to eat???  

Where do I stop?  

How many carbs are too many carbs?  

Am I taking in too much protein?

I hear that low calorie diets are not the best for you?

I hear that you will for sure lose weight if you stay under 1200 calories?

The scary part is that ALLL of the arguments for all of these theories make perfect sense.  This makes it harder to figure out what is right and what is wrong?  Is it as simple as eat less and be more active?  Or should I be paying more attention to what actually goes into my yapper?  

I don’t want to spend weeks doing a diet plan that is not going to help me lose weight or worse cause me harm.   So its back to the good old internet to look for answers.

I was wondering what have you done that you find works best for you? 


There are so many trails at the Patapsco State Park we decided to head back and check out a different trail.  Here is a link to the trail maps in the Avalon section of the park.  This just happens to be the most convenient part of the park for me to get to.  So, we tend to explore this area the most.

We actually paid to get into the park to do this hike.  While out on the hike we did find an alternate trail head in a neighborhood close by.  If you want to start from the street you would park at the intersection of Landing Rd. and Grovemont Drive.

If you would like to see the trail the way we did you would pay for entry to the park and then park by the swinging bridge.  We started our hike on the Cascade Falls Trail (blue blazes) we stayed right on the trail bypassing the falls. —not on purpose—  There was an intersection there was a neat looking little broken down building and the hill looked a little more challenging so we took that path instead.  There were quite a few decent ascents.  Enough to keep you on your toes but not tire you out.

We followed the Cascade Falls Trail (blue blazes) until it met up with the Morning Choice Trail (yellow blazes).  It is right after the blue trail meets the yellow trail that you would start on this trail if you parked outside of the park on Landing Rd and Grovemont Dr.  Anywho we followed the yellow trail around.  This is where the creepiness began.  First my husband insisted on turning over rocks to find slimy things.  He was successful in his quest.  We found slugs and worms.  EWWWWW…..



I am sure I have told you guys before that I am a city girl and these kind of things do not excite me one bit.  But, I guess boys will be boys and Jim was quite amused at the ickiness of these guys.  I know that you would expect to see worms and slugs on a trail, especially when you are turning over rocks… but we did not expect to see this….


What is it you ask????  Yeah, I asked the same thing.  I looks like some sort of shrine?  I don’t have a good picture of it but there was a huge piece of hair on the opposite side of the turtle shell from the candle.  I don’t know if it was human hair or not but it sure was a huge hunk of  long blonde hair.  The only other animal that I could think that it would come from would be a horse?

Sooooo…. that was interesting!  We stayed long enough to take pics and then kept going.  Only to come across a series of old broken down buildings.  It looked like they used to be camping areas… maybe…. but they were a little spooky to see just after the shrine.

ImageAgain we only stopped long enough to take pictures.  We walked for a bit until the yellow trail met the orange trail.

The orange trail is called the Ridge Trail.  This can be picked up not far from the trail head of the blue trail (Cascade Falls) near the swinging bridge.   We climbed up pretty high on this part of the trail but it was pretty gradual so it did not seem so bad.  As we we walked along the orange trail we could hear the waterfall.  We could not see it but we could hear it.  It was coming from below so we decided to go off trail to try to find it.  This meant descending a gigantic hill.  It was a straight hill with no switchbacks so it was not so easy on the toes.  Jim taught me a technique though to help save the toes.  It’s a really simple technique and probably obvious to many of you but for me it was THE most genius thing I had ever heard.  Just go down the hill with your feet turned sideways.  HA HA!!  Genius!!!!

Once we reached the bottom of the hill there was a little bit of stream and lots of rocks and down limbs.  We could not see the waterfall yet but we could tell we were close.  We could have gotten back on the grass and walked along the side of the stream but we decided to try our hand at scaling the rocks.  There were not very tall and posed little threat.

This was my favorite part of the hike.  I have been wanting to climb some rocks since we started but I seriously doubted my ability so I did not want to take on a huge venture with out the proper gear.  The rocks were about 6-8 foot tall and had pretty easy footing to spots to follow.  We made it up.  At the top of these rocks there was a small waterfall.  We stopped here to take a rest and Jim cooled off in the water.



It still sounded like there were bigger falls above so we decided to take to rocks up again to the next level.  Again about a 6-8 ft climb but with a little less footing spots.  But we made it!  The falls were pretty.  Not a large fall but pretty non the less.  Jim said he has been going to this park exploring since he was a little boy and never seen this fall before.  And here it was just a few yards away from the road and the swinging bridge that we have been to hundreds of times before.Image

Next to the waterfall was the blue trail.  It was the part we bypassed on the way in.  It was a very short walk back to the trail head and our car.  🙂

Of course I had technical difficulties while on the trail and MapMyHike did to record our journey (User Error 🙂 )

But we the trail information says that

Cascade Falls Trail is 2.79 miles

Morning Choice is 1.8 miles

Ridge Trail is 2.2 miles

I think that we missed a total of about 1 mile of the trails.  So that puts us at about 5.5-6 miles give or take.

If you are hiking with kids I would recommend going into the park and taking the Cascade Falls Trail.  When you come to the intersection with the steeper hill and the old building at the top of the hill go the opposite way 🙂  This will take you a short walk to get you to the falls.

All three of these trails are easily picked up and easy to follow so you could make this one as long or as short as you’d like.