Monday, August 20, 2012

A weekend full of mustaches, hiking and live Christian music.

Oh, the weekend. It started with a mustache-wearing manly-man movie night. The next day was full of sunshine and watching local Christian bands perform live on stage, and the last day was a long day hike! It was a full weekend of random fun things. The only bad part of it was that it went by way too fast!

On Friday night, I attended “Manly Man Movie Night.” It’s a night of grill-your-own steaks, facial hair and a “shoot-em-up” movie meant for men only… but women have also kindly been invited, as long as they wear facial hair. I didn’t want to miss out on a steak, a movie and some popcorn. And I’m not one to pass up the opportunity to look like a total dork wearing fake facial hair! So I went along with Adam’s fun event (admittedly this is my 3rd time going!), and we met up with friends in Green Bay at the Prime Quarter. We grilled our steaks – mine turned out perfectly delicious – and had a couple of drinks before setting out to the movie theatre. We watched “Expendables 2” which has a lot of big stars that you might recognize – there’s Arnold Schwarzennegger, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, and even a few appearances from Chuck Norris, among others. The best part of the movie was the dialogue that picked up from previous movies these guys have been in – very funny stuff. There was a lot of fire and several explosions, many manly modes of transportation by way of land, water and sky, and guns, knives, chains and fights. Skulls, too. It was pretty manly. I ate too much popcorn, so that added to my fun night!

Random group of guys that dug our fake mustaches.

Adam on stage singing with the Trinity Lutheran Praise Band! Rock on!

On Saturday morning, Adam and I got up and head over to the Leach amphitheater in Oshkosh to attend Praise Fest. He and his praise band from our church were going to perform a few songs. I was excited to see them get a chance to play on a big stage. And it was pretty darned cool! They had the chance to really jam and sing as loud as they wanted – and they looked like they were having a great time! They sounded awesome as always! We stayed to see all the groups perform, and I stupidly didn’t bring sunscreen, so I got a nice burn on my left arm and the back of my neck, as well as a pretty tan line on my legs again. Yippee! It was a fun day. I mostly enjoyed having a whole entire day to spend next to Adam. We don’t get a lot of that lately, so it was really nice. 

The start of another 20-mile day hike!

Sunday was a day of hiking. I head up to Rachel’s house at 5:30am and we head out from her place over to Waupaca to hike around Hartman Creek State Park. Neither of us had ever visited the park, which is strange since it’s fairly close – and it was great! We had new trails that we weren’t familiar with to hike on, and we kind of just decided as we went along on which trails we’d take at junctions. We ended up spending the majority of our time on the fabulous Ice Age Trail. We started on park trails, jumped on the IAT, went north out of the park, turned around and walked back into the park, though the park, the looped around and rejoined the IAT south of the park and out, following it even further. Then we took a little loop off of the IAT and hiked back into the park, took a few more loops within Hartman Creek and ended at the car with just a hair over 20 miles, which was our goal for the day. We ended up hiking quite a bit of the Hartman Creek and Emmons Creek segments of the Ice Age Trail, and they were incredible. They were very well-maintained, well-marked, and the variety of scenery blew us away. We had farm fields – full of different crops – corn, grass, cabbage, pumpkins, sweet corn, cow corn, gourds… all kinds of things. We hiked through meadows, pine trees, woods, tall grasses, over a creek, through grassy hills… and all with a variety of terrain, too. We will definitely be back to hike more some other time. We even thought a winter hike would be fun, so that might be something coming up later in the year, too!

The Ice Age Trail rocks. For reals.

So it was a packed weekend, and I enjoyed it all. But each time I go hiking, I once again confirm that it’s just definitely my thing. It was on the drive home that I was already thinking about where and when I could hike next. Even though my feet hurt, and my legs were tired, and I was tired… I didn’t care. I just wanted to wake up the next morning and hike again. I feel really fortunate that I found my passion, and that I hopefully have a ton of time left to pursue it more and more. I’ve actually been giving up a few other things I like to do to hike more this summer, and I’m loving every minute of it. It’s making me even more obsessed with it, in fact! Whenever I’m at work, I wish I were hiking. When I’m running, I’d rather be hiking. When I’m eating, I’d rather be eating a Snickers on the trail. When I’m sleeping, I’d rather be tossing and turning and twisting myself up in my sleeping bag.

Another thing I’m really lucky to have? A supportive husband. He is my rock and makes me feel stable. He is the reason I’m always happy to come home. I miss him every time I’m out, and I’m always excited to see him, and I’m so lucky to have a guy that’s always super excited to see me when I walk through that door with my dirty backpack and gnarly used socks… and he will even give me a big hug and kiss, no matter how terribly I smell. I love you, Adam.

This was probably my favorite section of the trail that we hiked. I actually bent over and pet the grass. It was so soft-looking! This part of the woods was just magical!

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