Serenity Sometimes

Embracing the chaos one day at a time. A blog about my adventures in food, photography, fitness and fun.


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A Hike Amongst Waterfalls

This past Saturday I went hiking with a group of friends in Lehigh Gorge State Park, near Jim Thorpe, PA. We followed the Glen Onoko Falls trail to the top, and along the way enjoyed the sights, including numerous waterfalls, gorgeous plant life and rock formations, all culminating in a spectacular view of the valley below.

Warning at the start of the hike.

I think the sign is a little bit of an exaggeration. I had a great time trying to climb up and over rock formations but never once felt overwhelmed or overly exerted. I would not recommend wearing flip flops and stopping to smoke every 10 minutes, which I observed with some of the other hikers that day… FLIP FLOPS! Really? We did take a lot of breaks to stop and take pictures though, so maybe if I would have done it without stopping I would have been more fatigued.

One of the smaller “waterfalls” at the start of the hike

I love hiking and being in the woods. Even on a hot day, which this was, it stays cool and shaded underneath the trees.

So up and up we climbed until we came to our first substantial waterfall.

Do you see that rope hanging down the right side of the falls? That’s because there were some people rappelling!

This makes me want to learn how to rock climb. Granted, I have a crippling fear of heights, but that’s how we conquer our fears, right? Maybe I could try it first in a controlled environment like a rock climbing gym. Let’s put that on the bucket list.

Onward and upward to the next waterfall!

“Chameleon Falls”

I found a very cool looking, and also cool temperature spot underneath an overcrop of rock that was just spritzing water down over moss covered rocks. Underneath in the shade, a nice crop of ferns grew. I just love ferns.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a good spot.

And here we have it, the view that you didn’t even know you’ve been waiting for!

Behind this overlook, there was water running over giant stones, and a shaded spot where you could sit and dip your hands and feet (and whatever else I guess) into the crystal clear water.

The next waterfall was fun. There was a path that led behind the falls so you could stand behind and feel the mist. I so wanted to go behind and take a picture looking out but it was slippery and wet and I only have one camera… my precious… and if anything happened to her I would cry many tears. But it would have been a cool shot.

I think my favorite picture might be this one I took of a fallen log left to grow moss, and bathe in the stream until it breaks apart and drifts down the mountain some day.

A wonderful day to be active, take pictures, enjoy nature and spend time with friends.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?


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Ridin’ Dirty

Nice view from one of the bike trails at Blue Marsh

Yesterday after work I came home with plans to go for a quick 45 minute run on my treadmill in the air conditioned comfort of my house. We are finally starting to get up in to what I consider to be summer temperatures – 90 degrees, humidity, etc. I am admittedly a total wuss when it comes to exercising in hot temperatures. I just hate it. I’m pretty sure my body doesn’t cool itself properly (i.e. sweat enough). Also, I should mention that nothing that my husband does is moderate. If we go for a run, he is running 2 miles ahead of me at 8 mph while I huff and puff trying and failing to keep up with him. Therefore, a bike ride is not just a lazy roll through the neighborhood, but a mountain trek through dense underbrush, over roots and rocks, up treacherous hills and down dangerously sloping trails. But, I’m always up for a challenge. And for the record, just because I’m up for it doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to whine incessantly about it while it’s happening. So there.

Bike Ride

So off we went into the wilderness. It was a great workout and I do love the feeling of riding through the forest, underneath the tall trees. Even though I had to stop and walk my bike up at least a dozen hills, Brad still tells me I did a great job. I didn’t fall once, although I would probably ride off the edge of a cliff with a death grip on my bike rather than falling off it, I am that scared to fall. I have some bruises and scrapes on my legs and I found a tick on me after our ride (EEK!) but other than that I am still in one piece.

Note to self: next time bring bug spray and cover myself in bubble wrap.


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Stamos

I keep having issues dragging myself out of bed in the morning to exercise. Every day, I set my alarm clock for 5:15 am with the hope (delusion) that I will somehow hop out of bed ready to get my sweat on. Inevitably I press snooze anywhere from 3 to 50 bagillion times and end up cutting my workout short, or not working out at all. You might say “Nicole, why don’t you work out after work”, to which I reply, “There never seems to be a convenient time after work.” Between meetings, housework, making dinner, etc., it just seems like the morning makes the most sense. But dammit, it’s hard.

This morning I did a 30 minute Nike Training Club App workout. Have any of you ever used the NTC app? It’s pretty awesome. If you’re like me, you are not a masochist and are not good at coming up with ideas to to torture yourself (e.g. burpees, single leg deadlift/fly combos, V-ups). You need someone or something to do it for you. I have found a couple of apps that come up with new fresh hell for me so I don’t have to.

 NTC

According  to the ol’ heart rate monitor I burned a measly 275 calories. Normally I like to burn at least 400, but that usually takes 45 minutes, which means I can’t hit snooze 40 times before I get up. Le sigh. I guess I should just be happy I did anything at all, but there I go again thinking I should be cross fitting whilst marathoning.

So, this morning I had a slightly smaller/less caloric breakfast to compensate. I had a chocolate chip Clif Z Kids bar and a little later on, a pomegranate yogurt. I bought a bunch of the bars at the grocery store this week because it seems like they are always on sale. They hit the spot, and are a quick grab and go item when I am running around like crazy woman packing my lunch because I had to, that’s right, SNOOZE.

Oh well, at least my pomegranate yogurt was delicious, even if John Stamos wasn’t there to feed it to me.

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Have a wonderful day!