Hiking!

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About this blog

So, one of my goals when I lost weight was to go hiking. I moved my family here almost 10 years ago, because of the area. I live near Yosemite, California. It's a beautiful area, and I am bound and determined to go out and see things that previously my weight would have made it painful to do so. 

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Zyia

An update..

Hi everyone. Wow it's been a wild month, and I've kind of lost track of time and coming on here. So, a quick update on me, (Hopefully it's quick, we'll see!)

Two months ago, the house that I rented was sold. My old landlord told me two days after he sold it "So, I sold the place, take care!". We had lived there for almost 10 years. 10 years of life happened at that house. My son went from Kindergarten to 8th grade in that house, my youngest came home from the hospital to that house. Lots of memories. Well, the new landlord came by and served me with a new lease, and a "You have 60 days to get out" notice. 

It is hard to find a place to live, especially when you have a zoo of pets and kids. It's hard to find a place you can afford. In fact, the stress of that was crazy. First, we tried to buy a house, and I paid off our credit cards in an attempt to boost our credit score. It worked, but not fast enough. It took almost a month of my 60 days for the credit to update and 30 days is not enough time to find a house that fits our needs, and close on it. I called the new landlord and begged him to stay, I even offered double our rent, and he was "Well, you are not the quality type of people I want living here, and I doubt you'd pass our application process". Wow. Just wow. Really, not the quality of people, I pay rent in advance, we don't party, we don't do drugs, not the type of people. 

In a dark hour, I found myself at the local food bank, scouring through rentals, trying to find anything, anyone, anywhere we could go that would not put my kids out. I came across a newspaper (Yes they still exist), with a number on it, for a 3 bedroom house, with lots of storage and an option to rent to own. So, I called and left a message. About 30 minutes later I was called back, and a week later I signed a year lease for the new place, and with a bonus, we could keep all of our animals. 

So, the past month has been moving houses, which is hard to do, and moving my mother in law in with us. As she was also evicted. It's been a heck of a process, that I find myself with little time to do anything else. I've had to change addresses for three kids in three different schools, in order to get my middle child on board with it, we had to do an inter-district transfer for her to remain at her current school. We now are paying for water, and sewer, and garbage. But I am not complaining, it's a house, it's a house that will feel like a home, and the location is great, I have no neighbors I have to worry about, literally, I am tucked away from a main road, with easy access but unless you were looking for my place you couldn't find it. I am thrilled. 

 But, that's not quite all that has been going on. First the negative. My sister in law, Michelle, passed away, two weeks ago, stage 4 breast cancer. She was my husbands favorite sister, and of course my mother in law is grieving from losing her daughter. It's hard to squabble about the petty things when something else happens that is devastating. The positive is that we were able to bring home another pet that was promised to my children if we ever had to move. His name is Marley, named after Michelle's favorite dog. 

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But again life is full of checks and balances. Outside of my personal life, my work life is happening. My manager had retired, which left an opening for his position. Out of three people, I was given it, however, yesterday news came down that his father passed away, which was his reason for retiring, so yay I was granted the position, but yay the position may not be available. Will have to wait and see which puts me in flux. It's difficult to be in flux, I am someone who likes to know what is going on. But, to balance that out, August 1st was a year from when I had my surgery done. This past year has been amazing, the ups and the downs. I am thankful for it all. For the negatives for showing me what I can get through and do, and the positives showing me what the rewards can be. 

A year and a month ago, I was obese, depressed, frustrated. I had no sex drive, no drive really to do anything. I was tricking myself into thinking I was happy when I was not, and I made a change for the better. I took a plunge and I am so glad that I did. At my highest I was a little over 290lbs, As of this morning, I weigh 154lbs. I fit into size 8 in pants, and small in shirts. 

My Progression : 

Day before surgery - 

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Two months after surgery - 

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Four months after surgery - 

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6 months - 

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Seven months - 

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Nine months - 

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Today - 

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I am thrilled with how I look. I am so glad that I had my surgery done. I have excitement for a future in which I didn't even know could exist a few years ago. I am excited and happy for whatever lies my way.  (Thanks for reading :D)

 

Zyia

Hi everyone!

 

So, I got a new lens! It's something I've been wanting for a really.. really.. really long time, and I hardly ever treat myself, but I bit the bullet, closed my eyes, and ordered it. I am thrilled. Thrilled with my lens, it's awesome. However, I am not able to take Selfies with it, alas.. Here are the last selfies from my other lens : 

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Goodbye old lens (No I still will use it, but I LOVE this new lens) It's a telephoto lens... So.. I took a picture of this dragonfly today. 

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That's from about 6 feet away.. And here it is fully zoomed in :

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Aww.. so excited! I did try to get a picture of the waterfall and failed but it's an interesting shot of water nonetheless : 

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I am still learning how to use it, I took some shots of myself, and they all failed spectacularly :

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From this not big they look okay, but really they are all out of focus. Which is fine, just frustrating. Regardless.. Today I went on a short hike. I've been meaning to do more, but the past two weeks have been hectic. My kids are out of school, my landlord called and informed us that he sold our place, so we may be asked to move shortly, which sucks, We've been here 9 years, my youngest has summer school for reading, and speech therapy, and we are in the middle of a heat wave, the other day it was 110!! I did go to a lake on Monday, but I didn't take any pictures, it was incredibly hot, and I ended up swimming out the middle of the lake with my daughter on my lap (using an inter-tube), and was exhausted. So, I've not had the time or the inclination to go out and walk, but while Kira was at school today, I went out. The trail I went on is the PGE ditch, it apparently goes all the way to Lyons Dam, (Which is about an 8 mile hike), but I didn't have time to go that far. A strange shift of perception.. (I'll get to my point in a moment)

Here is the beginning of the trail : 

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And about a quarter mile up the bend, or a little further is this : 

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And walking across it is very high, but very pretty (apparently, when you get to the end of the trail, it's a mile walk along 200ft up, similar to this, Oh I can't wait) : 

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Now, before I lost weight (And here is my point), that minor walk, felt like it took forever. I was winded, and hurting when I got to this, point, and ready to go back. Today, getting there, was quick, and easy and I couldn't believe how short it was, and how easy my body was able to make it there. It was slightly shocking. 

Anyways, I went about 2 miles, I wanted to go further, and I will, but I had to head back to get Kira from school.. Here are some more shots of the ditch/trail : 

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And one more shot using the new zoom on the lens.. This bird was about 50 feet away! 

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I will have to finish figuring out how to use it, but I am still so happy with it. 

And on a side last note.. Kira got a new headset, which she loves, and it's made my other daughter Brin, jealous : 

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Zyia

So, before my epic story detailing my morning. I wanted to add a small anecdote to losing weight. I can take a bath now. Previously, I could not fit into my tub. Now I can. Huzzah! It's a surreal feeling, I know I say that often. But it really is, the small things, like taking a bath, something that I am sure many many people take for granted. But it was something I previously could not do, and now, I find myself taking baths as often as I can. I have salts, and oils, and bubbles, oh my the bubbles. I enjoy the tub so much, being able to actually lay there without the fear of being stuck, and just let the water roll over me. It's great. 

 

Moving on! 

This morning I attempted to do a 3.5 mile hike called the Sugar Pine Railway trail, Strawberry Branch - "For more than 50 years in the early 1900s, the Sugar Pine Railway operated steam trains to haul logs along the Stanislaus River for the Standard Lumber Company and later the Pickering Lumber Company. Today this wooded corridor hosts a gentle 3-percent grade rail-trail for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and cross-country skiers. The trail represents a very small part of the Sugar Pine Railway system, which included about 70 miles of main line and almost 400 miles of spurs and branches. While there are a number of rail-trails in the Sierra left over from the area's extensive logging history, this is one of the easiest and most family-friendly because of its easy accessibility, gentle grade and relatively forgiving dirt surface."

So, this morning I put the trail in my GPS and off I went. I left the house at 8:40 this morning. This is important. GPS had me there at around 9:20, that's fair, it's up the hill a bit. SO, I get on the road, and go to where my GPS is taking me. Which is fine, I have an all wheel drive vehicle, I can do this. I am used to going off-roading. So, n4613 here I go, Forest Access RD. So I am going down it, and the road is getting hazy, but sure, it's 2 miles up the road, right? right? Gps then says "You have reached your destination".. UH.. where the hell am I? I am in the middle of no where. and GPS is saying "Welcome to the Strawberry Sugar-pine Railway trail".. with an option to "walk to your destination".. So I press it.. it's 2 hours behind me walking distance. #%$? I am getting so frustrated at this point I almost start crying. It's now 9:40am. So, I haul out of there, and pull up the trail on my phone. Eventually it says "The bridge.." So I go back to the road where I saw a bridge.. This bridge : 

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You would assume that is the bridge? Right? Uh. No. Nope, not even close. So, I headed to the rangers station, and got a bloody map. Which I am really glad I did, because I was no where near where I needed to be. Eventually, I found the trail, at 10:30 this morning. 

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Finally smiling because I am on the trail : 

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Course, I am feeling kind of like an idiot : 

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But, at least the trail is gorgeous and I ran into a good amount of beautiful butterflies - 

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And, Small streams and waterfalls : 

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And a pretty path : 

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And the loggers run : 

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Pretty meadows : 

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Leaning against the rocks : 

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Despite the trouble finding the place, I am glad I went, and now I have maps galore to go on more trails, Huzzah!! 

Zyia

Hi everyone! So today I went on a morning hike - The West side railroad trail to the north fork of the Tuolumne River. The history of the place is that it ran from 1898 until 1960's by the West Side Lumber Company. The goal of the original track was to build a flume to float logs from deep within the Stanislaus National Forest to the mill, however that proved impossible due to the steep and rugged canyons of the mountains. So they build this railroad to hall fresh cut timbers from the forests to the mills.

It was a beautiful hike. Only had one fright when a pair of mating California king snakes tumbled across my path but other than that it was a great walk.

At the start of the trail there were some of the most marvelous spring flowers : 

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And of course the local wildlife feeding from them : 

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Then I ran into some other critters : 

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Hard to see here, but there is a lizard on the tree : 

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Then, I got some great landscape shots : 

 

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About 3 miles in is a nice place to rest : 

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And the view from there : 

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The actual tracks : 

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My fright : 

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And the walk back : 

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And, ME of course :P :

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Zyia

So my area was doing a local Comic - Con today, and we ended up going. It's amazing fitting into clothes that I could not previously at all wear, my shirt is a small, and my skirt is a medium, and the jacket that I bought and love, thankfully is a corset jacket in the back and I had to tighten the strings. I went as Magnus from Sanctuary. We had a blast, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was nice to see various friends, co-workers, and other people dressed up though and while I didn't know what my daughter was cosplaying as, other people did, which made her day! 

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Tomorrow I plan on doing a large hike by myself, so wish me luck! 

 

Zyia

So, this is my first post here. I was going to post in the Socialize forum, but I figured that since this post is going to be image heavy, I'd just post it here instead! Yay!  As mentioned in the description for this 'blog' is that one of my goals when losing weight was to be able to go hiking around where I live. I live in the same mountain range that Yosemite is located in, actually I am about 20 minutes 'as the crow' flies away from Yosemite. (About 2 hours driving), my forest is the same forest. I hardly go to Yosemite anymore, because it's vastly different than from when I was a little girl, however my parents met and I lived in the park until I was 4. I grew up with a healthy appreciation for the mountains around me, and about 10 years ago I had an opportunity to move back 'home'. So, I snagged it, and here we are. Being able to hike without getting winded is an amazing feeling. I am not even afraid to cliff crawl, or rock hop, my weight no longer makes me frightened about moving. It's freeing and exciting. My husband, bless his soul, has tagged along with me so far, but I can tell that his body hurts after the hikes we do, and it may just be me from this point on, but we will see. 

 

The first 'hike' we really went on since reaching goal weight was heading to Table Mountain. Table Mountain formation is the result of violent volcanic eruptions where lava flowed into an ancient stream channel, displacing the water and solidifying as a great lava cast of the river. The result is a 'mountain' that is fairly flat on top filled with volcanic rock. Getting to the top is 4.6 mile hike, that includes rock climbing. Which for myself was fantastic, for my 5 (now 6) year old daughter, well, I am glad my husband was with us. Here are some pictures from that hike : 

Start of the trail, this is my daughter Kira and myself.

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My husband Charlie, and Kira : 

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At the top : 

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(In the above picture, see that guy with the orange shirt? See the cliff, yeah, that's what you have to climb up to get to the top.)

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Vistas from the top : 

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So, the next hike, was actually the same 'mountain'. We were hoping to go into the caves that go under the mountain. When you hear about the great gold rush of California, these mines were apart of it. However, when we got back up there, there were bees coming out from both mines and I didn't really want to go traversing with bees, so we decided to go down the other trail instead. Eventually, it led to an out pouring of volcanic rock, just piles and piles of it, I assume from when they blasted the mountain to get to the gold, and it's the remaining debris. My husband opted not to go, but I went climbing up the rocks. 

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This doesn't look like much, but to the left of me, that's about 50 feet up. All of these rocks were moving by the way, and some very smart birds were using the spider webs between the rocks to get some food. At this point I texted my husband I was fine, because it occurred to me that I could fall, and he wouldn't be able to find me. Course, he didn't receive said text so it was a moot point nonetheless. 

This is the view of table mountain, from the side : 

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The picture above, with me holding my daughter with a lake in the background, yeah that was at the top of these rocks. 

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The sun coming out was spectacular. 

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Selfies, because.. why not. 

And, as I was looking at a hundred foot drop, this butterfly happened along my path, so I leaned forward to snap a picture, and the rock under me started to wobble. So, the Ediths's Checkerspot butterfly that tried to kill me : 

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On to the next hike! Today we went down to "Natural Bridges", It's a beautiful 2 mile hike through poison oak infested woods to spectacular limestone caverns that were carved out by Coyote Creek on it's way to New Melones lake. It was interesting hiking down, because one, teaching my girls not to touch anything was 'great', but you can see wear from 40+ years of people hiking on the rocks. When we got down there we ate lunch and my older daughter, Brin, and I went to the left, while my husband took Kira down to the right. My son stayed home, which my husband called him "the only smart one". Regardless.. This is what Brin and I found : 

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This waterfall is coming straight out of the mountain, it's really interesting, I managed to get a good picture of my daughter : 

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And I got one of me : 

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Then I realised I was wearing Kira's hat, because she stole mine : 

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Then we walked down to the caves and joined up with Dad and Sister. 

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That waterfall behind her, is what was flowing from the waterfall that we found above.. but the most amazing site was the caves : 

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One of the 'pools' of limestone : 

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Then Brin and I decided to go swimming : 

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So, I surrendered my camera and phone to my husband, and went after my daughter. At this point, I realised that I not only had my glasses on, but my fitbit on, and my body was starting to react to freezing water by hyperventilating. Regardless, I surrendered to the moment and enjoyed the quarter mile of swimming through the cavern with my shoes and clothes on, with my daughter. No pictures, I just enjoyed being 'in the moment'. Next time though, wet suits and water shoes are a must. 

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Regardless, I am glad to be 'at goal' and doing one of the things I was looking forward too the most, hiking and enjoying the area that I live in. 

(All of these are 'thumbnail' pictures, if you want to see the full size ones - 

 

 

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