backpacking, hiking and thru-hiking

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

Emily Dickinson
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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.

It's only a route – and the hardest in the British Isles – walking to Scotland's northernmost point.
A creature walking past my tent wakes me up before I head to Ski Lake and back to civilization.
Thunder brings Blissful down from scrambling then tachycardia brings her down from a high alpine lake.
Sheep Steps leads to the "cobble stones" of Death Canyon Shelf and scrambling up Spearhead Peak.
Switchbacks over Hurricane Pass take Blissful into the magical polished granite of Alaska Basin.
The trail traces Cascade Canyon to Avalanche Divide where an off-trail scramble takes me to a remote lake.
The Divide is short but steep to Lake Solitude where I nab the best site with its own resident moose.
Feeling strong with a mostly "all-clear" from my cardiologist, I begin hiking the Teton Crest Trail.
I'm headed to one of the most beautiful places in the world to walk the Teton Crest in Wyoming.
A day hike in the Chequamegon Forest reminds Blissful that hikers are optimists.
Blissful is reminded how hard hiking can be, but comes back to herself when surrounded by dragonflies.
Blissful begins to walk like a thru-hiker steeply up and down the Sawtooth Mountains.
Blissful dips her toe back into backpacking for a few days on the SHT, close to both home and roads.
Two Bear Air Rescue sent me a reminder that every day is a gift and to never take it for
Moved by Simone Biles, I practice patience and open to nature's wonders on a local hike.
I'm "trail angeled" then head home on the Empire Builder to see a cardiologist and return to trail.
I walk four miles with heavy feet, gasping for air as my heart races, then hit the SOS.
I take an alternate along the Sun River to avoid blowdowns and ride a horse across a ford.
It’s flat through a flower filled burn area then a balcony walk looking and climbing up and over dead fall.
The trail heads up a steep slope with views of snow-capped mountains, then into a fairy forest.
The start of ‘The Bob’ is a seven-mile stretch of blowdowns on PUDS or pointless up and downs.
It’s a long, overgrown and buggy walk out of East Glacier towards the wilderness.
The final push out of Glacier is over Signal Mountain then through Blackfeet Nation land.
The CDT alternate over Dawson Pass is some of the finest ‘balcony walking’ of any trail.
I get an early start with shade all the way to final zigzags up Triple Divide Pass, then spend hours
The walk is hot through overgrowth, past spectacular falls and views to a burn area with no shade.
The trail up to Piegan Pass was covered in snow over switchbacks and required careful crossing.