Something New: Mountain Biking

Much of my biking experiences have been pretty tame up until this point. Casual rides through a neighborhood here, a short trip on a paved path there- but my chill biking life was turned upside down last weekend when my friend Emil stuck me on a mountain bike in Lake Hope State Park.

Haley on her mountain bike at the trial head

With a borrowed bike and a helmet strapped to my head, Emil followed close behind with his GoPro,  recording every second of my first mountain biking experience. Lucky for you, the GoPro not only caught my many epic biking fails, but it also picked up our goofy conversations and lots of laughter. That being said, I’m just going to leave this uber embarrassing video here…

So I’m clearly no professional when it comes to mountain biking; I actually sucked at it. None the less, I learned so much about the sport from riding the trail all day. It’s a real adrenaline rush AND a fantastic workout- I can’t wait to bike again a little closer to home!

Hocking Hills Cool Down

Panoramic view of Ash Cave in Hocking Hills State ParkAs with any physical activity, a cool down is essential to avoiding cramped muscles the next day. Hocking Hills State Park was just a short drive from the mountain bike trials, so naturally, Emil and I took a quick detour to walk off our ride. Man, was it worth it!

The park was nothing like I’d ever seen before- we were awestruck by its enormous cliffs, beautiful blue water, thick and thin waterfalls and friendly trail dogs. I’m so glad we stopped before embarking on our 3-hour drive home.

You can see a few of our photos here, but be sure to follow me on Instagram for the rest! And if you’re itching for more mountain biking videos, I’ll point you to Emil’s YouTube channel– he may or may not have some supplemental footage of my fails… 😉


Something New: Backpacking

Last weekend I didn’t shower, ate carbs for all three meals and carried at least 20 pounds on my back. I went backpacking.

The group standing on the trail with packs

Because it was my first time backpacking (I’m the one with the purple pack!), I decided to create a short video to capture all my experiences and share them with you! In it you’ll see some great footage like waking up to the remnants of Hurricane Matthew, playing in stacked hammocks, a salamander cameo and a beautiful overlook.

Okay so a quick disclaimer: I didn’t backpack in Ohio, I actually went to the Allegheny National Forest in Sheffield, Pennsylvania. It was about a three hour car ride from Kent- so although it was technically outside my home state, it was still a realistic trip when it came to distance and price.

I went on this trip through Kent State’s Adventure Center, which is where I worked during the summer. In addition to it being a great weekend with a couple of my summer coworkers, the trip cost $40 which included travel, food and gear- that was a deal I couldn’t pass up!

Twelve people went on the trip including myself. Three of my summer coworkers were our trip leaders and the only experienced backpackers on the trip! So I wasn’t the only one trying something new.

Fall hillside at Minister Valley Overlook

Are you ready for a unique adventure too? Great! The Adventure Center has a running list of other great trip opportunities, both overnight and day trips. Check their program site for more details.