The next several installments of Travel Tip Tuesday are going to be learning experiences for all of us.

I’ve decided to take up a new hobby to help stay in shape (I love being able to say STAY in shape instead of GET in shape).  Cliff and I have been geocaching for a while now and walking on trails here and there but now we’re ready to take the next step.  So, we’re planning an actual hiking trip this fall!

Unfortunately, we’re going to have to stay at an inn in the area because it isn’t a good time to drop serious cash on camping gear.  However, the trail that we’re planning on doing is an entire day trip (or can be).  Plus it consists of a pretty intense (for us) elevation change.

The hike that we’re doing is something that a friend of mine has done several times in the past.  He has always sent amazing pictures of the view from the top and I was so jealous because I was sure that I would never be able to see it in person.

This is the first time that I’ve ever been wrong about something in my life, I swear.  😉

We’ve been to Red River Gorge several times, but the tallest point I’ve ever been to is Natural Bridge and we took the sky lift up to it.


The last time we went we walked about four total miles of trails, but they were all pretty flat.


This time is going to be very different, and I can’t wait.

So, of course the first thing I needed was a day pack.  I already knew what pack I wanted, but I found the next size up for $50 less online.  I went to a sporting goods store to try it on before I ordered it.  It’s a pretty big pack, so I was a little hesitant, but since I knew that we were going to be taking more trips like this (hopefully in as many cities as possible) I opted to go ahead and order it.  I am now the proud owner of a North Face Terra 55 Backpack.


I wanted to be sure and get a pack that buckled around my waist and chest.  I also wanted to be sure that it had a sleeping bag compartment for when we start doing overnight trips.  The pack is super light, weighing in at only 4 pounds.  For a backpack with a steel interior frame, that’s awesome!  The best part about it was the comfort level. The shoulder straps felt like they were molded to my body when I tried it on.

At 55 liters, it’s going to be a toss up on whether or not I’ll also be able to use it as carry-on luggage for trips.  My ultimate goal is to one day only travel with a pack and no checked luggage.  I know that the 40 liter pack was right inside the guidelines, so I’m guessing as long as my pack isn’t completely filled I should be fine.  We’ll see next year I’m sure!

Cliff is still researching the pack that he wants (but something tells me that he’s going to wind up with the Men’s Terra).  He tried on a few at the store, but they didn’t have the Terra 55 for men.  I’m going to try and talk him into going to The North Face outlet that they just opened in Simpsonville.

I’m sure that’s going to go swimmingly.

Now it’s time to pack the bag with all kinds of goodies!  I’m going to spend this week researching how to pack the best bag without breaking the bank (or my back!)  Hopefully, all this will carry over into how to prepare us for a backpacking trip across Europe.  I hope to spend at least 2 full weeks trekking across Europe sometime in the next five years.  However, the only way I’m going to be able to pull that off is if I learn how to do it on a budget.  I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

(Sorry for the late and sporadic posts.  I’m in my last few weeks of classes before graduation and things are pretty hectic around here.  There’s a lot going on at work during the day and homework/errands/exercising/insertotherrandomresponsibilityhere that consumes my evenings.  I’m definitely making a more concentrated effort on maintaining the site, because I’ve noticed that I do so much better when I’m putting everything onto (virtual) paper.  The ability to be able to go back and see where I was a year (or even a month) ago, really helps me to look at struggles in a more positive light.  I would definitely recommend journaling to anyone trying to lose weight (or working on any goal for that matter).  Sometimes I, like many others, have a hard time envisioning the end result.  At some points it feels like I’m never going to see my goal weight.  During those times, I’m incredibly thankful to have this blog.  It allows me to go back and read about the time that I was really excited about staying on the elliptical for 30 whole minutes, or the first time that I ran for 60 seconds without stopping.  It reminds me that I’m doing things every single day that were impossible a year ago.  This means that I’ll be doing things every day a year from now that are impossible today. This little place in the blogosphere has really changed my life.  It has allowed me to prove to myself just what I’m capable of if I set my mind to it.)



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