Find Your Groove

Welcome back bloggers and readers! It has been one week since I have been home from University and I have been busy! 

I am currently registered now for my first half marathon in Indianapolis on October 7th so this past week I have been busy training. I have been running at least 3 miles four days a week with one day of increased mileage. Week one is in the book with lots more to go!

My family and I have now also have our TEPUI tent totally ready to go! We have assembled it (seen below) and have bought all of our supplies. Tip: here are 3 quick things to bring that you wouldn’t maybe think of when camping: 1) a tablecloth for the picnic table at your campsite, 2) percolator for those coffee lovers out there (not me!), and 3) an inflatable sink to wash dishes! Anyways, we plan to use the tent for the first time very soon. Pics of that will surely come!

FullSizeRender-10
The tent!

As for the topic of this blog today, I would like to talk about “finding your groove” (a play on words with my playful cover photo for this blog). Once you’ve been inspired to get outside and explore, as I have mentioned in previous blogs, it is important to find that adventure buddy/partner. This blog also focuses on this idea. 

During the last week of University I went to the beach 3 straight days in a row (seen by the next three photos). Now, this is easy for myself to do because: 1) I LOVE the beach and any water, 2) I had the free time, and 3) it is FREE and BEAUTIFUL on parts of the Dune National Lakeshore. Within these three trips, each one took me to a different free beach, I was always with one or more friends, and the weather was always pleasant and at a different time of day. But the one thing in common, obviously, between all three trips, was the fact I was with my adventure buddies! 

IMG_1148
Sunsets are magical
IMG_1117
Sometimes you can’t go where you’d like to
IMG_1306
Better with friends

So why mention this? Well, friends along for the ride bring such a different aspect to the adventure. I do hike alone and do advocate for the peacefulness being alone in nature can bring, but with a place like a beach, being with adventure buddies is just the cherry on top. My tip for this blog today is really just trying to convince you all about the benefits of friends joining you on your exploration to the beach for day (when the weather is pleasant, you have the time to unwind, and its not too busy). Friends are great to bring along because: 1) They can be your DJ for the longer drive, 2) they can help pay for your gas/food, 3) they give you someone to throw the frisbee or football with, 4) they give you someone to talk to as you walk along the beach, and 5) they can just make you smile. Now, I wrote earlier about how I went to see a sunset alone. That is different. The mission was to sit and see the sunset. When you go to the beach with friends for a day or afternoon, anything is possible!

So for you all today, I am telling you all to FIND YOUR GROOVE! Finding that groove can depend on what you are doing for your particular adventure, but just roll with it and have a good time!

cropped-screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-47-22-pm1.png

  • Corinne

It’s almost the end of the school year… now what?

Hello bloggers and readers! Let’s just move right on passed the fact is been a while since I last posted and focus on the bright future…

Tonight I found myself alone, in freezing wind, and watching probably one of my most breathtaking sunsets I have ever seen. Because of that, I was inspired to finally post again. 

So why tell you about this sunset? Well, the last two days I have been battling a bad sore throat + cold + headache combo that has basically kept me sidelined. It was around 7pm and I was already laying in bed in my dorm for the day. My friends were all attending a free concert at our University (I was too sick to go and stand and be cramped in a hot room) so I didn’t really have many options of things to do. But then it hit me. My window was cracked open so I took a look outside and noticed how beautifully sunny it was outside still with very few clouds. I knew then and there I wasn’t ready to just spend the rest of my night in my dorm even though I was sick. I pulled out my phone, checked for when sunset was, grabbed some colored pencils and a notebook, and headed out. I jumped into my car and pealed out. I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted to go, but soon I decided on one of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore free beaches. Now, I have blogged quite a bit about this spot previously, but I surprisingly never had been there for a sunset so I got very excited. When I got there, apparently lots of other people noticed the gorgeous clear sky as well, for there were at least ten other cars sitting at the beach waiting for the sun to set. Once I got out of my car, I realized why everyone was just waiting in their respective cars because, well, that wind was freezing! But I knew I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass, so I grabbed the blanket out of my trunk that I always keep in there (speaking of: TIP. Always keep a blanket in your car) and found a place to sit and wait for the sun to set. Like I stated previously, the sunset was amazing. Chicago was in the background, the sky was clear, the sun fell so quickly, and the colors on the lake were mesmerizing. Tonight was the perfect thing for someone like myself; someone who was sick. So here is my quick tip for this blog today: As you all know, I am here to inspire you and get you to love and appreciate nature like I do. The sunset is a great way to do that. Now, I know we have around 25,000 sunsets in our lifetime, so they don’t seem super unique, but oh the contrary is true. I kept saying out loud to myself how amazing this sunset was making me feel because not only was it beautiful, but it gave me a reason to get outside even though I was sick. So fellow bloggers and readers, GET OUT THERE!

Anyways, so I wanted this blog to be a quick check in as well! So with the school year truly ending in two weeks… what do I do now?! I am super excited to tell you all that this summer will certainly include lots of CAMPING *cheers*. We will be putting up the Tepui tent when I get home from my sophomore year here at VU! I also plan to do lots of hiking as usual. I also want to sign up for a half marathon (hopefully my knees agree with this). Mmmm… I will also be working, either a simple job or potentially as an intern at a paving company for my CE major, but that is still in the works. I also want to get my car painted with my logo on it and I am still open to making and selling t-shirts!

Overall, I am super pumped to be blogging on the regular again in two weeks when I am done with college for the year!

cropped-screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-47-22-pm1.png

-Corinne.

 

Spring Break Tips (not for partying, but for adventuring)

Hello blogging world! Sorry it has been roughly 7 weeks since my last post. Those 7 weeks went by extremely fast while I was back at University and well, besides classes and work, not much happened! Of course there were adventures; I went to the beach, to Chicago multiple times, and just enjoyed time outside, but as time went on, I decided to just wait until my spring break from Valpo to blog again. And now that spring break is almost over, it was time to blog again! I will also be much more diligent about blogging in the future since I absolutely love all the support I get for it and I really enjoy writing it! Anyways…

So how as everyone been? I hope you all have been keeping up with your adventures! You all are always VERY welcome to comment and tell me what adventures you have been on recently as well! I would be more than happy to share some of those adventures in later blog posts to give others ideas and inspiration as well. As for my two weeks off for spring break, here are the adventures I have been on: a TwentyOne Pilots concert, running across the pedestrian bridge that spans over the Ohio River, hiking in an Indiana State Park, lots of geocaching, and lots of walking! Today I will focus my tip on my hike in Charlestown State Park in southern Indiana and also talk some more about the geocaching app. Here we go…

On a warm, sunny winter day, I woke up in the early AM. It was my first week of two for spring break. As I started to get ready, I realized this would probably be the best possible day (weather wise) to go on a big hike, so I started packing up my gear and that is where my first tip comes into play. For Christmas, I received lots of new gear and gadgets, so here are some of those gadgets and gear that I highly recommend that you carry with you, especially for those, like myself, who hike alone: a bear bell, a can of mace, a knife, and a FirstAid kit. Anyways, I did a quick search for State Parks near my home in Louisville and found one over the river in Indiana that was only 45 minutes away. I did some very important research beforehand and already had the trail in mind I would hike before I got there. The drive was easy and the trail head was clearly marked, however, the trail itself was narrow and unmarked. I hiked about a mile and a half on the trail until I ran into a bit of an issue. We recently had a massive storm come through the area that brought 60 mile an hour winds. This made trees look like match sticks, as they were blown right over all over the forrest I was hiking in. At that point in my hike, about 6 trees had fallen all side by side diagonal over the trail. I first looked to either side of the downed trees to see if I could simply go around them, but that was a no-go. The forrest was lined with fallen branches and thorns. I also realized the trees were so tall and covering the trail for so long, I couldn’t even see the other side of the trail! My next choice was then to simply climb on top of the fallen trees and walk across them like a bridge. I started to climb on them, but quickly realized all of the branches coming off of the trunks made it very difficuly to walk. I found a spot to sit down on the downed trees and took a moment to take in my surroundings. It was time to do a risk assessment-an important thing everyone should do, whether alone or not. Doing a “risk assessment” is also where my next tip comes into play. A risk assessment is when one considers their objective and all possible ways to achieve that objective, while also considering their outcomes. My objective was to obviously keep hiking the trail. My ways to achieve that were to go around, go over, or just not keep going and turn around. However, even if I were to go around, I wouldn’t know how the trail curved or for how long the trees would be covering the trail. As for going on top of the trees, I would have no idea where the trail would go. What if I walked all the way over this bridge of trees to find the trees lead me in the wrong direction? And what if there were going to be other spots like this! After considering these risks, I decided to simply turn around and just go back the way I came! I still believe this was my best choice after doing a risk assessment! I ended up turning around and just going to a new trail to hike of the rest of my time there (seen below).

IMG_0774.jpg

Next thing: geocaching. I just wanted to throw in a plug for geocaching! If you don’t know what it is, it is an app and a website that shows people where little or big hidden boxes and containers are hidden around the globe. Your objective is to go and find them, trading items from cache to cache. This is one of the best apps for getting outdoors! Another great one is Outbound, which shows you local adventures and trips in your area! So take a moment and look those apps up.

Lastly, I hope I am still inspiring you all! I want you all to have the same connection that I was able to find with nature. However, maybe you all don’t need inspiration, but just enjoy reading what I am up to! Either way-thank you so much for your support! I chose to start blogging as a way to expand on my adventures that I post about on my Instagram (@corinnesadventure [help me get 1000 followers!]) and then decided to also give my blog a spin by throwing some helpful tips in that I have learned with my experience outdoors. Now, I am no expert, just an average “Joe” helping others do what they can so they can have their own explorations and journeys! 

cropped-screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-47-22-pm1.png

  • Corinne Marie  

10 things you wish you thought of before you went camping

Hello fellow bloggers and readers! I see it has been a while since I last posted and I do apologize. It has been a hectic household and winter break here in Louisville from Valparaiso University. Alongside Christmas and New Years, there were also a bunch of other fun adventures. One of the most excited ones is the acquisition of a TEPUI tent! Received as a gift, my family now has a tent to go camping. The best part is… this tent goes ON TOP OF YOUR CAR! Pronounced TEH-POO-EE, this tent, made in California, simply attaches to the roof racks of any vehicle and poof… there you go! Now there are other brands, but I am glad to have a TEPUI. There are bunches and bunches of different models, but ours fits three people and comes with two sunroofs:

IMG_0299.jpg

However, for example, my Uncle’s is the size of a king bed and has other, more rugged features. Now, since we do not have ours mounted to my Mom’s Pilot yet, here is a picture of my Uncle’s so you can see how it looks on the top of a car:

14390972_10210300920509674_7799976002171922366_n.jpg

Isn’t that just awesome! There will be many camping adventures to come once the upcoming semester comes to a close. We still have supplies to buy for the amount of camping we plan to do. After shopping for some stuff already and talking to my Uncle who has now driven cross county three times camping, I know a thing or two about the supplies needed. Now, I am certainly no expert on camping supplies, and most people know the basics and necessities needed to camp, so here are 10 things you wish you thought of before you went camping. They may be things you may have never considered or things you wish you had or things that just make life easier that you wish you knew:

  1. Consider buying at least 5 lanterns, for both in the tent, outside it, and around your campsite. The interesting thing is, besides just buying LED ones, buy one that can emit red light as well. This makes the light less harsh once inside the tent at night.
  2. Headlamps are also a necessity for going handsfree around the campsite.
  3. For the environmentally conscious, use good hand soap that biodegrades instead of just the typical store-bought stuff.
  4. A collapsable sink for dishes is a must. Consider one that doubles as a shower and is operated by a foot petal, instead of just letting gravity to the work. 
  5. Get TONS of fire starters-all kinds. A butane torch works really well just in case because it will still light, even on your super windy days.
  6. Definitely get firewood before hand because campsite charge you a an arm and a leg for firewood. Keep a small stash in your vehicle.
  7. If you want to be the coolest campsite with most awesome campfire, buy mystic fire packs you throw on your fire to make it glow all different colors, from purple to red to blue. 
  8. Slip on shoes, in my opinion, are actually another must have. Don’t go inside your tent with those dirty hiking boots! And you also do not want to be constantly tying and untying them, so invest on easy slip on shoes that you can hang up with a D-ring easily inside the tent.
  9. Walkie talkies are a great idea for campers who separate and like to either hike or fish or go somewhere. Get ones that can work up to about 15 miles and have a peace of mind while camping.
  10. Lastly, the tenth thing you wish you knew, and the COOLEST thing learned from my Uncle, has to do with your shower routine. First, to save space and create less hassle, use a bag for cosmetics that you can hook on to something. Also, surprisingly, a buck knife will really come in handy. Once in shower, who wants to use soap and then put it back in the container all wet and soapy? Instead, shave off a little bit of soap with the buck knife before heading to the shower so your soap never even touches a drop of water. 

Well, there you have it. The TEPUI tent was definitely one of the highlights of my winter break. I will be back up in Valpo by Monday. I leave you with a cute picture of me and Cooper, my adventure partner over break:IMG_0220.jpg

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-47-22-pm

  • Corinne

 

Snow = A New Kind of Adventure

Happy Holidays, bloggers! With 8 inches of snow on the ground here in Valpo it definitely feels like Christmas time now (if the music and gift giving wasn’t enough). With all the snow here over the last week, some new fun and different adventures have arisen, hence my title. Anywhere that one can get a lot of snow means that a new adventure is around the corner. Why? Because it makes every place just a little different, both in how it looks and what you can do.

That was exactly my case last week when a friend and I went out seeking somewhere to explore right before finals week. Now, since I have already been here a year and a half, most places around Valparaiso University have already been explored. However, these places have yet to be explored… covered in snow. So on this afternoon we decide to check out the beach (yes, the beach). We decided to head to the beach because we wanted to see the beach we have all been to and love covered in snow, have fun being at a place most likely no one would be at, and just because it really isn’t a place to be at when its 20 degrees outside. After our 20 minute drive we reached a gate. However, that gate was closed. But that did not stop us. We decided to head out a little earlier in the day, a few days later, and try again. This time the gate was indeed unlocked, so our snowy beach day adventure was in full swing. We took lots pictures with witty captions, walked down the boardwalk covered in the untouched snow, and played in the snow much like you would in the sand. It was quite the adventure:

IMG_0112.jpg

Now this scenario is where my tip for this blog comes in to play. The big theme today is: tenacity. Tenacity, which is the word my friend described this adventure with, is synopsis with determination and persistence. And that was exactly how we were with trying to go to the beach. If at first you don’t succeed, try again! We figured the gate was closed because it was too late in the day, so we simply tried again a different day, a little earlier in the day. So my tip for you today is this: have tenacity/be tenacious if you wish to become an outdoor enthusiast. Sometimes adventures aren’t always planned, so “on the fly” decisions are made that don’t always work the way you want, so just find another way around it or another thing to do. If you have the time, come back another time, especially if snow is involved, because who doesn’t love the snow? It really does make the average place a lot different, giving it a new look and a new place to do something fun. 

Well readers and bloggers, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. I will be home on Saturday for three weeks and I really hope to be doing some adventuring. I will surely keep you all posted!

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-1-47-22-pm

  • Corinne 🙂

So it has been a month already…

Well hello there fellow bloggers and readers! I cannot believe a month has flown by since my last post. Of course I have done my adventures during that time, but did you? I want to here all about it! Here is what I have been up to in case you were wondering:

First, since my last post on October 8th, I went apple picking at a local orchard here in Valpo. I took two of my good friends along and boy did we have a blast! The golden delicious apple had just went in season… perfect!

IMG_0959.jpg

Second, I also hit up the Taletree Arboretum with a friend as well here in Valpo. Taletree is a gorgeous park with trails for walking, biking, and horseback riding. The leaves were just starting to change to the scenery was breathtaking.

IMG_1010.jpg

Of course, also during this time, my adventures were on a much smaller scale. I also hit up my favorite restaurant, Panera Bread Co. Us college students need a break here and there from the hustle and bustle of classes, HW, and the typical dining hall.

IMG_1011.PNG

Another adventure taking up a lot my time was my trip to Philadelphia, PA. I was accompanied by 5 other civil engineers to represent Valparaiso University in a student completion at the American Concrete Institution conference. It was a blast learning more about my field and just sight seeing the city.

IMG_1070.jpg

IMG_1078.jpg

To close out this last month’s adventure, I have also attended four VU Men’s Basketball games now. We are 4-0, including a exhibition game win. I cannot wait to see what success this season has, especially after last year appearance in the NIT! I love all the hype surrounding the games and cheering front row with people just like myself.

IMG_1169.jpg

So no, I have fallen off the face of the earth or have been living under a rock. I have simply been battling an illness all month and have been dealing with typical college stuff: HW, classes, and clubs. Of course I have not been neglecting my adventuring and love for the outdoors. As you can see, I am still my old self; I just have just been lacking in my blogging skills. I am also sorry I have not been writing as many tips lately, but I hope just reading about my journies are enough to at least get your mind thinking! I have been up to a wide variety of things. I still dedicate my time to enjoy mother nature, and as normal, I try to bring others along for the ride. Well, that is what my life has been like over the last month. I hope you all have been busy in the outdoors! I go on Thanksgiving break on Saturday for a week, so I hope to get out there. It also my 20th bday on in a week! A lot of awesome adventures to come for sure.

One last thing: I also may be changing up the blog format again, a little bit. I love keeping it fresh and keep everyone interested.

NEVER STOP E X P L O R I N G 

  • Corinne Marie