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iWildWolves Photography

Capturing the essence of animals through my lens

Posts tagged ‘lifestyle’

That chick Missy…

Hellooo!

Finally, I have the inspiration to write this! I don’t know about you, but I hate writing my “About Me” section, since the days of Myspace to dating apps and even this blog post, I could never figure out what to write or how to convey it. I was a teenager back then who didn’t even understand who I was as a person, my twenties were pretty much me floating around bikini bottom “la la la la la” just trying to pay rent and still find myself. I moved a ton, met even more people, had experiences and learned more lessons than I’d liked. All of that led me here, 30, single, female, living in a nice place of my own with several dogs. I finally found a place to call my own where I am happy to wake up to it every day for its beauty is divine. Life, however, likes to creep in and slap me awake before the dogs get a chance to do it and so it’s off to the races.

 

I am an RVT, that’s Registered Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Nurse, I did go to school for it and have worked in the field for some time now. Recently my job and I parted ways, I was no longer happy in life and they could see that, it never affected me as a technician I am a damn good tech! My relationships with the people I worked with however were affected, I no longer enjoyed their company (well most of the ones I worked directly with, but there were others who were neutral). Either way, I decided over a year ago that I was not going to be working there much longer, and so I started researching things I can do outside of my field, or maybe make enough money so I just have to cut back hours and not quit. I just wanted to be able to afford a life where I can travel and do things! Not to mention I wanted to just hang out with my dogs, as I am sure most of you would, I realized I only have about 9 good years left with Beowolf and I didn’t want to spend most of that time with him in a cage and me in a white office. I worked 40+ hours a week and still barely made enough to afford to do much on the weekends. Beowolf would grow old and creaky in a kennel while I was breaking mentally and physically at work.

 

Then the day came, it was time for me to leave the clinic and I never felt more relieved, say what you want I loved my job and what I did but I just wasn’t happy doing it. Puppies and kitties matched with Euthanasia and stressful surgery were tolerable and great sometimes, but the people I worked with wore me out and it was that toxicity that I needed to remove from my life. Do I miss them? Yes. I keep in touch with a few girls, but as any Scorpio out there can agree, once I cut you off mentally you’re just cut off. Since then I have been taking this whole thing slowly, I have never gone longer than a few days between jobs without having something lined up and though it was a first I wasn’t scared. I needed this break! For once there was no pressure, no fear, and I had time!

Time to figure this all out, I had 30 years to discover who I am by now, been doing the research on passive income and working from home, read the books and finally I needed to take the plunge!

What to do?

Well anyone who knows me knows that I have a hat in everything! My base passion though is entrepreneurship, writing, photography, and animals. So why not combine those? I have a degree/ career/ education to back me up to post about animals, I have a lifetime of writing skills and additional creative writing classes I took along with the fact that I have worked for companies who hired me to write reviews. I have a great eye for photography and been doing it since I was 13, I just don’t have a nice camera (I use my phone). Best of all I have the mentality to be an entrepreneur! The one thing I didn’t have, the excuses. There was no more working 40 hours a week, no more late nights getting in and too tired to do this, no more spending my minimal free time with the dogs because that’s all I can do. No, the one thing I didn’t have anymore, was the one thing I used this whole time to stop myself.

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About an hour after I got home from leaving my job I got all my ducks in order with the fact I was now unemployed. Then I sat down and created my first 2 blog posts that I had been wanting to write for weeks but “excuses”!

Read posts here

A girl 2 dogs and a Quest for Snow in Southern California

A girl 2 dogs and a trip to Mount Pinos Frazier Park

I created my WordPress account and did everything I could to post my first blogs, and they did great! I was surprised they got a few likes right away and even followers. I knew it was going to take a long time to build this from scratch, nobody knew me even on social media, not as a blogger/photographer. If anything Beowolf’s account had more followers than mine on Instagram.

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Either way, I had to try, I couldn’t face going back to the regular working class, not without trying to chase my dreams the first and probably the only time I will get this opportunity. No, I wouldn’t go down without a fight. I was homeless once upon a time, jobless countless times and was way worse than I am now so if there was one life lesson I learned it was that I always BOUNCE BACK!

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It’s been 6 weeks and I am still feeling good about this! I haven’t had migraines in forever, no stress, I’m not tired and exhausted unless I take the dogs out or do some work around the ranch on a beautiful sunny day. I am finally losing weight and keeping it off, exercising more and not wrestling giant dogs who kick and scratch, and I get to write as often as I want! I have 18 published posts 19 including this one and I post 3 a week, traffic is a crawl. I am part of several helpful blogging communities and signed up for just about everything I can sign up for. Mailchimp, Convertkit, affiliate links, Tailwind (haven’t really started using this, Trial period), and a bunch more that I can’t think of right now.  I just got hired as an Affiliate Associate with HempMy Pet which is an awesome company that makes natural, organic, vegan supplements for pets including horses! They are even human grade so people can take them too! I will be doing a post about this soon, but it’s exciting to get some traction!

I also wrote a book recently, just a bunch of tips for puppy owners that I always thought was useful. I take things I learned over the years of being a veterinary technician/ pet owner and compiled them neatly into a book. The book includes emergency contact forms, how to create a puppy book, advice on medical questions and tons of top quality dog product links! Check it out here Adventures of Puppy Raising.

I haven’t made much money yet but like I said, I knew this wasn’t an overnight success. I did the research thoroughly, checking everyone’s experience I could find, and a lot of people agree on 2 things; it takes time to see the figures grow and you get out what you put in. The common consensus is that most bloggers make a healthy living doing this, now they can’t all be wrong, right? Consistency is key so the way I see it, just keep doing me and I will get there but how exactly can I do me when people really don’t know who me is?

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Allow me to Introduce: Myself.

I like to go by Missy for starters, my name is Melissa and it’s a long story but I just go by Missy. I have 2 awesome dogs Beowolf and Valentine and a cool black cat named Bagheera. She doesn’t do much but cuddle and eat and patrol the house for critters, but she is a doll and I love her. Like I said above, yes I am single and straight (sorry ladies I tried to take an alternate route but hit a dead end) so I likes the mens although they annoy me, and I have come to love being single. I do have a type so basically, look like DJ Cotrona or BE DJ Cotrona and I will be happy haha no seriously though I am all about the connection and chemistry, if it’s there it’s there. Love my animals and my crazy ass and we will be good.

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I love all kinds of music, I may not listen to everything religiously, but I can jam to it all! I was raised with a radio always on so music is indeed life.

 

If you can’t tell I like to write a lot, I also like to talk a lot, meaning YouTube channel is in the works too! Those videos will be posted slowly for now as I am still learning new things and trying to get used to talking in front of a camera to NOBODY! Not even Beowolf and Valentine are trying to help me out, knocking things over and bumping into me, Beowolf hits me in the face on multiple occasions that I can’t decide whether to keep it or cut it. I like being creative and utilize a lot of mediums, so I’ll make cute videos of the dogs or something. I like to sing and dance, neither of which I do in front of people much though I am told I can indeed do both. I love art and painting or drawing too, but don’t do it much, photography is more my style though.

 

I am also one of those stoners who will hit you with facts, just a friendly FYI out of the blue. Oh, you didn’t know I’m 420 friendly. Well if you’re curious about that then go right along and check out my post on how I came out of the stoner closet, go on scoot!

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I love movies and love quoting them/ trivia even more. Netflix and chill were made especially for me, I can sit in a 3-hour movie like it’s nothing! I guess to me I’m not sitting in a seat watching a movie, but I’m going on an adventure!

 

I also really like being outdoors, I’m adaptive and can handle just about anything though I have my preferences: Woods, mountains, beaches, countryside. Pretty much wherever there is a lot of green and a lot of water. Hot and dry just isn’t my thing, but if a group of friends wants to go camping at Joshua Tree I would be down for that. I enjoy roughing it as well as glamping, if I can take my dog Beowolf (Valentine is still a work in progress and will join on trips when she is ready) then I’m there.

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Oh yeah speaking of friends, I have none. Haha just kidding, I technically do, but none of them live within 100 miles of me. Most of them are in Sacramento where I did most of my growing up and then others are scattered among the rest of the 50 states. So I pretty much don’t go anywhere unless it’s with my dogs, so if you’re reading this and you are in the Los Angeles area who also doesn’t have friends, then DM me on the Insta sista! If you don’t have a dog that’s cool I have 2, I can share!

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Star sign: Scorpio. I always have people talk so much crap about the fact I follow my star sign, if you don’t like it then move along its as simple as that, but it’s not like I follow it to a T. It’s not like I don’t leave the house if the horoscope says not to, no, I found that it generalizes personalities and characteristics of people and places it in 12 categories. Say what you want about your sign, but the reason a Scorp loves our sign is that it’s freaking accurate! I’m not gonna say any 2 Scorpio or any sign are identical but if mine is close and my friends are very much like theirs without them even knowing their sign, then it’s safe to say there is accuracy there. In fact, I can get along better with someone once I know their sign because I understand the characteristics of the sign. I won’t drone on and on, but I will talk about being a Scorpio in my posts so deal with it.

 

My favorite color is purple. I spell the word Grey with an E just because it’s fancier but there is no right way to spell it, E or A, it’s just your preference I looked it up.

 

I have 2 snakes. A ball python I had since 2005 named Slytherin, he’s awesome! And a Mexican Black Kingsnake named Saxa. She is so beautiful! She currently lives with a friend in Sacramento as I only need one snake to take care of right now. Say what you want, snakes are awesome! They come in so many sizes and COLORS! Imagine if dogs had colors and patterns of snakes. Contrary to belief snakes are actually very docile and if you handle them enough they are very friendly, Saxa was very aggressive when I first got her but now she can be handled and everything just fine. If you are deathly terrified of snakes then I’m sorry, but I will post on random occasions pictures of snakes or my own snake. I did a post on Rattlesnake awareness that you can read here.

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I want to be able to work from anywhere, for however long I want, I want to take my dogs with me while I go have experiences or get bitchen content! Not to mention finally make money of a life I can be proud of.

 

I also have been writing a book! More like a novel and yes it’s a series. Been working on it for 10 years! Yep going J.K Rowling status haha she is a Goddess and a Queen!

It’s sort of my baby and I am in love with it, it still has kinks that need sorting and my style of writing (for this re-write) is scene by scene and I piece it together later. I am already getting inspiration for scenes in future books that I haven’t even started yet, but I am writing it all down, so I don’t forget. I am still toying with the idea of posting excerpts from some chapters to get feedback, but I am still not sure and want to have everything make sense before I post anything. When I tell people about it they seem eager to read it and the parts I let my friends and family read have them begging me for more, so it stands to say I think it’s going to be good! We’ll see though! I am writing it to be a long series because movies are so quick and over and you miss a lot, my goal is to sell it as a Netflix original! Think the Game of Thrones of Netflix.

 

I will also be restarting my clothing venturship, due to complications I had to put a halt on Zev Realm. Once I get the ball really rolling on this I hope I can jump start that again. It’s a passion project for me, starting with clothing and accessories Zev Realm will build itself into an Empire that stands to promote Nature Safety and Protection awareness. All products will be made naturally and considered biodegradable, profits will fund the restoration of jungles, forests, oceans and aid in the protection of wildlife. I also want to start up a foundation that aids in the humane wellbeing of dogs for homeless people and low-income families. There is a lot that will be going into this company and it all starts with the first brick. If you want to check out what I have for that so far you can follow these links. I am not finished with it and have so much more to do, but all in due time.

Zevrealm.com

Instagram- zevrealm

 

You see I have a lot going on that I want to work on for myself, and those are just a few of the ideas and ventures that I have planned. I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere still living paycheck to paycheck making money for someone else! Now is my opportunity to pursue my passions and do what I want with my life so that I can be more capable of helping others and doing more.

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If this post inspires just 1 person to take flight and go after their dreams then that’s all that matters! I see you and I was once where you too were sitting, reading a blog deciding whether to take that leap of faith, do it! It can be anything in the world, I wanted to travel with my dogs and photograph it as we went, sharing moments and memories plus learned lessons with the world. If I can take the plunge then you can too!

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Look forward to getting to know you all and sharing a bit of me with you!

Salutations!

Melissa, Beowolf, and Valentine

I have included some items that I have goals of purchasing once I can afford it, these will help me improve the quality of content I post and allow me to do more and have more experiences to share with you.

 

My first real Camera! Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR

Currently, I am only using my phone for all content and imaging, I want to invest in a quality camera and set up so that I can take even better images. My goal is to become a better photographer and build my quality learning new skills. Someday I will travel the world and using a cell phone the whole time doesn't get me what I see in my head.

$10.00

Check out my Amazon Wishlist!

 

Fund A Getaway!

Wanna get away? I know I do! I am always itching to get out and discover new places to see and new things to do, it's not always as easy as get up and go, sometimes the car needs work, I have to account for gas and other expenses being on the road. Since I travel alone I always have to make sure the details are all worked out, as well as some emergency money for a flat tire or tow. Since I am just starting out any assistance toward this is helpful and will make it easier for me to get out there and share the world with you!

$15.00

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10 awesome tips to help you stay on track with Paleo!

If you’re anything like myself you have a hard time with losing weight. Since I was 10 I was considered overweight (for my age) and that has followed me into adulthood. I feel like I have tried so many attempts to get in shape, working out, eating right, starvation, and even diet pills (I would sneak my mom’s supply from the cupboard) and nothing stuck. Mostly because I never did the right stuff together, I either ate great but didn’t work out and was lazy or I would exercise and eat crap food, nothing ever really linked up for me. I knew I never wanted to take the easy way out, no surgery, lipo, things like that. I also never had consistency, I can blame it on many things in my life the made me this way but regardless, I have been my own person since forever and if I truly wanted to succeed then I wouldn’t let the excuses get to me.

My best success was back in 2015, I was on a Paleo diet, several of my cousins ate Paleo and it was easier for me to know what to do and talk food with them. I got excellent tips and was motivated to keep going, those cousins were also personal trainers and fitness models, so it made me want to exercise more. For the first time in my life, I was doing things right, eating properly AND working out at the same time! I was 47 pounds down and feeling the best I ever did, I kept up with this for the better part of a year. In June 2015 I graduated from college and promptly moved to LA, I was excited about this, I had money a career, a healthier lifestyle and I was ready to take on LA!

The day before my first payday (I was planning on getting a gym membership with this) an idiot kid pulled out in front of me and pretty much totaled my car! So began months of depression, financial damage, and significant damage to my overall health. I gained almost 50 pounds, my eating habits were horrible, and the most working out I did was taking Beowolf for walks because that was all I could do. I always had body issues and was not comfortable exercising outside in public, so I didn’t. Living with my grandma was no picnic at all, I love her to death, but living with her is not for the weak hearted. I solely relied on her to take me everywhere which was nowhere if she had her way so forget about dropping me off and picking me up from the gym, all my money went to saving for a car of my own, we lived with the windows closed in near total darkness, and her negativity sent me into a downward spiral.

Fast forward to March 2019

This past year has been a bit of a roller coaster, but it’s been progressively better! Finally the time has come to restart the lifestyle I started years ago but living 500 miles away from the cousins who helped me before it all boils down to me myself and I. Sick and tired of hot summers where I feel uncomfortable wearing unflattering clothes or hardly wanting to leave my house because sweating and difficulty breathing was not appealing.

Lucky for me I have always been someone that when I showed consistency with my habits I would see results. The problem usually is a length of consistency, I lose 5 pounds and treat myself with a cheat meal that leads to a cheat day that never ends.

I started researching, everything, all over again, from the science behind willpower to relearning the benefits of eating Paleo. Then I reminded myself of all the tips I had back in 2015 (I had an awesome journal with everything that helped me before, but it disappeared and now I’m re-creating it from scratch!)

My tips (and pretty much what I’m doing again):

1. Drink water– Because duh. Water is good for you for an abundance of reasons, and it plays a huge factor in the success of weight loss. Keep an aluminum bottle with you always, not something too big, something easy to carry with you and refill frequently.

  • Lubricates organs
  • Clear skin
  • Full lips
  • Hydrated hair
  • Helps you feel full and staves’ cravings
  • And those are just a few!

2. Meal prep- Yes you read this one repeatedly. This will never change unless you have the will power of a monk. Mainly this helps with keeping you from making impulse decisions, you get off work and you’re starving, it’s been a long day and you really don’t feel like cooking. Creating dishes to wash just seemed like more work when all you want is to eat and watch tv. Obviously, you pick a day to do all your cooking try to be as efficient as possible, cooking items at the same time and using similar ingredients to different variations. Example: You cook up some grilled chicken, with asparagus and brown rice. The brown rice can go a long way and cooking the asparagus with other veggies will save time. Then you can add the chicken to each meal with different seasoning or toppings. Pick several easy grab-and-go snacks that you can choose from at any given point.

Now nobody is perfect, I certainly am not, so making a list of places you are likely to go to will help you. Then within that list create a cheat sheet, items you can eat that won’t break your progress. Stick to that list the best you can. If your order comes with a drink just get water or tea unsweetened (if you need sweetener, add it yourself or just get used to drinking it plain).

3. Grocery shopping- So Paleo, in a nutshell, is eating anything not produced in a factory, if it wasn’t altered in a warehouse then you can eat it. Fresh produce, meats, nuts, and seeds. My personal rule is shop along the outside perimeter of the grocery store, staying away from the middle isles. Don’t get things in a box or can, bags or wrappers, etc. Frozen selections would be the exception of this rule as I like to buy frozen foods to save money and still eat clean.

4. Consistency– The first few days will be easy but then the temptations come, work party has a cake and candies, holiday food with delicious gravy and stuffing! Whatever the reason there will always be temptations, which will test you, the colorful sweet foods will call your name like a song. Try not to think of it as saying “No” that subconsciously messes with your mind and then suddenly by telling yourself no you find yourself wanting to say Yes even more. Eventually, you cave and reason with your mind that it’s just a small bite, or one piece or half a slice. Try telling yourself that it isn’t No forever but No, for now, use phrases like “that’s not good for me” or “I don’t need that”. Wording it differently will start to change the way you look at junk food and will boost your will power.

5. Willpower- This is one I struggled with my whole life. In my early 20’s I started admitting that I have no willpower, I said it so much it was my excuse for everything, and I started believing it. After doing research I learned that willpower is not something you are just born with, it’s a skill that you acquire. Your own mental reasoning is what strengthens your skill, maintain your resolve now for a bigger payout later. We all have willpower that is weak or strong in a different aspect. For instance, I have great willpower when it comes to certain things. For example, I love maple and chocolate covered donuts but pretty much all the others I can pass by, I don’t hate the other ones and would still eat another type but if I don’t see my faves in the box I close the box and walk away. Some girls at work go nuts over chocolate candy, but me I can live without having a piece, though white chocolate I go nuts for.

Training your mind to start looking at clean food the same way you look at junk food will turn your appreciation to eating right when you start seeing junk food for what it is, then you won’t be so eager to eat it or crave it.

6. Exercising– When I started exercising I told myself that 10 minutes a day of something is better than 0 minutes of nothing. I read an article that said squats are the ultimate full body exercise, that if you only do 1 exercise at all, let it be squats. So that’s what I did, 5 minutes of squats in the morning and at night before bed. Eventually, I included push-ups and crunches. I like doing body strengthening exercises at home for 2 reasons. 1- I can start conditioning myself with muscle memory and just doing HIIT. 2- I had a gym membership at so many gyms: 24-hour fitness, LA Fitness, Fitness 19, MMA Compound. All of which I paid every month for membership to a gym I NEVER attended, so I learned not to waste my money on things I’ll never use.

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So I started working out at home, doing what small amount I can just to remain consistent and build a habit. It takes 21 days to build a habit and so 25 was my goal, for good measure. Every day no matter what time it was I made sure I did something, anything, for 10 minutes. Once your stamina is built take the exercise a little further, increasing it each time when you’re ready. Consider it like leveling up in a video game, setting goals each time.

If you’re looking for routines to try you can find them just about anywhere, Pinterest is an amazing start it has images of charts that you can save to your phone or write out to keep track. There are many apps you can try that as well will tell you what exercises to do and will even time you or count your reps. YouTube is one of the biggest platforms for at home work out videos, from dancing routines to straight forward personal trainer. Look through some videos and find what works for you.

I created a Workout folder that saves all the videos I enjoyed so I can easily find them when I need them, I also subscribe to my favorites to get the new videos.

7. Journal– Write it out however you want. I see people who chart what they actively do each day, keeping track of everything will help you see your progress and monitor your habits. This will show you what areas you’re high and low in. For me, this is usually high in sugary foods and low in exercises which severely needed to change.

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I did my journal a little differently, I used it like it was a manual, keeping my recipes and the workout routines I find online so I can access them quickly and not need my phone. I number all my recipes and workouts so when I chart them I can just use the number and refer to them, so I don’t have to re-write it each time. Do your journal how you feel it best to keep you on track and make your life easier.

8. Weight- This is the biggest draw for someone wanting to get in shape. Even this should be routine, weigh yourself at the same time every time but don’t overdo it. There is such thing as weighing yourself too often, we plateau, we fluctuate. Ladies we bloat for a week out of every month. Life comes into play with our weight so try not to stay focused on that too much. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you can’t solely rely on 135 pounds looking the same on everyone. The shape and how you feel is what matters most, fitting into a pair of jeans or climbing a set of stairs without losing your breath.

Again give yourself a goal to strive for, taking the stairs to the floor of your building for work, training for a marathon, or finally getting to wear that bikini for the beach trip! For me, it was an outfit, a nice pair of jeans and top I’ve had for years but could never fit into. The scale just gives you a number to work for, but the clothes don’t lie.

9. Don’t give up- Okay so you did pretty good, but you cheated and skipped a day of working out, that makes you feel like you fell off and so there’s the end of your diet right? Wrong! Just because you skipped the workout today, there is always tomorrow! You cheated at breakfast so there goes your diet for the day right? Nope wrong again, there are still 5 meals left in the day to stick to it! A moment only lasts for a short while, what you make of the rest of them is what matters.

10. Finally, have fun! – Clean living can be hard at first and temptations are everywhere to throw you off, but once you get used to it you really start to love working out and eating clean. Your body was designed to thrive off a healthy lifestyle and once you get nonsense out of your system your body will tell you what it wants and crave what it truly needs.

I know this was a long post, but I hope it was helpful. I like many others out there know what it’s like to fall off the wagon many times, I cheat, skip workouts and full on just fail. It’s about getting back up and trying better the day.

A quest for the Hidden Falls!

If you’re near the Sacramento area this summer looking for a great place to hike then look no further than Hidden Falls trails. Nestled in the mountains of Auburn, California. This quiet pristine wilderness is suitable for all levels of hikers, dog hikers, and horse hikers alike!

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Location: 7587 Mears Pl, Auburn, CA 95603

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As you drive toward Reno the adventure begins, as you slowly leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind the freeway begins to lighten up. You can see the dense forest from the road grow heavier the further you go and it’s a beautiful site to see!

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The parking lot is huge, I’ve never had difficulty finding parking here, though it is usually busy along with horse trailers to the side. As you enter the trail there is a vast meadow you walk alongside, depending on the time of year this can be green with tall grass, littered with wildflowers or dry wheatlike stems (hotter months). Nonetheless, it is beautiful and you will often see families enjoying it, horses trotting, or dogs running around exploring. If you continue on the trail begins to descend at once although it’s not difficult to navigate I would still recommend you watch your footing. It’s nice the forest engulfs you and as far as the eye can see there is dense brush and trees everywhere! Green is all over! Horses take this trail as well so remember to share the road, especially if you have kids and/or dogs. The trail zig-zags its way down the mountainside and once you hit the bottom it’s mostly level and an easy stroll to look around and enjoy the sites. At this point you are given a choice which trail to take, one for different levels of hikers, I am obviously a beginner as Beowolf and I are weekend warriors. So we take the shorter hike.

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This trail takes you around the mountain and through some smaller paths. You walk alongside a beautiful stream that leads you to the river (shallow and slow), this is great during the summer when it’s hot to let the kids play or dogs romp and cool off. By now, if your dog is anything like Beowolf, he has pulled so much he gave himself a workout and cool water will do him good! Following along the trail there is so much foliage it’s amazing, the smell is invigorating and sweet, while even in the middle of summer it won’t get too hot as there is so much shade!

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Eventually, the trail begins its incline which isn’t too bad, it’s not too steep or for long but by now you’ve been walking and so it’s enough to get your heart rate up. It will open up into a meadow as you reach the top, this is usually where I rest and get some water, there are still lots of trees and shade so again it’s not so bad.

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Following along you reach the Hidden Falls lookout, which is basically a giant patio that overlooks the river and one of the smaller waterfalls. Depending on the time of year this may be closed off, usually due to construction or repairs, etc. It was closed every time I went (yes the website does show this as well, but other trails lead to different aspects of several waterfalls). Continuing on it then leads to a very small path that apparently cows graze up to on the other side, as there is a gate that is to stay closed at all times so the cows don’t walk through and get lost. I never saw any cows, but I know they were there as there was poop.

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This small path leads to a tiny fork in the road, going one way and you continue with the trail, however going the other way and it leads you to another place to overlook the river. There is also a beaten path that leads down to the water, it’s pretty easy to navigate and it’s worth descending for, as there are lots of large rocks to sit on and enjoy the water. It’s also a very shallow area with a nice bank to enjoy the cool water and a nice rest. Which of course I had to let Beowolf play in the water, he was so grateful.

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Then we went back up to the trail to go ahead further. Because we were on the short trail we eventually ended up back to the trail map at the beginning of the hike, coming around from the opposite side. Getting back to the parking lot, we had to zig-zag our way back UP the mountain, which it was great going down but not so great going up as the entire time you’re climbing. I clipped the leash to Beowolf’s harness so he could help me up a bit, as he still had the strength and energy to pull me up I let him.

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We passed a few horses on the way up which is always nice for 2 reasons: 1- I like looking at horses. 2- There isn’t a lot of room on this path so someone has to move aside and let the horses pass, this gave us opportunities to stop for a quick break as we waited for them to go by. As we reached the top and exit the forest the sun will greet you with a hot slap to the face! I usually take a wider trail that circles through the meadow, allowing Beowolf to run more freely on the long leash and gives myself a chance to just stroll through and catch my breath. There’s also another area where you can overlook the valley as you stand on top of a peak so to speak. We rested and drank more water before calling it a day and heading back to the car.

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All in all, it was a great day! I love this hiking spot for its beautiful green scenery and easy accessibility to the river. I wish that when I go next time I’m either in better shape to take a harder hike and make it to the main waterfall, or the lookout deck is open so I can get some great pictures!

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I would rate this trip a 5 out of 5.

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Roads: Paved the entire way to the parking lot and it’s an easy drive to get there.

Trails: Clean and well maintained. Do watch out for poison ivy off the paths, but there shouldn’t be an issue if you stay on the trails. Everything is marked with arrows and signs where to go and how far you’ve gone.

Environment: It’s covered with foliage but the trails still give you a lot to work for so bring water and comfortable clothes. As well as snacks as all the trails lead to the main picnic area to stop and rest or eat.

Gear: Camelback for sure. Hiking boots aren’t necessary on the short trail but I do not know about the longer trails, yet I see people wear all kinds of shoes, and they seem fine. I had Beowolf wear a hiking pack to carry his own water and food, along with his pet first aid kit and a pair of boots just in case. He didn’t need the boots this time, and a friend went with us and so his dog shared “Pack duties” carrying the load for half the trail.

Hydration Camelback

Dog boots

K9 Hiking pack

Alltrails.com: I love this app. It gives me important information about potential sites to see and is always a reliable resource.

This trail will always be a staple for me when I’m in the area and looking for someplace green to visit. Check it out and you will see why I love it!

Salutations!

Enjoy these photos!
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