by Andie Mitchell on September 10, 2010

Last Saturday. Me. Daniel. Olallie State Park.


I’ve told you before about my late bloom in nature-loving. It sometimes feels as though the wild- the forest and all that is earth-toned- is brand new to me. Hiking included. Before my first few treks on a trail, I’d only had experience with camping. A few times with family, but mostly with Girl Scouts. How was that, you ask? Picture a happy camper. Now rain on her. Collapse her tent. Put a spider in her sleeping bag.  She’s getting sour. Then tell her that we’ve run out of marshmallows. Party’s over.

I remember the times my mom came with me as a chaperone. Think Zsa Zsa Gabor in Green Acres. Cute, curious, and cautious. Minus the Hungarian accent. And just as  out of her element as I was. Somewhere between the moths the size of Texas, the nights without so much as a fan, the ultra-friendly mosquitoes, and the curse of small bladders, mom and I need to get the hell out of Dodge.

You see, mom doesn’t like dirt. Not dirt or germs or ticks or bed bugs or…the ball pit at McDonald’s Play Place. Sure, go ‘head and play. If you want lice.

And then there are bugs. Terrifying. But being the fierce woman that she is, mom would sooner be damned than let one single, solitary, spider within ten feet of me or my brother. Growing up, when one of us screamed “BUUUG!!!,” mom would run like mad to our rescue, grit her teeth in a way that I’ve only seen Dobermans do, and in a feigned calm whisper I’d hear, “Youuuuu, you’re not going to get my kids you son of a gun! Oh Jeeesus! Aaahhhhh!!!” A scene most accurately depicted in The Exorcist.

No one tell her that there are something like two hundred million insects per person on Earth.

It’s a miracle we’ve made it this far.

Hiking, though. That’s a different story.

I love it. Love the sticks, love the leaves, love the tree trunks that look huggable. The crackle, the crisp, the textures. And I especially like pretending I’m in FernGully.

Recommended hiking eats:

Homemade Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole September 10, 2010 at 6:16 am

Oooh, those pics are beautiful! I love hiking too, although it’s been awhile. Hopefully my husband and I will go during our vacation in October. :) (And maybe we’ll just have to make those gronala bars for the hike). Happy Friday!


Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life September 10, 2010 at 7:33 am

I love hiking. You took so beautiful pictures!


Jaclyn September 10, 2010 at 7:38 am

Ferngully!! Ahh I love that – I totally see it now that you mention it :) Gorgeous pictures!


Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 10, 2010 at 7:46 am

I agree. I absolutely hate camping–the whole bugs in my bed thing freaks me out. But I enjoy being out in nature. As long as I can come home and shower and sleep in my nice, clean bed.


Nancy Keefe September 10, 2010 at 7:51 am

Andrea, that was too funny a description of your mother…I am still giggling


Lisa @ Endeavorous September 10, 2010 at 8:39 am

That looks so nice! I was in a huge L.L.Bean up in Maine last weekend and decided I want to go camping this fall (now I just need to find a car to take me there from the city…) But I’m with you on camping — give me my own bed in a safe, bug-free house!


Lisa @ Endeavorous September 10, 2010 at 8:40 am

Whoops meant to say HIKING. I want to go hiking. Guess it’s time for some coffee :P


Shanna, like Banana September 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

This looks like a scene out of Twilight ;)


Maryellen September 10, 2010 at 9:58 am

Hi Sugar,

Andrea, on a day that I desperately needed a laugh, you gave me one. I love you so much and miss you very badly.

PS your pictures are so beautiful!!!!!!!!!


Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers September 10, 2010 at 10:11 am

Absolutely stunning.

I don’t do camping either but I do wish I had the opportunity to go hiking every day.


Lu September 10, 2010 at 11:23 am

What a beautiful place to visit. The pictures are great, but I love love love the way you told the story. Your mom and I would get along famously. That is, until the snakes show up. That would be when I pass out, and she’d have to fend for herself.


Stacy September 10, 2010 at 11:54 am

These pictures are beautiful! I loved Ferngully and Avatar! The hubby and I got in touch with our inner outdoorsy selves. It was glorious. I feel compelled to get in as many outdoor activities as possible before the blistering cold hits :(


Brittany September 10, 2010 at 12:40 pm

beautiful pics!


Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) September 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Gorgeous pictures!! Spending time outdoors can be so invigorating. Love it. :D


biz319 September 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm

That reminded me of when my sister and I went to girl scout camp. We watched our brother pack for camping – it was in the fall, it was cold, they slept in leaky tents, couldn’t start a fire, froze the whole weekend.

Fast forward to a long weekend in June – my sister and I went to girl scout camp – we had our own cabins, with matching dressers at the foot of each bed – a cafeteria and get this – an icecream and candy shop!

When we got back my brother was expecting horrid tales of camping in a tent and was mortified when our camp experience was more like a hotel!

Love all the pics!


Can You Stay for Dinner September 10, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Soo funny that your brother got the bad camping experience and you and your sister were in the lap of luxury! Candy and ice cream stores?? Where and when can I sign up for this girl scout troop??


Megan (Braise The Roof) September 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Ferngully!! Or, as the kids these days say, Avatar! :) I loved that movie. Ah, memories.


Sana September 10, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I will hike for over six hours. But I better end up in a nice hotel room or my bed. No outdoor camping for this suburb child.


Logan September 10, 2010 at 10:15 pm

That is a beautiful trail. I’m not a bug person either. For some reason in the woods I always think a mountain lion or bear will come out and get me. My boyfriend even got me a bear bell as a joke to keep with me when exploring the city parks – haha.


Krista September 11, 2010 at 8:59 am

Andrea, that trial looks fabulous! I love hiking, especially in the fall when the leaves are all sorts of gorgeous. It’ll be time to get out there soon!!


Anna September 11, 2010 at 9:21 am

I cannot believe you just mentioned Fern Gully!!!! Congratulations, you are now officially my new favorite blogger. I LOVE FERN GULLY!


runrantrealize September 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I loved Fern Gully as a kid, watched it over and over again. These pictures remind me of why I love the Pacific Northwest so much. It is so green and beautiful.

Looks like it was a great day.


Mary @ Fervent Foodie September 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I just laughed out loud reading this post. Thank you I REALLY needed a good laugh!


runningaroundnormal September 11, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Andrea those pictures are gorgeous!!! Love the tree log pics especially. I do love to hike…but I don’t do it enough!


Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine September 12, 2010 at 11:40 am

Haha, I love the description of your mother!! I’m no nature girl either, but a good hike can be lots of fun every once in awhile :) Hope you have a great end to your weekend!


Cindy September 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm

ahhh thank you for the calm moment in GREEN woods!

I needed that!



lisaou11 September 13, 2010 at 1:41 pm

absolutely gorgeous! and you have some beautiful skin!


Can You Stay for Dinner September 13, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Thanks, Lisa!!


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