Hiking the Harris Ranch Trail to Drift Creek

This past weekend Josh and I embarked on our first overnight hiking trip together. We recently celebrated our two year anniversary and this was our celebration trip. We hiked the Harris Ranch Trail to Drift Creek – around 6 miles round-trip – located in the Drift Creek Wilderness portion of the Siuslaw National Forest.

I had to work Saturday so we got a bit of a late start. We arrived at the trailhead around 5. The hike down to the creek was all downhill, and took us about an hour and a half. There were 4 or 5 other groups camped along the creek in the well-established camping spots. We didn’t want to be close to anyone, so we continued along the trail. Parts of it were quite a bit overgrown and full of underbrush that we fought through. There were also a few downed trees over the trail that we needed to scramble over. However we found a few good camping spots with existing fire rings and settled on one about 50 feet back from the trail. We picked a great spot, because right behind our tent we found this old car, rusted away and buried in overgrowth.

 

Drift Creek was beautiful. Summer is winding down right now and since it’s been relatively dry  the creek was low. We didn’t attempt to ford it but there were plenty of spots that I would have considered it if I’d brought an extra pair of shoes. I imagine the creek gets a lot deeper and faster in the fall and winter.  The creek was also loaded with bright red crawdads

 

The hike back up on Sunday was KILLER! I am still quite a bit out of shape, so 3 miles uphill with my pack on took a lot out of me. I was grateful for my trekking poles because they helped take some of the weight off my legs, and helped me keep my balance. We took plenty of breaks on the way back up to enjoy the scenery. Mushroom season is upon us, so we got to see a lot of different varieties growing near the trail.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t rely on just one headlamp, even if you’re in a hurry to pack and can’t find one.
  • Freeze-dried scrambled eggs aren’t very appetizing. Everything else we had was good though. I enjoyed the Chili Mac with Beef
  • Pillows are useful and shouldn’t be skipped over.
  • Magnesium fire starters are useful but take a bit of practice.

 

We’ve decided that for future trips we are interested in investing in hammock tents. If anyone has suggestions or recommendations, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!

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Shitty realities

I’ve been a long-time user of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Every once in awhile I will go off them for a bit, only to meet the harsh reminder that anxiety and depression are REAL illnesses with a need more medication. It’s not just in my head, it’s not something I can get over, I NEED those medications to function on a day-to-day schedule.

About a month ago, through my lack of ability to schedule things and some major frustrations and ball-dropping from my former doctor, I went cold turkey off of my current meds. Antidepressant discontinuation syndrome (AKA withdrawl)  is a very real thing.

The first week was the hardest, the second week slightly better, the third ever slightly better, and here we are in week four now.

After the first few days of being off I was looking into vitamins and supplements that could help ease the transition. After reading a few articles and learning about what has worked for others I settled on my “plan”.

  • Fish Oil
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • 5 HTP
  • Turmeric
  • Magnesium

Most of the major physical symptoms have gone away, but I still feel less energy and more general malaise than “normal”. The “brain zaps” still happen somewhat regularly, but they aren’t as bad or as frequent. My mood and anxiety levels are returning back to their baseline, instead of staying elevated and constantly spiking.  It’s hard to which improvements are because of the vitamins and how many are because my body is slowly adjusting, but I’m definitely giving the vitamins their credit.

 

Have you ever experienced antidepressant discontinuation syndrome? What have your experiences been like? What worked or didn’t work for you? Share in the comments 🙂

 

fitness journal: two birds with one stone

I love crafting/scrapbooking and I’m on a quest to get in fit, for my health and future. So a fitness journal seems like the perfect way to cover two hobbies in one!

It’s a work in progress that will be filled over the next several months.

The first page will be filled with my goals, as well as some before pictures and measurements. On the back side I plan on including a few more pictures, a fancy motivational quote, and a list of “rewards” that I plan on giving myself as I meet my goals.

From then I will just update weekly or so — goals I met that week, workouts I was particularly proud off, dealing with setbacks — whatever happens!

 

finding motivation.

I have officially committed myself to running a half marathon before my 30th birthday Essentially that leaves me just 10 months to go from total couch potato to running/jogging/walking 13.1 miles without collapsing. Preferably without crying as well, but I’m flexible on that one.

I managed to get started with my ‘training’, but I’m struggling with how I will stay motivated. I mean, I could go run, or I could stay on the couch watching episodes of the Twilight Zone on Netflix and eating popcorn. I’ve been in this position before — on the starting line, setting a goal for myself and thinking I can do it, but I’ve always failed.

I don’t want to fail again.

This time around I am making a list of all the reasons I want to succeed and how I can keep myself motivated. Hopefully some of these ideas can give you the motivation you need to keep going as well!

  1. Get involved with a local running club. A good place to start is your local gym/rec center. Often times local running groups also have a Facebook page for members to communicate.
  2. Find a running buddy (or two). Pretty much everything is more fun with a friend. Unless you really love the solitude of running by yourself, having a running buddy is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Plus it gives you someone to talk to on a longer run.
  3. Make a list of all of the reasons you are doing this. Hang this list somewhere that you can see it every day, so any time you question lacing up your shoes for a run or try to pull the covers over your head to sleep in, you can remember all the reasons why. For me, my list looks like this:
    1. My mental health
    2. My physical health
    3. My (future) children – I want to set a good example for my kids on the importance of physical fitness. I also want to be able to stay active for them!
    4. My husband – I want to motivate him to get in shape too.
    5. Bragging rights – Running a half marathon (or any race) is a big deal. Not everyone can do it.
    6. “I told you so” – For all of those naysayers in your life who think you can’t accomplish it.
    7. Financial investment — race entry fees aren’t cheap, so once I’ve signed up I’ve got to go!
  4. Set goals and reward yourself for meeting them.  For me, being able to run a 5K without walking will be a huge accomplishment. When I complete that, I am going to treat myself to something I want, probably a new pair of jeans that actually fits well and flatters my form.
  5. Buy the appropriate gear. Make sure you have a good set of running shoes, clothing, socks, etc. If you try to run in your old pair of sneakers your feet are going to hurt and you aren’t going to want to run anymore. You don’t need to splurge on a $100 pair of shoes right away, but make sure your clothing is comfortable and won’t cause you pain!

 

What other ways do you suggest for keeping motivated?

Hello again, old friend

I always have grand ideas of maintaining my blog. Regular posts about food, crafting, running, video games, cleaning, Pinterest-y stuff… yet I never follow through. “This year is going to be the year!” is a mantra I repeat in the beginning of every January. This January is no different.

Well, hopefully it will be.

Maybe this is the year that I WILL maintain my blog. Maybe.

simplify.

I will be the first to admit it, my house is usually a mess. Neither my husband or I are particularly fond of chores. We both love garage sales/thrifting, and both have hobbies that involve collecting excessive amounts of “stuff”.  The clutter has been getting me down lately, so I’ve been trying to pare things down a bit by getting rid of a few things each day. Tonight I decided I just wanted to have a massive decluttering binge. I set myself of a goal of getting rid of 100 things — even if it was just a piece of junk mail or something broken, as long as I got it out of the house (trash, recycling or donation box), it counted. Surprisingly it was not difficult to find 100 things. In fact, I could probably do it again tomorrow night!

Are you feeling up for a little challenge to clear some clutter? Take 2 or 3 hours tonight and get rid of 100 things from your home! If you’re feeling stuck on where to get started or what types of things to get rid of, here are some suggestions.


Declutter 100 Items In One Evening

Bathroom –toss out all of those hotel samples that you’ve been collecting – do you really need them? Overstretched hair ties, combs/brushes with missing teeth and expired medications are also great things to toss. How many razors/shavers do you have? Make sure all of the blades you have match your current razor, otherwise toss them out!

Cleaning Supplies – If you have several mostly empty bottles of the same product, combine them. Also dispose of things that have been sitting around forever – if you haven’t used it to clean something in the past year, you probably won’t. Go through any cleaning rags and rubber/latex gloves and toss anything that has holes, etc.

Closet — get rid of any socks with holes or no mate and underwear with stretched elastic

Junk mail, old bills or bank statements and magazines/catalogs that you don’t read are all good items to declutter — don’t forget to recycle what you can, and shred anything with personal information on it!

Cords, cables, etc — Do you still need the charger from the phone you had two years ago? Is it really necessary to have three ethernet cables around the house when all of your devices are wireless?

Purse/Wallet — toss out expired coupons, punch cards for places that you don’t go to anymore, and any old receipts you have. Check the balance on all of your gift cards and throw out any empty ones.

Desk — pens and markers that have dried up, notebooks or notepads with only a few sheets left, and bent paperclips.

Miscellaneous: User manuals for products that you no longer own, puzzles or games that are missing pieces, candles that are almost out of wax and extra vases (how many bouquets of flowers will you ever display at once?)


What are some of your suggestions? Did you manage to get rid of 100 things? Leave me a message in the comments!

It’s almost fall, y’all!

Fall is just around the corner. Pumpkin Spice Lattes have returned at Starbucks, the temperature in the morning is a little cooler, kids are heading back to school…

It’s no secret that fall is my favorite time of the year. A quick glance at my Pinterest account shows my love for all things fall, especially Halloween. In the last few weeks of summer I’m making a mad dash to finish some of my outdoor projects and landscaping work, in between weddings and family get-togethers. And I’ve already started planning my Halloween party, along with a mile long list of “winter projects”, ones that can be done even when it’s cold and stormy outside.

Are you clinging to the last few weeks of summer, or are you ready to great fall with open arms?