Before the deed comes the thought. Before the achievement comes the dream. Every mountain we climb, we first climb in our mind.
PCT Day 13, ‘zero’ day, Skykomish
When God is moving you towards a new consciousness, you need to recognize the winds of change at once, move…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 12, Lake Janus to Steven’s Pass, 10 miles
Power’s not given to you. You have to take it. – Beyonce I finally had the best night’s sleep yet.…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 11, Junction at Dishpan Gap to Lake Janus, 20 miles
You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you. – Mary Tyler Moore It was a…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 10, Fire Creek to Junction at Dishpan Gap, 23 miles
What makes you different or weird, that’s your strength. – Meryl Streep It was a damp night. I had to…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 9, Vista Creek to Fire Creek, 18 miles
I believe great people do things before they are ready. – Amy Poehler It feels late getting up at 5:30,…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 8, ‘four falls’ to Vista Creek, 21 miles
Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. – Nora Ephron Sunrise on ‘four falls’ – yes,…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 7, Steheken to random beautiful place ‘four falls,” 15 miles
Stay strong. Make them wonder how you’re still smiling. – Anonymous I sleep reasonably well even if I have to…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 6, Hideaway Camp to High Bridge, (Stehekin) 13 miles
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills I wake up late after taking pain reliever,…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 5, Methow River to Hideaway Camp, 21 miles
Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass. – Maya Angelou Nights aren’t easy. I wasn’t invaded…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 4, Hart’s Pass to Methow River, 16 miles
Be yourself. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. —Joan Jett I wake up late, at least for me, at…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 3, Hopkins Lake to Hart’s Pass, 25 miles
It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot Who am I now? Not…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 2, Holman Creek Trail Junction to Hopkins Lake (via Canadian border) 23 miles
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Sally Berger I sleep fitfully, my hips complaining. Every time I…ReadRead more.
PCT Day 1, Harts Pass to Holman Creek Trail Junction, 13 miles
The beginning is always today. —Mary Shelley Day 1, Harts Pass to Holman Creek Trail Junction, 13 miles And so…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-30 keyword: humility
It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility. —Yogi Berra How does the word HUMILITY resonate as you take your walk…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-29 keyword: enthusiasm
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-28 keyword: tough
You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through. — Rosalynn Carter How…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-27 keyword: joy
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-26 keyword: purpose
When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-25 keyword: clarity
There are few things more powerful than a life lived with passionate clarity. —Erwin McManus How does the word CLARITY…ReadRead more.
Walking is good for you, (no sh – – !)
While it may seem obvious that a good hike through a forest or up a mountain can cleanse your mind,…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-24 keyword: perspective
What I have is a malevolent curiosity. That’s what drives my need to write and what probably leads me to…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-23 keyword: pace
Every flower blooms at a different pace. —Suzy Kassem How does the word PACE resonate as you take your walk…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-22 keyword: trust
Trust yourself. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. —Golda…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-21 keyword: balanced
Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-20 keyword: peace
If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else. —Marvin Gaye How does the word…ReadRead more.
walking into my future…
We must be willing to give up the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-19 keyword: intrepid
Adventure is worthwhile. —Aesop How does the word ‘INTREPID’ resonate as you take your walk today? Post a picture. Share…ReadRead more.
Blistex ‘Lip Vibrance’ review
Blistex Lip Vibrance has been my go to lip protection since I discovered it seven years ago walking the John…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-18 keyword: wandering
Not all who wander are lost. —J.R.R. Tolkien How does the word ‘WANDER’ resonate as you take your walk today?…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-17 keyword: imagination
Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. – Carl Sagan How…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-16 keyword: adventurous
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. —Helen Keller How does the word ‘ADVENTUROUS’ resonate as you take your…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-15 keyword: solitude
Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt in solitude, where we are least alone. —Lord Byron, How does the word…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-14 keyword: restore
Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul. —Alice Walker How does the word ‘restore’…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-13 keyword: patience
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-12 keyword: introspective
The only journey is the one within. —Rainer Maria Rilke How does the word ‘introspective’ resonate as you take your…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-11 keyword: confidence
Confidence is not, ‘They will like me’. Confidence instead is, ‘I’ll be fine if they don’t’. —Christina Grimmie How does…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-10 keyword: tenacity
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-9 keyword: spirit
Break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-8 keyword: serenity
Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is. —Thomas Szasz How does the…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ motivation day-7 keyword: awe
(S)he who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; h(er) eyes…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ motivation day-6 keyword: curious
Be like Curious George, start with a question and look under the yellow hat to find what’s there. —James Collins…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-5 keyword: potential
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the…ReadRead more.
Post thru-hike gear wrapup: Hammock Gear quilt
Here’s something I get asked a lot – How the heck do you wash your down quilt or sleeping bag?…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-4 keyword: dream
Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you. —Marsha Norman How does the word ‘dream’ resonate as you…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-3 keyword: courage
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. —e.e. cummings How does the word ‘courage’ resonate…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-2 keyword: ‘bliss’
Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. —Joseph Campbell Join in the fun,…ReadRead more.
‘take-a-hike’ challenge day-1 keyword: beginning
Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful.…ReadRead more.
June ‘take-a-hike challenge’
Hey Blissful Hikers, get out your Fitbits…NOT! Instead, let’s inspire each other by making this June more about the en-counter…ReadRead more.
post thru-hike gear wrapup: Therm-a-rest NeoAir Xlite
Quick, what is the most important activity on a thru-hike? If you answered, “Hike,” give that reader a Kewpie doll.…ReadRead more.
post thru-hike gear wrapup: Icebreaker T
Except for extra pairs of socks, undies and camp clothes that double as layers on cold days, there’s really no…ReadRead more.
post thru-hike gear wrapup: Columbia OutDry ex-reign rain jacket and pants
If you’re going to be outdoors for any significant amount of time, you are going to eventually get wet and…ReadRead more.
To: Mark Weatherall, Chief Executive of the Te Araroa Association
Kia ora, Mark. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me by phone on that cold,…ReadRead more.
Flower Power at Nerstrand Big Woods or: how I learned to say “Cutleaf Toothwort” without gigglingRead more.
post thru-hike gear wrapup: La Sportiva Akyra mountain running shoe
You might recall that it was one year ago, while hiking the Coast-to-Coast and aliloop-of-the-lakes in England, that I became…ReadRead more.
The volume’s turned up at William O’Brien as I take a half-day’s walk on muddy trails, ears open to the…ReadRead more.
post thru-hike gear wrapup: Kavu Fishermans Chillba
It’s not that I have anything against baseball caps. I often wear them hiking, biking, kayaking, running, skiing, climbing –…ReadRead more.
post thru-hike gear wrapup: Granite Gear Crown2 60
When I purchased the iPhone that would become my camera, typewriter, microphone, editing studio and means of communication with the…ReadRead more.
the moment before
It’s gray and cold, my hoodie is tied tight at my chin. A tiny stream seeps from a pile of…ReadRead more.
post thru-hike gear wrapup: Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec pole
Gusts were at “extreme gale” in exposed areas and squally showers blew sideways the day I crossed Nelson Lakes National…ReadRead more.
audio narrative: the joy of missing out
Erica Jong writes, “Jealousy is all the fun you think they had.” I opt for joy in missing out…Read more.
forest fungus fotos
Fungus was certainly among us walking the Kepler Track in the South Island. Seeing these pictures again brings back for…ReadRead more.
time to vote!
Vote for your top three favorite avatar names…Deadline is Tuesday, April 23 at midnight I am overjoyed with the number…ReadRead more.
Avatar needs a name!
Attention creative thinkers! Help me name the blissful hiker avatar. Win lots of accolades, maybe some fame, and definitely good…ReadRead more.
TA Stewart Island
I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself. —Emma Stone The…ReadRead more.
TA Day 127, Invercargill to Bluff, 34 km
As much as I love the alicoop, it is so nice to sleep in a bed – though my dreams…ReadRead more.
TA Day 126, Riverton to Invercargill, 33 km
Again stars were working overtime, but in the grassy dip set aside for Te Araroa tents, dew built up on…ReadRead more.
TA Day 125, Colac Bay to Riverton, 24 km
Stars are shining when I poke my head out of the alicoop, though clouds crowd in as I stroll to…ReadRead more.
TA Day 124, Martin’s Hut to Colac Bay, 24 km
Ian and Wendy are up first, speaking in whispers, their lights aiming down. My head is mere inches from the…ReadRead more.
TA Day 123, Merivale Road to Martin’s Hut, 29 km
I can see stars when I wake up, but fall is settling in and it’s pitch dark now. I organize…ReadRead more.
TA Day 122, ‘zero day’ Otautau
I only have a few things to share from this very lazy day of reading, writing, editing, eating and giggling…ReadRead more.
TA Day 121, ‘zero day’ Otautau
I tossed and turned last night, waking momentarily to see a waning gibbous moon perched on a cloud. My day…ReadRead more.
TA Day 120, Birchwood to Merrivale Hut, 28 km
I wake with the others in the bunk room, a bit groggy and hung over from the drama of the…ReadRead more.
TA Day 119, Lower Wairaki Hut to Birchwood, 36 km
Rain fell all night. I am so happy that I stayed in a hut, tucked into my bunk with my…ReadRead more.
TA Day 118 Lower Princhester Hut to Lower Wairaki Hut, 31 km
I’m awakened by birds peeping in that silver flute tone of theirs, the sky barely light. I am more of…ReadRead more.
TA Day 117, Mavora Lake to Lower Princhester Hut, 22 km
A clear, windy night gave way to a rainy, windy night. Even with piles of rocks, one stake slips out…ReadRead more.
TA Day 116, Taipo Hut to Mavora Lake, 27 km
The stars were electric last night, even as the super moon made a grand entrance, lighting up one stray cloud…ReadRead more.
TA Day 115, McKellar Hut to Taipo Hut, 28 km
It’s a night shared with smokers, door slammers and snorers, but it turns out to be pretty fun in a…ReadRead more.
TA Day 114, ‘detour’ Routeburn River to McKellar Hut, 38 km
It rained all night. I am dry and warm in the alicoop, but I don’t think I can hike an…ReadRead more.
TA Day 113, Arrowtown to Routeburn Track, 30 km
I’m up before dawn, quietly moving my gear into the common room so I can pack loudly. Someone on the…ReadRead more.
TA Day 112, Roses Hut to Arrowtown, 24 km
The stars did not disappoint. I checked often through the night, the nearly full moon lighting up this wild landscape.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 111, Fern Burn Hut to Roses Hut, 17 km
Walking is the natural recreation for a (wo)man who desires not absolutely to suppress (her) intellect but to turn it…ReadRead more.
TA Day 110, Wanaka to Fern Burn Hut, 27 km
The morning is lazy because I have to wait for the bank to open. I load up on more calories,…ReadRead more.
TA Day 109, ‘zero day’ Wanaka
Pink sky in the morning, hiker take warning. Good thing I planned a rest day as the clouds move in,…ReadRead more.
TA Day 108, side trip! Rob Roy Glacier, Mt. Aspiring National Park
Pink light glows on the mountains and glaciers. A perfect sky for a day trip. Harry and I have been…ReadRead more.
TA Day 107, Hawea to Wanaka, 25 km
It rained nearly all night on the alicoop in this odd carved out campground above the hotel. Self-contained vehicles hemmed…ReadRead more.
TA Day 106, Stodys Hut to Hawea, 22 km
The cure for loneliness, is solitude. —Marianne Moore Waking up this morning felt like a new start on a new…ReadRead more.
TA Day 105, Tin Hut to Stodys Hut, 27 km
A perfect sleep in a perfect, tiny historic musterer’s hut opens with pink clouds and orange light on the grassy…ReadRead more.
TA Day 104, Freehold Creek to Tin Hut, 30 km
Being alone is, we know, the best chance you have to be yourself, which is in turn the seed of…ReadRead more.
TA Day 103, Twizel to Freehold Creek, (29 km) + 6 km
At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. —Toni Morrison The stars were spectacular overnight and I slept…ReadRead more.
TA Day 102, Tekapo to Twizel, (54 km)
I slept poorly last night with all the rustling about, phones going off and generally being stressed out knowing I…ReadRead more.
TA Day 101, After Washdyke Stream on Richmond Track to Tekapo, 26 km
Ah, the stars last night! Twinkling diamonds on black velvet, the milky way a gentle twist. The morning opens with…ReadRead more.
TA Day 100, Royal Hut to after Washdyke Stream, 26 km
Contrary to Alan from Dunedin’s prediction, the day opens crystal clear, ready for our eyes to take in some of…ReadRead more.
TA Day 99, Crooked Spur Hut to Royal Hut, 16 km
The morning begins with the Kiwi couple talking, rustling in their plastic food bags and letting the door bang shut…ReadRead more.
TA Day 98, Potts River Bridge Car Park to Crooked Spur Hut, 17 km + 14 km
The wind dies down and the possums come out, climbing the tree above my head and chattering to each other.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 97, Manuka Hut to Potts River Bridge Car Park, 33 km
It’s cozy on my bunk as the sky begins to lighten. I’m up first heading to the longdrop on a…ReadRead more.
TA Day 96, A-frame Hut to Manuka Hut, 28 km
The wild wind blew open the door of the hut, even after we placed a rock to hold it shut.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 95, Harper River Camping Area to A-Frame Hut, 32 km
Such a lovely night with brilliant stars and later a crescent moon on her side. People arrive late and release…ReadRead more.
TA Day 94, Hamilton Hut to Harper River Camping Area, 20 km
I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same…ReadRead more.
TA Day 93, State Highway 73 to Hamilton Hut, 26 km
Alessio and I close up the bach, pack up and head to the road by 7 to hitch rides –…ReadRead more.
TA Day 92, zero day, Arthur’s Pass
I slept in late on this well deserved break day staying at a friend of a friend’s bach – pronounced…ReadRead more.
TA Day 91, Goat Pass Hut to State Highway 73, 10 km
The rain slashed against the windows all night. Was it wind making it sound heavier than it is or will…ReadRead more.
TA Day 90, Kiwi Hut to Goat Pass Hut, 28 km
My alarm goes off at 5:30 playing Billy McGlaughlin’s Finger Dance on full volume, but it’s still dark. I can…ReadRead more.
TA Day 89, Hurunui No. 3 Hut to Kiwi Hut, 23 km
The moonlight filled the tiny windows of the hut as I slept. The first morning I’m not flying out of…ReadRead more.
TA Day 88, Hope Halfway Shelter to Hurunui No. 3 Hut, 36 km
The morning begins cloudy, chilly, but no rain. I am up first, packed and ready to leave this over-stuffed hut.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 87, Boyle Flat Hut to Hope Halfway Shelter, 32 km
It rains all night and I wake up so glad I walked both passes in reasonably good weather and that…ReadRead more.
TA Day 86, Waiau Hut to Boyle Flat Hut, 43 km
Kuba’s alarm wakes us in the morning. Usually just the sunrise gets me up, but last night there was a…ReadRead more.
TA Day 85, Blue Lake Hut to Waiau Hut, 17 km
Rain spatters the windows as the sky lightens, though wind seems to have stilled. Snoring and adjusting keeps me awake,…ReadRead more.
TA Day 84, Upper Travers Hut to Blue Lake Hut, 16 km
Charley’s alarm wakes me around 5. He has plans to cross both passes today – and I’m sure he’ll do…ReadRead more.
TA Day 83, St. Arnaud to Upper Travers Hut, 30 km
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do. With your one…ReadRead more.
TA update: going up! – again
I received a short message from Alison: “Nelson Lakes conquered. Heading back up to miss rain. More in a week”…ReadRead more.
TA update: going up!
I spoke to DOC and they said walk, so heading up and will check back in about one week!Read more.
TA Day 82, Red Hills Hut to St. Arnaud, 21 km
This morning I wake up on the edge of Mount Richmond Forest Park and say goodbye to this glorious –…ReadRead more.
TA Day 81, Top Wairoa Hut to Red Hills Hut, 29 km
I awake with a jolt from nightmares. I’d gone home trying to explain what I’m doing and then had one…ReadRead more.
TA Day 80, Rintoul Hut to Top Wairoa Hut, 22 km
I grab two bars, pack Olive Oyl and head up Purple Top before sunrise. A family of goats meets me…ReadRead more.
TA Day 79, Slaty Hut to Rintoul Hut, 13 km
The hut rattles and shakes in the wind, but when I step outside for the loo, it’s not cold. I…ReadRead more.
TA Day 78, Hacket Track car park to Slaty Hut, 18 km
Maggie brings me outside when I wake up to show me my good luck charm – a rainbow. Cary joins…ReadRead more.
TA Day 77, Side trip! Abel Tasman National Park
Today is my second side trip, to beautiful Abel Tasman park. Steve makes a plan and we head out with…ReadRead more.
TA Day 76, zero day, Nelson
“It’s hard to be more perfect than right now,” says Steve as we sit on his beautiful deck overlooking a…ReadRead more.
TA Day 75, Captain Creek Hut to Hacket Track car park, 29 km
I sleep well outside. It’s cooler and the stars come out, diamonds displayed on black velvet. There’s no relief from…ReadRead more.
TA Day 74, Kaiuma Bay Road to Captain Creek Hut, 32 km
Tui and Sam’s loud morning stretch greet the day, overcast, just how I like it. It’s a different world down…ReadRead more.
TA Day 73, Onahua Lookout to Kaiuma Bay Road – 44 km
A couple of kids do arrive last night, just as the sun goes down behind a mountain. They bring good…ReadRead more.
TA Day 72, Camp Madsen to Onahau lookout, 37 km
Q: Why did the weka shriek before the sun came up? A: Because he can. To be fair there were…ReadRead more.
TA Day 71, Ship Cove to Madsen Camp, 17 km
I needed to get up before 5 am to catch the ferry, but what a treat for Raf to take…ReadRead more.
TA Day 70, ‘slackpack’ Wellington, 15 km
Things begin a bit lazy on another unusually sunny, warm day in Wellington with waffles and delicious yogurt, golden kiwis…ReadRead more.
TA Day 69, Wellington
I’m now dreaming constantly of walking, this time pushing through scree, trapped and not getting very far. I’m either a…ReadRead more.
TA Day 68, Camp Elsdon to Wellington, 29 km
I get up early to catch the cool air. It’s steep stairs up and up through bush finally into open…ReadRead more.
TA Day 67, Paekakariki to Camp Elsdon, 28 km
I dreamed last night that I was walking, but would wake up and see the stained glass window in my…ReadRead more.
TA Day 66, zero day
I suppose it’s a bit odd to snag a zero day when I’m just two days from finishing the North…ReadRead more.
TA Day 64-65, Side trip! Mt. Taranaki
I hate to become repetitive, but this morning began with rain on the alicoop. I think I’m going to need…ReadRead more.
TA Day 63, Waikanae to Paikakariki, 21 km
The morning opens with rain and wind. Floris and Marjelain leave early, but I am beat. Brent makes me tea…ReadRead more.
TA Day 62, Waitewaewae Hut to Waikanae, 34 km
I wake up early, pack and eat tuna for breakfast to avoid any more of that weird heartbeat issue. The…ReadRead more.
TA Day 61, Dracophyllum Hut to Waitewaewae Hut, 13 km
Just after 5, and the nervous Germans are up packing. I like getting up early and hearing a few wind…ReadRead more.
TA Day 60, Makahika Outdoor Pursuits to Dracophyllum Hut, 25 km
When you go up in the Tauraruas, you want a forecast with no wind. The fact that it’s pouring rain…ReadRead more.
TA Day 59, Kahuterawa to Makahika Outdoor Pursuits, 40 km
Robb starts the trail with me for just a few feet before pealing off. Our drive into where I left…ReadRead more.
TA Day 58, ‘slackpack’ Palmerston North to Kahuterawa Park, 21 km
It rained last night and is still raining all morning. I have tea and toast with Robb and Tara hands…ReadRead more.
TA Day 57, Mount Lees Reserve to Palmerston North, 31 km
Well it was bound to happen – I wake up in pouring rain. I pack up anyway and figure, it…ReadRead more.
TA Day 56, Koitiata to Mount Lees Reserve, 37 km
A full moon looked in on my sleep, then a glorious sunrise. I’m back on black sand as my trail…ReadRead more.
TA Day 55, Whanganui to Koitiata, 33 km
An absolutely beautiful rest in a beautiful room awakened by the smell of toast, eggs, bacon – a full English…ReadRead more.
TA Day 54, Hipango Park to Whanganui, (30 km) + 7 km
I wake up to a five-note song, a slight variation on Gershwin’s first prelude. I answer with the second line,…ReadRead more.
TA Day 53, Flying Fox to Hipango Park, (34 km)
The moon comes out accompanied by wild night sounds and a few stray splats of raindrops shaking off the trees.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 52, Tieke Kainga to Flying Fox, (52 km)
You know it’s a thru-hike – or at this point a thru-paddle – when you wake up in the middle…ReadRead more.
TA Day 51, John Coull to Tieke Kainga, (32 km)
Our tents are damp in this foggy morning, set on a staircase of carved terraces, Inca-style. Yesterday, Andrew and I…ReadRead more.
TA Day 50, Whakahoro to John Coull, (38 km)
Waking up was with complaining sheep and the thwap-thwap of techno pop meaning only one thing – sheep sheering. It’s…ReadRead more.
TA Day 49, Katieke War Memorial to Whakahora – 24 km
The day opens with low hanging mist. I have to put on rain gear to pack the tent, studying the…ReadRead more.
TA Day 48, National Park to Katieke War Monument – 27 km
I’m having trouble sleeping as my birthday winds down. So many gifts of good weather, astonishing scenery, strong legs and…ReadRead more.
TA Day 47, Mangatepopo track to National Park – 30 km
I often wondered where I’d end up on December 14th while walking the TA. So happy to wake up in…ReadRead more.
TA Day 46, Te Porere Redoubt to Mangatepopo track – 27 km
I’m up and packing at 3 am. Friends, there are stars out. Glory Hallelujah. Fingers crossed we make the crossing…ReadRead more.
TA Day 45, Whakapapa River to Te Porere Redoubt – 35 km
Gray and ominous this morning; foggy, but no rain. Obviously I’d like ideal weather for the crossing – and my…ReadRead more.
TA Day 44, Taumaruni to Whakapapa River – 25 km
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself. – Søren Kierkegaard The day starts…ReadRead more.
TA Day 43, Ongarue to Taumarunui – 27 km
Up early just as the sun is coming up, my favorite time of day. I’m happy to have found a…ReadRead more.
TA Day 42, Timber Trail to Ongarue campsite – 26 km
Good decision to sleep in the tent, so cozy and much less dew this morning. Tuis call each other over…ReadRead more.
TA Day 41, Timber Trail – 33 km
All my gear is neatly laid out as I wait for the sun to peak out over the trees. He’s…ReadRead more.
TA Day 40, Ngaherenga campsite to Timber Trail – 27 km
I wake up to an absolute cacophony of bird song, the wildest yet. We’re at about 500 meters and it…ReadRead more.
TA Day 39, Mangaokewa Road to Ngaherenga campsite – 33 km
More rain, but finally the sun is up and the sky is pink. I am starting to doubt my capacity…ReadRead more.
TA Day 38, Mangaokewa Reserve to Mangaokewa Road – 17 km
What an extraordinary place to wake up to. I have a virgin forest, thick and impenetrable, across the river. Rapids…ReadRead more.
TA Day 37, Waitomo to Mangaokewa Reserve – 31 km
It rains at night, a constant, loud volley of water bullets on the alicoop. I’m dry and snug as the…ReadRead more.
TA Day 36, ‘zero day’ Waitomo
I think I felt so good yesterday because it was the first time I started to really feel my rhythm…ReadRead more.
TA Day 35, Kaimango Road to Waitomo – 29 km
The weather forecast is for more rain – and thunderstorms – but not until later today. The mist is down…ReadRead more.
TA Day 34, Pahautea hut to Kaimango Road – 18 km
Rain and mist all night, but snuggled warm in a bunk at the hut. Sadly, no view from this spectacular…ReadRead more.
TA Day 33, Whatawhata to Pahautea hut – 33 km
What a fantastic place to sleep, dead quiet until about 4 when the trucks revved up again, but a safe,…ReadRead more.
TA Day 32, Hamilton to Whatawhata – 10 km
The cows have moved this morning and are grazing literally in Irene and Bindie’s backyard. I strip down and take…ReadRead more.
TA Day 31, Hakamarita to Hamilton – 28 km
I got a note from a follower named Tom who says, “You and your hiking odysseys personify today’s word.” The…ReadRead more.
TA Day 30, Rangiriri to below Hakamarita summit – 29 km
Rained all night. Maybe it got it out of its system. I slept well behind Cathy’s pie shop even though…ReadRead more.
TA Day 29, Mercer to Rangariri – 27 km
About to set off. The sun is out but I’m nervous getting back on the trail. Bought way too much…ReadRead more.
TA Day 28, ‘slackpack’ Mangere Bridge to Totara Park – 36 km
It’s raining. A lot. And expected all day – with lightning on the side. But I have good rain gear…ReadRead more.
TA Day 27, ‘slackpack’ Auckland – 18 km
I’m up and out before the house stirs in full rain gear. Just drizzle – and not cold – but…ReadRead more.
TA Day 26, ‘slackpack’* Auckland – 9 km
*slackpacking is section backpacking while sleeping in the same place each night I’m a tourist today, loosely walking the trail…ReadRead more.
TA Day 25, zero day, Auckland
I am laying in a bed letting the body recover until all hours of the morning, make that the afternoon.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 24, Stillwater to Auckland, 33 km + 4 km
A lazy morning awaiting the tide to get to its lowest at 12:36 so we can cross the Okura River.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 23, Wenderholm to Stillwater, 30 km
Cold, damp, sandflies – oh my! It rained through the night and I was warm nestled in the alicoop, but…ReadRead more.
TA Day 22, Puhoi to Wenderholm – 7 km + 1 km
The barkeep Sean has just asked if I met the ghost in room 7, he carries his head in his…ReadRead more.
TA Day 21, Dome forest to Puhoi – 34 km
I’m up and out early. Exotic birds becoming friends wake me, but I slept fitfully. It would be a big…ReadRead more.
TA Day 20 – Pakiri beach to Dome Forest – 26 km
A sunrise over the South Pacific. Not a bad way to wake up. Though I faff about in the warmth…ReadRead more.
TA Day 19, Dragon’s Spell to beach near Pakiri – 39 km
A grand sleep with my kiwi hoot-whistling softly and waves rumbling far below. I dream about a person who hasn’t…ReadRead more.
TA Day 18, Ruakaka to Dragon’s Spell – 26 km
Note to self: no more setting up on a slope. It was relatively wonderful at Betty’s but I couldn’t find…ReadRead more.
TA Day 17, Peach Cove to Ruakaka – 17 km + 11 km
I am a total dope. I followed a beach sign down to a rocky shore. But there is another beach…ReadRead more.
TA Day 16, Taiharuru River to Peach Cove – 25 km
The tree house faces east looking out over the estuary, pink streaks reflected in the receding water that I’ll walk…ReadRead more.
TA Day 15, Nikau Bay to Taiharuru Estuary – 13 km
It’s been two weeks. I’ve gotten conjunctivitis and a minor sprain. Here’s hoping – hobbling? – the new week is…ReadRead more.
TA Day 14, Whananaki to Nikau Bay Camp – 28 km + 2 km
Quiet and cool this morning by the estuary. The wind died and the party heated up until the wee hours.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 13, Helena Bay to Whananaki – 25 km
Walking straight uphill this early morning onto a flower-covered hillside above the ocean. I can hear the waves crashing below.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 12, Waikare to Helena Bay – 28 km
I get an early start. It’s overcast just as I like it. Someone else is up with a weed wacker.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 11, Paihia to Waikare – 13 km + 3 km
The day dawned damp and a bit chilly. Our tent city at the Pickled Parrot spreading out on the couches…ReadRead more.
TA Day 10, Kerikeri to Paihia – 24 km
Another lovely night’s rest and now Vern drives me on the windy rollercoaster of a road back to Stone House…ReadRead more.
TA Day 9 – zero day, Kaeo
I’ve been invited to stay the night at one of the most extraordinary homes I’ve ever been to, in the…ReadRead more.
TA Day 8, Puketi Forest to Kerikeri – 27 km
The morning came full of birdsong. The first few nights – especially going this hard – are tough. My legs…ReadRead more.
TA Day 7, Apple Dam to Puketi Forest camp – 36 km
Well this <expletive> sucks. It’s been pouring rain for the last few hours. Nothing is nastier than packing in rain.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 6, Umaumokaroo to Apple Dam – 26 km
Just putting my things up to face a few more hours of mud til a road walk and – you…ReadRead more.
TA Day 5, Takahue Saddle Road to below Umaumakaroo – 16 km
What a delight to spend the evening at Peter’s overlooking Ahipara Bay. Wine under the olive trees, alicoop drying in…ReadRead more.
TA Day 4, Utea Park to Ahipara, 32 km
Definitely a better night at Utea Park and I do feel a bit sheepish that I was so maudlin last…ReadRead more.
TA Day 3, Maunganui Bluff to Utea Park – 30 km
The alicoop crashed in the middle of the night. First came torrential rain, then the wind. Then rain and wind.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 2, Twilight to Maunganui Bluff – 28 km
I woke up early. Really early. To be expected after not feeling any effects of jet lag on yesterday’s mission.…ReadRead more.
TA Day 1, Cape Reinga to Twilight – 12 km
It’s pitch dark, the waves are crashing and the other six at Twilight are asleep, nestled in their tents. This…ReadRead more.
TA audio narrative: and away she goes!
The only impossible journey is the one you never begin. – Tony Robbins I’m leaving Saint Paul for Kerikeri, New Zealand…ReadRead more.
TA audio narrative: no outcomes backpacking
If you arrive at a final destination, it’s a sign that you’ve set your sights too low. – Friedrich NietzscheRead more.
TA walking hand-in-hand with Beethoven
How happy I am to be able to wander among bushes and herbs, under trees and over rocks; no one…ReadRead more.
TA audio narrative: Does orange make my butt look fat?
It's said that people fear public speaking - and looking ridiculous - more than death.Read more.
Hammock Gear Burrow quilt review
I am afraid of heights. At least according to Ohio-based Hammock Gear, who – despite the name and mission –…ReadRead more.
TA video: alison’s big adventure
On Saturday, October 27th, I will begin a journey… Thank you Eduardo at TLG Photo and Video for making the…ReadRead more.
Soto Amicus review
Amicus means friend in Latin, and I have a feeling this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Soto Amicus…ReadRead more.
gear list for the Te Araroa
Backpacking: An extended form of hiking in which people carry double the amount of gear they need for half the…ReadRead more.
TA audio narrative: who is this “blissful hiker” you speak of?
MPR host swept into the inevitability of a five-month hike in New Zealand. I’m a classical music DJ and long-distance…ReadRead more.
ten reasons to add hot yoga to your thru-hike prep
The very heart of yoga practice is ‘abyhasa’ – steady effort in the direction you want to go. – Sally…ReadRead more.
training is life; life, training
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. –…ReadRead more.
TA video: Thru-hike prep with visual aids
Tenting tonight on the old camp ground. – Micki SimmsRead more.
The little light that could
Many years ago, my mom, who was a Forensics coach, took me with her to the All-State Finals to cheer…ReadRead more.
Balega socks review
If you want to hike with the ease, agility and the fleet-footedness of a seasoned ultra trail runner, and keep…ReadRead more.
Dried veggies and fruit
Accepting your own mortality is like eating your vegetables: You may not want to do it, but it’s good for…ReadRead more.
more deets on aliloop-of-the-lakes, Northern England
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and…ReadRead more.
Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-tec review
The Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec is a foldable bomb-proof aluminum trekking pole with an awesome cork handled grip and outstanding adjustability.…ReadRead more.
Food is not just eating energy. It’s an experience. – Guy Fieri I am always amazed that when I hike…ReadRead more.
Tarptent Notch Li partial solid w/silnylon floor review
The Tarptent Notch Li is a fantastic ultra light shelter for the solo thru-hiker looking for simplicity and durability, while…ReadRead more.
La Sportiva Akyra Trail Runners review
What do you get when you cross the speed, flexibility, the ability to stop on a dime and the wicking…ReadRead more.
Granite Gear Crown2 60 backpack review
The Granite Gear Crown2 60 is a superbly designed ultra light backpack ideal for multi-day backpacking and long distance thru-hiking.…ReadRead more.
Te Araroa, New Zealand – Oct-Mar, 2018—19
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you…ReadRead more.
I leave for Northern England and the Coast-to-Coast in six days and until a few moments ago, I was still…ReadRead more.
And the winner is…
alicoop! My tent doesn’t look like much but, as an estate agent might say, ‘It is air-conditioned and has exceptional…ReadRead more.
Behold the bar!
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. – Virginia Woolf When I first…ReadRead more.
Which mattress do I take for the 192 miles of England’s Coast-to-Coast in June? There’s only one way to find…ReadRead more.
food, glorious food!
Is it possible to stay healthy and eat heartily on the trail? Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come…ReadRead more.
Boots or trainers?
I need help choosing footwear for the Coast to Coast walk in June. What do you think? Forget not that…ReadRead more.
This is my new tent for the Coast to Coast walk next month. Let the beauty of what we love…ReadRead more.
Coast-to-Coast + aliloop-of-the-lakes, England – June, 2018
I want to encourage in others the ambition to devise with the aid of maps their own cross-country marathons and…ReadRead more.
Don’t shun (-tion) the “Ten Essentials”
Before any hike, you should ask the question “could I spend the night here?” – blissful hiker Have you ever…ReadRead more.
Paria Canyon/Buckskin Gulch, UT/AZ – November, 2017
If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. – Dale…ReadRead more.
Border Route Trail, MN – October, 2017
The no boundaries waters and trail of secrets… – HikerA and HikerB Last autumn, I went on my first thru-hike…ReadRead more.
Presidential Traverse and White Mountains, NH – August, 2017
Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory. – Ed Viesturs A friend I made on one of my…ReadRead more.
GR5, France – August, 2016
Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone. – Paul Tillich In the…ReadRead more.
Fifteen Fourteeners, CO – September, 2015
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills …scaled in two weeks, with (mostly) perfect weather,…ReadRead more.
Colorado Trail, USA – August 2014
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as…ReadRead more.
Drakensberg Traverse, South Africa – June, 2013
Fortune favors the audacious. – Erasmus You could call us audacious. But you’d also be right calling us downright foolhardy.…ReadRead more.
John Muir Trail, CA – September, 2012
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. – John Muir Though I didn’t actually see the…ReadRead more.