#6 Dipsea Trail via Pantoll Station

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I am on a 1 year challenge to take a hike every month and I am taking you with me via this blog about all the beautiful places that I am visiting and posting pictures on my Instagram site of the same name @projecttrailmix. I am so excited to share it with you!

This brings us to Hike #6. So this one had to be epic…and I have always had the Dipsea on my mind. There is so much talk about this trail and its race history, at least in this neck of the woods. There is a race titled The Dipsea Race, it is a 7.4 mile trail race that has been going on since 1905! It is one of the oldest trail races in the United States.

Amazing, right?!

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#4 Bluff Trail at Montana de Oro

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Earlier this month I took a family girl trip to Morro Bay, California. We all take a trip annually to celebrate my grandma’s birthday and this year she chose Morro Bay. The town does have some family significance. If you haven’t heard of this place before, Morro Bay is a small seaside town on the central coast of California. It’s close to San Luis Obispo and Cambria.

While I have many childhood memories of hanging out here, sightseeing and walking the beach, and who could miss the giant round rock that is the town icon, we never really spent more than a couple of days here. I never realized the parks and beaches around the area before. I guess its true the older you get the more you appreciate.

Morro Rock from Morro Strand Beach

A Few Hours to Spare

We had a few hours one day to go off on our own and my aunt, who seems like a local expert, two of my cousins and myself went off to explore. We drove south of Morro Rock and passed the Morro Bay State Park and through the town of Los Osos on our way to the Montana de Oro State Park.

As we drove up the hill looking for a place to pull over and take a quick hike I noticed how the terrain changed from marsh to forest to seaside cliffs. There is so much to do! You can camp, walk, bike, hike, surf, kayak, play at the beach, I even saw some sand dunes. If you’re a bird watcher this is one place to see all kinds of birds. The weather was amazing!

The Hike

We found a good place to park and got out to look around and hopefully find a trail. I got some cell service since we were towards the top of the mountain and out in the open on the coastline, so I looked up the park on my All Trails app. There was a trail close to us called Bluff Trail. It was listed as easy, and about 4 miles. Since we had a range of abilities and short time that seemed like a good choice.

First we crossed the street and saw a little garden featuring native plants. Then walked back across the street to the trail head. The trail was dirt and gravelly.

The views were really beautiful. The ocean was so clear and blue green. We saw a lot of people out walking around and some biking. I would be a little nervous to bring small kids here without them being in a backpack or holding them because of the sides of the cliff being accessible and its a very long way down. There were a lot of black lizards, they were scurrying all around under your feet. I almost fell because I tried not to step on one in my path. Sunscreen is a must and sunglasses too. It was only in the 70’s but the sun was hot and there was no shade.

We took lots of pictures and enjoyed the views. At the end of our loop we only did about 2.5 miles. I realized that there was a small loop and a big loop after going on the trail a ways but that was okay. Everyone wanted to head back down the hill to check out some other scenery.

I say: GO!

Altogether, this was an easy hike with beautiful ocean views and a cool beach vibe, like only the central coast has. I would recommend going later morning or afternoon so the fog has time to lift and you can see everything around you. Bring little kids only if you have them within reach of you. Bring water and a hat or sunglasses and sunscreen. It was amazing to me to be able to see all the way out to Morro Rock and see the coastline. I definitely recommend this quick jaunt if you’re in the area.

One of the Beaches

A few peanuts:

  • Montana de Oro means “Mountain of Gold” in Spanish. Named for the golden flowers all over the park in the Spring
  • The Park is over 8,000 acres
  • There is primitive camping in the park
  • There is a Visitors Center that was the Old Spooner Ranch House… looks like it hosts a couple of Peacocks
  • Park is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm
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Peacock at the Visitor Center

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Map of the Park

Sunshine Blogger Award

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I am super excited to be nominated  for the Sunshine Blogger Award by my fellow blogger TwoTall4UFool! Thank you so much for the nomination! I love challenges.

First a quick back-story on the Sunshine Blogger Award. The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community. Nominations support and connect fellow bloggers and help spread their message in a positive and creative way.  Like networking but more fun..

The 4 Rules:

  1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you and link your post back to their blog
  2. Answer the 11 Questions that they gave to you
  3. Nominate 11 other Bloggers for the award and give them 11 new questions to answer
  4. List the Rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post

The 11 Questions I was given to answer:

1: What is the most important thing you’ve learned since you’ve started blogging?

So far I think the most important thing I have learned is that you need to be consistent and present. This was something that we learned in Darren’s course and its true.

2: Anything you want to do with your blog that you haven’t done yet?

Yes, there is still a lot I  haven’t done with my blog. I would love to do an interview with an inspirational person in my niche. Also I would love to do a collab piece.

3: What are some of your favorite blogs to read?

Well pretty much everyone I have nominated are blogs I enjoy reading. GTheKetoUnicorn, Plant Powered Anna, and Trail and Kale, Bula Blog, and Challenge Sophie and Mountain Chicks are a few.

4: Have you done a guest post for any blogs out there?

No, but I sure would love to. Here is my open invitation, fellow bloggers!

5: If you weren’t blogging as your full time job or hobby what would you be doing?

I just started blogging not too long ago, and it is not my full time job, but I wish it was. If I wasn’t blogging I imagine that I would just be doing my day to day and hiking in my available time. I started my blog as a challenge to  myself to do a hike every month for a year, but then I thought, what if I went deeper and could share some really useful tips and help motivate people to get off the couch. That would be the best thing ever!

6: If the two of us were to play a video game together what would it be?

I am a big fan of Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Bros. the original and Super Mario Bros. 3 are my favorite.

7: Besides blogging and your niche what are your hobbies or interests?

I am a big SF Giants fan and I love to read. Spend time with family and sightseeing is a hobby I have. My husband always makes fun of me and calls me a tourist because as many times as we’ve been over it something like the Golden Gate Bridge never gets old for me.

8: What do you like about my blog?

I like how passionate you are about all of your posts. I love the community you are building. I think its awesome!

9: If we were to go to a concert together who would we see perform?

I would either pick Radiohead or Vance Joy.

10: What is your favorite thing to watch on TV?

I don’t watch a lot of TV but I like re-runs of The Office (my favorite show) and I like different documentaries. I’m kinda a 🤓

11: What do you enjoy most when it comes to blogging?

I enjoy putting the package together. The story, then the pictures and the hope that it gets to be used to motivate someone to get outdoors and enjoy it. Of course it gives me a great excuse to go hiking 😉

And the nominees are…

Gianna @Gtheketounicorn

Kat @Trail Kat

Lizzie@ Lizzie Outside

Dani @Mountain Chicks

Stefan @Stefan Travels

Nikole @thetravelpalate.com

Shannon Lee Barry @A Happy Girls Guide to Crohn’s

Aaeidi @Much Love Juice

Kristin @Fresh Grace

Anna @Plant Powered Anna

Sophie @Challenge Sophie

I have chosen the bloggers above because I find them so inspirational. Its the way that they live their lives and share them with the world. The light and positivity is so awesome! Even for those who haven’t blogged in a while, the content is there. I am sure you have helped many. I hope that a few of you can take some time to respond to the Sunshine Award nomination and post your own nominations. Lets keep the fun going!

This leads to the 11 questions I ask of them:

  1.  How long have you been blogging?
  2. What would you say has been your biggest challenge in blogging?
  3. What one piece of advice would you give a new blogger?
  4. What was your inspiration to start blogging in the first place and has that evolved into something else now?
  5. Is there anything you want to do with your blog that you haven’t done yet?
  6. Do you have any pets?
  7. What is your favorite vacation you have taken?
  8. What is your favorite food?
  9. What is the one thing you have to do every day or it doesn’t feel complete?
  10. Do you have a favorite quote?
  11. What is your favorite book or movie?

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed learning a little about me. You should visit all of the blogs mentioned here and bookmark them. I hope all of you have a fantastic day!

Cheers!!

Ready, Set, Go!

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If you remember from my last post I decided to do a 9k trail run in May of this year. I have made up an exercise plan for myself and my readers. I hope you all subscribe I don’t want you to miss the workouts! We can do it together 😉

Please remember to ask the advice of a doctor before you start a new exercise or nutrition plan, everyone has different needs and I certainly don’t want to be the reason for an injury.

I am currently working out or being active 4 days a week and I am going to move to 6 days. Only things you need are running shoes and dumbbells. If you can I highly recommend a fitness tracker like a FitBit you can find it at Amazon for a good price. I have this one FitBit Charge 2. I started with 5lbs and now I’m at 10lbs weights. Like these: Neoprene 10 lb weights.

The first 2 weeks are here in the workout plan below. I’m cutting way back on carbs and trying to eat sugar free. Its so hard because I have to admit I have a sweet tooth. I want to aim for an hour of activity a day. I get bored so I’m trying to add in variety and make the strength training exercises somewhat my choice. Also I feel like I need to focus on my lower body strength and abs. Running in itself is a full body exercise.

You can look up plenty of different exercises but a few I recommend are:

  • Planks
  • Straight Leg Deadlifts
  • Jump Squats
  • 🐸 Jumps
  • Donkey Kicks
  • Walking Lunges
  • Weighted Bridges
  • Single Leg Bridges
  • Skaters
  • Leg Raises
  • Alternate Heel Touches
  • Russian Twist

The Weekly Plan-Weeks 1 and 2

I will start the week with “interval training”. Interval training gets your heart and lungs conditioned. You move at a max pace for 2 minutes and then bring the heart rate down for 8 minutes. Then repeat 3 times. Before you know it you’re at 30 minutes. Big cardio day.

Tuesday is an easy day! Pop onto YouTube and find a yoga video. Gaia usually has good ones just search Gaia Yoga, I recommend Rodney Yee and Tara Stiles. Try different people I sometimes jump around to find a person that I like that day. Or mix it up and grab weights and do strength training then relax with yoga stretches.

Wednesday and Thursday are the same. Run at a good pace for 30 minutes. Then 30 minutes of strength exercises. Start with 10 reps of 3 different exercises and then repeat till you get to 30 minutes.

Drum roll please!…. FRIDAY FREE DAY! You need a day of rest.

Saturday and Sunday are my favorite days to go hiking. So whether I go for a hike or a trail run I will be training. At the minimum a 2 mile run. I plan to do interval work for the first mile then steady pace the second mile. I want to do this plan for two weeks. Then move up depending how I feel. I have to listen to my body. At the same time if I don’t push myself I wont make the goal I have.

I welcome any feedback or tips on how you got ready for your first trail race😅

Don’t forget to subscribe! 📧

Time to Step It Up

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For the past seven years I have done a run/walk with family or friends, whoever I could drag along with me. Signing up for an event has become a tradition for me. I use it as a motivator for myself, you know, like I have to get in shape and not embarrass myself, but also it was a way I could help motivate others. Getting everyone together and trying to make a training plan and holding each other accountable, its an awesome feeling and its honestly fun.  Its hard to believe its been so many years since my first race.

But this year I felt like I needed to step it up! Since Ive been hiking so much recently I thought it would only be fitting to do a trail run. I am starting small and only doing a 9k. But I am so excited to finally be doing a trail run!!! Its one thing that has been in the back of my mind but I always thought… nah I should just stick to what I know.

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Start Small

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We all make resolutions at the beginning of a New Year, which is awesome! I always feel so excited to have new goals!

But by February I start feeling like I’m losing traction. I wanted to share some ideas that help me and may help you not to hit a dead end.

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