Tuesday, October 1, 2013

McAfee Knob on the AT!!

My AT adventures continue and this one left me with some amazing views and three ugly spider bites! I have been wanting to do a section of the AT for a while that takes in a spot called McAfee Knob and is the most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail.  My friend Jaclyn from DC wanted to do it as well, so we met in the middle and had a great time. This trip ended up being a 35 mile section in three days and it was wonderful.  We had amazing weather, hiked several different types of terrain, and had a run in with the cops!  What more could you ask for on a hike through the woods.  The more I backpack on the AT the more I come to love my time there.  If I can get in one more 40 mile trip this year, I will hit 200 miles backpacked on the AT over the past two years!!  Enjoy the pictures from the trip!!

Mt. LeConte 2013

Ever since I was a little girl, my family has gone camping. I came to love this activity as a child and that love continues today.  During my college years, I did not camp very much due to my long hours of study and most of my camping equipment stayed in TN while I was in UT.  Since being back on the east coast in a more permanent state, I have been able to camp and backpack much more and continue to love it with that childhood zeal I had many years ago.  This summer Elizabeth, my mom and myself were able to camp for a couple of days in the Smokey Mountains and my dad was able to join us on Saturday to hike Mt. LeConte.  As stated in Alma 30:44, "...all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."  These are the words I think of when I am out in the mountains and am blessed to behold the beautiful creations of our Heavenly Father!!
 On top of Clingman's Dome with Elizabeth and Mama
 Elizabeth and I
 State Line between TN/NC - two of my favorite places
 Top of LeConte
 The Great Smokey Mountains!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Adventures in Utah!

While in Utah, I got to see some of my favorite people and visit some of the beautiful parks the west has to offer.  Here is a brief picture display of my comings and goings while I was out west:
Matthias, Antonia, and Miriam
 Aunt Irma, Jed, Penelope, Rebecca, and Derek
 Jen Berger's Wedding Reception - graduate school friends
 Elizabeth and Jamie
 Lacee and I on a hike near Salt Lake City
 Cindy - my trainer from the mission!!
 Kari and Maria - some of my Springville friends 
 Bryce Canyon National Park - Elizabeth and Sammy
 More graduate school friend get together!
 Becca from Wyoming!
 Lisa and her adorable kids - we were next door neighbors in Courtside
 Trail run in Park City with Eryn!
 Annie and the kids in their new house!
 Natural Bridges National Monument

 Mesa Verde National Park
 Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado
 Mary's Baptism - so glad we could be there for that special occasion!
 Wasatch Back Ragnar Race 2013

Trip West!

If you have been following my blog over the past few months, you know by now that I have been planning on making a career change.  This change continues to become more real as the time quickly races on.  This summer I spent Spring Term at BYU taking Microbiology and Physiology so that I could apply to the accelerated nursing program at UNC this fall.  I actually completed the application this morning but will not find out the results until the end of October, crazy.  My wonderful mother drove across the country with me in order to spend May and June at BYU!! We had a great trip and got to make a couple stops along the way.  I have driven past the St. Louis Arch many, many times and finally got to stop and venture up into it.  We also stopped in Cheyenne, WY where I got to see many of my wonderful friends and a few family members.  Keely, Austin, and Emily even made the drive up from Ft. Collins to have dinner with me, it was so great to see them.  I am so blessed with a great family and wonderful friends!

 We were able to visit the Kansas City Temple on our drive through!
 I just love these people! Emily, me, Keely, Asher, Leif, and Austin

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

AT 2013

We have been at it again!! Another great backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail! I was unable to be a part of the entire trip due to work but joined Paul and Scott on their final two days. We had great weather and beautiful scenery! Camilla and Daniel also joined in on the fun the same time as me! This guys are always a great group to hike with.  Paul even wrote a song about one of the mountains we hiked up and over!  I love the outdoors and look forward to the many more backpacking trips we are able to go on!!

Our first night started about 7:30 pm with a three mile hike in to meet up with Paul and Scott, my parents were kind of enough to shuttle us between our ending point and our starting point! I just love them so much!
 A few different sections had some snow still left, it was beautiful hiking into the trees, snow on the ground, sunshine coming through, and green moss growing on the rocks and tree trunks!
 Got to have our jumping pictures!
 Our second night sleeping set up!
 One of the many AT signs you see along the ways!
 This spot was on top of a bald and was called Beauty Spot - it really was beautiful, pictures never do it justice!
 We have some ups!!
 Two story shelter! =)
 As we crossed this railroad, we were within minutes of finishing the trip! It was so wonderful!

Durham Regional Hospital

Over the past 10 years, my life has taken some twists and turns I never anticipated.  One of those major twists and turns has been choosing a career in which I would use to support myself.  I am immensely grateful for the education I have received up to this point in my life but I still feel like I have not quite yet found a fit for my personality and desires when it comes to a career choice.  Since I am no longer helping my brother-in-law take care of my nieces and nephew, I have had the opportunity to investigate a possible new career for myself.  With this opportunity has come, some frustrations and questions but I am glad to take the time now to see if a new career path is right for me.  As an undergraduate, I always considered pursing nursing but was intimidated by the science classes needed to go in that direction and never really gave the option a lot of thought, but now I am taking the time to see if I might want to become a nurse.  As part of my investigation, I received my nursing assistant certificate and acquired a job at the Durham Regional Hospital as a nursing assistant in the Emergency Department and have really enjoyed my time so far and have learned a ton!  Along with working in the hospital, I am taking the two classes I lack in order to apply for nursing school if that is the direction I decide to go! It is all rather exciting and at the same time a little nerve racking. I always had the mind set that I would work if I needed to in order to sustain my family needs but my mind set has changed as I continue to mature and realize that I need a career that I enjoy and would be able to support myself for the rest of my life if need be!  Everything is always an adventure in my neck of the woods!!

Eno River State Park

A few weeks ago, a few girlfriends of mine and myself went camping at a state park that is close to us. It turned out to be a wonderful night of camping.  We had the whole campsite area to ourselves and plenty of wood to burn for as long as we wanted! It was a mile and half hike into the campsite and was a perfect night! We enjoyed our time around the campfire and relaxed for most of the morning before heading out on a short hike.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate the coming of Spring!
I love sitting by the campfire SO much!
Breakfast time!
 Emily and I about to head back out, we stayed at Fanny's Ford Campsites!
 Cool shadow picture!
 We had to cross a swinging bridge to get to the campground!
 Caroline, Katie, Rachelle, and Emily (Diana had already left)
 It is not a true adventure without a jumping picture!
 Saturday afternoon, we helped participate in a trail restoration project at the park - several other individuals from my church congregation joined us in the efforts!
 Watch out, we mean business! =)