Saturday, December 30, 2006

Goodbye 2006

With only one more day left this year, I’ve been looking back at all the adventure, fun, and places I explored during this twelve month span. The year of 2006 has been awesome! I feel very fortunate to have experienced as much as I have in this one year alone.

All the states I visited this year: Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Nevada, California, Montana, Arizona, and Alberta, Canada.

My biggest feats for 2006: Hiked first slot canyon, Visited a new province in Canada, Visited and hiked in 7 National Parks, Hiked in 4 different mountain ranges (Appalachians, Rockies, Sierra Nevada, and Olympic), Nearly made it to the top of Half Dome, Completed a 20 mile hike in Grand Teton in one day, Made a 30 mile backpacking trip on Cumberland Island, Georgia, Confronted and survived an angry mother bear with cubs, Finally caught on my very own camera a bear in the wild, Saw a mountain goat for the first time and photographed it, Walked on my first glacier.

But there is still one day left of 2006 and I dare not waste it! There is still time for one more great adventure. Catch up with you all when I return.

Can't wait to see where 2007 will take me! :)

In the Frozen Niagara section of Mammoth Cave with my pal Germaphobe.
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.

Me backpacking on Cumberland Island, Georgia. It is uncertain in the pic. whether the extended thumb at this point during the hike was a thumbs up or an attempt to hitch a ride.

Best friend and me on top of the Space Needle. (This was right after I got off the phone with you, Yratuca. I couldn't hear a word you said with all the noise up there! haha.)
Seattle, Washington.

This is a picture of me taking a picture of my first slot canyon. Awesome!
(And four months later you were in the same canyon, Grunt! Can you recognize it without all the flood water?)
Escalante, Utah.

Couldn't resisit sitting in a field of daisies!
Olympic National Park, Washington.

I don't even remember taking this picture. Both Best Friend and I were still in a daze after talking with the Canadian Customs guy. The HOTTEST man in the world, girls, I kid you not!!!!

And there is the first mountain goat I ever saw! I was so excited!
Glacier, Montana.

Resting on a rock in Glacier National Park, Montana. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you might can see another mountain goat in the background grazing by the water.

Standing in the freezing waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca searching for tidepools full of creatures.
Olympic Peninsula, Washington.

There are a few more shots in the post below, so check it out. :)
And because blogger decided that I had posted enough of my pictures on the above post, and I still wanted to share a couple more, here's a few more shots of some of my favorite times this year...

Along the Applalachian Trail in Virginia.

My mom and I at New River Gorge, West Virginia. You can see a portion of the huge, steel arch bridge that spans the gorge behind us.

Exhausted me along the Half Dome Trail in Yosemite National Park, California. There's the summit just ahead. (Or so it would seem! Ugh!) It was at this point that I wanted to either shoot myself or at least someone else.

Cooling off in the oasis of Lower Calf Creek Falls with Slot Canyon Boy.
Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post Holidays Post

I have been seeing this post on many other blogs so I thought I would do it, too. (Since I know all of you out there are dying to know more about me! ;)

1. Snakes
2. Being financially unstable
3. Drowning/suffocating

1. How the male mind works
2. Mathematics
3. How people that intentionally hurt people and get their kicks off it can sleep at night

1. A second language fluently
2. How to ski
3. A scheme to strike it rich

1. Dark blue jeans
2. Light blue long sweater w/ belt
3. High heel brown boots

1. Tons of pictures of my friends, family, and my travels
2. CDs full of pictures I have taken
3. Old ticket stub from the UGA game I went to earlier this year

1. Travel around the world
2. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
3. Hike the Inca Trail

1. I am very laid back and easy to get along with
2. I like to laugh and I love to make other people laugh
3. I try to stay upbeat despite the many, many, MANY crappy things that happen to me

1. I will blurt out exactly what I am thinking sometimes.
2. If I am around someone who has a negative attitude for a while, I will begin to be negative, too.
3. Have built up a defense mechanism to protect myself and I am generally untrusting of people.

1. Scottish
2. English
3. Native American (Cherokee)

1. My eyes
2. My legs—but the shape of them, not the length
3. Can easily lose weight when I want to (and try to)

1. Too thick in the middle right now (Need to put the #3 above into action)
2. I want whiter teeth
3. Wish my legs were 3 inches longer (because I hate having to find petite or short jeans and pants to buy. That’s the real reason I always wear my “hot” high heels—so I won’t step on my pants!!!)

1. Even though I am generally a nice person, I am the wrong person’s path to cross if you want to screw someone over.
2. I like model railroading
3. Despite my age, I still act like a retard around guys I like.

1. Are you kidding me?!?
2. WHATever!
3. Anything to do with crack…(Calling someone a crack head, Asking someone “Who’s crack head scheme was this?”, or saying, “Just lay off the crack, K?”)

1. Nearly everywhere in Europe
2. Many places in Africa (especially Egypt)
3. Peru

I had a nice and peaceful holiday with my family and I hope everyone else did, too.

For Christmas I got a new laptop, an iPod nano, jewelry, clothes and the stomach flu. Everything was totally awesome except for the flu. As for the other wonderful gifts, I am still trying to figure out how I fooled Santa into thinking I was good this year. hmmm. SUCKA!

Hope he was as generous with the rest of you!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas Blog Buddies!

Just in case I become completely sucked into the all the festivites and don't have a chance to tell you all later, I'll say it now...

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope your holiday is safe and fun! Thanks to everyone who stops by and checks out my blog and even more thanks to those of you who have become friends of mine. I'm sending you all the love I can muster from my 3 sizes too small, grinchy heart! :)

Friday, December 22, 2006

My Song

It’s no secret to my friends that I am a huge fan of The Police and Sting’s music. But what they really don’t know is which song is my favorite. Ask any of them and they will tell you that it is Don’t Stand so Close to Me and really that’s not too far from the truth. I do love that song passionately and believe that it is one of the sexiest songs ever written, as most people know that feeling of being so attracted to someone that we know is not good for us and being so into this person that we are driven to complete distraction. I have just been allowing everyone to believe that this sexy, cool song is my favorite. But it is more like my second favorite.

In reality my favorite song by Sting is Fields of Gold, which is, by far, wussier than the sexy Don’t Stand so Close to Me. Now I couldn’t let anyone know that I am really a wuss at heart, could I? But it’s true. I can be a wuss.

I believe that every person can find at least one song that they can relate some experience in their life to. This is why I have attached myself to Fields of Gold. This song defines nearly every relationship I have ever had. With the exception of one, none of my relationships ever ended badly. There were no fights. They just ended for some reason or another.

Perhaps it is the very reason that every man I ever dated, sooner or later, has tried to come back into my life. Whereas it is a good feeling to be told that you were the best part of someone else’s life, the story becomes quite old and leaves me wondering. Why can’t you see and appreciate me when you’re with me, when it’s not too late? And what is it that takes you back in the past to the time you were with me? And what makes you forget that everything has changed and that we can’t just pick right up where we left off, ignoring the circumstances surrounding our present lives? What makes you think we can so easily walk hand in hand like before?

You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in fields of gold

Once upon a time, I found you worthy of my trust. I invited you into my life. I gave you my all. We forgot all the destructive outside forces working against us and we reveled in our happiness and love.

So she took her love
For to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold

Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Among the fields of barley
We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold

See the west wind move like a lover so
Upon the fields of barley
Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth
Among the fields of gold

And though I never claimed to be perfect, I always tried my best to make our relationship work. I always did whatever I could to make you happy. And although rocky times came upon us, it was nothing that we couldn’t have handled.

I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We'll walk in fields of gold

But somehow and for some reason, we let go anyway. We said our goodbyes. With slowly fading pain in my heart, I move on. Time elapses into years and you’re barely a fond memory in my mind. Our special places, occasions, and memories still live somewhere on another plane, but life goes on and time marches forward.

Many years have passed since those summer days
Among the fields of barley
See the children run as the sun goes down
Among the fields of gold

Then, just as I have accomplished tucking you away into a forgotten place in my mind, something reawakens your memories and you call me. You turn my life upside down. You express your regrets of letting our relationship go. But I think there is no reason to regret finding true love, whether it lasts or not. Many people are not so lucky and you can at least tell them what it was like to walk in fields of gold once upon a time.

You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
When we walked in fields of gold

As for me, I try very hard to close chapters in my life before beginning a new one. As it stands right now, I have closed the very last chapter and I feel good about it. I am now gazing at a fresh, clean slate ready to be filled. And it will be filled one day. For now, I am patiently awaiting someone who will help me write the pages... Someone who will not only walk with me through fields of gold, but will appreciate me while we’re still standing there among the swaying barley and realize that there is no place he’d rather be than in the golden field with me.

Here's the song for anyone who wants to enjoy it without all my ramblings!

It's such a beautiful song.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I've been challenged to a race!

When I came home this summer after a 2 month vacation out West filled with long hikes and physical activity, I came home in a condition that I was quite proud shape, well toned, and with much more physical endurance than I left Georgia with. I became re-acquainted with my friends and filled them in on my many tales.

My friend, Super Villain, is the only friend I have around here (until Best Friend moved back to town) that will go hiking with me. We have been on many fun and challenging hikes around here through a canyon, down in a gorge, along the Appalachian Trail, to the summit of a few mountains, and many, many hikes to waterfalls. Of all the hikes we have done, we both agree that the very short walk to the summit of Brasstown Bald from the parking lot is the most butt-kicking 1/2 mile on any trail in Georgia. This short, paved 1/2 mile trail would seem like a joke to most experienced hikers, but that little sucker hurts! The best I have ever done on this trail is making it to the top with only having to stop once.

So anyway, I was telling Super Villain of my strenous, long hikes of the summer when I made it back home. I was bragging, actually. I may have even mentioned being able to kick his ass on a trail or something to that effect. He informed me that he had been working out while I was gone and that we should have a sort of hike-off to settle this score. He mentioned Brasstown Bald. I laughed. Puh-lease! Brasstown Bald compared to what all I hiked this summer? I accepted his challenge quite happily. There was no way I could have lost this race! We talked smack like there was no tomorrow.

But it never happened. Four months later, I was thinking that it was forgotten. Four months later, I was hoping it was forgotten. For four months, I have only been hiking only a handful of times and I am so not in the shape I was in August. For four months, I have dined on burgers from the Vortex and anywhere else my heart/stomach desired. For four months, I have lived like a slug. Then out of the blue, Super Villain reminds me that we never had our race to Brasstown. Damn.

To my horror, I hear my own small voice saying, "I can still totally take you punk! Name the date! I'm there!"

Me and my big mouth. I cannot turn down a good challenge, though. And now that I've been trash talking him, it's definitely going to happen. Why oh why did I let August, my prime ass-kicking time, pass me by? Since, 'tis the season to be busy, we will most likely be racing to the top of Georgia's highest peak the first weekend in January when all the holiday fuss is over. I will announce the date when it is set.

Until then, I will be back to health food and exercising. Any training tips from any runners out there? HELP ME! As it stands today, I would totally get smoked. There would be no living with him if that should happen.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Guess That Place

I have been going through some of my old pictures and putting them on CDs. Damn, I have taken a lot of pictures.

Can anyone guess where these were taken?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Six Weird Things About Outdoorsy Girl

I’ve been tagged! Almost a year in the blogging world and had never been tagged until today. Normally, I would have just pretended to not have seen it, but the Grunt is my tagger and the Grunt just happens to be one of my best friends in the blogging world, so Grunt, this is for you…(damn you ;)

Six weird things about me…

1. I do not like to eat my food hot. I’d much rather for it to be barely warm…even my soup and coffee. My mouth burns too easily!

2. I have a shoe fetish! I am totally in love with shoes. I pick out shoes first and then an outfit to go along with them rather than the other way around (like normal peeps). I especially love hot boots and I own a nice assortment of hot shoes and boots. ;)

3. I must have smoothly shaved legs at all times! I can’t sleep unless I have smooth legs. I thought that this was normal until I went camping with Best Friend and she looked at me in horror as I tried to dry shave my legs. (No water available in the desert, you know!) “But I can’t sleep unless my legs feel smooth!” I cried. Under her breath I heard her mutter, “Freak!” That’s when I knew that maybe it wasn’t normal.

4. I talk to my cat like she can understand me…on a regular basis.

5. I am so critical of myself that I find one thing about myself that I want to work on and I obsess over it. Before it was my weight. Now that I am down 4 or 5 jeans sizes, I am obsessing over my teeth. I can’t get them white enough!

6. When I wake up in a bad mood, I wear my Oscar the Grouch panties. If I’m happy, I pick out some fun undies. When I take my shower before I go to bed (and, of course, to shave my legs) I see which panties I am wearing. If I am still in a bad mood and see the grouch panties, I can officially declare it a crappy day.

Now I would continue the chain and tag six more people, but I don’t think that many people read my blog. ;)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Liar, Liar

Wow! It’s been quite a while since my last post! I’ll bet all of you have been wondering what has happened to me …errrr, well, maybe not! I have been a MIA blogger since my birthday. But that’s not because my life has not been totally exciting since that weekend in Memphis! In fact, my life has reached it’s all time high on the excitement scale!

Does anyone remember the Jim Carrey movie, Liar, Liar? Well, I happened to see this movie just a week before my birthday. In this movie a disappointed little boy wishes that his father could not tell a lie for 24 hours and he blows out his birthday candles. Lo and behold, his wish is granted! Well, if it could work for him then maybe…

So I closed my eyes, and wished with all my might. Oh, how I wish Orlando Bloom was my boyfriend! Then I blew out the candles on my cake. (All 21 of them! ;) )

Just imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning to Orlando gently stroking my hair and speaking to me in his sexy British accent, “Good morning, baby. Thought you’d like to go on a road trip.” My wish had been granted!*

Let me tell you, we had a blast! First we went on a hike in the desert somewhere. You know, he’s quite an outdoorsy guy! We hiked for miles and miles until we fell asleep under the stars. He’s so romantic! This is a picture of him that I took while we were hiking somewhere in the desert. Isn’t he hot? But you know what? It’s rather cold somewhere in the desert during this time of year. It was like Orlando could read my mind or something when he suggested that we should just fly down to Aruba for some warm weather.

Aruba was awesome! We did some snorkeling and sailing and had some of the most stimulating conversations that I’ve ever experienced in my life! We had so many exciting stories to share and you just wouldn’t believe how similar our adventures are! Like he told me that one time when he was in St. Vincent filming Pirates of the Caribbean, a shark almost attacked him and Johnny Depp.
And one time I when I was hiking alone in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky I twisted my knee! Oh yeah, and he had been to Kentucky, too, when he filmed Elizabethtown! See how much we have in common? It’s almost eerie!

Shortly after the trip to Aruba, things began to go terribly wrong. I mean Orlando is such a sweet guy, but man did he become possessive! He tried to start a fight with every man we walked by. I tried to explain to him that when he and I were out in public together, that it is just natural that I will be checked out! Then he began to smother me so that I had not one moment alone!

But then suddenly, while we were out at an incredibly expensive restaurant in London (you know, he wanted me to meet his parents!) he suddenly dropped on
one knee and proposed marriage to me!** I was speechless! But as I regained my composure and tried to reply, “YESSSSSSSSS”, he pulled out the ring. I’ll tell you the truth, I didn’t like the look of it nor did I like the look in his eye! It was almost as if he wanted to give me that ring to control me! I just couldn’t do it. I sadly had to tell him no. It was heartbreaking but, you know, a girl like me needs her freedom! I gotta be the one to walk in the sun. ;)

It’s been a rough couple of days, but I decided to go back to work today. I’m sure that I will get over this. I just hope that he recovers as easily.
Ok, ok! I’m a liar, liar! This didn’t really happen. I know it was very convincing, but not true. I hope I didn’t fool anyone too much.

And yeah, I’ve got nothing right now—no excitement—nothing! I just felt guilty for being
a blog slacker and leaving you people hanging, so I wrote a filler post. I wrote these lies for YOU, people!

**Just to clarify, if this had been true, I would have said yes regardless of the fact that he wanted to possess me with The One Ring.