That One Cool Hiking Blog

The Adventures of the Indiana Joneses

sentio hero
Pine Trees

Life is Fragile

From The Heart

Life isn’t about the things you own or the people you know, but about the people whom we can love and serve. Cliché I know, but just keep reading. Through the past few weeks life has thrown a curve ball into my life and it’s opened my eyes. We as humans have an invisible but very apparent view of life that revolves around well… “me.” So, throughout these weeks I’ve noticed the importance “me” was to my life and it isn’t right. Why my life is great is not because of my possessions. My emotions do not direct my life. My life is great because I have an amazing family, friends, and church that I can stand by, love, and serve. Keep reading

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Panorama of Bull Valley Gorge

Bull Valley Gorge, Pt. 2

Utah Trip

So last week we left off with Randi and I’s second visit to Bull Valley Gorge and a promise to return and explore deeper and find out just where the gorge ends. This time we came prepared and planned to spend the night miles down canyon from anything we had experienced thus far. We headed into Bull Valley Gorge with packs on our backs and adventure on our minds. Keep reading

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Mike in Bull Valley Gorge

Bull Valley Gorge, Pt. 1

LocationsUtah Trip

I really don’t know why thy call it that. It’s a valley. And it’s most definitely a gorge. Never seen a bull in it and judging by what it takes to get down through it, I’m not sure a bull could make it. Nevertheless, I’m sure there is some folklore I’m not aware of from ages past from which it derives its name. What it’s known for today, however, is something far more intriguing and less nuanced. There’s a truck stuck in the gorge. Suspended somewhere in excess of 50’ above the floor of the gorge is an old truck wedged between the rocks. Keep reading

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Michael Under a Rock

Under the Circumstances

From The HeartMotivation

In just two weeks we went from feeling on top of the world (almost literally as we stood on the mountain looking down at the Delaware Water Gap) to an emergency situation with my mom in the hospital and having to take care of my dad and my handicapped sister.  Needless to say, we were a little shell shocked.  Sending our oldest two sons back off to college, juggling the responsibilities of two households, harvesting and putting up the produce from two gardens, and still trying find time to make a living.  Not really much time for hiking the past couple of weeks. But there has been a good bit of time for some serious reflection on what really matters in life. I’d really like to tell you we’re doing alright under the circumstances…but I can’t. Keep reading

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Delaware River

Pocono Mountains


Our recent trip to New York didn’t end at Niagara Falls. In fact, it was just the beginning. After spending the day at Niagara Falls, we drove down to the Pocono Mountains and spent a week at the Carriage House. We didn’t do a lot of hiking while we were there, but the hiking we did do was really cool. Keep reading

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Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Bucket ListLocations

Amazingly, I get to mark one more thing off my bucket list this summer. As I told you before, I have always wanted to see Niagara Falls, and we got to spend the entire day there last Friday. It is as spectacular as I imagined, and remember, I’ve got a very vivid imagination. Now we are used to going to places that are off the beaten path and crowds aren’t something we encounter. So, I have to admit it caused a little claustrophobia being around that many people.

Horseshoe Falls

Our day started off with a mistake, which is not unusual. We had intended to see the falls from both the American and the Canadian sides. We were planning to start on the American side to get our feet wet as it were in familiar territory. We missed our turn however and inadvertently ended up unable to turn around without crossing the Canadian border. How do you accidentally end up in a foreign country you ask? Just like that. I guess stranger things have happened, but we went with the flow and started our adventure in Canada.

Niagara River

Niagara Falls is a very popular place for good reason. The view of the falls is much more panoramic from the Canadian perspective. From there you can see both the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls at the same time. We were able to get some fantastic pictures of the falls. The sun was shining, and we walked all the way from one end of the walkway to the other. The falls are so powerful that even from a distance you are constantly being misted by the spray. On our way back to our vehicles, it started to rain, but we weren’t sure for a little while that it wasn’t just the mist from the falls. We had a little bit of trouble finding our way back across the American border. Let’s just say, signs for the border crossing were in short supply. Fear not, we made it and parked by the falls on the other side and grabbed some lunch at a Mario’s Pizza.

American Falls

We got to make the trip with our good friends Dan and Lisa and their niece Sophie. After lunch, we split up. Dan and Lisa went to ride the Maid of the Mist and the rest of us walked across the Niagara River (on the bridge of course) and went to the viewpoints for the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. It kept sprinkling on us, but we didn’t let that slow us down. Dan and Lisa thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the viewpoints they got to see. Because of the rain, we got every bit as wet as they did going right up next to the falls.

Horseshoe Falls American Side

So, I have two things done out of the places I want to see on my bucket list. Next stop, Hawaii. 🙂
I guess that one will have to wait until next year. A girl has to have something to look forward to. 😛

American Falls American Side


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Waterfall on the Three Falls Trail

Three Falls and a Hanging Rock


In spite of the heat and humidity this past Saturday, we were so inspired by our own blog post, that we went up to the Salamonie Reservoir in search of waterfalls. The Salamonie is one of our go-to places when we get this random urge to go hiking. It’s nice because it’s less than 30 minutes away from our house. It had rained quite a bit throughout the week so we knew our chances of finding a waterfall would be increased. Keep reading

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SweetPea on a floaty thingy

The Dog Days of Summer


It’s hot. It’s humid. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but summer has arrived in Indiana. You go outside and feel like you’re getting licked in the face by a yak. July is worse for motivation then February is for new year’s resolutions. Seriously, I worked up a sweat just writing those last few sentences. If I actually got up off the couch, put on my exercise clothes, and walked out the door I just might melt…literally melt from the buckets of sweat pouring from my body. Okay, okay. So maybe I’m overexaggerating, but it is hot. Keep reading

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Biking in the fall

A Little Help?


I know I’m probably alone here. I realize that I have a problem unique unto myself, but I’m going to put myself out there on the off-chance that there is someone out there that suffers from the same affliction that I do. So here goes. I understand my need for exercise. I am aware of the benefits of said exercise on both my physical and mental well-being. But when it comes to actually exercising, I’m…well…unmotivated. There, I said it. I lack the motivation to do that which will only benefit me in the long run. (Did you see what I did there?…”long run”) Keep reading

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Path up to Mike's Crack

The Legend of Mike’s Crack

Utah Trip

Growing up hearing all of the stories of my father’s adventures in Utah made it sound like a mystical land full of untold secrets. Story after story made me wonder if it could all be true! When we made our family trip to Utah in 2012, I could see the wonders come vividly to life… the stories rang true! Well, all but one. The legend of “Mike’s Crack.” It’s not like it sounds (or maybe it is), so let me explain. My Dad made a trip to Utah many years ago to visit his brother and hike in the southern part of the state. One of the many things they did that trip was hike in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. The Needles consists of rows of ginormous fins of rock jutting from the earth. My father and uncle did some exploring and stumbled upon a chimney in the rock between the fins. My dad then climbed up the chimney to the top of the fin to see the amazing view. My uncle wanted to do the same thing so he tried and tried to get up the chimney but just couldn’t. From all of the stories told again and again my uncle finally gave up with these words: “I can’t get up Mike’s Crack!” Keep reading

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