Campsite Photoshoot

Our chosen form of R&R last weekend was a quick camping trip to Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania. It has been more than a year since we have went camping together. Oddly enough we each when while on our separate vacations. While we were lounging about I thought it might be fun to set up an impromptu photoshoot. Get some catalog and add style practice. I also have two very cooperative models.

Doesn’t everything coordinate well?!? Now some of that is not total coincidence and I am partial to orange but wow it looks like I planned this. I tried to focus on a different product in each shot. Josh helped by moving labels around.

The Marmot tent was easy, being the largest item in the shot. I placed the Travelocity Gnome in the center to make for easy focus.

Capturing the Pillow Pet and the ENO hammock were a bit tricky. While the ENO hammock has such a distinct look I still wanted the brand to show. The pillow pet got lost in the mix, next time I’ll consider putting Pippi on it. Doesn’t she just look precious?

Barefoot This Winter

I’m not going to claim that I have been terribly active as the temps have started lowering, even though the weather here in Michigan have been wonderful. When the air gets cool and before the snow falls I’m in heaven. Keep it at about 45 for me. I do try to go for a run on mornings when I can roust myself up early enough. While I enjoy the weather, getting up while it’s still dark is the real trick. What has been working for me to convert my Merrell Barefoot shoes to a warmer option is adding a thin tech-wool hiking sock. I chose a pair from Fox River Socks for my experiment. They are not bulky, have support seaming and do a nice job keeping my toes warm. While the shoes are designed to be work without socks it still fits well and doesn’t feel like the socks are affecting my comfort in the shoe. Josh has been wearing a very thin liner sock with his Barefoot shoes lately to help cut down on the smell.

Adding the sock does not make the shoes water resistant, so if you hit a puddle or any snow then your feet are going to get wet and cold depending on how long your run is. I’ve not had this issue yet but winter here in Michigan is just starting.

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company. I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***

Pure Michigan

I’m back in civilization now after spending a week celebrating “Pure Michigan“. If you had followed us around you would have been able to shoot all the footage needed for a new travel ad, it was also all girl power! I spent last week camping with my dear friend Robyn, from college. I’ve talked about her here before; she is the Army Captain who lives in Chicago. Her husband is from a hometown near mine and we often stop to see them on holiday trips. She is currently enrolled in grad school at DePaul and culinary school. Working to save the world one healthy kid at a time. The timing worked out perfectly that she finished both terms and had a week off from her internship. So we hit the trails, lakes and woods for some much needed R&R.

There is no better way to camp out than with a chef! Now I’ve always considered myself to be pretty stilled with a camp stove but wow Shrimp Scampi! Now that is just so far beyond what I expected to dine on. Add a chilled bottle of wine, a roaring fire and we just melted into our chairs. While I was not the chef I certainly was the fire marshal. I was able to get is a blazer going every night even with the wood soaked from rains. The weather as whole cooperated so well, poor Josh was in 100 degree heat all week. She whipped up veggie burger breakfast burritos and of course we had s’mores. One the one rainy day we headed into Ann Arbor for a visit to the delicious Arbor Brewing Company and a little shopping. Hey we are girls remember.

While running around the woods is all fine and good, I’ve got a sailboat in Michigan, one that was itching to be taken out. Well what if I told you that I took the sailboat out by myself! Oh yeah! Now don’t get too excited it was a very calm day and I only put up one sail but heck, I did it. Robyn had never been on a sailboat and she was a great help. I know that Josh is proud of me, although very jealous. He will likely not have a chance to set her out; we are not due back in Michigan until at least October. Even that might not happen.

To wrap up our Pure Michigan holiday we went horseback riding in Hell. Yup that’s not a typo; Hell Michigan was just a few miles from our campground and the closest stable. Nothing too exciting about the ride, it was fun as they usually are, very slow. We did stop in Hell on our way out for ice cream from Screams. All of the businesses in town are over the top Halloween themed, it was a hoot. I even had to buy a souvenir, just couldn’t resist. So I can now say that I’ve been to Hell and back, ha ha ha.

It was a really fun trip, lots of time laughing and talking about our husbands. Just the perfect trip with a girlfriend.

***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***

Playing Around

Due to some mechanical issues today was our day off instead of the usual Sunday.  After running some errands we decided to head for a lake on the Oklahoma State University campus for some R&R.  I read a short article in Outdoor Photography magazine that got me all fired up to try a different technique.  I love messing with the Depth of Field in my photos and usually just pop on a 35 mm lens to get what I’m after.  This particular article was focusing on how to use a zoom lens for cool effects.  Well I have to say I do like what happened.

To view the entire set please feel free to visit our Shutterfly Site

Whadda CAVE!!!

Now that we have gone fully “barefoot”, what I mean is that I no longer use tennis shoes anymore, just my Merrell Barefoot shoes; it was time for another test. As you might recall we somewhat foolishly took a 4 mile hike before we were ready, well weeks later our feet and muscles have been transitioned. This weekend we traveled to Mammoth Cave to take a four-hour, four mile underground tour. This was my first spelunking trip and we picked a “difficult” one to get a little challenge and exercise. I say difficult but we didn’t squeeze into any holes or have to crawl, just ducked once. The difficulty rating was from the elevation changes. We looked into one of the more intense tours but one required you to shimmy through 47 inch openings, which would be a little tight for Josh.

I’m going to be honest here, by the end I was ready to be done. The inside of a cave only has so much draw for me. I know many of my twitter and blog friends are going to hate hearing that, sorry Ree. The first half of the tour is a trek to the in cave dining room. Just a tip for Vegetarians, consider packing in your lunch. After a little breather we were back at it. Onto the harder part of the journey; the pace becomes faster, climbs steeper and closer together. We also transitioned into the wetter parts of the cave, with slippery rocks, bugs and oh so cool dripping water. The entire trip culminates with a walk up and down 46 steps to view an area called Frozen Niagara from all angles.

We had a great time trying to figure out how to take shots in the low light and not looking like dudes stopping to pose. Oh and the shoes, my legs are sore today but no more than they would be had I worn heavy stiff boots. Survey says, GO BAREFOOT!!!!!!!!

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company.  I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***

In My Bare Feet

If you looked at the images here before reading, you’re probably wondering why I’m taking photos of shoes. Especially since I don’t often promote products here. This isn’t really a promotion but more of an explanation, we have started going Barefoot.

I’m sure you have seen those funky shoes that go between people’s toes around, yeah I think they are weird too. However we been reading a great deal about the Barefoot running movement and the recent availability of shoes. Think super lightweight compact-able shoes. Great for someone living from a suitcase.

After finding out more about Merrell’s new Barefoot running shoes we decided to at least try them on. That task alone turned out to be a little difficult. The shoes are not widely available, it took us about three weeks to be near a dealer. Oh and what a dealer we found, this amazing outfitter in Ocala Florida. Needless to say we didn’t just get the shoes. I digress; there is also a training program for the shoes, to get you used to the unique stresses.

We diligently followed the program until the hike that we took these shots at presented itself. Five miles was a bit too long for beginners. But who cares we had a blast trying to take “product” shots.

I’ve got to share with you how much both Josh and I love our Barefoots. He wears his all the time, after wearing dress shoes all day it feels great to slip into these. I am still amazed at how good my legs and feet feel, and how enjoyable walks are. Plus they take up so little room in my suitcase, less than slippers. Now we are still in training, but if you are at all interested in going Barefoot go try the Merrell variety.

***This blog is not sponsored by or connected to Merrell/Wolverine Shoe company.  I simply believe in the product and wish to share my experiences.***