It occurred to me that I’d not done a “Go Take a Hike Sunday” for a while and Mr. Muse and I had done just that a couple Sunday’s ago. I live in Wisconsin’s Driftless Region, and we have some amazing locations to hike in and through. The region is rife with valleys and coulees, sloughs and backwaters. Karst is the predominant type of rock and the area is littered with caves, large and small. It’s a pretty damn cool area; it’s also home to many state parks, state recreational areas, state riverways, county parks, conservation areas and state natural areas. In other words, any direction in which you choose to head – you can find a bit of “wildness” to walk into and enjoy – in my case that extends to my back yard, too!
However, now that I’ve piqued your interest in where I went hiking, I’ll get the other agenda items out of the way. I spent my Friday evening investing in my dream job of writing by purchasing some books followed by being pulled like saltwater taffy, though not nearly as flexible, by my masseur, Matt. The muscle knots in my back were half of what they were with the first massage, though some new, small ones were discovered along my sides. At least I think they’re new. From there, I went on to knowing that Saturday I was going to make chocolate chip cookies, namely, Alton Brown’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, as I’d heard from a not-gluten-free friend that they were one of the highest rated recipes out there for Chocolate Chip Cookies for gluten free people. Damn right I had to try them!! Although, I used two whole eggs, didn’t have enough brown rice flour so I used sorghum flour for the rest, used coconut sugar in place of the white sugar, dark brown sugar in place of the light brown sugar and buttermilk in place of the whole milk – because I have a whole lot of buttermilk left and need to use it up.
After much quality control of the raw dough by both Mr. Muse and myself, as well as continued quality assurance throughout the baking process, I’m proud to say that the cookies were a success! We got a LOT of cookies, six dozen or so when made with the one-tablespoon cookie scoop, so we froze seventy-five percent of them for later.
I also made mini-pies with Pillsbury’s gluten free pie and pastry dough. This was my second go at mini-pies because the first time was such a rousing success. Basically, I sprayed down a muffin tin with nonstick spray, squished balls of the dough into each cup in the pan and filled them up with cherry pie filling (homemade with Door County cherries) and apple pie filling made with a couple apples from the neighbor’s tree.
So, did those turn out just as well as last time? Of COURSE! I even had helpers!
My evening, however, ended with frustration. You see, I was all set to start working on Vlog #3, a challenge set forth by Strange Trip Times; I’d made my way out onto the screened porch to enjoy the fading sun and the crisp breeze when… well, I don’t really know what happened to cause the issue – but my water glass got knocked over and though it didn’t land on the laptop, apparently some water got INTO the laptop and therefore, my keyboard was bringing up all kinds of extra characters, like “, j” when I’d tap the spacebar. The rest of the night was spent watching some recorded shows with Mr. Muse while the laptop sat with a fan on it all night.
And then, that brings me to “Go Take a Hike Sunday”. Two weeks ago, Mr. Muse and I decided to visit a state park that we’d not visited in a while, Tower Hill State Park, just outside of Spring Green, WI, and literally right across the road from American Players Theatre. It’s a small park, has camping right along the backwater into the Wisconsin River, has a good hiking trail that circles around – so no “in and out” – and watch that first step as it leads to a very steep uphill climb. I even had to stop two-thirds of the way up to catch my breath and check my pulse because of the grade; granted… I have a wee little heart issue, but I’d forgotten how steep that first climb is!
The fall colors were just starting to come out and I was armed with my Canon 30D and a borrowed Canon EF 70-200 mm Zoom Lens. This monster weighs about five pounds, the albatross around the neck analogies kept going through my head, but it’s a useful lens in the right settings. However, I did learn that I should have probably put the UV filter onto the lens – lessons learned. I snapped a few images with it. Just a few.