I like to think I know how to tough out the cold. I mean, I’ve been cold — really cold — on more than a few occasions. Like the time I spent two December nights in Northern California without a sleeping pad to insulate me from the frigid ground.Read More
I didn’t fully embrace backpacking until I relocated out West. In fact, until I moved made the move to Washington, I largely considered myself a “city girl,” having worked stints in both Los Angeles and New York City.Read More
There are several things I live for in the backcountry—sturdy trees on which to string my hammock, good company to share conversation … and really good snacks. Now, I know that everything tastes better after miles of hiking and climbing through the backcountry. But some snacks taste better (and pack better) than others.Read More
I remember the first time I saw a snow-capped mountain. It was four years ago, and I was driving West with my then-boyfriend in my still-shiny red Acura. I had about $800 in my bank account and a job offer at a newspaper in Washington, a state I'd visited a quick 24 hours before saying yes to the job.Read More
It's a little-known fact that I hate hiking.
This is probably a shock to anyone who knows me. After all, my social media pages are filled with photos of endless fields, tall pines and alpine lakes. Those closest to me know I'm always planning some kind of adventure. I'm snowshoeing in a week. I'm flying to Thailand in five. I've penned a backcountry list a mile long.Read More
Nearly a year ago today, I found myself strolling along an asphalt road near the Pacific Ocean with one of my best friends. We had just emerged from a two-night backpacking trip along the Coastal Trail in California's Redwood National Park. Still in our hiking gear, we felt awkward in our bulky boots, which made more sense when we were trudging up slippery hills among fallen logs and thick shrubs. Walking along the road, we just looked like two tired vagabonds.Read More
Sometimes, you just have to get out of town.
That's what I did several weeks ago. It was Thanksgiving weekend and, being a Northwest transplant, I didn't have family nearby with which to celebrate. Instead, I drove north to Bellingham, Wash., to join my friend Denver for late-night laughs and Thanksgiving casseroles. One of her roommates is a chef, so it wasn't a bad alternative to spending time with family.Read More
Where I grew up, the fall season is defined by crunchy leaves, colorful tree limbs and crisp, cool air. It's about buying gourds at nearby farms and welcoming a reprieve from thick humidity. Back home, fall is my favorite season.Read More