Category Archives: Musings

Map It Monday: Seneca Falls

Map It Monday: Seneca Falls

Sara Bareilles sings, “You said remember that life is not meant to be wasted, We can always be chasing the sun.”

I hummed this song to myself as we literally chased the sun on Friday to get to a campsite before dark. The sun won, but what a great weekend – not wasted in the least.

This is the second time I’ve been, and it’s a pretty remote trip. It takes about 4 hours from Richmond and the closest “town” we drove through is a few houses with the post office in someone’s den and a restaurant. When we got to the parking lot at 8 PM on Friday night, we hiked in the dark until we found a site with a fire ring.

Here’s the view getting out of the tent the next morning. Can it get much better??


Last time we went, we hiked some on the Allegheny Trail before cutting over to Seneca Creek. Then we camped at a site right next to one of the waterfalls. This is a panoramic view from our tent in May.


We could have stayed here but didn’t feel like going in the dark. The next day we showed it to a dad and his girls, so that they could have that awesome experience.


Upstream from our site



Across from our site

This time, however, we stayed on the Seneca Creek trail so we could see the real falls. So worth it!


Chai loves to swim, even when it’s so cold she’s shivering.


This trip is great for several reasons.

  • One, it’s pretty flat so it’s easy to carry a pack.
  • Two, all of the trails are close to a flowing stream. It’s a natural spring, so you can always count on there being water. This is great for our dogs who love to swim and drink water when they’re thirsty. We also don’t have to pack a lot of water because we can count on being able to filter it.
  • Three, the dogs can roam free. Ours will stay pretty close to us, but they love exploring and sniffing up and down the trail.
  • Four, there are ALWAYS plenty of camp sites. Remember that it took us four hours to get there? Many people choose closer locations for a weekend trip leaving us choices.
  • Five, many of the camp sites have stone chairs and fire rings already built.
  • Six, because many people go somewhere else, it’s quiet. It’s quiet in the way that only being in the middle of the woods can be quiet, which is beautiful.

Here’s the link to Hiking Upwards information about this place. If you ever get the chance to go, take it and don’t think twice about it!

How did you chase the sun this weekend?


Root Words and Uncanned Laughter


I believe it was the first day after Winter Break last January in the first hour of the school day – math class. I don’t remember the unit, something with geometry. I remember always having trouble as a kid with the directions of horizontal and vertical so I was trying to get it to stick. Or trying to get anything to stick because it was the first day back. We all had cobwebs in our brains. Clearly.

As I do every year, I asked them to think about the root word of horizontal. This year, instead of the expected “horizon,” they all shouted “hor” in the most innocent, trying to pay attention and clear their head of cobwebs way possible. Half of them laughed uncontrollably while the other half laughed because everyone was laughing uncontrollably. You know, the kind of laughing when you don’t know why people are laughing but you can’t help but join?

I, the obvious leader of the classroom who normally can keep the train on the track with a straight face as needed, had to take a few seconds to gather my thoughts. I can’t even begin to explain the need to bring them back to math and away from what had just happened, as innocent as it was. I was already dreading the parent e-mails and phone calls that would surely pour in, but thankfully did not. Unfortunately, the class saw that I was missing a beat and that caused the laughter to only grow.

We did eventually move on, but it is still a moment that I will never forget. I learned a few things from this experience. First off, I will never again ask for the root word of horizontal, but what word is left when you take the ending away. Next, never underestimate how many words a ten-year old knows, whether they are inappropriate or not.

Unspoken Rules

Unspoken Rules

What kind of rules do you follow? As a kid, did you ever think there would come a day when there wouldn’t be rules? I sure did.

I wouldn’t want to break the heart of my kid-self; however, there are always rules.

Some are still out there for all adults to see (such as speed limits and signs at the beach reading: No Alcohol, etc.).

Some rules are meant to be broken, like eat dinner before dessert or don’t wait until the day before your term paper is due to start researching and writing it. You have to break it to know if it’s a worthy rule to follow.

Some rules are unspoken. They’re innate. You learn from experiences that may end negatively because you didn’t follow the rules. Maybe you’re on the other side of the rule and it always sticks with you.

I’m about to let you in on an unspoken rule I follow and why. Don’t judge! Read the rest of this entry

All Grown Up


Rain, Rain, Summer Day


Today is the second time this week I’ve woken up to a surprise summer rain. Sunday’s rain took everyone by surprise, but I’m not sure about this one as I don’t really pay attention to the forecast in the summer.

Summer rains have meant different things to me throughout my life. As a little kid, it meant we couldn’t go to the pool that day. Mom wasn’t going to sit in the rain so my sister and I had to find something else to do. “Quick, what are the other kids on the block doing?” Read the rest of this entry