August 23, 2010

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In Charlotte we had to hunt to find awesome hiking trails, and most were a good 30 minutes away sans a few greenways. Who knew there would be a rugged hike just a few miles from our house!?

The whole ride to Ragged Mountain, which is a bunch of trails around the Charlottesville Reservoir, I was chatting about how much of an outdoors person I really am. I consider myself more of a city girl (I’m terrified of bugs and such and don’t care for camping and REALLY like taking a shower and using a toilet) but today I was realizing how much I really do love the outdoors.

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NOT!! Turns out we saw a dead ( :( ) snake within 5 minutes of starting our run and I was terrified the whole time of bugs, snakes and the like. I am a nature wimp!

Me realizing the terror of being alone on a poorly marked trail in the peak of summertime:

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But then we found the path and I forgot about the snake and all was well again :)

We onlyΒ  hiked about 2 miles total but it sure felt like more with the inclines. We ran as much as we could (including up a mountainside that left me totally gasping for breath!)

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A tree that got zapped by lightening and apparently was still glowing and sparking days later!?

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At the end of the short hike, we ran 2 more miles on a dirt road that we came in on. Made for a nice full circle.

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And then, we dined. An afternoon lunch.


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We made a red curry sardine salad and topped that onto eggplant leftover from last night broiled with some sharp cheddar on top.

Butter on butter on butter with no butter. It was amazing.

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On the side, two old apples. Which looked rather boring until I drizzled some choco hazelnut butter on them!

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And fresh from the KERF Kitchen: SARDINES, THE VIDEO! To appear shortly – it’s been processing for a very.long.time.

Ribbit !

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{ 79 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Freya @ Brit Chick Runs August 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm

The hike and the chocolate apple thing <- they sound like two of the most dreamy things EVER!! What a great day πŸ˜€


2 Jessica @ How Sweet August 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I like your new header Kath!


3 rebecca lustig August 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm

i love that first sign. it can be interpreted in so many ways.fantastic.

you totally bedazzled that apple!


4 Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) August 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I love that.. Leave Only Footprints!

I love the outdoors. I was in Colorado 2 weeks ago and crammed in as hikes as possible.. I’m so jealous of anyone that has trails nearby :)


5 Melissa @ HerGreenLife August 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Looks like a nice hike, despite all the creepy crawly aspects of nature. I kind-of like camping, but there are plenty of things to be paranoid about, especially when camping in bear country! We’re going to visit my grandparents’ cabin in west Texas later this year, and I’m already imagining the rattlesnakes and scorpions. My husband’s just rolling his eyes πŸ˜‰


6 Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks August 23, 2010 at 3:31 pm

That eggplant looks really yummy, Kath! Your sardine salads are starting to grow on me.


7 Leianna August 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Almost bought some sardines today but then didn’t. You make me want to try them but still somewhat scared!


8 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

I love the outdoors, but I HATE snakes! We went on a little hike today too on our walk and all I could think about was wether I was going to see a snake or not. Luckily, no, but I know they are out there!


9 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Yikes! Thank you so much for not including a photo of the snake – I am TERRIFIED of them. I love to hike too, but my mind always is wondering if I’ll run into one of those slithering monsters. Eeek!


10 Carrie H August 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

How high of an elevation did you start at before summitting the 919 ft mountain? I’m just curious cause I live in the Rockies at 7,200 ft and the highest peak around here is 12,999 — you start at around 10,500 to get up that one. I’ve never been to the South (or any mountains that start lower!) so I’m always curious about the difference! Of course, if you start at 0 or close to it, mountains 1,000 ft are quite a feat! :)


11 Kath August 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I have no idea!!! Probably not very high :)


12 Hannah August 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Red curry sardine salad? I’ve got to try that, it sounds amazing! And I think snakes would be scary whether alive or dead.


13 Nicole - yuppie yogini August 23, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Snakes scare the buhjesus (sp?) out if me too! I saw one once at the outdoor center and was paranoid from then on that every stick was a vicious snake. I shiver thinking about it…yuck!


14 Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm

I love hiking!! but yes, only if the snakes, bugs, and spiders stay cleeeaaarrr far away. πŸ˜›


15 Rachael @ Mrs-Adventure August 23, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Wow, Sooo last week while running I almost stepped on a dead snake and was afraid each step thereafter. No joke. Eek.


16 Carrie H August 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Did my reply not go it? Well, if it does twice, sorry!

I kid you not, back in April, I stepped in a pile of about four or five LIVE garden snakes on a run along the greenbelt trail along the river in my town. My doggie was running with me, and they started slithering up my his legs! It was TERRIFYING, and I am not squeamish about snakes/bugs/the outdoors in general. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I LIKE seeing snakes when I know they are there, but that was not a welcome suprise! Eeek.


17 Dorry August 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I love hiking- so awesome that you found a place near your house.


18 Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman August 23, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I know your feeling on finding {dead} things on excursions…we recently took a day trip to Tomales Bay only to find a ton of dead jelly fish scattered on the beach {apparently this is a normal thing in the life of a jelly fish this time of year} We made the best of it….my 5 yr. old piled them all up with a stick for beach clean up:)


19 erica August 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm

i don’t know why but that area w/the chimney thing reminds me of the vampire diaries. (love that show! my guilty pleasure!)

i think the dead snake wouldn’t scared me off! hahaha.


20 Angela August 23, 2010 at 3:51 pm

When do you two work? Jobs? Anyone? Anyone?


21 Kath August 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I’ve been working all day… on this blog.


22 Clare August 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Haha! Can’t wait to see “Sardines-The Video”. I lived in England until I was 10 and was practically raised on “sardines on toast” with loads of butter. I think the butter probably cancelled out the health benefits of the sardines though.
As much as I love the outdoors, I do NOT love camping–the campfire part is fun but no proper showers or toilets freaks me out.


23 Michelle August 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Love the new header.
I am missing Charlottesville and really should go visit family soon.
When you are ready to venture out a little further, I suggest hiking Humpback Rock. I hike in the Rockies most weekends, but never miss an opportunity to hike Humpback when I’m back east.


24 Holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm

What a nice place to hike! I have a running trail near our home — it is a great escape from the mall/residential area. Lots of animals (no snakes yet!) and wildflowers, trees, etc.

No sardines for me, please, maybe one day!


25 Heather (Heather's Dish) August 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm

hiking is soooo much fun! that one looks gorgeous…i really need to hit the mountains soon before it gets too cold!


26 Meg August 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Crazy about that tree that got struck! I would’ve freaked if it was still sparking, haha! I love the outdoors, except bugs πŸ˜‰

Lunch looks amazing and hooray for a sardine video! πŸ˜€ THanks Kath!!


27 Clizia August 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Those apples drizzled in chocolate look amazing!! Well done with the hiking, you live in a truly beautiful place :)


28 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Like many of the comments above, you are making me more curious about sardines… but I just haven’t brought myself to try them yet!


29 Camille August 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

What a pretty hiking path!
I would love to have hiking right outside my front door!


30 Simply Life August 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

what a fun way to spend the day!


31 Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) August 23, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I know what you mean about hiking! I love it but at times I get pretty creeped out. Last time we went hiking the forest had just reopened after being shut down from a bear attack – a BEAR attack! Oh my, I was terrified the whole time – i can barely believe that I agreed to go!


32 Marisa @ Loser for Life August 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I digging sardines now, too! My mom made me taste some a couple of weeks ago! I really liked them! SHOCKER πŸ˜‰


33 Maren August 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I don’t know about sardines, you are a very brave eater.


34 Tina August 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I adore hikes but don’t care for the bugs and things. I spaz whenever one gets near me. My husband doesn’t get how I can love the outdoors so much but be so afraid of bugs.


35 Leanne @ Radiant, Balanced & Fit August 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I love your new picture at the top of your page! It looks GREAT Kath! I’m a new reader and I’m going to try a couple of your recipes out this upcoming weekend!


36 Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) August 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Your sardine concoctions never cease to amaze me. I must recreate that eggplant dish stat!

Your hike looks like the perfect blend of invigorating and tranquil!


37 Keri August 23, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Yaaaay for hiking and only you could make sardines looking amazingly appetizing!

The frog picture is primo… looks like someone was thirsty πŸ˜€


38 Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up August 23, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I always like to think I’m an outdoorsy person but then realize I’ve never been camping nor do I particularly like bugs so the thought usually stops there. πŸ˜‰ I HATE being cramped inside though. :)


39 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

You’re lucky to have trails like that so close by! Those hills sound killer though. πŸ˜›


40 Lauren @ [email protected] August 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I am so jealous that you have such beautiful trails around you. I would LOVE to run on them!!!


41 Shannon, Tropical Eats August 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm

love the froggy at the end!

i grew up campin with the fam every summer in georgia so i loveeeee it. it feels so good to get out of the city and just livin the simple life out of a cooler and duffle bag.

have a great night :) ribbit ribbit


42 Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf August 23, 2010 at 4:45 pm

That hike looks so fun! I miss hiking so much…


43 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg August 23, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Your lunch is beautiful! Like food art!

I love outdoor hikes…did you ever hike on Grandfather Mountain when you lived in Charlotte? My college bf was from Charlotte, and we’d always go there when we’d visit his family.


44 kellyO August 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I’m enjoying watching the changes to your blog! That elevation sign made me smile…I live at almost 5,000 feet!


45 lisasfoods August 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I think a bit part of nature is getting used to it. I bet if you and Matt decided to go hiking there every week, you’d find the bugs and creepy-crawlies less of a nuisance. I’m a nature girl myself (the one who will remove a spider from inside to outside), but part of that has come with spending lots of time in the outdoors.


46 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine August 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Sounds like we share the same nature philosophy- pretty to look at, not to live in!! Glad you had a good run, enjoy your evening!


47 Heather August 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I would have freaked! I HATE snakes! I am a nature wimp too.


48 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm

People think of me as an outdoorsy girl for some reason. I’m definitely not.


49 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) August 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm

You’ll get used to the snakes and bugs and creepy, crawly things. πŸ˜€ Trust me. The beauty of nature and the outdoors will win you over before long. πŸ˜‰

Glad you guys had a fun run! Your lunch looks fabulous! πŸ˜€


50 Samantha August 23, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Did you see that MaraNatha wrote about you on Facebook…about Oats in a jar?


51 Kath August 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

No! Do you have the link?


52 Samantha August 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm

No, I guess you would have to go to FB and search for MaraNatha. It was just a link to your summit breakfast where you used a MaraNatha jar. They called you “their friend ” :)


53 Kori August 24, 2010 at 5:40 am
54 [email protected]:// August 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm

You are just becoming the hiking queen, enjoy the summer days.


55 lynn (The Actors Diet) August 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm

i’m afraid of rattlesnakes and coyotes which are plentiful in the l.a. hiking areas.


56 Dee August 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Ahhh, I absolutely hate bugs too! Gosh, you really make your food look SO delicious! YUM!


57 Jaclyn August 23, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Haha I’m the same way! I have a love/hate relationship with nature. I love hiking and seeing different plants and wildlife – especially birds – but I hate, hate, HATE bugs. Especially butterflies. I am completely terrified of butterflies. My husband is like “Why do we ever take you hiking?” because I will literally duck and run for cover if I see one. I can’t explain. Or actually, I could, but it would be a long explanation. Suffice it to say, they scare the bejeezes out of me.


58 Kimberley August 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Oooh, what good hiking trails are only 30 mins from Charlotte? I feel like we always have to drive a couple of hours to get a nature fix.


59 Kath August 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Crowders Mountain, Kings Mountain and Latta Plantation come to mind


60 steph August 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I used to hike that trail a lot when I lived in Charlottesville! I miss it very much…it was a great place to escape school and work!


61 Wei-Wei August 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Great hike! I’m a nature wimp, too, I’ll admit it. I detest bugs and all other sorts of “creepy-crawlies” (does anyone still use that term?!) but sometimes I try to see the beauty of nature. I try. πŸ˜‰


62 Stacey August 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm

We went hiking today too! It was only 2 miles though, but still really beautiful. The weather down here has been breezy and cool at night time. So ready for fall! And yuck to the dead snake <–just typed 'snack'. Time to go raid the fridge


63 Kaci Higgins August 23, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Beautiful header!! Congrats on successfully completing the hike! I loved your video! Super cute! I’ll have to try the red curry powder the next time I eat sardines which will definitely be soon because you’ve got me craving them. lol Have a great night!


64 Erin August 23, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Very pretty! I love hiking and can’t wait to get out there soon now that it’s not quite as hot and humid during the weekend.


65 Tammy August 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I would LOVE to live somewhere that has hiking trails like that… you are so lucky WOW!! And everything is so green – I live in California and I love it here but it’s not green! I eat sardines only after de-boning (sp) them… takes some time but it makes me feel better LOL. Thanks for the blog.


66 marla August 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Like the sardines video.

Is the mustard you use regular yellow mustard or a dijon of some sort?

Thank you.


67 Kath August 23, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I think it was Harris Teeter brand dijon


68 Katrina August 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I LOVE trails!!! I would rather run on trails any day than road. I’ve never had a sardine..I’m a big weenie about it too. But they look good!


69 Maggie August 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Kath: have you ever seen the play (or the awesome movie) of Noises Off? The way you typed “sardines” up there made me think of it. They play an important role :) Here’s Carol Burnett in the movie getting a head full of ’em:

Love the new header!


70 Kath August 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Ha, no!!


71 Maggie August 23, 2010 at 8:22 pm

It’s a fun one! I have seen it a zillion times and still get a kick out of it. Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter–good stuff!


72 dcwright02 August 23, 2010 at 8:14 pm

the outdoors are amazing! especially when it isn’t raining! hurray for our fourth day of sunshine in over a month! but seriously, hiking, biking, camping… it’s all wonderful! get me outta the city ANY DAY!

p.s. your eggplant dish looked amazing, but forgive me… ICK! I hate eggplant! :)

take care!


73 Wendy @ Seriously Sassy August 23, 2010 at 8:46 pm

The food looks awesome (‘cept the sardines!) and I LOVE the “Take only pictures” sign!!


74 Hannah August 23, 2010 at 9:13 pm

*laughs hysterically* OMG, I can’t imagine what some of my friends would say if I served them sardines on the same plate a chocolate hazelnut butter! But I do things like that everyday. Love me some sardines!


75 Jac August 23, 2010 at 9:24 pm

eggplant’s my fav vege!!! But i don’t really like sunny side up.. i love omelette’s and scrambles though!


76 Chelsey August 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm

i am a total nature wimp. i cannot do camping… or bugs… or forests. i just am not into it!


77 christine August 23, 2010 at 11:46 pm

kath- I really like your new header!! great job!


78 Jill August 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Love the pictures from your hike, that’s some beautiful scenery!


79 Marie August 24, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Great hike! We just went hiking on Saturday and saw a pretty huge snake (to me anyways). It ended up being a poisonous one, a Timber Rattler. I was terrified! We all got by okay though :) I love that you like hiking! This whole area is just great for it. One of the best hikes I’ve been on in the area is Cold (Cole) Mountain, and also Old Rag (closer to you). Have you checked out


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