Billy Goat Trail

This one was an excellent recommendation. I was in DC for the weekend to dance, but wanted to get in some hikes during the days. A friend posted a beautiful photo and advised I go to Billy Goat Trail. After doing some internet research on the trail, I understood why it had the funny name. I posted the idea to see if any other friends wanted to go with, and I had one brave soul agree to adventure with me.

The rock scrambling began five minutes after walking on the trail, and continued for the remainder of section A of this trail. We had originally designed to hike both section A and B, but after completing A, we were tired enough.

It was more scrambling than hiking

It was a beautiful day. Sunny and warm. Even with the ton of SPF 50 that I applied twice, I still got a burn.

Lily white skin OMG

We came to a large boulder that we climbed, and saw a girl climbing a larger and much more vertical one. We both wanted to do that, too. We agreed to give it a try, and I went first. My friend followed. This brave woman!


This is the first vertical climb I’ve done

Pretty sure it’s her first one, too

On the way up, Stella, who was already at the top, asks our names, and starts giving us tips on how to get up to the top. We make friends instantly with Stella’s group of friends, and after we’ve all finished climbing up the vertical wall, we take a group photo. How amazing it is to make new friends this way!

New bouldering friends

After this, we move further down the trail, and find another vertical wall we have to cross. I was reminded of the Longhorn Sheep I saw in Zion, that were so casually and expertly crossing vertical rock walls. Feeling confident from our last climb, we cross on the low path as everyone else did, then we scaled the higher paths and cracks along the wall. We celebrated with a shady spot to perch on top of the rocks and watch other people crossing below, as we refueled on trail mix and carrots.

By the time we finished the trail and got onto the canal path, I proclaimed to my friend that we were on Easy Street now, and she immediately begins singing. Next thing, we were loudly singing songs from Annie most of the way back to the car.

Overlooking the Potomac

Hiking in the forest is pretty magical. It’s even more so when done with a friend. 

Harper’s Ferry 

This trip started nicely enough. I went to a wedding in DC last October, and had so much fun dancing there, that I decided I should go back and dance there again in the next year. So, I made plans. 

It happened that the weekend I chose coincided with a student – run festival. Since my brain is already full of things to work on from Chicho and Juana, I skipped any workshops this weekend, and made some plans to hike during the days in the area. 

Old Rag was a huge draw, but of course this is no quick day hike- and I already know that the day I hike Old Rag, it will also be the day I have nothing else planed but a fabulous meal afterwards. So, that one will have to be it’s own trip, with tango being second fiddle. 

I decided on the first hike being Loudon Heights trail. Mapped it all out, printed, and conveniently packed it in the purse that I left at home. Haha. So, after arriving to the park, I get inaccurate info from the visitor’s center, and then got myself lost for two miles. 

I didn’t realize I was lost, because there was a parallel trail near the river’s edge, that was carpeted on each side with intoxicatingly fragrant Blue Bells. The scent reminded me of the Purple Nightshade I smelled in the desert, which of course, brought back wonderful memories. 

By the time I reached the second park shuttle stop in old Lower Town in Harper’s Ferry, I was quite unhappy. I did not see my familiar AT blaze that I had been looking for. With day time running out, I hurriedly backtracked. Still no blaze. 

After an hour wasted in backtracking and searching, I finally found it. I decided then from looking at the time I had left in the day, that Loudon Heights was no longer possible to be the end of my hike.

So, I decided to have a wandering day. 

And I happened to be in the same town as the AT headquarters. Check out these inspirational prople…maybe one day I will be lucky enough to have my picture on this board. 

So, wandering around the Lower Town was like Disney…full of kitschy tourist traps and gift shops. There were some historical spots around, which were interesting. 

I finished my afternoon with a lamb gyro, and ice cream. 

The Second Evolution 

For my entire life, I’ve been an indoorsy person. Not interested in any outdoor activities, not to mention anything that would make me get any exercise. 

It began in 2015. It started with my friend Krystin posting photos about a journey she took down the Colorado River, through the Grand Canyon. I was amazed and inspired by the photos. So, I decided to take a little trip to Providence Canyon, a unique geologic attraction in southwest Georgia. Another event that spurred my new interest, was the news of a good friend who was diagnosed with a rare and terminal cancer. I became acutely aware, for the second in my life, that we don’t know when the ride will end, so we owe it to ourselves to make the most of it while we can. 

So, Providence Canyon; I had visited this place once when I was a teenager, but of course I didn’t appreciate it then. I was amazed this time. 

It was a very hot 4 mile hike around the rim. I thought I would die out there. The views made me feel like I had my own little Grand Canyon adventure. By the time I was halfway back to Atlanta, I wanted another adventure.

I went back a second and third time with the kiddos. 

So began my stupid, ratty shoe photos. I rather liked documenting my little adventures, and I found that I became more interested in taking walks in the forests, and making best use of my phone cameras. Eventually I upgraded to the most expensive phones, simply because of their cameras. 

This is the first photo, circa 2015. So innocent and clean…

Since then, I’ve gotten quite a few amazing adventures on the list, including the actual Grand Canyon, Zion’s Angel’s Landing hike, solo camping in the desert, and hiking an entire weekend on the AT (Appalachian Trail). I have many more adventures planned, which will ultimately include a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon – one which I am currently training for. 

THE Grand Canyon, March 2016

Valley Of Fire, NV

Angel’s Landing, Zion

The Narrows, Zion

On the top of Bell Rock, Sedona AZ

Honey Creek Loop Trail, TN

Max Patch, the beginning of my first long hike on the AT 

Los Angeles, with my work peoples!

To say that I’ve begun an evolution in my life is no exaggeration. Since I began training, I’ve lost 40 pounds, and I now have muscles I’ve never had before. I actually like exercising…sometimes. I’m amazed almost every day by what my body can do that I never thought was possible for me to do. I even think of my body as being a separate entity from the “me”.

First time hiking to Blood Mountain, 2015

I’ve posted my photos and adventures on the facebooks, and have had many people suggest I start a blog. So here I am. Enjoy the ride with me. 

April 

Cabeceo

How you feel like the first time you ever try it…

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Dark milonga…

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Across the room and through the dance floor…

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Full-on festival/marathon madness

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Cabeceo poachers:

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When they creep up on you after you’ve already rejected them from a distance…

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The Persistent one…

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The Rawrr Mirada

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The Zoolander Mirada

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The Galifinakis Mirada

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The Rejection

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The Rejection Reaction: ‘I didn’t want to dance with you anyway’

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The Surprise Cabeceo

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Oh, yes…

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Love.
April

http://www.atlantatango.com

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