This whole living in the now, being present idea, I get. It’s not a hard concept to wrap your mind around. Putting it into practice however is whole other ball game. Lets just take the internet. I am online, like constantly. Need info Google it, share my great day-facebook, new recipes, new books, new people…….yeah I’m still looking for the end of the net. Where was I going with this? Oh, yeah see it is so super easy for me to drift from the now moment. Even with it right here in front of me; I quickly can jump to somewhere else. A future event….look it up on the internet, a past event…the internet holds onto the memories I forget. Now the internet is not bad, well not mostly, but I need to learn to limit my time there. The TV too. My guilty pleasures, reality television. Ok everyone needs an escape. But the news, ah, that is so frustrating. For instance last night before bed no less, they did a story about K2. A smokable form of potpourri, um the key word there is potpourri! Kid smoked this stuff and hmm…died, killed himself, whatever, parents blame K2! Hold the incense! Why, why, why is your kid smoking potpourri!?? Now the parents want it banned….you know for the safety of the kids. WTF. People you can’t legislate stupidity. My potpourri satchel is for refreshing my drawers not smoking. So frustrating. No wonder our government is so messed up….they waste valuable time dealing with crap like this. Now excuse me while I return to the now moment. Where things are good and stupid do not reign.
Flashback photos from 2011….same girl…..different time
To tell you the truth I’m not sure what to say or do here anymore. Originally I started this blog to cover my hiking. I wanted family and friends that supported me to be able to follow along and know how I was doing. With people then asking ‘ what are you doing next’, I transitioned over into daily stuff then about working at the ski resort. The second season at Alpine Meadows ski resort was not planned but I was excited and intended to share the experience. To say the least things did not go as planned and the season was tiring and stressful.
Time and time again I would come up with posts and then realize I was just venting. Even I wasn’t interested in rehashing the daily trails. I toyed with the idea of just ditching the blog all together. (It wouldn’t be the first time. I’ve had three other blogs, one anonymous, one on cycling and one on cooking that I ditched. See old post here from 2011, not much has changed.) Anyway, with working 10 hour days, being tired and having other things to attend to, well the list of reasons was long.
Then the coronavirus hit.
With the loss of my job and the quarantining all of a sudden I had a whole lot of time on my hands. It was really fun to participate in the CDTC Virtual Trail Days! (It’s going on throughout April, check it out). I always find it funny when people are interested in me or what I’m doing. Nobody’s reading this blog was a reason to stop. During the Trail Days Q&A I was reminded that that doesn’t matter. I do the things I do because that is just me, living my life. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, this blog was never about followers, likes, sponsors or what people think. I live a weird crazy life, always have, long before the internets.
I like my little wandering chardonnay blog. I’m keeping it. I’ll post when I can. Thing is my life is my life, it’s not ‘content’. I’m not a brand to be promoted. This coronavirus “reset” reminded me if this all goes away I’ll still just be a girl living her crazy life.
I had to take a bit of a break. The whole internet, facebook, instagram, blogging thing can at times be a bit overwhelming, intrusive and honestly mind numbing. With other things going on in my life I had to re prioritize somethings. However, now with this whole pandemic thing I have acquired some “free time”.
First off those of you who have had to cancel or postpone your hikes (long, short, or otherwise) I feel for you. I was hoping to see y’all at CDT Trail Days. That has now been transformed into #VirtualTrailDays streamed via Facebook Live!
There’s gonna be speakers, like Will Akuna Robinson and myself, gear giveaways and a live concert. Join us starting Wednesday April 1st at 6pm PST! Hope on over to http://continentaldividetrail.org/trail-days-2020/ to see the schedule and find out about winning some gear! Hope to see you!! Now stay safe, healthy and wash yo hands!!
So recently I’ve been rolling with someone who is rolling sober. (side note: his is being sober for a year) Right now this is a thing, I guess. Every time I turn around someone is sober, getting sober or sober curious (wait are those technically all the same?). I’ve always been a you do you kinda person, because I’m gonna be in my lane doing me.
In a show of solidarity and the fact I’ll try anything I tried out some NA(non alcoholic) beer. You’ve heard of this, of course, beer flavor no booze. I have to say it wasn’t bad, even though some of them forgot to add the beer flavor part. Drinking beer(s) and not even feeling buzzed is strange. It’s like when you only put 2 cheeses in the 3 cheese macaroni dish, it’s still good but something is missing.
Long story long, I like cheese and I want all the cheese. So I am not the NA target market. Seriously I toyed with the idea of some NA wine but I just couldn’t. Yeah nope. Well that’s not totally true. Been trying to get my hands on some of that cannabis infused wine (as I understand it they have to take out the alcohol to add the THC). Hmmm, ok.
Luckily my “cip” has a mind of his own and his sobriety has nothing to do with me, whew. So I’m off to get some candy and a box a wine for tonight’s festivities. Now…..what pairs well with snickers?
While your waiting on that Fiji post……let’s talk about the ALDHA-West Gathering!!
After a long flight back (that included a sweet layover in San Diego. Thanks again Brendan and Kassy! The best layovers include friends and margaritas!) When I landed in NorCal I hit the ground running. Unload, laundry, repack and I was off to Nevada City, CA!
The annual ALDHA-West Gathering is a gathering of hikers who share a love of long distance outings. It’s a great time to see hiking friends old and new. Camping was in full effect. Car camping, tent camping or a cabin if that was your thing. There was also a hike to a waterfall, Hiker Olympics and music provided by Jacob and the Ghost Train. Want to try new tent, pick up, trade or win some gear….it was all there!
Speakers this year included Steve Queen, Ultrapedestrian, Heather Anderson and Loren Steinberg and Mary Taloff (they did the Camino by wheelchair!) All the speakers were informative, inspiring and funny.
A highlight of the weekend was the Triple Crown ceremony Saturday evening. Triple Crowners are people who’ve hiked all of the three major long distance trails (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail). They shared their stories, got their awards and we celebrated their accomplishments (well into the night)!
Mark your calendars…….next years Gathering will be in Colorado!!
After a challenge, trip, adventure or experience I get home and take a deep breath. Then I say to myself (sometimes out aloud) whew, I did it….and didn’t die!
Although I step out of my comfort zone on the regular, it’s a monumental task for my inner me every-time. I’m not big on labels but I suppose you call me an extroverted introvert. I live for going places, trying new things and meeting people. But it is seriously exhausting mentally and emotionally.
Usually the first thing I’ll do when I get somewhere is find an escape spot where I can go and reset. In Fiji it was down a little cliff then across the river to a sand bar. A couple times I had to scramble to beat the rain. No I idea how I’d get back up if that cliff turned to mud.
What can I say, it’s how I cope and keep from killing people (kidding..sorta).
Anyway, for those of you wondering I’m back in Tahoe! The welcome back was a wake up call.
from this to …………………………………to this
So I will be posting about Fiji soon….but first I have to find my coat!
Let me start by saying I’m not a big endorser of products. But I’m all about sharing with y’all something that is worth you checking out. Okay. That being said you probably know I am really thrift store kinda girl. I got both of my thru hiking skirts from thrift stores because I was looking for a particular type of skirt. You know, one that fits and was comfortable.
What am I getting at here? Ok well, long story long…..Purple Rain Adventure Skirts! I got my hands on one of these and boom game changer! Finally a hiking, biking, outdoorsy skirt that works. Um…it has pockets, need I say more. It fits those of us that have, you know hips. It’s fitted but not too snug. It’s really cute and versatile. I’ve worn mine to work and around town, it’s better than yoga pants.
Recently I tried out the action dress! It’s cute and comfy too! So go check them out (I’m talking to you Ragbrai ladies!) Oh and dudes too there’s a kilt version! Get you one….you can thank me later!
People sometimes ask what’s your next adventure? Really I never know. Things just kinda happen. Like, I wanted to thru hike the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). However, I just started a new job and taking a week off is currently not an option. So a friend and I decided to section hike it together.
We decided to do the first leg over the 4th of July long weekend. I dusted off my gear and boom it was on. Getting a late start after work and shuttling cars we hiked up to a nice camp spot then hiked down out of the trees to catch the first set of fireworks out of Kings Beach. Doing the Brockway Summit to Tahoe Meadows was a good choice for firework views but that was still A LOT of snow.
It was really nice trail, then the higher we climbed the snow patches started. Seriously considering some crampons after this hike. All that slipping, sliding and trying not to fall really suck your energy. Found a lovely spot on Mt. Baldy to camp at 9,200 feet. Watched the moon rise on one side of the ridge and the fireworks of Tahoe City, Incline Village, Zepher Cove and South Lake was over the opposite ridge. Afterwards I stood watching boats glide across the lake and the traffic build up on the roads. I was super grateful that I was just ten feet from sliding into my tent for the night.
The section is only 21.6 but I was really glad that we had planned to do it over multiple days. There were certainly parts where we were just hoping for the best only to find we were way off trail. Spent 10 miles picking our way through some sketchy snowy areas. Hiking on snow can really slow your roll and tire you out. We decided to scramble up the granite rocks to get to Raley’s Peak (the highest point on the TRT) at 10,335 feet. It was a way more fun than picking our way over miles of suncups (bowl-shaped open depressions into a snow surface) what a workout that is!
Getting to the top of Relay’s we were rewarded with amazing panoramic 360 degree views. Then we had to get down. Without crampons taking the trail towards Mt. Rose was out of the question…..so sliding down the steep face of suncups then high stepping over the depressions of the only choice. Skiing this area next season has got me a bit excited.
I really enjoyed this hike, I’ m so glad to be living in the Tahoe Basin. Hiking the Sierra’s on the PCT was my favorite section. It is a true privilege to have access to the Sierra’s and all it’s beautiful possibilities. What will my next adventure be? Hard to say….. I just go with the flow and trust the universe will put the correct opportunities in my path.
Second leg of my super road trip I rolled out of Michigan and blew through Indiana and Illinois. That’s about where I hit I-80. I-80 westbound would take me all the way to Tahoe. I’ve driven this stretch of road Michigan to Colorado so many times now I truly think I could do it with my eyes closed! I lived in Iowa for about 20 years. I always look forward to going back. A lot of growing up, for me, happened there and many friends were made. As always I didn’t get to see every one I would have liked to. But I got to see some old friends and their adorable little guy!
Driving through the windmills of western Iowa my mind linged on the days I biked those rolling hills. Ah, the fly over states. After living in the densely populated west coast I longed for the open space of the Midwest and the comfort of a small town.
Since I was rolling north through Colorado I just had to stop at New Belgium Brewery (Ft. Collins). Have you been there!! Next time you’re in the area stop for the tour. The tour guides (and beer) make it real fun. I lost my wallet hurrying to catch the tour, the people who found it were trying to contact me before I finished the tour! Thank goodness. New Belgium…..Good People….Great Beer.
After lunch and a chilly stroll around Ft Collins (man it was 79 degrees when I left Iowa) I was westbound again. By the time I hit Wyoming it was sleeting.
Nothing but good things to say about Wyoming. In 2006 I hunted a buffalo there. Considered moving to Chugwater when they were giving away land and hiking the Basin was a joy. Oh and they have wild horses, what a sight to see! I had planned on camping/hiking a few days in WY. However the cold rain and digital highway signs warned of a storm coming. So on I went.
Next stop Salt Lake City……wait hold up Park City, I see you…got to come back to this cute town to ski. Spent the next miles plotting a winter ski resort road trip. How fun would that be! A quick stop to stretch my legs and check out Temple Square.
With reports of fresh snow falling in Tahoe I pushed on from Salt Lake City. It was a good choice…….got back just in time to get in one last powder day!! Not a bad end to a road trip.
If you didn’t know….I’m from Flint, yes that one. You can’t go home again….that’s kinda true. When I grew up in Flint it was a different place. I lived in a Dick and Jane neighborhood there were homeroom moms, halloween was a community event, we played kickball in the street, we drank from the garden hose, everyone went to day-camp, mom knew everything and GM was the city anchor. Now GM is gone, the city seems smaller, I don’t know the neighbors, we lock the doors, my high school is closed and water comes in bottles.
Things have changed. But somethings haven’t…mom still knows everything, she still has the bests yard in the hood and at 85 she’s a force to be reckoned with! Going home always reminds me how lucky I am. My parents sacrificed a lot for me. They taught me I could do anything, ski, play violin, colorguard….whatever I came up with they were behind me, no matter what. Mom taught me to be a strong woman but not to forget those that paved the way. Thanks mom.
While I was in Michigan I went down to Livonia to hear Heather Anderson give a talk. I was super excited, I’ve wanted to meet her for a while now. She is badass hiker and super nice. Have you read her book,Thirst!? It was so good. Took me like a month to read it. I had to keep stopping to process all the feels. Go check it out!
Oh and Heather happens to be from……Michigan!! So in conclusion 1)Badass Women come from Michigan!! Boom! 2) Home is where the heart is…and mine is sprinkled all across the country.