Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Self-Indulgent Birthday Post


Readers, it's my birthday! I am the ripe-ish age of 33, which is probably a little old for eagerly  announcing my birthday in a blog post, but, well, you can stay immature forever.

Jeff has promised me hiking boots as a gift. Last weekend, we hiked up Mount Beacon (yes, our new town has its very own mountain) with some dear friends. The mountain kind of kicked my butt (my knee is still making a funny sound when I walk up the stairs), but I vowed to do it again--in proper footwear! It's kind of hard to get excited about hiking fashion, though. Any tips?

My gift to myself was the pink Dutch bike, featured in my eyelet sundress post, which I will now show you again just because I'm giddy over it. It's a Gazelle Basic, for those of you who asked.


P.S. When I'm feeling a little overcome by hiking, I will remind myself that even Marilyn Monroe got pit stains (see photo at the top of this post). Also, her hiking shoe of choice? Saddle shoes. (I was hoping for something with a little more ankle support, personally.)

120 comments:

  1. You share a birthday with my best friend from school days!She is precisely one day younger than I am, and we have been friends for (whisper it) 47 years. And I am working on being 33 for a few more years...
    Happy Birthday to you!

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  2. Happy Birthday! Have fun choosing your hiking boots. They may not be beautiful, but I love mine.
    Your bike looks such fun too!

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  3. Happy Birthday! I would put a beautiful vintage print scarf around my neck or over my hair to detract from the very necessary hiking boots. Fitness can most definitely be fashionable.

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  4. *******HAPPY BIRTHDAY GERTIE *********
    just remember, we all have to grow older, but who says we have to grow up?
    Hope you have a fabulous day xxxxx

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  5. http://3hourspast.com/2012/04/09/giveaway-winner-pretty-pictures-and-whats-coming-up/ I like wearing lace, linen knickerbockers and flutter sleeves when I'm being outdoorsy. I'd wear the same exact thing (plus boots) for mountain climbing. And have.

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  6. Happy birthday, Gertie.
    Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

    Real women sweat!

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  7. Happy Birthday!
    Hartelijk Gefeliciteerd (in Dutch). Enjoy riding your beautiful bike, I love the color!

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  8. Have a lovely cake day and enjoy your fantastic bike. It's styling!

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  9. I've been backpacking on several occasions, and the woman who's part of the couple who leads the trips likes to hike in skirts! They're a little more utilitarian than the retro full skirts--more of a wrap in breathable, quick-drying fabrics, with pockets and such. But since you're having trouble coming up with exciting hiking fashion, maybe something like that would be good? Or you could always go with some cute retro shorts in a practical fabric! (Maybe a nylon or something--cotton takes awhile to dry once you get sweaty!)

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  10. Happy Birthday! I think it's good to be excited about birthdays. I love your bike so much! I think Sorel boots are good-looking and hard-wearing.

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  11. Happy Birthday! Today is my birthday also and wish I was turning 33 again! I'm turning 49 this year. I love the pink bike! Enjoy your day!

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  12. I pretty happily hike in mary janes. My legs are pretty arthritic thanks to some small bone deformities, so I just wear whatever shoe I'd usually wear for a ton of walking. Saddle shoes that were well broken in make sense too.

    Ankle support tends to work better if you've had a lot of ankle sprains. That's about the only thing my legs don't do easily, so I go without.

    And that Gazelle looks like a ton of fun :). Enjoy your birthday present!

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  13. Happy Birthday! It was recently reported by ABC World News and Headline News that 33 is the best age. The researchers found that people are happiest at 33 because they are old enough to be independent, make their own decisions, accept their faults, and be less naive (and not yet feel old - well except when chasing around young children trying to get them to leave the park, in which case at least I feel old).

    I hope it is your happiest year yet (but each year be happier than the last :)

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  14. Happy Birthday! Today also happens to be the day I finished reading all of your previous blog posts (I started from the first one a few weeks ago and worked my way forward) and am now up to date!

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  15. Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day!

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  16. Happy birthday! Because I am rather active and dressmake I made my own sew active pledge/ button, so I do aim to have clothes for cycling and walking, yoga ect. Start having a good look at jersey, it's so wearable and durable and YES lots of stylish prints out these. Good luck

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  17. WOO-HOO! Happy Birthday Gertie! Hope you enjoy your new bike! As for hiking shoes, I like my Merrils...super comfortable!

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  18. Happy Birthday, Gertie! Sorry, I know nothing about hiking anything, but I do know that 33 is a great age to be. Enjoy it.

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  19. Happy Birthday! My birthday is on the 15th. April is the best birthday month in my opinion (I'm biased, of course) Plus, you get to make the best outfits in spring (quick, lightweight, great colors).

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  20. hahahaha love the pit stains on dear Marilyn.
    Happy Birthday to you!! I just turned 33 myself!
    Enjoy your new bike and those hiking boots. Hiking rocks! A cute head scarf would be sweet with some kahkis (sp?)!!

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  21. Happy Birthday to you!!
    I just love the bike...looks like lots of fun! It's so cool to see biking coming back in "style". As for the clicking knees, I think lots of stuff starts making noise once we reach our 30's...(I got 2 years on you)....blah!

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  22. Happy birthday! And I love 40s-style full shorts. They're full and not binding, so plenty of flexibility, and SUPER cute. I've made mine in cotton/linen blends that are nice and cool.

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  23. Happy Birthday! I actually like hiking boots and am now old enough that I'm trying to convince everyone that I'm now on the 5 year birthday plan - as in I now only get a year older every 5 years. Enjoy your bike!

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  24. Happy Birthday, Gertie! Funnily enough, I'm asking for some roller blades or a proper pair of running shoes for my birthday. ;) Practical rather than pretty this year! lol.

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  25. Happy Birthday! Have a fantastic birthday WEEK!!

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  26. Hi Gertie, go for color! My husband and I do volunteer construction, and while my boots are a lovely, functional, brown leather, my hard hat is hot pink, my working gloves have purple insets, and my safety glasses have a pearlized finish. Enjoy your day!

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  27. Happy birthday! What lovely gifts to celebrate.

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  28. Happiest of Birthdays! Your bike is positively lovely :) I think you need to have a photo shoot with it sometime in the near future!

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  29. Dear Gertie, Happy Birthday!!

    I especially love the bike, as I lived in a city with twice as many bikes as people during my university time. It's close to the Netherlands, the home country of your bike, so I saw this model a lot. None was as fashionable as your pink one, though!

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  30. Happy birthday! I'm just a month behind you in my ripening process -- I like to believe I'll ripen like a good cheese ... I might get stinky when I'm old, but people will still want me.

    You can actually buy hiking skirts (or make them) that have some adjustability at the sides along the hem, like this one from Athleta. And if you believe the pictures, you can sprint down a mountain in it. Anyway, I like the idea of exercising in skirts ...

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  31. Happy Birthday to you AND me! What a great day to be born. I'm turning 31, and feel great about it. :-)

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  32. Happy birthday, hon! I am madly (MADLY) in love with your pink bike :)

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  33. Happy Birthday!
    I would be very excited about the hiking boots and what's not to love about the bike! Hiking clothes can be very exciting. The functionality of them is great. I love to see the ingenius features that appear on hiking boots or clothes, especially if they meet a lack I have noticed. I used to have heavy, leather boots, but a few years ago my husband bought me some light weight ones that breath. Same support, just much more comfortable in the summer.

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  34. Well a happy birthday to you on this your 29th and 48 month birthday. I am 29 and 103 months.

    My mother and sewing mentor always said if infants can go by the number of months they are then so can she. I hold true to that math!

    No need to broadcast how wonderfully ripened I am!

    www.sweetydarlin.blogspot.com

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  35. Happy Birthday Gertie! You are never ever too old to get excited about your birthday.

    Do you have an REI in your area? They have great hiking boots!http://www.rei.com/product/726092/vasque-breeze-gore-tex-xcr-hiking-boots-womens

    The picture of Marilyn cracks me!

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  36. Happy Birthday hope you have a good day!! your bike looks fab by the way, love the colour!!

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  37. Happy Birthday!

    Zamberlan Italian handmade leather hiking boots--just got a pair and love them. Made in Italy by the same family since 1929--REI carries them

    Enjoy your new trails!

    dianne

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  38. Happy birthday!! On the issue of age, wouldn't it be interesting to have an open thread on how old everyone is (well, only for those who want to share), for how long everyone has been sewing and how one's skills and view on sewing has evolved. Wouldn't it?
    Have a super day today!!

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  39. Happy birthday, lady!! SMOKIN' bicycle, especially the wheel cover on the back--swank. Hope you have a super great day in your new little town!! :)

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  40. I've been a hiker for lots of years, and I own SERIOUS hiking boots. They're low cut, a lot like saddle shoes, have soles with good traction, lots of good padding inside to absorb impact, and they're bright green, and I mean bright, suede. It's the good soles and padding that make them good hiking shoes. No need for anything that covers your ankles.

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  41. Happy Birthday Gertie! My hiking boots are Cherokee. They aren't too ugly and they are tough. They got me through a geology degree and they are still holding up!

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  42. How exciting! Today is also my partner's birthday. A very good day.
    I can't quite remember being 33, but I know that the thirties are a very good decade of life! Enjoy!

    As for hiking, the proper fit in boots is crucial, and it's one of those things where every person is different. Personally I like Keen hiking shoes as they are the only ones that prevent my feet from hurting. And some of the styles are pretty cute.

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  43. Happy Birthday!

    I am going to be the same age later this year and I still get excited about my birthdays. Why not? It's a celebration of your life.

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  44. Happy Birthday! I still think they are fun, and I am way older :-). You could make hiking attire - even skorts! And you must have plenty of cotton 'kerchiefs on hand to wipe your brow (a pink bandana is nice, but you can get pretty with 'em, too). Adventure awaits! Enjoy your gifts.

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  45. I can't think of a better birthday present. I hope you have the best birthday ever!

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  46. P.S. I have also been a hiker for many years and agree that sometimes my Keen sandals get me through just fine. It's all about good traction & soles (Vibram soles are awesomely grippy!). Ankle support is good if you're backpacking and carrying a heavy load, but otherwise I think it's a personal preference. Many good brands in fun colors out there (not just "dirt").

    I have an REI brand that are almost ten years old and still tough, but more often I wear a pair of old Nike ACS (AGS??) boots that are super lightweight but, again, have great traction.

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  47. When I turned 44 I just added them together and said I turned 8. It's more fun being 8 than 44 and "act your age" takes on a whole new meaning. :)

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  48. And what I meant to add was Happy 6th Birthday!

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  49. Happy birthday! I'm 33 too - it's a good age, if you ask me! ;)

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  50. Happy Birthday! Love your bike. Have a great day...my birthday is tomorrow but I am 5 years older than you

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  51. Happy Birthday, Gertie, and may there be many more!

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  52. happy birthday,i feel very old on the paper,but not in my head,so...enjoye your life.

    "folie de mode"

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  53. Happy birthday!

    I've been meaning to ask, what pattern did you use for the blouse you made on It's Sew Easy? Thanks

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  54. Happy birthday Gertie!
    When you buy your new boots break them in gradually. Don't do what I did ie wear them straight away for a long walk and end up with blisters, taking them off and walking home barefoot.

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  55. Hey, Happy Birthday! It's mine too, but I have about 14 years on you. Well, not about...exactly!

    Have a great day!
    Betz

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  56. My husband and kids made fun of me because I picked out the prettiest hiking boots (Timberland) I could find, tan with light blue/turquoise accents =). They are super comfy and make a huge difference in how my knees do on a hike!

    Happy 33!

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  57. happy bday~! =)

    you're not old at all, still dazzling imo!

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  58. I had a bike just like that when I lived in the Netherlands! And in true Dutch style, it was stolen.

    Have a lot of fun with it, and happy birthday!

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  59. Happy Birthday!

    Marilyn needed some dress shields! Good thing you've taught us all what they are!

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  60. Happy birthday! How fun that you're excited about hiking. I enjoy all things outdoorsy, but I have to admit that I've never owned a pair of hiking boots. I like using a regular pair of running shoes during hikes. That's what I used all through the Alps this summer. I've even hiked in Yosemite in FiveFinger "barefoot" shoes. It was fun being able to run through streams without worrying about getting your shoes and socks wet. But, I recommend you get what will make you feel most comfortable and stable. Try lots of pairs on to find the ones that are right for you.

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  61. Happy birthday! Sounds wonderful so far. :) Hope this year is awesome for you!

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  62. Happy, happy birthday! Have a great day!

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  63. Hi Gertie! Happy birthday, I will be 33 in November. 1979 people are such good people. We got to have real childhoods and we aren't afraid of technology! I am proud of us! Up with people! PS -Love your swingy dress, am working on taking out a gorgeous African wax print dress I found in a thrift store. I usually am altering things to be smaller...way easier. I hemmed I it quite a bit, so I had fabric to add at the bust but the skirt is bias! yikes it ain't easy but I will get there! Enjoy your day!!

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  64. Happy Birthday! I envy that bike! But do have your knee checked out by a doctor if it doesn't get better. I still regret not having mine checked out earlier.

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  65. happy birthday, gertie. you are an inspiration to so many of us sewing enthusiasts, thank you for your blog and craftsy courses that keep us going.

    i love hiking and canoeing in skirts (if not bushwhacking/off-trail), a fitted prana tank top with built-in support, a synthetic long sleeve hoodie, a good sun hat, always the best hiking boots you can afford, and smartwool socks. i'm currently trying to sew some wool garbadine pants for hubby for outdoorsy adventures, and wool knickers in "lederhosen" style for me.

    xox from the Rockies.

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  66. Happy Birthday!!

    That's so funny you mentioned hiking fashion because that's exactly what I wrote about in a recent post. I wish I could hike in cute shoes and a dress but it's just not comfortable or practical. You could probably hike in a dress or skirt, but good luck finding cute hiking boots to match! I gave up on trying to be cute and just wear yoga pants and the ugly hiking boots. The trees don't judge you ;)

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  67. Happy Birthday, Gretchen!

    I love your Dutch bike, and it's really Dutch, they have lots of Gazelle bike stores here in Amsterdam!

    And, for hiking boots go to your local REI, girl (there's one in SoHo)! Hiking boots are something you should really try on first. I have two pairs - one that is a sporty hybrid hiking shoe/sneaker from Merrell, and the other is a true hiking boot that is from Vasque. But, everyone's foot is different so it's best to try them on instead of only purchasing them online.

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  68. Happy Birthday!

    I've done a lot of hiking in my life and the perfect hiking outfit for me is . . . a dress! I hate shorts (I think they are almost universally unattractive on anyone over about 12) but I like to stay cool. I hiked for 6 weeks in the Himalayas and wore a dress almost the whole time. Every man I came across was jealous because I looked so comfortable and cool. Maybe you can design a hiking dress?

    As for boots, get a good pair. I have a pair that my aunt and uncle bought for me on my 18th birthday (24 years ago) and they are still going strong.

    Good luck!

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  69. Oh, a very Happy Birthday to you! I'm not much older than you, but when I had a birthday last month and people asked my age, I sweetly replied, "I can neither confirm nor deny any allegations that I'm actually getting any older." ;-)

    Hope you have a marvellous day!

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  70. Happy Birthday Gretchen! LOVE LOVE LOVE the bicycle. A bike has to be PRETTY and make one feel PRETTY astride the 2 wheeled steed. It's totally you. Hope you have an awesome birthday.

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  71. Happy birthday! Hiking CAN be fashionable! Layers, pedal pushers, skirts, basically any top or blouse all topped with a jaunty little scarf around the neck for when you "glow" (my grandmother insisted that women glow, the do not sweat!).
    oh, and SUNSCREEN, of course!
    I agree with other posters, try on your hiking boots for sure!

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  72. HappyB-day Gertie!
    For hiking I wear layers. Check out fabric stores that carry outdoor fabrics There are several on the list that Threads has on their website.
    Comfort is the most important consideration, I know you can come up with a outfit that's comfortable, fits, and looks good.
    Best -- Annette

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  73. Happy birthday! You share it with my sweet 1 yo DS#2. The bike is fantastic!

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  74. I'm just gonna take this opportunity for annoying shoe evangelism and say that it is better to have strong legs and feet than supported (a.k.a. hindered) ankles. Look into Vibram FiveFingers styles and other minimalist shoes--try your local outdoors store and/or area REI to try on shoes, by the way. Returns take a lot of time! Unfortunately the style I have and love, the KSO Trek, appears to not be manufactured in women's sizes any longer but it looks like some retailers do have them still available--they are IMO the style that looks most like "regular shoes"! Unfortunately I cannot find any good reviews around--I have no idea what I searched when I came across a really brilliant site when I was buying new shoes last year--but if you're heading to REI, consider the nontraditional option! I had chronic shin splints from the age of 11 to the age of 21 when I switched to five-finger shoes for my everyday walking needs, and now it takes quite a lot of walking and standing for my feet and legs to even begin to feel sore--a phenomenon that was previously limited to about the first 2 weeks of a pair of sneakers. And hiking boots are just awful, they will chafe you to kingdom come.

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  75. Hiking and sewing are my two favorite hobbies, and my advice is: get some lightweight merino wool and make yourself a hiking dress (I did last fall and I wear it all the time)! Who says you have to hike in "hiking clothes" when you have the ability to make your own- just use the high performance fabrics available and shape them how you'd like. Though you probably have to buy the boots...I personally like the brand Keen.

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  76. Many happy returns of the day!

    Honestly, as long as the traction is good and you've broken them in - you can wear pretty much any shoe hiking. I actually hiked the soles off a rather expensive pair of boots from REI (it was rough terrain and something like ten hours of walking, but still...), yet my faux leather 'wanted' brand boots have taken me comfortably through several years of adventures.

    How do all of these gals hike in skirts?! Our recent trip the wind was so crazy that a skirt would have been wrapped around my head most of the time. Add to that the nasty brambles with 1" thorns I had to trudge through, and I was so happy I stuck with long pants!
    Since my hubby and I tend to hike in the desert, I've taken my inspiration from desert military wear (of the past), and it's proven to be the best route for me yet. For this year's trip I wore a pair of jodhpurs from a vintage military uniform, and I'm hooked!! I can't wait to use them as a pattern to sew up a few more pairs in lighter weight material!! So comfortable, and quite awesome looking (we just got home, but I'll try to get the photos up on my blog asap). The only down-side is that people might assume you are a park ranger, lol!

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  77. Wow! Another Aries! Happy birthday, fellow Aries! :)

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  78. Happy birthday! You're still a pup! :)

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  79. Happy (slightly belated) birthday! Sounds like you had a great weekend - despite the aching legs. I absolutely love the bike by the way - makes me wish I'd chosen something like that instead of my traditional road bike for my commute!

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  80. Fiona from South AustraliaApril 12, 2012 at 4:28 AM

    Happy birthday & happy hiking!

    Whatever boots you choose, I recommend wearing 2 pairs of socks (eliminates blisters) & get the boots in a loose size - one's feet swell up with heat on long walks.

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  81. I hope you had a great birthday Gertie!

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  82. Happy Birthday dear Gertie, alles Liebe zum Geburtstag (it's German). I hope you had a nice day. And yur topic hiking boots: I have good ones and not too ugly but my friend Ute bought herself very fancy ones. I'll ask her for the brand and then I can tell you. But I think, they're italian.
    Have a nice spring day.
    Maggie

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  83. Many sewy returns! And what an utterly adorable bike!!

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  84. "Happy Birthday to you!!" I love that you're excited about your birthday I'm 46 and I still get giddy over mine! Have a great day hiking/biking!! Eat Cake! :0

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  85. Hello Gertie, it's me again. I asked my friend, the brand is Scarpa. They as well make climbing shoes, so the hiking ones are as well slim and stylish. Good luck for your boots-quest.

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  86. Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful day. Hugs from Spain.

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  87. Sent you some birthday wishes but they seem to have disappeared - bad Blogger! - so let me try again. Happy Birthday, Gertie, and all best wishes for your 33rd!

    And I'm green with envy at your pink bike. If I didn't live on a steep(ish) hill, I would happily ride all day on one of those, it is so pretty!

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  88. Oh Gertie I'm sorry I'm late! Happy Birthday to you sweetheart from one of your (no doubt) many down-under followers. Love your blog to bits & you're a great inspiration my dear. xxx

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  89. Happy birthday! LOVE the bike. You'll be thrilled with the chainguard and skirt guard - it means you can wear all your full-skirted dresses without worrying they'll get caught in the brakes or spokes! (No fun when that happens plus it ruins the dress.) It's similar to my bike - heavy but built to last.
    Happy biking and hiking, and hope you had a great birthday! ;)
    Tasia

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  90. Happy birthday Gertie!!!! I hope you're having a great time cruising around on your cute bike.
    Hiking gear is so unglamorous indeed but it makes all the difference. I am actually on a little short holiday right now on the Isle of Wight (UK) and spend a great amound in hiking boots and other all-weather-gear. I also brought some cute dresses with me. Since we spend most of our time outdoors, they don't get much wear to be honest. I am not too happy about that and would prefer them in my pictures but after a long days walk in rain, sunshine, uphill, along beaches and whatever else I am greatful for my well designed outdoor kit. I guess you can't have it all, all the time. Sometimes things need to be practical. Just wear a cute scarf to make up for it ;-)
    Happy Birthday!!

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  91. Happy Birthday! A new bike is one of my wish list gifts this year too.

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  92. Happy birthday! Mine was on the 10th and my 33rd birthday present was my firstborn child. She turned 21 this April 10, so that makes me a lot older than you!

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  93. We share a birthday dear! I blogged my age and banana phone........ I think only the cool girls blog their awesome bike! LOVE IT! Happy B'day (a day late!)

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  94. Happy Birthday Gretchen! Don't know if you know this but I use to live in Portland OR and miss hiking.... How can you make it a bit more fun fashionably, shorty shorts and a cute sexy print on a button down shirt made with spf fabric and some vents and roll up sleeves! You can make the snorts roll up legs too!
    Happy Bday and wear a helmet!

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  95. Happy Birthday... now you have the bike, and will soon be finished the dress, don't forget to make yourself some matching pink and white frilly knickers you can show off when freewheeling down hills :o)

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  96. Hm,if you want hiking fashion you should take a look at good old Europe and go with a traditional dirndl, it's fun to make once you get a good pattern and you can really play around with fabrics. If you prefer pants, try Lederhosen and a checked blouse. It's the best (and most fun) to wear for one day trips.
    Oh, and if you go through woods, don't forget the (very fashionable) hat!

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  97. Huppy bithday, hoppy bupday, hooty boopday, hippy bathday, you know what I mean ... enjoy those boots and that terrific pink bike. Have a marvelous birthday week.

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  98. Very Vintage Hiking fashion here: http://www.marquise.de/en/1900/schnitte/s1920.shtml Check out the mountaineering skirt and blouse: http://www.marquise.de/en/1900/schnitte/p1913_15.jpg

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  100. A bit late, but happy birthday for two weeks ago Gertie! I'll be the ripe old age of 33 in around 6 months myself :)

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  101. Happy late birthday from one of your newest followers! As an avid hiker, as well as vintage style enthusiast, I might suggest finding a cute, dare I say it,...skort. Personally, I love the cuteness of the skirt AND the freedom of shorts. There are plenty of varieties from stores such as REI. Think tennis skirts/shorts. Who says you can't have style in wilderness? Happy hiking!

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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