Monday, December 28, 2015

Thru-Hike Update December 2015

About a year and a half left until my AT departure date, only 6 months away from my original date.  I got a bit of gear for Christmas, but there's still quite a bit to go.

Leaving either May 31st, or sometime in June of 2016 I plan to hike the 100 mile wilderness, which of course I planned to do this past summer.  This time I'm making sure I plan a date so I can get off work ahead of time.

As for the gear list.  Not only have I been checking things off, I've also weighed all the gear I have so far that I will be carrying.

Gear I Have:
Enlightened Equipment Revelation  - 1.25lbs.
Tarptent Rainbow - 2.5lbs.
NobleCamper 2-in-1 Dog Bed and Sleeping Bag - 2lbs.
BioLite Campstove - 2.5lbs. (Christmas gift from my super cool, super supportive parents!)
Deuter ACT Lite 70+10 - 4.5lbs.
LifeStraw - <.25lbs (Another great gift from my parents!)
Basic First Aid Kit - .25lbs (Another gift, I'm going to alter it from just bandaids and alcohol wipes)
Bugspray, Sunscreen, Hand Sanitizer - <.5lbs
TOTAL - ~13.5 lbs.

  • Because I'm a n00b when it comes to backpacking gear (I really just started researching gear, I haven't even done a real backpack trip, yet, be nice!) I bought a camping quilt instead of a sleeping bag, not realizing they aren't the same thing.  I have been sleeping in it as a normal sleeping bag though, and I think it'll work just fine.
  • I still need to seal the seems on the tent, but I'm still really excited about it.  Everything about it, it's weight, how easy it is to pitch, even how much space inside (more than enough for me and Cheyenne), it's amazing!
  • The NobleCamper is another thing I'm stilled psyched about, and it's not even for me! Cheyenne sleeps in hers pretty much every night, she does get nervous if I unzip it though, so that's something we're working on.
  • The BioLite Campstove is actually way cooler than just any camp stove.  First of all, it's only 2.5lbs.  Second, it uses twigs, leaves, cardboard, and stuff like that as fuel so I don't have to carry around a heavy stove PLUS heavy fuel.  Third, it has a USB port on it so I can charge things like my phone, and when I order them, my camera, headlamp, and GPS.
  • Dexter ACT Lite is pretty neat, I've been packing all my gear as I get it, for practice.  I'm still learning all the compartments and such.  It's a super comfortable backpack, and I'd highly recommend it.
  • Ahh LifeStraw, it's a really cool thing for sure.  The only downside I've found to this filter (in weight, and convenience it wins against most other filters) is that I won't be able to save filtered water, and I won't be able to filter water for Cheyenne.  Unless I use my Dad's suggestion of spitting the filtered water into a container to carry with me, or give to the dog.  Sorry Dad, I'm not sure about that...
  • The first aid kit I carry around on a day-to-day basis is more full than the one I have for the trail so far.  My eventually kit will include: My Emergency Inhaler, Bandaids, Ace Bandages, My Knee Brace, Tweezers, Alcohol Wipes, Gauze, Medical Tape, Q-Tips, Arnica/Icy Hot or similar Pain Relieving Gel, Athletic Tape (possible overkill, but better safe than sorry), Tick Key, and probably more once I think of it.  
  • Bugspray is definitely a must, however I'm considering getting permethrin also.  I don't use sunscreen often, only to cover tattoos really, but I figure I should bring some along just in case. Besides, Cheyenne might need it, too.  Hand Sanitizer I use a lot of.  I've used like 1oz in under a month before, I don't get sick as often since I started this habit though!

Gear I've Ordered:
Banzai Dog Pack
LupinePet ECO Collar and Matching Leash

  • I've heard great things about "wolf packs" so I'm pretty excited to try it out.  Cheyenne is just about old enough to start training her with weight in the pack (She's about 9mos right now).  I'm definitely going to make her wear an empty pack for a couple of short hikes, and then she can start carrying things like her favorite snacks, and a light toy.
  • I'd never heard of LupinePet before I order the leash and collar.  The main reason I chose to go with their company is because of their lifetime "even if chewed" guarantee.  I also really love that they have a recycled option for collars and leashes! Maybe all of my family's dogs will get things here :) Plus, they're a New England company.  Personally, I can't see a reason not to purchase their gear.

Gear I Totally Want But Will Definitely Be Made Fun of For:
Pocket Shower, come on, it's so cool.  Plus, one of the biggest problems for some people on the AT is going without showering for a while!
Scrubba Portable Washing Machine, it's only 6oz, I could totally do that.  I mean, clean clothes is another tough thing on the AT.  I won't have to pay for laundromats, I won't have to be scared about polluting water sources by dipping dirty clothes in, and it's just as good as a washing machine apparently.  Win, win, win!

Other than all that I'm pricing out the rest of my gear before I purchase it.  That way I'll be able to see exactly how much more I'm going to spend on prep (not including food!).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Thru-hike Update, October 2015

I have ordered my sleeping bag, and received my sleeping pad, and Cheyenne's dog bed!

Also, I am considering waiting a year.  I didn't get to do any camping, or difficult hikes over the summer.  My puppy is still young, I can't start backpack training her until she's a year old, and I don't know how big she is going to be, so I can't purchase the correct size backpack.

I'm going to set dates for camping, hiking, and backpacking trips to do next year.  Instead of starting the whole trail maybe I'll do the 100 Mile Wilderness on my departure date.

My biggest fear with putting it off a year is if I put it off one year what is stopping me from putting it off another year?  Then another?  This is my biggest concern with waiting.  My biggest concern with not waiting is that I won't finish it.

This decision is not 100% final, but it is most likely.  I will, of course, continue blogging and preparing for other adventures!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thru-hike update, September 2015

I have been getting my gear ready for my AT thru-hike!

Yesterday I received my backpack in the mail.  A Deuter act lite 70 + 10 pack.  I may have gotten a slightly larger pack than necessary, but I'd rather it be too big than too small.  I jokingly said I'll just put Cheyenne in it, then she won't need her own pack! I'll be getting hers when she gets a little bigger so I'll be able to size it properly.

The other piece of gear I just got is my tent! I purchased the tarptent rainbow instead of the double rainbow, because I was afraid the double rainbow would be too big.  I set up my tent as soon as it came this morning, and I'm really glad I went with the smaller of the two.  There will be plenty of room for me, and Cheyenne, and all of our gear.

Now I have my dog, my backpack, and my tent.  Just a couple more big items to go and I'm all set with that part of getting ready!

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Of course, I've been reading a lot about the AT lately.  Well, for a few months I have been.  Today I stumbled upon a couple of Zach Davis' older blog posts.  For those of you who don't know, Zach Davis wrote the book "The Appalachian Trials", which is also the name of my favorite AT hiking blog that he created.

Yesterday, at Salt Pump, I met his intern, so that was cool

This is a really neat article that he wrote last year about reasons why he loves backpacking.  Most of these are the same reasons I've been loving rock climbing, or even just taking my puppy for walks.  If these things sound good to you then I highly suggest you start hiking.  I haven't even started officially "backpacking" yet, and all the things he mentioned are my favorite parts of hiking and climbing.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cheyenne, Not the Mountain!

Today I crossed off another thing on my list, and added to my family!
80. Adopt a dog from the animal shelter.

I officially adopted my 5 month old, Golden Retriever/Australian Shepherd(?) foster puppy.  Her name is Cheyenne.

Honestly, out of all the foster dogs I've tried to convince my parents to let me adopt (there have been probably five or six by now), she is the most perfect.  She has medium-length fur, but it doesn't seem to mat or get dirty too fast, and while she is probably going to be a little smaller than I wanted for my thru-hiking partner her intelligence and agility makes up for her lack of size.  I've been taking her hiking pretty much everyday, and she's a wonderful hiking partner.  She walks well on leash (for a 5 month old puppy it's better than "well"!), she enjoys walking through the woods, likes jumping over things, or crawling under them, and it's pretty easy to regain her attention after she sees a squirrel or chipmunk!

I have a long plan for her training.  It starts now, with daily hikes, very basic obedience (sit, stay, down, her name, etc), socializing her with other dogs and people, and - as soon as I get my tent - sleeping outdoors.  That's all we'll be working on for the next month at least.  She isn't going to need a ton of training.  My beagle required a lot of training sessions just to be able to "sit" on command, and he still rarely does without getting a treat for it! Cheyenne already will sit for no treat, and I don't need to work with her on "heel" because she already does, without being told.

This is a picture of my puppy on her first hike!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Adding More to the List

Recently I heard about something that I have to add to my list. 

There is now a zipline that goes from Spain to Portugal, and then a ferry takes you back to Spain.  As someone who adores ziplining this is very exciting.  

The best part is, it only costs €15, according to Google that's about $16.80.  Well worth it, in my opinion.  

Just a general update on things, this Thursday something is going to be crossed off my list.  It's a surprise, but it does have to do with my AT Thru-hike.  I've also started ordering things for my hike.  My backpack, and tent should be on their way!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Swing

I am fortunate to have strong determination, or, I'm just stubborn.  My strong determination (stubbornness) gets me into a lot of fear facing situations.  I try to do some things outside my comfort zone, sometimes though, they are so far outside my comfort zone I should probably just skip them.  Today I did one such thing; the swing at Monkey Trunks.

To those of you who aren't afraid of heights a drop off a platform 35' in the air might seem like lots of fun, and not terrifying in the least.  However, I am afraid of heights.  So going off the swing, even hooking people on and sending them off is a scary idea.  Which is exactly why I didn't go off myself until today.

A couple of weeks ago I'd wanted to go off, I even got all hooked in ready to go off, but I got scared and made my friend hold the rope (which isn't light) so I didn't go off for probably 5-10 minutes before chickening out, and not doing it.  Today was his last day so I decided I had to let him send me off, since he'd been nice and held me there for so long last time.

As I expected, I disliked the immediate drop, but it wasn't quite as jerky as I thought it'd be, which was good.  We'd figured out how to send me off so it wouldn't be jerky before I went.  Other then that, it was just as scary as I thought it would be.  The actual swinging was fun though, I knew that would be the case before I went off.

I had a couple of things running through my mind, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to go off.  First, I trust my friend, and if that wasn't the case I wouldn't have even gotten attached to the swing in the first place.  Second, I remembered a question my bosses asked me during my first day of training, because I'd gotten so nervous being at heights "Do you really want to be a safety instructor?" That question helped me on day 1 go off the ziplines, which is now my favorite part of the course, and it helped me go off the swing today.  Third, the song Sugar, We're Goin Down by Fall Out Boy was definitely in my head, not going to lie.

Here is a video of what the swing is.  This is a different location, but it's the same kind of swing.  The drop in this video looks fairly smooth, like it was when I went off, though this isn't always the case.

In the end, I'm pretty glad I did it, but I'm not sure I'd do it again, but who knows.  At the beginning of the summer I wasn't sure if I was ever going to do it, maybe by October I'll try it again.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Appalachian Thru-hike Update 8/21

I figured I'd update you all on my AT Thru-hike details.

First of all, I've chosen a tent, the Tarptent Double Rainbow.  I actually have had this tent in mind for a while.  It's lightweight, fast to pitch, and not too expensive, as far as good tents go.  Plus, there's plenty of room for me and my dog! Outdoorgearlab's price for the tent is off by a couple dollars according to the tarptent website, but it's still not a bad deal.

Next things on the list are sleeping bags, sleeping pads, a backpack (I know, that maybe should have been first?), and doggy backpack.

For sleeping pads I'm thinking the Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOlite.  One regular sized one for me, and possibly a small one for my dog

Sleeping bags I've been looking at are the Enlightened Equipment Revelation Bags, the short(5'6")/Slim option for me, and The 2-in-1 NobleCamper for my dog. If I go with the NobleCamper I won't have to get a sleeping pad for my dog either, because it's a bed and sleeping bag in one!

The backpack I'm looking at for myself currently is the Deuter ACT Lite 70 + 10 pack

A great article about hiking with dogs, which is certainly a good thing to be reading up on.  I should be getting my dog very soon, so be watching for a post about that! It will be knocking something off my list, too!
80. Adopt a Dog from the Animal Shelter.

As soon as I get my dog I will start purchasing things for it, such as

  • A dog pack
  • Food/Water dishes
  • A coat
  • Booties
  • Leash/Collar/Harness
  • Flea/Tick collars or medication
  • First aid supplies!
Doggy supplies is a whole other post!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Animals VS. Humans

A huge topic is whether or not animals who have killed humans should be killed themselves.  In my opinion, it partially depends on why the animal killed the person, but usually it's a NO.

This event has recently sparked one such debate.  Many people have said the exact same things I would say "Hikers know grizzlies are out there, and the risk is one they are willing to take!" and "why are human lives more important than animal lives?"  Sometimes in these situations I also wonder to myself "What would the victim have thought?" Of course, we can never know that.

I will let you decide for yourself how you feel about it.  Personally, if I ever am killed by an animal I hope the animal lives, no matter what type of animal it is.  Whether it's a grizzly, a shark, a dog, a snake, or something else entirely.  Unfortunately, that wouldn't be my call to make.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sense of Adventure

Ever since I was little I've had a strong sense of adventure.  There are a couple of things I remember wanting to do as a career, such as:

  • Storm Chaser/Meteorologist
  • First person to walk on Mars
  • Oceanographer/Marine Biologist
  • Employee of the Australian Zoo (Steve Irwin was my hero, RIP)
  • Archeologist
I can remember making lists of all the careers I'd wanted to have, the most I remember was 18, I had them in order of what I wanted to do first, also! 

Now, of course, my goals are a bit different, but I seem to have kept, or rediscovered, the adventurous spirit I've had through most of my life.  It drives me to achieve new goals everyday.  It's the reason I work at a high ropes course, and a climbing gym, the reason I wouldn't settle for just whatever job I could find.  The reason I'm not going to college, and instead I'm working to save money to hike the AT.  The reason I'm writing this blog in the first place.

I went to an Oceanography summer camp a few summers ago, because when I was 15 or 16 I had decided to become a Marine Biologist, my favorite animals were sharks, and I had to pick a career at some point, so why not just work with sharks?  It was thanks to this camp that I rediscovered how much adventure meant to me.

I earned four college credits for the camp, I enjoyed the course work, and it seemed like I would be content following that line of work for the rest of my life.  Then, we went snorkeling, and hiking, and dock jumping (which I'd never done, and didn't really end well, but I'm glad I did it), and after those two short weeks everything had started to click.  Within a year I'd started making my list, and shortly after that this blog was born.

Hard work went into that camp, I saved over $600 for it in under six months by teaching dance and babysitting, and I wrote an essay about why I wanted to be a Marine Biologist for a $500 scholarship.  "Just imagining  all the weird, creepy, beautiful, or just amazing creatures that may be lurking in the depths of unexplored caves, or sea floors, or reefs fill me with a kind of excitement that is easily compared to 'a kid in a candy store'" - A quote from my original, unedited essay.

A lot of my friends have a strong sense of adventure also, and I guess that was the inspiration for this post.  Many people lose their sense of adventure or passion for a certain subject because of things like job security, or just general wage differences.  I know people who are going into certain fields just because they'll make a lot of money, and not necessarily because they enjoy that work.  I also know people who will talk passionately about the field they are entering that will not earn them much money, just because it's what they enjoy doing.  The latter are my favorite kind of people.

I hope you all still have an adventurous spirit, even if your adventures aren't things like climbing the tallest mountains in the world, even if they just involve writing fantasy novels, or driving school buses for a living.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Paw Print Tattoo + Animal Shelter Fundraisers

Today, as promised, I got my first tattoo!

For those of you who haven't read my last post I'll give you a brief backstory to the tattoo.

Today (August 15th, 2015) was the "#clearthesheltercampaign", and the fundraiser at Fianna tattoo in Portland for the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.
   The Clear the Shelter part went well, 84 animals were adopted today! I was going to get my Appalachian trail dog, but the puppy I'd been looking at yesterday got adopted by someone ahead of me in line.  Unfortunately, there was not another dog that would work for me.  My parents have agreed to allow me to adopt a puppy as soon as I find another perfect one, though!
   The tattoo fundraiser went really well also.  Apparently, there were some people lined up before the shop even opened! They also had so many people that I went and signed up (to guarantee my spot) and went back two+ hours later and still had to wait over an hour to get my tattoo! I didn't mind, of course, it was for a good cause, I was expecting a wait, and the artists were amazing.  That event was supposed to end at 7PM, but now (almost 10PM) my Mom just got done with hers, and I know a couple of people had signed up after her.  The dedication of the artists for this cause was amazing, one of them said he'd be there until 2AM if he had to be, though he didn't want to be.  I honestly hope he isn't!

So, the tattoo I got is just a small dog paw print on my upper left arm just below my shoulder.  It was $60, as I mentioned in the other post, all of the money from everyone's tattoos is going to the shelter!

A bunch of the shelter staff and volunteers came in to get tattoos.  Quite a few of them, including myself, first timers.  Many of them even brought in their dog's paw prints to be tattoo'd on them.  A wonderful reason to get a meaningful tattoo.

If you're planning on getting a tattoo I highly recommend the amazing artists at Fianna Studio in Portland, Maine.  They're friendly, they know what they're doing, it's a welcoming environment, and the art is beautiful.  Definitely worth the visit.

I got to support an awesome organization, found a great tattoo studio, and got to cross something off of my list, truly a win-win.  Hopefully I'll find the perfect puppy within the next couple of weeks, too!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Area Spotlight: ARLGP

This may seem like a strange area spotlight.  It's an animal shelter.  The animal shelter where I volunteer to be exact!

The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland in Westbrook, Maine, helps almost 4,000 homeless animals a year! They have a very small shelter currently, and have been fundraising in order to expand to be able to help even more animals.

Instead of my usually area spotlight I'm going to tell you the upcoming events the ARLGP is doing.

On August 11th 2015 at Otto Pizza in South Portland, some people from the ARLGP will be hanging out, and a portion of all food sales will be going back to the shelter.  A great time to talk to some of the staff, eat some pizza, and help out a worthy cause!

On the 12th WGME and FOX23 are hosting a day long pet food drive for a couple of the shelters in the area.  If you're interested, food can be dropped off at the studio!

The 15th they are participating in the national #ClearTheShelters campaign.  This is a big one, so I'll come back to it. 
Also on the 15th Fianna Tattoo Studio in Portland is doing a fundraiser.  $50 for a paw print tattoo, or $100 for a custom paw print.  All the money raised goes back to the shelter, I plan to do this one if I have time! I'll be knocking something off my list, and helping out my favorite charity.

The 26th is annual Martinis for Mutts fundraiser.  $25 per human, each human is allowed a doggie +1.  The price includes admission, valet parking, a "signature mutt-tini", and hors d'oeuvres.

That's not all of the events either! Check out the others, too, you might see something else you'd like to attend.

A bit more about #ClearTheShelters.
First of all, this is not the only shelter doing it.  It is sponsored by NBC, and NECN.  NECN is going to be broadcasting live from the event!
It will take place August 15th, 2015, from 9AM-3PM.
There will be more than 150 pets to be adopted just at the ARL.
The fees are going to be by donation, so you get to pick your own adoption fee! Though $0 is not an option, that isn't an adoption fee.
The goal is to clear the shelter, and raise awareness for pets in need.
No pets can be placed "on hold".  If you are interested in a specific animal get there as early as possible!

It is a wonderful organization, the staff are all amazing, and working with the animals is beyond rewarding.  I have been walking dogs there for almost a year and a half, and fostering dogs for a few months, I highly recommend volunteering, whether at this animal shelter or another.  Personally, t's probably the most rewarding volunteer work I do.

Monday, August 3, 2015

What this blog is about

I want to make this clear, my blog isn't just about what I'm doing, or what I want to do. Yes, it's about me completing my list, but I'm trying to make it about much more. I want it to be about me enjoying life in every way possible, and not doing things just because people say I need to, or because I have to have money, or whatever.

I also want to be encouraging others to do the same.

I just read a fantastic blog post from a wonderful actress whom I know in real life.  The blog post is "Professional" theater vs. "Community" theater: a reflection.  She does a lot of shows at the community theater where I volunteer (keep an eye out for that spotlight if you're interested!), and because it is just a community theater none of the actors/actresses get paid.  They don't mind though, they're doing it because they just love being onstage singing, dancing, and acting!

One of the last lines in the post is "So, the next time you go to see a community theater show, please, remember that we’re all up there LOVING what we’re doing." I love that line.

People choose to follow their passions in different ways. The people at the theater choose to follow their passion without getting paid. Some follow their passion in other ways in order to get paid to do what they love. In my opinion, the only wrong way to follow your passion? Is not to follow it at all. Personally, I choose to write about it on this blog. Will I ever get paid for it? Maybe. But even if I don't I'll be following my dreams and sharing them with the world.

Full Week of "Adulting", + Crossing Things off the List!

You may not know what "adulting" means, so before I dive into this post I'm going to give you a brief definition.

Adulting: the term for when a young adult (usually 18-24, or so), does something by themselves that is something that's basically required of adults in this day and age.  Such as, making an appointment, going to a job interview, buying a car, renting an apartment, etc.  An "Adulting win" is when they do something successfully, usually for the first time, I.E. getting their first job.  An "Adulting Fail" is when they attempt to do something "adulty" and screw up, such as microwaving tin foil.

Last week, my week of adulting was:
Sunday: I Ordered several things off of ebay, including a refurbed 2009 MacBook, without a charger.  I had to be very careful and research the seller before I bought the computer, to make sure the under $200 laptop was worth it.  It definitely ending up being worth it! I received it two days before I was supposed to, and only two days after it shipped.

Monday: I went to work? (Um, I did that four days this week though...) That was the most adult thing I did on Monday, I believe,

Tuesday: I made my own appointment to get my haircut, in person. I also made an appointment to get my belly button pierced over the phone.

Wednesday: First potluck I've been to by myself, I even made a cake to bring.  It was at my new job, we had an employee potluck.  It was certainly a lot of fun!

Thursday: Just my normal music lessons and volunteering... Though volunteering at the animal shelter could almost be considered an adult thing.

Friday: Payed for my own belly button piercing, and for my haircut.  I even tipped both places! I didn't try to figure out the correct tip amount, though, I just gave them extra money.  I was shocked, I had most of my hair cut off, I got it shampoo'd, and styled, and the whole thing only cost $27 before the tip!

So, with my full week of adulting, I also knocked something off of my list: getting my belly button pierced.

I'm going to be honest, it hurt more than I was expecting.  I've read a lot of people say that they barely felt it at all, or that they didn't feel it.  I definitely felt it.  I didn't bleed, but it felt like he had pierced too much of my skin, and was having a hard time getting the needle through.  Maybe it was just me, but it seemed to take a long time to poke all the way through.
It's doing better now, except for when I accidentally pull on it, or brush it wrong.  I'm sure it will be sore for a few days. The piercer I went to was pretty bad, too, from research and talking to people, so that could have been part of it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Area Spotlight: Salt Pump Climbing Company

For all you climbers, or aspiring climbers, here's a place you should definitely check out; Salt Pump Climbing Company on Haigis Parkway, in Scarborough!

A beautiful facility, in a convenient location, with a gorgeous pond view, it's an excellent place to go to climb, or just to hang out. Which is encouraged. It's not just a climbing gym, they have all kinds of other things they are planning on offering. It's a place to go to learn, climb, and be part of a community.

For climbing they have a bouldering, top-rope, and lead climbing. The rope climbing walls go up to 45'. They are also offering Intro to Climbing, and lead climbing classes. The Intro to Climbing are two hours long, five days a week.  The Lead Climbing classes are three parts long, two hours each, and Monday evenings. They have around 90 different routes of varying difficulties to climb, so there's no chance of you getting bored! 

In addition to climbing they are offering yoga classes beginning in early August, and they will be offering more variety of fitness classes, and such soon. They also have some fitness equipment available to use. The goal is not just to focus on rock climbing, but to focus on general fitness, and wellbeing. 

Another goal at Salt Pump is to be as environmentally friendly as possible. The waivers are all digital, a huge paper saver, and most of the light in natural through large windows throughout the facility. Most of the windows look out onto the pond! There is also a deck overlooking the water where you can hang out. 

There are many places to put your stuff, and a lot of seating around so you can just be there. Bring your laptop and work for a bit before or after you climb/tale a class. There are opportunities for birthday parties, there are kid's classes, there will be after school programs, and much more.

One more thing, they actually open tomorrow for the first time! Tomorrow (July 30th, 2015) at 10AM is the official soft opening. The grand opening is set for September, however it's definitely worth it to visit before then! An amazing place, with amazing staff. As with Monkey Trunks, I may be a bit biased, as I am also employed here, but take my word for it and check it out! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


I love working with kids, I always have. Even when I was a kid I loved working with younger kids! It seems as though most of what I want to do is teach, or nanny, so I have decided to look into some teaching jobs abroad.

I have found a couple of interesting programs such as:
Work Away - Suggested to me by a couple people. It's not just teaching jobs either, it's all kinds of jobs all over the world. It's a neat program. You don't get paid, but you do get free lodging and stuff for most of them.
Trek To Teach - This is a little different than Work Away.  It's only in Nepal, you trek to the village where you will be teaching and live there until you're term is up. It costs a little over $3,000 to participate in the program.

There are many more I'm looking into, those are the two I've done the most research into at the moment.

I'm actually considering getting TEFL certified, there are some countries I can teach in with the certification that I don't need a college degree for, there's also more jobs I'll be able to get if I am certified. It's also a lot cheaper, and faster than getting a college degree of any kind.  The only problem is it's apparently a bit more difficult to get certified if you are under 20 years old, as a only recent adult I'd have to wait another 2 years if I can't get it, yet...  We'll see!

Of course, working with animals is also up there on my career choices...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Adding to my List

I'm adding new things to my list today!

  • Travel to a foreign country with a friend
  • Travel to a foreign country by myself
  • Travel to a foreign country with a family member
I have recently discovered that a friend of mine has actually done quite a bit of traveling, and she gave me and another friend some tips on traveling cheaply.  I haved asked her if I can interview her for this blog, so definitely keep an eye out for that!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Area Spotlight: Monkey Trunks

This area Spotlight is: Monkey Trunks, the High Ropes Adventure Course located just off of Route 1 in Saco, Maine! 

It is the one I recommend most, though I may be biased, as I work there.

It's the only one of it's kind in this area.  A wonderful, safe climbing experience for whole families! There is a minimum age of 5, but after that it is based on height.  If a child, age 5 or older, can reach over 4' with their arms over their head they are tall enough to go on the kid's course.

On the Adventure Course, the main structure, there are three zip lines.  The two longer ones, going off the third level righ next to each other, perfect for racing with your friends and family members.  The smaller going off the second level to the ground.  There is also the giant swing off the second level where you free fall off the platform and just swing for a little while.  The obstacles on the course themselves are also a lot of fun.

New this year is the Ziptrek course through the woods.  After a short, easy hike through the woods to ground school, where you learn the rules and how to use your equipment, and to the beginning of the course, you head up into the trees.  Most of the things going from tree to tree are ziplines, with a couple of other obstacles thrown in, ending with a big zipline to the ground.  Insect repellant is advised, as the Mosquitos are pretty bad in the area, especially at ground school.  Aside from the minor annoyance of Mosquitos and other bugs, Ziptrek is a lot of fun, it's certainly my favorite of the two courses.

I was afraid of heights, terrified.  I have wanted to get over this fear for a long time, being at Monkey Trunks has definitely helped me a lot.  Partially from being exposed to heights so often, and partially because of all the amazing people who I work with.  

If you do decide to visit, say that you came from my blog, I might be there!

*for more info go to *

Area Spotlight: Len Libby's

I've gotten behind on my posts, just trying to figure out my order.  I have started a list of spotlights, so I shouldn't get so far behind again! (Queuing helps, too!)

This week's area spotlight is Len Libby's candy store, on Route 1 in Scarborough Maine! It's a wonderful little candy store, where a lot of their stuff is handmade.

My personal favorite is the Bangor Taffy they sell, at about $12 a box.  It's amazing.  If you do stop in they usually have free samples of it, I'm sure you'll find it worth the price!

If you like fudge, they have a large selection of different kinds of fudge.  The classics, like peanut butter, and chocolate, and a couple fancier flavors, like rocky road.

The thing Len Libby's is most famous for?  The life-sized 1,700 chocolate moose, Lenny.  
They've also more recently added a black bear, and her two cubs!

If you're just visiting Maine there's a lot of fun Maine souvenirs you can get there.  If you live in the area and you've never been, it's well worth the trip.  

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Some things

I've been panicking about not completing my "Before I Turn 18" list in time, my 18th birthday is today, when I realized something, when I made the list it was only things I could do before I turned 18, not things that I had to do before then.  I didn't want to have to wait until I was an adult to begin my list, I was afraid that I'd lose my enthusiasm about it, so I broke them into smaller bits so I could start right away.

Working towards my goals, I am currently learning Italian (still), and I am working at a climbing park near where I  live! Getting over my fear of heights is an important step to a lot of my goals, including sky diving, climbing the Seven Summits, and BASE jumping, among other things.

Another exciting thing, I recently acquired a Canon Powershot G5 for free, all I had to buy was an extra battery, and a charger.  It's an older camera, but it takes decent pictures, and it's a good "training camera" so when/if I get a better one I'll be more familiar with how to use it.  I realized today that I don't actually have a way to get my pictures onto my laptop though... That, however, is a problem for another day! Like, when all my memory cards are full.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Area spotlight: The Scarborough Marsh

Today's spotlight is the Scarborough Marsh in Scarborough, Maine.  This marsh is the biggest saltwater marsh in the state, with about 3,100 acres of various types of marshlands.  It's also a great place to visit, birding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, even walking and biking, it's a beautiful place.

My favorite thing to do at the marsh is photography, obviously.  It's actually many people's favorite things about the marsh, the different species of wildlife, especially birds, and the gorgeous scenery it's the perfect place for pictures.  My family actually had a photoshoot done there a couple years ago!

Fishing is another thing that is quite popular at the marsh.  With a fairly large population of Striped Bass (or "stripers") swimming in and out with the tides many saltwater fishermen.  There are even some clam flats open for clamming.

Sorry for the blur, my phone hates zoom.

Though I haven't really been specifically bird watching here, yet, I haven't completely missed some of the species there.  The most common species I've seen are Snowy Egrets, and of course, Seagulls.  Great Blue Herons aren't uncommon either, they are often seen flying over the roads of the towns surrounding the marsh.  Mallards seem to be the most common duck of the area, the marsh, and Milliken Mills pond almost always have a pair or two of mallards on any given day, I haven't ever seen a nest, but occasionally you even see the ducklings following their parents around in the water! It's very cute, and always fun to see.  One of my favorites is the Glossy Ibis, I don't see them often, but they're gorgeous, and fun to watch!
There are many trails, including the Eastern Trail that I talked about last time.  Most of them are walking only, unlike the Eastern Trail where you can also ride bicycles.  Another way to see the marsh is by train! There is a train track over the marsh, that's definitely an interesting perspective!

Of course, no tour of the marsh would be completely without talking about the canoeing and kayaking opportunities.  The water is fairly calm, and some of the channels are very wide, making it easy to paddle.  Along the way you'll see lots of different kinds of wildlife, including many species of birds, and possibly some mammals species, such as muskrats.

If you get hungry after spending all day in the marsh you can visit the Clambake, just down the road from the parking area at the Eastern Trail opening into the marsh!

 There's a seating area with big windows looking out onto the marsh, and there are always lots of hungry seagulls outside.  While waiting for your food, and eating you can watch the wildlife outside the window. and when you're finished you can take any leftovers outside to feed to the seagulls.  The birds there have been fed like that for so many years that they will take food right out of your fingers if you hold it out to them.  Just be careful, their beaks are sharp, and it can hurt if they accidentally bite you.

No matter what you decide to do I'm sure you'll enjoy your time at the Scarborough Marsh. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Area Spotlight: Eastern Trail

This is my first post highlighting the wonderful things about where I live in Southern Maine!

I'm starting with the Eastern Trail, one of my favorite places to ride my bike, walk my dogs, look for turtles, and practice photography.  Last summer it was my favorite place to fish, also.

The Eastern Trail is 65 miles with some beauty scenery.  It goes all the way from Kittery to South Portland.  It's usually well traveled, but never too busy, people walk their dogs, jog, run, go cycling, and even ride horses down the trail! 

The trail does follow some roads in certain places, but it's fairly well marked, and easy to follow.  I can easily ride my bike 6 miles out and back in under two hours because most of the trail is fairly flat.  The many trails going into wooded areas off the main trail are nice for walking, too, though a bit more muddy with a lot of roots making it hard to ride through.

My favorite place is a little path into the woods off the main trail that connects to the Milliken Mills Pond, where I find several different species of turtles, frogs, fish, and birds! It's an area full of wildlife.

A couple of animals that live there are the usual, chipmunks, grey and red squirrels, painted turtles, wood turtles (I believe, though I'm not a turtle expert), garter snakes,  largemouth bass, pumpkin sunfish, and many many birds, there are also bigger animals, such as deer, and raccoons.  According to the lake survery I found we even have eels, and a couple types of catfish in the pond.

Some people enjoy kayaking or canoeing on the pond, though it's not the most popular activity on this section of the trail.

"Ralph" the Painted Turtle.

One section of the trail also crosses the Scarborough Marsh, that is my other favorite section.  The marsh is next week's spotlight, so I won't go into any detail today!

Only one of these pictures has been edited at all.  These are not pictures from my Instagram, most of the pictures on my Instagram are edited in some way.  All of my photography is currently taken and edited on an iPhone 4S.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Area Spotlight 1

This summer I have decided to make at least one post a week highlighting something special or interesting in my area.  Not just in my little tourist town, but also in the surrounding towns and cities.
Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people come to visit my town every year, the beach is completely covered with people almost daily.  Why?  There are so many other things to do, the water isn't even that great temperature wise, and there are so many people it's not even worth it! Not to mention how many beaches are around besides the one in my town.  Starting in May I'll begin, and hopefully I'll have at least one place to feature every week until September!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blog update

I've just updated my blog a bit.  Mostly added links to my various social media.  I recently created a Tumblr to go with this blog, it has a sampling of my photography, and a few things I've reblogged.

For those interested I'll go a bit more in depth about what I post where.

Twitter -

  • Favorite picture of the day, either mine, or someone else's I've used with permission.
  • Summary of recent blog posts.
  • Occasional retweets of things I think are worth sharing.
Today's favorite picture.

  • Most liked pictures of the day from my Instagram.
  • Summary of recent blog posts.
  • Special "Facebook only" pictures and posts that I don't post anywhere else.

  • My photography from traveling, hiking, visiting nearby places

  • Sample pictures from my Instagram
  • Summary of recent blog posts.
  • Occasional reblogs of things I think are worth sharing, that almost always have something to do with my list.

This Blog -
  • In depth posts about things I am doing, almost entirely about my list, or other travel related things.
  • My full list.
  • Links to my other websites, and to other people's blogs that I enjoy.

That's currently all!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Little Challenges

Sometimes, I get so focused on posting about the big goals I have, I forget to post about the smaller challenges I've been facing.

I injured my toe a couple of weeks ago, we're fairly certain I broke it, though I did not get x-rays.  I had two dance competitions soon after the injury, and I performed in both.  It was incredibly painful, but being with my "dance family", and dancing in general made it worth it.

It has been warming up as spring approaches, so I have been out walking more often.  If you follow my instagram you should be seeing many more pictures from me soon.  I've also been working out to be in best shape possible for hiking this summer.

I still have yet to complete my "before I turn 18 list", I only have a month and a half.  I may not complete it in time honestly.  Hopefully I will be able to plan some trips.

Something slightly stupid I did recently I did for only two reasons 1) Because why not?  2) Bragging rights.  I drank a gallon of 7-11 slurpee in under twelve hours! How many people can say that?  Some people think it's gross, but honestly, if I can't do stupid things like drinking a gallon of slurpee in a day when I'm seventeen then when can I do them?  Aren't teenagers supposed to do silly things, especially if they don't hurt anyone, and aren't in any serious risk!

Yesterday I was also an "assistant stage manager" (I did give myself that title) for the first time.  I was on a headset backstage communicating with the light and sound people, and I had a runner making sure numbers were lined up and ready to go on time!

I've also been working on a new story.  You can read more about it here.

Really, we all face little challenges each day, and do goofy things just for fun all the time, let's celebrate and talk about the little things as much as we talk about the big things.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Appalachian Trail: Beginning Planning Priorities

Hello there!

On my question "To dog or not to dog" I have made a decision.  I will dog.  I'm hoping to get a dog between six months and three years old within the next couple of months.  Ideally, I'd like a year to train and prepare my dog and myself for the trail.

Now I've already started a gear list of important things such as tent, sleeping bag, backpack, clothes, etc., I'm shooting for December to have all my plans finalized.  That being said, my test run is going to be this summer, likely in August, if possible.

So I have started making a list of which supplies I need first.  I thought I'd share with you my first steps towards my summer test run.

  • Finish creating my basic gear list.
  • Adopt a dog, and begin training.
  • Complete finished gear list for first 100 miles.
  • Collect basic gear list.
  • Plan out route, pace, approximate stops, etc on maps.
  • Acquire items 100 mile gear list.
  • Obtain supplies for the entire trail.
  • Prepare care packages for along the trail complete with dog food and maps for the next section.
  • Get a high-quality camera.
  • Buy a new lightweight laptop/notebook for picture editing and blogging while on the trail! (For when I stop, of course)

Purchasing a laptop is the last step because it is the least important.  I can blog from my phone, however, the posts will be shorter, and the pictures will be terrible iPhone photos... Nice for family vacations, not so nice for photo journals about the trail that I intend to put  together.

That's all for now!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Appalachian Trail: To Dog or Not To Dog?

I've been gathering my gear list for the AT, and I've hit a bit of a roadblock: Should I get a dog?

I don't want to hike the trail alone, but I'm not sure I want to go with another person either, so a dog seems like a good idea.  However, there are obviously potential problems with that.

So my Pro/Con list! I wrote the Cons first, and the Pros afterwards, so read them in that order.

    Cons                           |   Pros
  • Need more gear                       |  Dog can carry some gear
  • Another mouth to feed         |   Protection from animals (won't need bear bag, etc)
  • Can't go on some sections       |   I won't be alone
  • I'd have to get a new dog          Another dog will have a good home!
  • Training the dog                    |  Training the dog
  • Can't stay in Shelters               |  No fighting over pace/where we stop
  • People don't like dogs on AT  |  They don't mind/like well behaved dogs
  • Can't stay in motels/hotels      |   From what I've heard I don't want to
  • Dog will get dirty                    |  It'll help my anxiety

The last pro is one of the biggest selling points.  The reason training the dog is both a con and a pro is because I will have to teach it a lot, and I don't have experience with all of the command it will need to know, but dog training is one of my hobbies, and I enjoy it!

If you were to hike the AT (or are thinking about it) what are some more reasons you would, or wouldn't, take a dog?  Let me know!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

24 Hours

Finally, here's the compiled version of my 24 hour 24 marathon.  Also, I apparently didn't have spell check when I first posted these (meaning autocorrect didn't want to work), so any misspellings are being corrected!

Episode 1: 8-9AM

Started out at 8AM with. Granola bar, a cup of coffee, and a bottle of water.  

Blankets, and warm clothes are a must, because it's very cold here, and my bedroom, where the marathon is taking place, is one of the under (or not at all) insulated rooms in my house.

Almost a half hour in and my granola bar and coffee are both gone.  At the first break I am going to refill the coffee, but I probably won't get another snack until the third or fourth episode.

This season is about a nuclear bomb being set in Los Angeles.  (I'll try not to post any spoilers for anyone who wants to watch the season!) I honestly must say, I really like President Palmer.  He seems like a very peaceful president, he's trying to solve this problem without conflict with other countries, and I respect that.  Also, I'm pretty sure that Kim's male employer is going to have an try to have an affair with her... Why is it always the nannies?

Episode 2: 9-10AM

I started episode two a bit late.  I went for a 3 minute break during episode one, which turned into a 5-8 minute break.  I am currently four minutes behind.  Luckily the rest of the episodes are only 40 minutes, instead of 50 like the first.

I've been alternating drinking coffee and water to help keep me awake, and prevent crashing later.  I'm still a bit groggy from waking up though.

Switching episodes takes a little more time than I'd like.  It can't be helped unfortunately...

More at 10.

Episode 3: 10-11AM

I'm trying to take it easy on the coffee now.  Just water for a couple episodes.

Jack Bauer is an incredibly nervous liar.  He sweats a lot and just looks nervous, so really anyone should know when he's lying, especially criminals who rely on knowing whether or not someone's lying to operate successfully.

Kim clearly takes after her father, which isn't a bad thing in this case.  Though she's also a very nervous, jumpy person under pressure.

I just had to take a couple of minutes as break, because a spider dropped down in front of me.  Anyone who knows me will know I'm terrified of spiders, so getting rid of that was a priority.

Episode 4: 11AM-12PM

Light snack of a partial chocolate bar, and half a bottle of water were consumed in the second half of episode 3, and first part of episode 4.  I don't know if it's the cold water (I don't usually drink this much water at once), but I feel very awake mentally.  Physically I feel like I'm asleep, but that's probably because I've been sitting down for most of the day.

Jack gave up his cover rather fast, I didn't really expect it because he still hasn't made contact with the crime boss guy, but if it works then good for him.  Let's be real though, of course it's going to work.  This is a tv show. 

Other than that I don't really have much more to report.  Staying awake now is easy.  If anytime the "crash" will be at around midnight, I'm guessing.

Episode 5: 12-1PM

Staying up hasn't been hard so far,  I'm still very much awake and alert.  Thank goodness. 

Surprise! There is no attempt at an affair with the nanny.  I mean she's not the type of character to do that, but I still expected him to try...?  Abusive father/husband is completely expected though. 

The CTU is a mess, wow.  When the explosions first went off they didn't seem like they did that much damage, but now it's like completely destroyed.  Poor Paula, too... 

Still trying not to give anything away, sorry if that's not going well...

Episode 6: 1-2PM

Nothing much new to report.  Still very awake.  I'm honestly surprised I'm still so alert after this long, I half expected to be dozing.  

I am going to start exercises during the five minute breaks soon.  There are three breaks every episode.  One for snacks/drinks, one for pee break, and one for exercises, in that order.  Without a plan this marathon is destined to fail.

They brought back the bad guy (lady) from season 1, good idea.  Little girl (and by that I mean full grown adult) is throwing a fit because her husband-to-be might be a terrorist, and she might have to cancel the wedding?  Not because he might be a terrorist, only because she doesn't want to cancel her wedding because she doesn't believe it.  I'd be more concerned about the fiance-is-possibly-a-terrorist thing, and forget about the wedding, but that's just me I guess!

Episode 7: 2-3PM

Starting to get a bit tired, but I also didn't get up during my last break.  And I've been drinking coffee for the last 15 minutes, which makes me drowsy.

I am enjoying this season quite a bit more thanks the first, and, as I expected, it makes more sense in real time.  12 hours from now I may not be enjoying myself quite so much.

The wedding day family is getting obnoxious, and they're not tied in with the rest very much yet, so I'm really not sure what's so important about them still?  I'm sure they are more important than they seem so far, but it doesn't make sense.

The president's female employee and ex-wife drama.  Wow.  They are seriously butting heads.

I really want to know what's happening with Kim, Miguel, and Megan though... I suppose I'll see them soon!

Episode 8: 3-4PM

The episodes are really starting to blur together.  I completely forgot what episode I was on, and forgot to blog.  Though I am fully alert again!

I had lunch during my breaks while watching episode 8.  Homemade chili! 

These last few episodes are starting to get intense.  Like really intense! Plane crashes (well not yet), murder charges, more killings, got to see the bomb truck.

I haven't finished this episode yet, obviously, so we'll see what happens!

*NOTE* This was written after the episode, unlike most, which were written during the episode.

Episode 9: 4-5PM 

I just finished episode 9, and WOW.  Things seem to be moving so quickly, yet I still have 15 episodes to go! I'm not sure where else they can really take this, but I'm also excited to find out.

Also, because I just had a nice sized lunch, and I've eased off the coffee, I haven't need to get up for anything.  So instead, I've been listening to songs by an Italian punk pop band called "Vanilla Sky".  They are a wonderful band, though I don't yet know enough Italian to understand everything in all of their songs.

Episodes 10, and 11: 5-6PM, and 6-7PM

Again, these episodes are starting to fly by! 

This is my last break of episode 11, which means there's about 10 minutes left in the episode.  

They're starting to draw stuff out more instead of packing a lot into single episodes.  It really ups the suspense.  At first they were throwing as much as possible at the viewers, and now they're drawing everything out to make it last longer.  The technique really works while watching it all at once.  Unfortunately, if I were watching one a day, or one a week it would be kind of annoying at this point.

Episode 12: 7-8PM

Well into episode 12 now.  Armed with an English muffin for a snack.

Jack Bauer is horrible to these people... They're plotting to set of an nuclear bomb, but still... Then again, interrogations in these shows are always this bad no matter who they are interrogating.

After this episode ends I will officially be half way through! 12 episodes down, 12 to go.

Episode 13: 8-9PM

Officially halfway through!

I'm still fairly alert, draining, but I think I'll make it.  At very least I'll be able to make 2AM, then I just have to figure out where to go from there.

They got special camera effects, and faked killing someone!! That was pretty neat.

Poor Kim is having a hard time at this point.

I love being exactly on time with the show.  It tells me the time every once in a while, and it's really cool to check my phone and see the exact same time.  Often I've been one minute off or so, but when I'm on time it's awesome.

Episode 14: 9-10PM

On to the next episode, and still going strong!

Kim is super naive, and that guy was just trying to get her locked in the shelters probably so he can confront her about what she did.

Jack keeps saying he's sorry to people, but he doesn't sound sorry.  Not at all, he's too busy to feel bad for anyone.

Sherry Palmer is so manipulative, and a terrible liar, how can the president not see how bad of a person she is.  Yes, he divorced her in season one, but taking her back to work with him was a terrible idea.

Episode 15: 10-11PM

So I'm shocked about the end of episode 14, the thing with Kim.

Glad they got to the bomb, but there are still 10 episodes, so how's that gonna work?  What's the rest of the season going to be about?  I guess I'll have to wait and see.

I totally admire George Mason in this episode, even though he's near death he is still keeping his promise to see the thing until the end!

Had another cup of coffee, so I'm back with the water.

*after writing the above*

I just found out the dramatic twist that takes the place of looking for the bomb.
Though it'll be over by the end of this episode.

Episode 16: 11PM-12AM

Bomb has gone off, this is getting more and more complicated.  I am glad they didn't drop it in the ocean! Why that was even an option is beyond me.

Kim still doesn't know her Dad is alive, I feel so bad for her.  She has no way of finding out he's alive right now!

Soon I will fill my water bottle for the third time today, when I'm this focused on hydrating, eating, and getting up to walk around I actually feel a lot better than usually! Well less tired that is.  I'm still surprisingly alert for this time of night. 

Episode 17: 12-1AM

Skipped this episode, oops...

Episode 18: 1-2AM

Seems as though I skipped posting about 17...

The crash is slowly beginning.  I'm slowly becoming more and more tired.  An update on that will happen again later.  Next break I'll get a bottle of cold water, maybe that will help wake me up.

True to real life (I think), it's getting more complicated, and crazier as the day gets later.  Also, the more people who die at once... Hmm... Extra explosions, shootings, and kidnappings the later it gets.  I can pretend it's for people like me, who are watching it all in one sitting!

"I'm going to be fine, just fine without you"
"What, why?" 
You got him arrested, and then put in the hospital.  Sorry Kim..

Episode 19: 2-3AM

Cold water is definitely helping a bit.  I also turned my laptop lights to a cooler temperature.  Plus I have my phone's light, and my normal bedroom light.  

The fact that Jack just reached into the dead man's body to get a memory chip was slightly gruesome.  I'm not squeamish, but that kind of thing always gets me!

I really like President Palmer, his advisors are being obnoxious, I do not like them.  *whispers to laptop* "please don't reconsider Mr. President!"

Episode 20: 3-4AM

Almost there! 20 of 24 down.  Realizing how close to finishing I am definitely gave me a boost.  Kit-kats helped, too.

I wasn't happy that they killed off jack at the very end of an episode, though.  Even though I know he's coming back.

Michelle and Tony should be careful, inter-office relationships can be very dangerous.  Psych taught me that.  Maybe I watch too much TV.

Bombing a country (or 3) when you know there's a possibility that they aren't guilty of anything is.  Always a terrible idea.  Just remember that everyone.  Don't bomb people.

Episode 21: 4-5AM

Every time one episode ends I think "Wow, it's over already?" It makes me realize how short an hour really is.  However, thinking back to this morning, I realize how long 24 of them are!

Currently I am incredibly lucid and alert.  Kit-kats, cold water, and a couple of push-ups are all I needed I guess!

I can't believe they're trying to kick Mr. Palmer out of presidency... Shame on them, he's a fantastic president.

Jack swooped in to save Kate just in time, as expected.  Thank goodness.  She'd be dead so many times if it weren't for him.  Though I honestly feel terrible for her... Everything that's happened with her sister...

I'm curious what Kim is up to right now.

Episode 22: 5-6AM

It's no secret that I'm not usually awake at this time.  My eyelids are becoming heavy again, for only the third time since I started.  I might try jumpstarting with some candy, and cold water splashed on my face.

Unfortunately, watching in real time is difficult, because if you need a break where there isn't one then it sucks to be you.  There's three breaks per episode, so it shouldn't be terrible difficult, however I have sat through a few sense it hit midnight and I haven't been getting snacks or drinking as much, so I don't need to use the bathroom, as often.  In the past 22 hours I have had two and a half bottles of water today!

The fact that the President's ex-wife is looking for the same guy as Jack is strange.  I'm still wondering what's up with Kim, she didn't have a big scene in the last episode, either...

I can't believe they actually got rid of President Palmer.  I feel like this happened last season too though, I don't really remember because it's been so long.

Episode 23: 6-7AM

So it's been a crazy long day, but it's almost over.  And I can say that I would definitely do it again.

One little thing though, Jack was injured earlier, in his leg.  He could barely stand on it at first, but not he can run on it?  However, Tony's on crutches still from a couple of episodes after that?

Finally got to see what happens to Kim, that girl has been through so much that she was totally not trained for in any way.  Her and Kate both.  

I still don't really know how I feel about Ms. Palmer, but I'm pretty sure I don't like her.

The season (as in nature season, not TV show season) difference is kind of throwing me off a bit, because the run is rising at 6:30 in the show, but it's still pretty much pitch black outside in real life!

Episode 24: 7-8AM

The final episode.

I'm a little groggy but not quite as much as I expected.

Questions from the beginning of the episode (answers in italics):
What's wrong with Jack's heart?
Damage from dying and being revived, anything specific?
Will a war start?
Will Mr. Palmer become president again?
Yes he does, and the Vice President resigned, as well as everyone who voted to take away his presidency.  He did not accept their resignations.
What happens when Kim gets to CTU?
Since they're now cooperating with Jack there was no problem.
Is Ms. Palmer a good person?
Will Tony, and Michelle get there jobs back?
Yes, they will be ordered to do exactly what they lost their jobs for doing!
Will Jack be able to bring in Peter?
They got the confession they needed!

And the touching father daughter moment at the end of the season.  They really did a lot about their relationship this season, which makes sense because the mom died in the first season.

The worst part about this marathon, towards the end, was the breaks.  Becase after midnight I didn't get up unless I had to go to the bathroom, so I had to sit there and wait for the break to be over.

The sun is just starting to rise now.  It's the only thing I really love about this early morning, especially this blue right before the other colors show up. (Of course, it's also very cloudy)
        Not good quality photo, sorry!

Anyway.  When I was nearly dozing at 5AM I did push-ups, and planks for a minute, which definitely helped.  Cold water helped too, and candy.  Of course my determination to make it all the way through the night was one of the main reasons I got through.   

I think I enjoyed the second season more than the first, though it may have just been the way I watched it.  This way was much more fun than watching one or two every couple of days.

I have decided to just take a nap afterwards.  How long the nap will be I have no idea.  If there had been a longer break around 11:30 I would have taken a shower to see if it helped wake me up.  It seems like my methods worked out pretty well, though!

It ended with a terrible cliffhanger, terrible.  Guess I'll have to do another marathon sometime!