Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Always Amazing

September 13th, 2014

The first time I went to Mr Rainier National Park was over 16 years ago on our honeymoon. It was impressive and still is each time I have returned. Yesterday we make the trek down to the mountain. We even hiked a few miles to different overlooks up from Paradise Inn.
Mt Rainier 1
Overall we gained 1600 ft of elevation above the inn on our various hikes and the views were quite amazing. This is one thing that was new for me, I have never done any hiking up from the main visitor center.
Mt Rainier 2
Mt Rainier 3
Mt Rainier 4
Who can resist singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music” when they’re on an alpine meadow? Apparently everyone else but me, because I didn’t see anyone else doing it.
Mt Rainier 5
What national park visit is complete without a picnic lunch? We were lucky to have delicious salami, cheese, and arugula sandwiches with olives on the side – delicious post hike fuel.
Mt Rainier 7
Mt Rainier 6
Mountains are magical places, I’m not sure what it is, but they always make me happy. I love visiting them whenever I can. Perhaps they provide a reminder of how small and insignificant we are and that there are greater things at work.

What places are most awe inspiring for you to visit?

A Walk in the Woods

September 7th, 2013

Last night we played hooky from our chores. We decided a hike was a better way to spend our evening.  The evening was spent gathering sumac seed heads to make lemonade and mushrooms to identify in order to practice what we learned in class on Sunday.
hiking 2
hiking 7
hiking 5
hiking 1
hiking 6
hiking 3
It was an enjoyable way to spend a couple hours. There really is nothing better than being inspired by the natural world.  There’s so much color and beauty right before our eyes, we can sometimes forget if we don’t get out to see it. Now that the mosquito population is waning, we hope to spend a lot more time out in the woods discovering what we have.  I think the resident Chiots enjoyed herself as much as we did.  Now that we’ve found an all natural pain killer for her, she’s back to enjoying longer hikes once again.

When was the last time you went on a hike?

The Evening Walk

April 13th, 2013

Mr Chiots and I have always enjoyed taking evening walks. We’ve always enjoyed it, we loved walking the streets of the various cities, towns, and neighborhoods we’ve lived in. Here in Maine, we’ve been hiking the different trails on our property.
hiking at dusk 5
hiking at dusk 1
Typically we leave about an hour before dusk and try to make it back before dark. The other night it was pretty dark when we were on our way back, we had lingered watching the sunset over the wetlands.  On our way back, you could only really see Lucy when she was standing on the snow.  We always have flashlights just in case we end up staying out too long.
hiking at dusk 2
hiking at dusk 4
hiking at dusk 6
There’s something so relaxing about walking at this time of night, it’s certainly a great way to leave work behind and relax before bed!

What’s your favorite activity for relaxing in the evening (other than gardening of course)?

Friday Favorite: SNOW

December 28th, 2012

It’s been a long time coming, but winter seems to have finally arrived. Fitting I guess, since it was officially winter just a week ago. We had a good snowfall yesterday, about 6-8 inches or so. Mr Chiots, my dad and I all went out hiking for a few hours in the morning to enjoy it. We really do enjoy the snow.
Snow 2
Snow 4
Snow 6
Snow 1
Snow 7
Snow 5
Snow 3
Now perhaps we’ll finally be able to get those snowshoes out and break them in. The garden really needs this blanket of snow, it’s a valuable source of insulation and protection for the plants. It’s just in time, the weather is going to start dipping down into the single digits this weekend.

Clean Those Hiking Boots

October 24th, 2011

About a year ago, someone from the National Park Service contacted me about using the following photo of dirty hiking boots for a poster for a new campaign they were starting. I said yes and asked to see a photo of the final poster. This photo was taken many years ago when we went to the Smokies with some friends.

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about the photo and the poster, and figured they had forgotten about sending me a copy since I haven’t heard anything since. Then, last week, I got an e-mail with a photo of the finished and installed sign.

I can’t wait to head on up to the Indiana Dunes to see this sign. They also said that a couple other parks will be adding a boot cleaning station just like this one. Keep your eyes peeled, you might see my photo and my name on a sign at you local park!

I really enjoy hiking, there’s just something about it that I love, maybe it’s the peacefulness, maybe it’s the exercise, probably both. I often wish we lived closer to a park with trails, perhaps someday. Until then we plan hiking vacations when possible, head out in the woods at the family cabin when possible, and walk the roads around our house when the weather allows.

Are you a hiker or do you prefer a more leisurely form of travel?

Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.