Before the deed comes the thought. Before the achievement comes the dream. Every mountain we climb, we first climb in our mind.
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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.
audio narrative: the trail will provideRead more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
audio narrative: hiking as conversationRead more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 10, Kerikeri to Paihai – 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.
audio narrative: the startRead more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
audio narrative: suddenly D-day
“Make one friend to last the rest of your life.”Read more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
video: ready or not…
click for downloadable gear list for the Te Araroa – plus weights!Read more.
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 Nietzsche…ReadRead more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Creatures of the C2C
I was never alone hiking in Northern England.Read 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.
Armand Bayou bliss
A convergence of ecosystems amidst a concrete jungle.Read 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.
wild river afternoon
solo snowshoe surprisesRead more.
just a walk to work
Every day an adventure on Saint Paul’s streetsRead 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.
K2 basecamp trek, Karakoram, Pakistan – August, 1994
In the throne room of the mountain gods – Galen Rowell Forgive me is this story is very old. But…ReadRead more.