Hey everyone!

I’ve seen lots of other bloggers post weekly or monthly lists of interesting things that are a part of their lives, which don’t necessarily fit into their regular posts.  I love this idea – I often discover books, recipes, interesting quotes, thoughts, or objects in this way. 

So here I go…this is the first installment of Trail Mix.  Here, you’ll find a random assortment of stuff that I’m finding interesting right at this moment. These are not paid promotions in any way…just stuff that I’d like to recommend:

The Jerusalem Bike Trail
Last year, we biked through the 2 kilometer bike tunnel from Ein Lavan right after it opened.  We biked it with our two youngest sons, and they were uninterested in continuing through the rugged terrain after we went through.  Since I’m always hiking, I struggle to fit bike trips into my life.  So last week on my birthday, I told my husband that I wanted to celebrate by biking the full trail all around Jerusalem.

While researching, we found that there were lots of different trails, but two main ones encircle much of the Holy City.  We biked the 32 kilometer mishpachti (family- haha!) version.  It was amazing.  Definitely not for any families that I know, unless your family consists of two fit adults and two energetic teenage boys, but I still highly recommend it!  I loved seeing the combo of nature, different neighborhoods, and people while whooshing along on a bike.  And of course, iced coffee and Rebar stops along the way were much appreciated.

Himalaya Chai Bar

I plan on writing a real a post about this place, along with the cute nature walk you can take before and after (which includes a sometimes full spring).  But in the meantime, if you’re in the Gush Etzion area, you have to check this place out.  Delicious Indian food, kosher, served in a bus.  Beautiful views and great music.  Need I say more?

Good vibes, good food, beautiful nature nearby.

Trail Shoes

I know that I’m breaking all the hiking rules, but I feel like I get to do that since I hike all the time.  I love these trail running shoes from La Sportiva.  No, they don’t provide ankle support.  No, they aren’t good for mucky walking in rugged terrain.  But they do provide superb grip, which is so necessary for slippery, rocky, Israeli terrain.  I will always choose these shoes over clunky hiking boots when I can.  And if they get wet, they dry out super fast. These are my faves right now.

Summer Hiking Sandals

And while I’m on the topic of breaking all the rules: I’ve tried so many different pairs of water shoes over the years.  I think that at the end of the day, what works for each person comes down to individual foot structure.  I’ve never been truly comfortable in open toe water sandals.  And although the closed toe models like keens work really well, they just don’t look that cute.

Last year I discovered EarthRunners, barefoot sandals that are made to order.  They aren’t cheap, but they look great, work well in water, and allow you to grip as if you are walking with your bare feet.  I hiked with them all over the place this past summer.  They don’t replace a good pair of hiking shoes, but in my opinion, they do replace a pair of water hiking sandals.  And you can wear them with regular clothes too.

Favorite Summer Muffin Recipe

If you read a lot of my posts, you may notice that we seem to constantly be eating muffins and drinking iced coffee. Although I avoid sweet treats on regular days, muffins are perfect for challenging morning hikes, when I feel like the extra carbs come in handy anyway.

Small rewards.

I try to keep them healthy and sugar free.  My favorite recipe for summer is blueberry lemon.  To make them lighter, I always just half the sweetness and fat, and add lots of grated lemon peel.

And last but not least,

Tanach LeMetayel

My sister just gave me this super cool Tanach for hikers for my birthday.  I haven’t had a chance to really dive in yet, but it looks so cool! The tanach comes with a nice carrying case, a guide book, a map, and pockets for everything. I can’t wait to learn even more about how the places we explore all around Israel are connected to our very own Biblical history.

In order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.

David Ben Gurion
At Arugot Farm this week.

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