Monday, February 20, 2017

Climbing the Devil's Marbleyard- Q-band fitness tracker review. #getoutside

This weekend we decided to explore another area of the Appalachian trail.  Devil’s Marbleyard is a boulder field near Natural Bridge Virginia. 

The landscape is covered in huge rocks, many that are the size of cars. Picture really do not do this place justice. Can you see that pink dot in the center of the photo? that's my daughter.  This place is really wild!  We really didn't know what to expect when we decided to come here and hike. Kenan said it was 1.5 miles to boulder field, 3 miles round trip. So i wore, a skirt and crocs which is what i typically wear hiking.

i did not realize we'd be climbing to the top of the boulder field, or i would have dressed much different. There isn't a trail through the boulder field, although there is one off to the side. We chose to climb the boulders. We really had no idea what we were getting into. Can you see the three black dots along the edge of the rocks in the back? i'm the one in the center. i was a bit behind everyone else, trying to scale rock faces in an ankle length skirt. 

The view is absolutely amazing.  This picture is quite misleading, as it looks like the top. However, once you get to this point, there is a whole other  boulder field on the other side.  i truly wanted to cry.

Those trees up ahead? Yeah, that's the top.  

Usually i'm the one to take all the pictures, but i had Kenan hold my camera so i could finish the climb easier. i'm almost at the top here, and my legs have almost turned to jello. i really didn't know if i was going to make it.

Not only did i make it to the top, but my fitness tracker gave me a thumbs up!! i've been wearing it for about a week to track my steps. Since i don't move much in the winter time i'm lucky if i get 50% of my steps in on a regular day. So as silly as it is, i'm very proud of this.

The view from the top, is incredibly beautiful. There were so many trees at the top, that we couldn't really see the boulder field we had just climbed. There were a few cliffs and places that overloaded it, but there were quite a few people up there already occupying those spots, so we didn't bother trying to get closer just for a picture.  Honestly, by the time we got to the top i was just ready to go home.  Rather than climb back down the boulders, we took the trail on our way down. It was challenging as well, because the ground was soft and sandy and very steep.  

So now that we are starting to have a few nice days, we plan to be out hiking every weekend possible. i thought this would be a great opportunity to review my new Q-band fitness tracker!  It has Wireless Bluetooth Synchronization with iPhone & Android Devices. It keeps track of steps, calories burned and a sleep tracker. It uses the i-gotU Life app, it can also sync to Apple Health or Google Fit. i'm still figuring out all the features. It notifies me when i get fb notifications, emails, phone calls etc and also tells me when i've been sitting for too long. lol.   The app is easy to use, and keeps track of steps, calories and sleep. So far it seems to be a pretty good step counter, and i'm having fun keeping track of my steps and creating fitness goals.  My only criticism is that it doesn't keep track of heart rate. This is just the basic model, but they do offer a more advanced model that does have the heart detection.  i may end up investing in that one later on, so far i am really enjoying keeping track of my steps, and it motives me to do more when i'm not being active enough.

This one is  available on amazon for $49.99 shipped free with prime.

i'm already getting excited about the spring. We have so many places we want to hike, kayak and camp. Our weather has been unseasonable warm for February, so i'm really getting the spring fever itch.  This year being more active is a huge goal for the whole family. We all spend too much time online, so getting outside and offline is really important.  We hiked parts of the Appalachian trail last year, and plan to hike several different parts this year.

The Devil's Marble yard is definitely an experience!  Make sure you are wearing good hiking/climbing shoes, bring a water and snacks! We were so unprepared for it. The pictures make it look like relatively flat, but rocky terrain. It's actually very steep, with huge boulders and deep crevices. Although you probably won't fall to your death climbing the boulders, breaking an ankle or cracking your skull are real possibilities! My kids absolutely loved it though, and we all had a pretty amazing time. Definitely one of the more challenging hikes we've done, but very worth it!

*i received the Q-band fitness tracker in exchange for my honest and unbiased review, my opinions are my own.


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