Take the mountains home with you!

Did you know…

…that I am now selling canvas prints from Mark’s and my hiking trips?!

You can find these prints in my Etsy store!

Just a little memento for YOU!

Now. These prints are not to adorn your walls in place of your own adventure mementos. These prints are to encourage you to find your own views!

And to add to your decor because that’s what photography is also for. Obviously.

The fog on Haystack Mountain, in my Etsy store!

Every one of these prints has a special story. This one is from a 15+ mile day in 2018. We had our eyes on this three-peak hike for some time, saving it for near the end of a 46 mountain hiking challenge because of the breathtaking views from the top and the difficulty of getting there (Saddleback Mountain cliffs, cringe).

But as we set out the rain started. Knowing we’d be hiking from sun up to sun down, this was devastating. Even more devastating given we had just hiked 16 miles in non-stop downpour over three peaks not long before this day.

We set out anyway; as Mark always says, ”this is just what we’re doing today.”

Then the rain cleared.

We were treated to a breathtaking cloud show from the bottom of the mountain all the way to the top.

Mark is there on the right, I promise.

I threw in a little bonus with just this one print.

Mark and his bright orange pack cover is in the picture!

Do you see him??

He’s there, I promise!

Guess you’ll have to buy the canvas to see for yourself…

J/k, he’s on the wrapped edge 🙂

But I do hope you bring one of these prints into your home and enjoy them as much as we enjoyed capturing them!

You can find my store here: http://www.fineandfir.Etsy.com.

Love them dogs!

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me or has spent even 15 seconds with me: I. Love. Dogs.

“More than people?” I’ve been asked.



I work in politics, so most especially.

My coat is covered in dog hair, as is my pillow, my food, my kids, anything that comes into my home.

Max, the Chocolate Dood.

I didn’t choose the dog life, the constant barrage of negativity and ugliness in politics chose the dog life for me.

I kid. Sorta.

In 8th grade my BFF and I had the brilliant idea to adopt sister dogs. We were a deliriously happy pair of weirdos whose parents made the mistake of leaving us alone with our unchecked creativity. We spent hours researching the best breeds (which at that time meant libraries and card catalogues and rides from parents), we researched what supplies we’d need and what kind of time/energy commitment our puppies would need.

Finally, we wrapped all of this knowledge up, and presented the idea to our parents. Keep in mind, this is also the pre-powerpoint era so my presentation included hand drawn posters of me and my little pumpkin. Many posters. If I wasn’t going to win my parents over with the things I was promising, dammit I was going to get them with sheer perseverance.

Not sure which it was, but I got the dog. So did my friend. We had Golden Retriever sisters and named them Lucy and Kestra. We took them hiking and joined the 4H dog club. I took care of my little Lucy just like I promised my parents I would.

Dax the hungry hungry lab

My little awkward self was hooked. I’ve always had a dog since then. Indy then Oliver then Arnie.

Now I have Max and Dax; two fellas who needed good homes, and who got that and so much more.

The Mountains Called

Sometimes we hike, and then sometimes we don’t. It’s no big deal, but sometimes it is.

Got it?

When Mark and I first started dating, and through our engagement years later, we hit those Adirondack Mountains hard. Every other weekend, packing up our gear, prepping snacks, strategizing where we’ll shower after one hike before crashing in the back of the car to hike again the next day.

(A post for another day: the time I broke down while trying unsuccessfully to bathe in a gas station bathroom.)

We didn’t treat it ”like it was our job” because who actually puts that much effort into their job. Be honest, this is a safe space. No, we treated this like it was our life. The hours during the week were dedicated to figuring out where we’d go next. It was the thrill of planning and exerting and rewarding and finally crashing in bed laughing about how old and aching our stupid joints were that made us happy and alive.

But then another season ushered itself in. And that was one of house projects and new jobs and new shifts and, just, life. During ”hike life” we would run on the side, a few races here and there, but running took over more of our focus and so did training. So we shifted from one body draining activity to another.

And that was fine.

But then another season came and has lingered that has been less…fine. One of the dreaded ‘Rona which sidelined races and activities and most devastatingly our motivation. Healthy habits: gone. Desire for activity: nope. Marathon training: you gotta be kidding me.

By now I’ve realized life has been a series of seasons. Some good and some bad, but all temporary. I can’t say if these seasons are entirely my conscious choice, because I DO go to sleep every night with a plan to wake up early to (insert every potential activity that doesn’t actually happen here), but factors that feel beyond my control keep me snuggled warm in my bed with a dog under each arm until the last possible second.

Not exactly fine, but a temporary season.

It’s just our lot in life; Mark and I were made to be on a mountain, or on our way to a mountain, or planning to be on our way to a mountain. And if there isn’t a mountain in our future, we were made to do something else that pushes us to the extreme.

(Another future post idea: Mark’s competitive beer stein holding ambitions.)

So in the meantime, we carry on until the next season arrives, taking advantage of the moments of motivation here and there that still find us prepping and climbing and sometimes allowing friends to talk us into long walks.