Pepper Express

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hiking in Mount Tamalpais State Park

If you would spontaneously ask me to go on a hike with you I would definitely say Yes! My friends Alicia and Jessica invited me to go on the Matt Davis Trail, which ventures from Stinson Beach all the way to the Muir Woods visitor center. Our original plan was to stay on the Matt Davis Trail. But we also wanted to see the lush forest along the Dipsea and Steep Ravine trails. We planned the detour and it was worth it. Our hike went through many different climates. There was the morning fog that lifted up form the ocean. The cool breeze under the canopy of redwoods. And the harsh grass terrain among the Mount Tamalpais hills. When I recommend this hike I only encourage people to start earlier than we did. We commuted in from the valley to go on this glorious hike and I think that put a damper on our time frame. We started in the parking lot of Stinson Beach at 10 am and didn't finish until Dinner at the Sand Dollar at 4 pm.
Planning our hike:
The beginning was fairly easy except for the moderate incline:
I have a problem of turning my out door photos into black & white photos. Maybe it's because my husband is a huge Ansel Adams fan and we have several prints around our house. This one is my favorite.
Each tree has their own characteristics and would sometimes sway back and forth.
An honest question I am still trying to answer.
One of the twelve bridges we crossed.
Researching the Matt Davis trail on google, led me to many photos of this ladder. It was where I wanted to go and can actually be found in the Steep Ravine Trail. This alone was worth the entire trip.
While being a fool I tried to climb the rock beside the ladder and ended up sliding down the slick limestone. There were a few people who were able to scale the boulder before. And I wanted to be like them. But instead I looked like the klutz that I am and made it pretty entertaining for all of the bystanders who were climbing the ladder. You can see the play by play within the couple of photos:
With hiking the the Dipsea Trail and the Steep Ravine Trail, We found ourselves at the ranger station and decided to head back down to the beach. We knew this is where are half way point was. And we were weighing our energy. All of us were looking forward to a fat cheese burger to celebrate with. 
This is the part of the trail where you have to bare with the heat:
Great views along the way:
Best recommendations when hiking in Mount Tamalpais: bring a camelbak full of cool water, beef jerky, moon cheese, CLIF Bars, Cutie Mandarins, carrots,  ball cap, sunglasses, sunscreen, and get there really early. Maybe some hiking boots with ankle support. There were a few times we could have hurt ourselves on some of the root systems. 
When you exit the trail you are in the city limits of Stinson Beach and the Sand Dollar Restaurant is right around the corner on Highway 1. We walked in ordered our burgers and beer. I might have cried a little but it was the perfect way to celebrate our victory of walking over 9 miles that day. 
Another plus side is you can rest your toes in the beautiful Pacific Ocean when your done!!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What I've Googled This Week

 This is our first week back home and my first week with actual wifi I can depend on. There will be many many road trip posts coming up. But right now I just need to get a few things out:
  1. With our recent move I have realized that we have too much stuff. Unpacking each box is making me crazy. That's why I have researched a few books to help me minimize our belongings: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up & The More of Less.
  2. After traveling all over the western states I have realized that I just want to live in Birkenstocks. They support my arch and I can run, walk and even hike in them! These ones are in my cart right now: Birkenstock Milano Sandal!
  3. I took too many bags with me on this road trip and realized that I need to consolidate all of my things in one bag and then carry around one bag for my toddler. The Fawn Design diaper bag was the best thing I could have bought for the trip. I had it shipped to my parents house in Montana and it was great for biking, hiking or even stuffed in the back seat!
  4. Bet you didn't know I was a Merle Haggard fan! Yup Yup I want this shirt asap. So I can wear it while playing his records and trying really really trying. 
  5. Things to avoid eating when you are trying to get pregnant. I honestly think my coffee intake is hindering my fertility. But then if you read back on this post the odds are not in our favor. It was a 40% chance to have Solin. And here we are two years later and trying. 
  6. Wes Ander-Thon weekend in San Francisco is kicking off in August. I would love to go.
  7. Potty Training advice! I have had numerous response on this one. We had a hard time potty training while on the road. Solin used training pull-ups most of the time. Now that we are home we are going to try the run around naked method and see if that works for a day?
  8. What to do in Seattle in one day. We were in Seattle for less than 12 hours and we were able to visit the Troll, Gas Works Park, Pikes Place, The Original Starbucks and even the Space Needle. The traffic was horrendous on a Friday but we managed to get through everything on our Seattle bucket list. 
  9. Best way to make Peach Cobbler. When we came home from our road trip we had an overload of peaches from our tree. These two recipes (here and here) have helped us eat our way through the peach tree.
  10. Farmer Market Recipes. Tonight is our local Farmer's Market and I plan to make a few recipes from It's All Easy or some from one of my favorite bloggers here!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Road Trip Oil

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RoadTripOil #CollectiveBias
Here we are in Billings, MT on our final leg of our road trip. It's been a long trek. Our next destinations include Seattle, WA & Portland, OR. Then we are on our way home.  We have over 2,000 miles before we get home and countless hours of driving. So we stopped at the Walmart Automotive Care Center, where they were having a great deal on getting your oil changed with Pennzoil. Our car has over 75,000 miles and they recommend us using Pennzoil® High Mileage Vehicle®. Between now and September high mileage is $39.88 on Rollback to $35.88.  This was perfect timing because this isn't the only road trip we will be going on this summer. My Summer Bucket List includes: Zion National Park, Marfa,TX and New Orleans! To say that we have plans this summer is an understatement. And we can't use just any oil we must use Pennzoil®:
What I love about the whole process at the Walmart Automotive Care Center is I can drop my car off and go and do my errands inside at the Walmart Supercenter. I was able to grab snacks and even camping gear for our next destination.
Stay tuned for some amazing road trip photos. I will be posting throughout the next week.
What are your major summer plans this year? Do you have any road trip destinations you would like to share or recommend?
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