I don't need to go to Aruba for quartz sand and sparkling waters 🌞🌊 I am in my hometown for two days to help my parents go over insurance paperwork and make a list of claim information. This was Murphy's first time seeing a beach so ofcourse I had to take him out to the sand to play in it- which was fun until he found a disembodied fish head he started eating 💀
Murphy was not happy about sitting next to a waterfall. He is pretty afraid of water in general- I attribute it to an accidental river crossing we attempted when he was a puppy. How is a river crossing accidental? Our map instructed us to cross a stream. We read the map wrong and were confused why the stream seemed so big and deep, but others had said it was pretty easy to cross. Turns out we were trying to cross the Red River in Kentucky. I got up to my upper thighs and turned around because the current was almost knocking me over. Murph was leashed and I was hanging on to him. His head was above water but the current was pulling him away from me and the collar was choking him. It was freezing cold. I felt so guilty about it afterwards- we read the stupid map wrong and traumatized Murphy! We should never have attempted to cross the water- I didnt know how deceptive river currents and depths could be. Which makes me feel even stupider because I grew up on the coast swimming in the Gulf of Mexico every day. I knew all about rip currents but never even thought about streams or rivers being the same. And because I made some stupid decisions, Murphy won't even walk through puddles. Be conscientious of the events you put your dogs through, and if something seems off, stop and reassess the situation.
I'm struggling with my decision on what state to take my bar exam in. I'm currently going to law school in Virginia and I love the Blue Ridge mountains with the bursting green summers, dynamic falls, and easy winters. I spent my summer in the PNW where I've never felt more alive- however I'm unsure about whether I could handle nine months of grey skies. Ive never been to Colorado, but my boyfriend is from the area and could easily transfer to a new job there. It seems like we can have full active schedules year riund from hiking to mountain biking to snowboarding. Have you lived in one or more of these places? Pros/cons?
Most of you follow me because you love seeing outdoor adventures, but today I wanted to share a legal (and low-key political) adventure with you! I got to go watch oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. After I got back and was nerding out to my family, I realized none of them knew more than two SCOTUS justices! In the wake of our elections I want to encourage you to do more to become involved in the government from following court cases deciding the fate of our beautiful lands to voting politicians into office who will do more to protect these priceless treasures we are lucky enough to have in the states. Also make sure to research candidates and not vote party-line; my home state of Florida elected a senator and governor who support offshore drilling and disenfranchising former felons, yet also voted overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments to end offshore drilling and restore former felons' voting rights. Vote for a candidate, not a party, and know the issues!
When you have an appellate brief due date approaching, you kiss the great outdoors goodbye for a bit 😖
Murphy puts the "Aww" in Autumn! We've been exploring a new area near Louisville- @bernheimforest! The Bernheim Forest hosts tons of trails and serves as a research forest. It was biught and endowed by Isaac W. Bernheim, a German immigrant, who wanted to preserve a piece of the state which allowed his distillery to become a huge success. The land the forest sits on had previously been abused by the iron ore industry and was nearly devoid of trees. Thanks to Bernheims work and dedication, the forest today is 600 acres large and has over 8,000 different varieties of trees! The beauty of the Bernheim Forest is its accessibility and pristine maintenance. The forest is a great place for avid hikers or leisurely walkers to step into nature.
At the end of this rigorous 3.5 mile trail, a couple who had passed us nearly a mile in was backtracking. They asked if we saw any Northface gloves. We had, probably 2 miles ago at the bottom of a very steep ascent. The couple stood there for a second, then ultimately decided it wasnt worth it and headed back to their car. My question: what happened to the gloves? When we passed them, we left them in case someone would come back for them. Everyone else probably left them for the same reason making the gloves into a pricey piece of litter. What should we do when people leave things in a prominent spot on the trail?
Today I travelled to the Virginia Supreme Court to watch oral arguments for class. I never *really* look in the mirror when I dress for my externship, but walking through Richmond to get to court I saw myself in some super reflective glass. I always feel like an imposter in a suit and heels- blazers pull at my shoulders and heels restrict my movement- but in that mirror I saw someone who looked like an honest to god lawyer. It was really cool looking like I knew what was going on without wearing leggings and conquering a mountain.
It took us nearly an hour to find this trailhead since there was no sign or any parking. My friend and I ended up walking up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway looking for it! I was trying to find a seldom-visited trail because there are so many amazing trails that for some reason never get foot traffic. This particular trail had a trail following a stream and passing a plethora of waterfalls and also boasted an expansive bird's eye view of portions of Virginia's Blue Ridge mountains. Which do you enjoy more: finding little known trails and exploring it for the first time, not knowing what you will find? Or hiking the "must hike" trails which have attained fame and popularity?
"My little dog- a heartbeat at my feet" -EW When I was looking to get a dog, I desperately wanted a German Shepherd. I had grown up with one and he was the best dog- he killed raccoons and rattlesnakes that would attack our cats, yet he loved playing with others dogs and to lay quietly next to newborn babies. He was the ultimate protector. I wanted a dog who could do that for me- make me feel safe alone on the trail and walking him in the dark. Instead, fate brought me Murphy. Murphy is a border collie corgi mix and the exact opposite of what I wanted in a dog. When I walk him in the dark, I have to keep him close and keep a light on him (he has been actively hunted by coyotes on the trail before). While he is hardly a protector, he amazes me every day with his intelligence, agility, and bottomless energy. He easily jumps onto my kitchen counters which, while annoying, is still pretty amazing to me. If I take him to an area where a leash is not required, I can put him in heel and be confident that he will stay there until I release him from heel. He sits quietly in my lap, a little living space heater while I study. Most importantly, he sets the pace when we go out to the trails and keeps me moving. He wasn't the dog I wanted, but he was the dog I needed, and I've loved him so much from day one 🐾
This goofball turned 1 year old on Monday 🎂🎉 in some ways he has vastly improved my life- I always come home to a loving face and wagging tail, I never have to hike alone, and he keeps me active outdoors! Other things he has brought that I don't love so much are nagging feelings of guilt when I am away at work all day, surprise accidents in the house, and having to give up trails that aren't dog friendly. Having a furry best friend is a huge responsibility, and one I am grateful for even on our bad days. I hope Murphy understands I love him so much more than I get annoyed by the inconveniences, and I hope he knows how grateful I am for his companionship and cuddles (even the muddy ones). Happy birthday #murphofthemountains !
"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash." I took a trial advocacy style class where the professor read this famous Bruce Lee quote to us- a trial lawyer should be flexible because NOTHING ever goes according to plan, yet also forceful enough to take down opposing counsel's argument. Whenever I see water features on the trail now, I imagine how the path of the water has been shaped by the earth- flowing down to and seeking the lowest point- and how it has shaped the land around it by wearing rocks and pebbles smooth, carving divots where it runs. I feel connected to the water now because, as a prosecutor, I must be ready to change my course readily-sometimes confined to the space that the law has provided, while still maintaining the force necessary to ensure that justice is carried out.
Impromptu trails are the best trails 🍁🍂
I'm just trying to absorb as much of Virginia as I can before it is time for me to move on to the next place 🍃
Happy Monday everyone! Over the weekend I was lucky to hike roughly 10 miles across three different trails from central to northern Virginia. Two trails were just bursting with waterfalls, so look forward to seeing a deluge of them in the coming weeks 😊
The summit we wanted to hike took us less than an hour so after driving 2 hours to get to Shenandoah National Park, we felt we had to find another hike to fill the day. We found this trail on the map the park rangers gave us upon entering the park and were able to follow a river with infinity waterfalls. If serendipitous were a day, today would be it ✨🌱
Shot some moody waterfalls on the trail today then refueled with some craft brews and cheese fries at @sevenarrowsbrew. Life is better in Virginia 🍃🍂🍁💕