Outdoor Adventures

All activities that occur outside in the fresh air

Excel in 2012…already Happening…less than 3 weeks into the Year!

Let me tell you…if these first couple of weeks in January are any indication of how my year is going to be…it will definitely be a wildly exciting, adventurous and successful year for me and all the people with whom I associate…join us!

Chicopee Woods Hike a Great Start for 2012

We had our first 2012 hike on the 5 mile easy to moderate trail at Chicopee Woods which is located in Gainesville, GA behind the Elachee Nature Science Center.  The weather was perfect.  We had a great group of 25 hikers, including first timers.  So, for 2012 we hiked our first collective 125 miles.  Afterwards, a few of  us went to one of our favorite places just a few miles north from where we were, Jaemor Farms on I-985, for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables…and freshly made fried pies and ice cream…yeah, yeah, fried pies and ice cream, and now they have these great cake balls for only 99 cents.  They were so delicious!!! This was our treat as we stood around eating our treats laughing and talking about the fun we had just experienced on the hike and other fun times!  Although some had just met for the first time, it was like a group of old friends reminiscing and enjoying each others company.

Unexpected Meetup Promotion

I ordered new Hartfield’s Hikers promotional cards and a banner.  They were received in time for our first hike of the year.   In addition to posting the hike in the newsletter, I posted it on my Atlanta African American Adventurers Meetup as well as the Georgia Outdoor Stewards meetup, of which I am a co-organizer.  Well, to my pleasant surprise, on Thursday, January 12, 2012, our group photo (with my brand new banner) was featured on the Meetup Homepage!  Wow!!!  That was really an unexpected bonus!  Check this out…there are more than 92,000 local meetup groups, with 90,000 topics in 45,000 cities, holding 280,000 monthly meetings with 9.5 million members, and we were chosen!  I was so busy getting ready for my weekend trip to Cumberland Island, I was unable to let people know we were featured, however, we were found by many!

Cumberland Island National Seashore Martin Luther King Jr., Service Weekend

Off to Cumberland Island the following day on Friday the 13th, (a GOOD Friday I must add) leaving the house at 5:15a.  At the time, I was not sure how many Hartfield Hikers would be attending, once again, I was pleasantly surprised to see that of the total number of 60 for the weekend, 13 were through Hartfield’s Hikers, including Kristina who is a Special Education teacher and she brought 2 of her deaf students.  Accolades to Kristina for giving them such a memorable experience!  Some of us, including me, opted to camp out.  We stayed at Hunt Camp.  It is further north from where we met for meals and the cookouts. It was also quite a ways from where we camped last year, the campsite is located right across from Plum Hollow a Carnegie family member mansion which we were able to tour.  All I can say is ‘awesome.’  You can view the Plum Hollow tour photos here.  My camera battery needed to be re-charged near the end of the tour, that is why the last photo may seem a little odd.

Saturday morning, February 15th we split up into our service groups.  The group to which I was a leader had a pretty good trail route. We cleaned and trimmed the trail that ended at the beach.  We took a break there before we headed back for lunch, then over to the Dungeness ruins to cleanup.  Check out our photos here.  Included in these photos are when some of us went searching for shark’s teeth.  I don’t anyone found any, but last year we found some and some other fascinating artifacts, including shells.

WCLK 91.9FM Radio Interview

I was been invited to be a guest on Kiplyn Primus’ radio show ‘The Local Take’ on WCLK 91.9FM, which airs on Saturday mornings, twice a month at 7:30a.m..   Show host Kiplyn Primus went on her first hike with Hartfield’s Hikers in December 2011.  She told me as many times that she has hiked around Stone Mountain, she had never been on the Cherokee Trail which goes within the forest of Stone Mountain.  When I as at the station for the taping, almost three weeks later, she told me she had been back on the Cherokee trail 3 times since hiking with us.  On Friday evening after arriving at Cumberland Island, Stephen called to tell me he was listening to the show.  Another pleasant surprise for me.  I did not think it was going to air until Saturday morning.  Our conversation was short because the reception on the island is not that strong.  Then while we were out performing our service work and were near the shore where the reception is clear, I received several more calls from listeners inquiring about Hartfield’s Hikers.  I mention this because I think it is amazing that the calls came through as I was at the shore where I could receive them with good reception…this is all a part of the ‘divine order’ of things.  If I can get a copy of the interview, I will post it.

‘Just Get Serious’ Online Interview

We also had another interview for this month.  Donna Satchell creator of the ‘Just Get Serious’ series and author of Just Get Serious About Success interviewed me for her online newsletter, 2012 New Year’s edition entitled Make This The Year You Find Your Passion!  We talk about the fact that I was a girly city girl who had never really experienced the true enjoyment of the great outdoors as I did when I moved to Atlanta, and how my first and second hikes were the catalyst to me discovering a passion a did not know I had.  As a result, I started Hartfield’s Hikers and have provided the opportunity for many others to discover their passion and dreams as a result of their eye-opening and mental clarity derived from hiking.  The full interview is posted in Donna’s newsletter which can be found on her Just Get Serious web site.

On Track for a Year of Optimum Health and Wellness!

Some of you may know that I owned a small health food store chain when I lived in Detroit.  It consisted of 3 stores and a cafe.  I sold and/or closed them in 1991.  Well, I was given an opportunity to start an online health and wellness store, Hartfield’s Healthy Haven.  The products are superior.  I know this because I have research the company and the quality of the products are second to none.  I am being mentored in this endeavor by health and wellness icon, the legendary Dr. Shirley Carmack.  And, I must say, as I am able to help people, which was my primary goal with the brick and mortar store, to help people attain and/or maintain optimal natural health and to be an OPALs role model at age 63, being very active and in optimal health with no chronic diseases and taking no pharmaceuticals nor over-the-counter drugs. Oh yeah, and I am feeling pretty good about taking finals for my first class for endeavor to become a Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner.

I must say…no, I must shout I am truly “Living my Life to the Fullest!!!”

Categories: Camping, Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Nutrition and Wellness, Other Outdoor Adventures, Outdoor Adventures | 1 Comment

Enjoying the American Great Outdoors on the Chicopee Woods Trail

Click Here for the slideshow!

Wow!  Did we have a great January hike!  We hiked the West Lake and East Lake Chicopee Woods Trails at the Elachee Nature Science Center in Gainesville, GA.  The weather was perfect, in the high to low 60’s with some sun.

We had 25 hikers, including men and women first-timers to regulars.  As a matter of fact, I have implemented a registration process so we can better manage the number of people on the hikes with us.  As always, during introductions before our volunteer carpool and caravan to the trail head, during the introductions, hikers were given background info on the Chicopee Woods trails, expected weather conditions, the Leave No Trace principles and were encouraged to talk with someone they did not know. And, after everyone was introduced to Paulette our sweep, the person at the back of the hike to ensure no line is left behind, everyone was reminded that ‘We are as fast as the slowest person’ because we strive to make hiking a pleasurable experience for all participants as each person takes in and enjoys Mother Nature up close and personal, at her best!  As I am, Paulette is a certified Outings Leader and also certified in Wilderness First Aid.

After arriving at the trail head, we took our traditional group photo, with the brand new Hartfield’s Hikers banner!  After some of us made a pit stop at the Nature Center, we gathered and off we went onto the trail, starting the loop on the West Lake trail.  Well, everyone had a great time!  There were many conversations going on, new friendships flourishing, laughter, camaraderie, all mixed with food and fun…a good time was being had by all.

A few of things I want to highlight include, the runners we had.  Three of the hikers, one a first-time, had run half marathons, 5k & 10k races, they coalesced.  We had a writer connect with an editor.  And, to my pleasant surprise, two people, Julie and Jonathan, who had met on a previous hike, are now a couple!  Several hikers who made New Year resolutions to improve their health were on the trail.

One of the newcomers, Joanne had previously told me she was shy.  During the  lunch break, as I checked on various hikers to ensure things were going good, I stood in the area where she was sitting and talking, she was so engaged that there was no need to ask if she was having a good time!  I learned that Kristina, one of our young teachers was taking three of her students with us to the Martin Luther King Jr., Service weekend on Cumberland Island.  (This is an annual weekend of service where we join with the Georgia Conservancy to help clean up the island.) Others had wandered over by the lake and as everyone else was enjoying their lunch and conversations with each other.  Ian and Camear were taking candid photos.

We continued the hike on the East Lake side of the loop trail back to the trail head.  Some of us, including me, hiked over to the Nature Center for a final pit stop since the restroom facilities at the lunch stop were closed.  After we all reconvened in the parking lot, there were scattered chats among hikers describing their great adventure before our departure.

A few of us met up at Jaemor Farms for fresh fruits, vegetables and, pies and ice cream…oops!  Yeah, we had some, including me.  Umm they were delicious! 

As we gathered in front of the cozy old fashioned heater inside the Jaemor Farms Market laughing, enjoying our trail stories and eating the delicious treats. We reminisced about some our childhood and young adult experiences and how we all felt so connected, comfortable with each other and supportive of healthy lifestyles. I talked about the great line of all natural supplements I, and others of us hikers use to sustain our health, weight and flexibility. We all vowed this was the beginning and/or continuation of a mindset that we all will strive to Live Our Life to the Fullest!!!

Categories: Hiking, Lifestyle Management, Outdoor Adventures | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Living Life to the Fullest!!!

We are Living Our Lives to the Fullest!!! We are a group of people that get together to have fun, meet new friends, explore new and exciting adventures,  participate in various outdoor activities that give us an opportunity to enjoy life while getting and/or staying healthy, fit and being the best person we be!

This is my first blog.  I hope you will find it interesting and inspiring.  I became so inclined to start this blog as I reflected upon 2011 and all the great things that are happening in my life!  I conducted a ‘Living Life to the Fullest!!! seminar in October and it was awesome.  However, there were those  who contacted me with great regret that they were unable to make it for various reasons and were inquiring when I would hold the next one.  I got such good response from it and continue to get great response from those who join me on my hikes, I vowed that I wanted to find some way to share all the great experiences they were and are having…not so much in my words, but in their words…thus this blog.

I actually started Hartfield’s Hikers in 2010 for selfish reasons…I wanted to hike and did not want to do it alone.  I was introduced to hiking by the Black Newcomers Network when I went on my first hike, ever in life to celebrate by 56th birthday in 2004.  It was so exhilarating!  I was hooked!! At the end of the hike, hike leader Clarence Wilson told me it was the hardest hike that the group does.  He was  smart enough to tell me that at the end of the hike and not before.  I did not know it was supposed to be hard and even lead the group at various points.  It was a great way to celebrate my birthday…on top of the mountain.  The hiking trail was to Blood Mountain, the highest point on the Appalachian Trail in the state of Georgia.  Clarence’s work schedule changed and he was not longer available to lead the hikes and asked me if I was interested…this was several years later in 2009.  I saw it as a great opportunity, as he had taught me a lot about the trails.  However, with him gone, I was not as confident as I thought I would be, so I signed up for the training class and became an Outings Leader with the Sierra Club.  Later, after establishing a partnership with REI, I became certified in Wilderness First Aid.  I must say that my good friend Paulette Scott who was as green as I was about hiking agreed to ‘have my back.’  Although she used to complain most of the time, she has continued to hang in there with me.  I appreciate her support very much!

We also join with other groups and as a result have gone horseback riding, zip lining, caving, bicycle riding, skiing and more!

Then, being a true Baby Boomer, once again for selfish reasons, I started OPALs, which stands for Older People with Active Lifestyles.  This group brings together other Baby Boomers who want to enjoy fun activities with people in their own age range.  I was actually introduced to this concept when I reached the age of 50 and lived in Detroit.  I joined the Masters Sports program, lead by Cal ‘Captain D’ Dilworth and started paying organized basketball for the first time since middle school and loved it!  This was also a great time in my life.  I met a lot of great people, got my exercise in while having fun and I really believe it saved my sanity seeing that I was going through menopause at the time.  I traveled around the country with the team and we won gold and silver medals in various state, national and world senior competitions and Olympics.  I earned MVP during one of our games!

I must add here that I am having the best time of my life right now, I am truly Living my Life to the Fullest!!!  Others have joined me and I want to share the things we are doing that are really sensational, yet simple!  It never fails, every time we are out, someone shares with me how the experience has changed not only their perspective on trekking trails in the mountains, but how the experience has actually changed their life.  It is their stories that invigorate me and keep me doing this month after month.  As long as I know what I do is helping others and in the process enjoying every moment of it myself, I am fulfilling my purpose.  There are other things I do also that I will discuss later that include my online health and wellness store, my Adventurers Meetup group and my online newsletters.

What are you doing to Live Your Life to the Fullest?  Tell us about it.

Categories: Hiking, Outdoor Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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