Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

Take A Hike

We’re back!  We had a fabulous day hiking in the North Carolina mountains!  The weather was perfect – the sun was shining, the air smelled crisp and we had good company … each other! ❤

As I mentioned at breakfast, we headed to South Mountains State Park

From the brochure/trail map – “The park includes elevations up to 3,000 feet, a waterfall dropping 80 feet and more than 40 miles of trails.”

We decided to first take the most popular trail, High Shoals Falls Loop, so we could catch a glimpse at the waterfall –

The trail was moderately-strenuous and we had a TON of stairs to climb before and after seeing the gorgeous waterfall –

(Yep, that’s Devin WAY ahead of me!!!)

Once we finished that loop, we had time to hit another trail and decided on the Chestnut Knob Trail – the park’s most strenuous of all.  We made it about a 1/2 mile UP to the Jacob Fork River Gorge overlook before calling it quits on this trail.  Here’s a great tree I spotted along the way –

I’m lovin’ all the great fall color!

As for the trail, we would have been fine going up, but Devin got concerned about the trip back down and I agreed, so we called it a day.  The trail climbed to an elevation of 2,291 and it was pretty rugged and steep.  The short hike back down was not very enjoyable … I’m glad we decided to save this one for another day.  It would definitely be a better trail to start with first when your energy levels are the highest.

We stopped and enjoyed a picnic lunch along the trail.  I didn’t find any “picnic” food in my search of the kitchen earlier, so we stopped at the grocery store and ordered turkey hoagies from the deli.

My sammie had turkey, swiss, lettuce, tomatoes, banana peppers and pickles on a wheat hoagie

We also grabbed a box of Kashi crackers at the store.  I’ve seen them on so many blogs and I’ve been curious to try them.  My thoughts??  These crackers are really good … almost too good!  They are a bit addicting and I could easily see how you could wolf down the whole box without realizing it! 🙂


Once back home, I almost immediately started on dinner … it was that time and we were starving!

Tonight’s meal plan was Chicken with Mushrooms, Carrots, Turnips and Barley

It was quite tasty!  Here’s how I prepared:

(For two)

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces and sprinkled with S & P
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tsp. EVOO, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 turnip root, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp. sherry
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 2 tsp. parsley
  • Parmesan cheese

Cook chicken in 1 tsp. oil until browned and remove from pan.  Add remaining tsp. of oil to pan, add onion and mushrooms, cooking until browned.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add wine, 3/4 cup broth and barley to pan.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.  Check pan for liquid and if needed, add small amount from remaining.  After 25 minutes, add carrot, turnip, sherry, thyme, parsley and any remaining broth to pan.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in chicken, mushrooms and onions.  Bring heat up to medium and continue cooking until all liquid is absorbed.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

We both really enjoyed this dish – it was hearty enough after our hike, but not at all heavy.  Also, the turnip gave it a nice zing, which I really liked.  Just another great flavor of fall … ahh!

We also had our normal salad –

I got a little spunky and added a couple croutons tonight!  Watch out! 😀


So, I got to thinking about my granola this morning after my chocolatey oats – I’ve been out for quite a few days and I miss it!  Hence, I’ve got a batch baking in the oven now!  Be on the lookout for a crunchy bowl tomorrow morning …


I’ll wrap it up tonight with a pic of us as we just got started –


Sleep tight!


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