Tag Archives: hiking

Locally owned and organically grown – that’s the Colorado way

We spent Memorial Weekend in Colorado. More specifically Boulder, Estes Park and the beautiful Rocky Mountains National Park. Wow, it’s so pretty! And for someone living in Houston, it was a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively speaking. Seeing all the vintage shops, locally owned boutiques and organic restaurants on Pearl Street, and joints (no pun intended) like Kind Coffee in Estes Park, was a welcome change to all the BIG Picture1chains I see here in the big city.

Kind Coffee turned out to be an awesome little hut with lots of nice-to-have things that caught my attention, in addition to their organic, fair trade, yummy coffee. I ended up getting a Yay! Earth! magnet I got to take home. Because that’s how I feel: Yay! Earth!

Even the weather was better than expected. We had prepared for IMG_5102rain, rain and more rain, and sure, we did get some, but also saw some beautiful cloudy skies, snow (!), and had a full day of sunshine on Sunday while hiking (and getting lost in the snow).

My new Smartwool socks did their job with excellence; I wasn’t cold or wet at any point. They are knitted in USA of imported yarn.

As you can see I’m also sporting my American platypus water bottle and organic Prana head band. The rest of my gear is imported (North Face hiking shoes, Columbia jacket), not from China though, and it all worked as intended and kept me dry and warm all weekend.

I love leaving the concrete jungle we call Houston. It gives me hope for the world.

Platypus, Prana and Alberta Falls
Platypus, Prana and Alberta Falls
Colorado scenery
Colorado scenery

Testing this barefoot walking thing… in some cute trainers

In order to strengthen our feet, my husband and I decided to explore the world of trainers without offset and much cushion. The theory being that shoes which allow a more natural movement of your feet, make them stronger. Feet should function as they “were designed to” (back from when people were running around barefoot I guess). So, I dove into unknown-origin-online-shopping, with only my feet in mind.

I decided on a pair of Nike Free 1.0 Cross Bionic Trainers. These trainers have a low profile and Nike promises they’ll give me a virtually barefoot feel, enhanced stability and a more natural stance. They arrived a few days after the “click to purchase”; fit perfectly, super soft, light and cute. Where are they made? Vietnam.

Vietnam. Per definition that is not a felony of the challenge (phew!) but still a polluting import from the east.

BUT, I am excited to try this trend and theory out, to see if my feet really do get stronger. After my first few test-walks (they say you should wear them for a few months before attempting to run, and gradually increase the time and distance you walk in them to not overstrain your feet) I must the say the ball of my foot feels a little tingly, almost like when I’m walking in heels. In this case, some kind of soft, flexible, super comfy heels. That must be my muscles getting a workout, right? Knee muscles and calves actually tense up a bit too.nike

A while back a friend and I were actually discussing footwear vs. the not made in China challenge. His point of view; if you have already found the perfect running shoes, for your feet, should you really compromise that perfect fit for the challenge?

That’s a good question, and I honestly don’t have the answer. Maybe not. What could be more important than our bodies’ wellbeing? And keeping our feet healthy is a big part of that, I think. In order to maintain the energy to work on changing the world, we need good shoes and strong feet. We do have a long way to go (walk) and lots of work to do in our quest for sustainable living. I hope my Nike imports can play a part in it!

Stop for a second, be thankful (and pick up that trash)

It’s that time of year when we stop for a second, and remind ourselves of all the wonderful things and people we are thankful for. Today, I am thankful for hiking in a state park, Miss Swift’s 1989 blasting through crystal-clear-sounding headphones on an empty trail where no one can see me dance.

On the other hand, not so thankful for all the people who seem to think it’s ok to throw trash around them. Today I had an especially interesting find; a flower that does not belong in a Texas state park.

IMG_3546So many questions racing through my mind! Did the person who dropped this in nature even notice? Or simply decide to not pick it up? Who takes a plastic flower with them to the park? I couldn’t help but wonder (like Carrie would have said); does this person have any idea about the resources spent manufacturing the raw materials, assembling the decoration and then transporting it here from China?

I decided to pick it up, just like I do with other trash on the trail (eco-maniac, I know). I left it in a common area with hopes that someone would like it (hey, no judging on other people’s taste!) and take it home. If I had thrown it away, it had gone straight to landfill. What a waste of our earth’s resources.

And, a reminder, today is Small Business Saturday (Nov. 29)! A day to get out of the mall and instead support your local economy and neighbors. While you’re at it, shopping small, pick something locally made. Whatever you buy, I hope you don’t lose it in the park.