backpacking, hiking and thru-hiking

The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.

Emily Dickinson

Backpacking and long distance thru-hiking is not always blissful. It takes hard work, dedication and determination to stay the course when walking, tramping or trekking. But like life, the rewards are sweet for those willing to put one foot in front of the other.

My smiling avatar sitting in her lotus position was named in a contest by my followers “Anita Hike.”

Throughout my hiking career, my feet have moved me forward on six continents, in the United States, England, France, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa. Check the dropdown menu above for specific hike diaries and gear lists.


Bonita is the friendly innkeeper at the Silver Pines, a very accommodating hotel for backpackers.
Historic Silver Pines Lodge has seen its share of "Hiker Trash," But the innkeeper says it's enriching.
Thru-hiking teaches us about patience, mindfulness, generosity, forgiveness and feeling fully alive.
My mother makes an appearance sharing a tiny vignette, a clue to my hiking passion.
Arthritis runs in my genes and this fall, I'll have both of my hips replaced with artificial ones.
Bob is the caretaker at one of the oddest places along the PCT.
It's a long 18-mile stretch in desert to Hiker Town, one of the oddest places I slept along the PCT.
Backcountry Foodie provides recipes that are nutritious, light-weight, easy to make and cheap.
Designed for all the places you 'go,' the Kula Cloth is an essential piece of gear for female hikers.
The Kekekabic is a remote and rugged 41-mile long trail through the Boundary Waters Wilderness.
It's a rewind of the trail out of Lane Cove to Rock Harbor where the wind delays the plane.
The trail heads up to Mount Ojibwe then down into forest to a remote cove.
Mr. Otter cleaned himself of leeches, perhaps, on the dock and was soon joined by his pal who also had grooming chores.
Passing Chickenbone and Ritchie Lakes to Moskey, I'm attacked by leeches, then see otters at sunset.
Sometimes you just have to jump right in.
It's a short walk to the cove through lightening, thunder and a downpour.
The Minong Ridge meanders through dams, birches then to a stunning campsite facing Canada.
The less traveled Island Mine Trail gave me flashbacks to the Te Araroa.
Carnelian beach is slow through overgrowth and wetland, then it's over Mount Desor to a lake.
One of millions of dew covered spider webs on Feldtmann Ridge.
The walk to a view is fogged in, but Blissful is rewarded with thousands of dew-covered spider webs.
The trail heads up to a ridge before descending through thick brush where I meet a moose and a fox.
A fog delay offers me another side or the island with thimbleberries, a sunset and an averted injury.
Casey Cox started his company after waiting, cold and hungry, his thumb out for a ride that never came.
last night's rain
Blissful will backpack Isle Royale next week, but this week is a much needed chill on Lake Superior.
Isle Royale is a National Park in the northwest corner of Lake Superior. This may very well be the best year to hike it since all amenities are closed.
This summer was absent travel, but next week I'll head north to backpack Isle Royale in Lake Superior.
Granite Crag in the High Sierra.
Free soloing mountain climber Alex Honnold has a lot to teach about conquering out biggest goals.
I didn't always find soulful campsites on the Te Araroa.
We suffer thru-hiking for the transcendent, and appreciate it more because of our suffering.
I met Joshua on Flat Iron Ridge in Lassen National Park building a fire break with hand tools.
Here is the recipe for "vegan pemmican," a high-calorie and nutrient-rich bar.
In only one week on the Colorado Trail, a hiker's emotions resemble the terrain – up and down.
On backpacking trips, day two always sucks and pretty much for the same reasons.
Blissful Hiker on day 100 of the Te Araroa, Mount Cook shyly peaking out behind the clouds.
Walking to nursery school is my earliest memory, the first time I felt in charge of my being.
At 50 and 15, dad and I backpacked in Yosemite National Park, but why are we standing behind a rock, I wonder?
My dad took me out on the trail for the first time and it changed my life forever.