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.

Paralleling the Continental Divide Trail, this high route traverses steep passes in Colorado’s Front Range.
The final day takes us over Texas Pass into the astounding Cirque of the Towers.
It’s a big pass with big talus in wild wind to a magical camp behind the towers.
Bog, rock ramps, gullies, talus and bushwhacking take us over one of the most stunning passes yet.
It’s a long day beginning with pouring rain, then passes, including Hay, and lakes in forest and above treeline.
The hardest day yet across Knifepoint Glacier, up Alpine Pass and Class 3 scrambling to a magical camp spot.
It’s big climbs over Knapsack Col into stunning Titcomb Basin then up towards Indian Pass.
It’s beautiful walking along azure lakes under the gaze of the Square Top, then 2,400 feet up Cube Pass.
Later this week, I'll join two friends to walk the extraordinary Wind River High Route in Wyoming.
Paddling is thrilling on the magnificent lakes of the north in Voyageurs National Park.
Tips for hiking the 310-mile premier backpacking path in the American midwest.
After hiking nearly 18,000 miles, "Apple Pie" shares advice and humor about long distance backpacking.
At Hellacious Overlook, squalls move over Lake Superior then it's one more high point until the end near Canada.
A beach walk, colossal falls, magical pools and ridge-line views make this penultimate day one of the best.
It's all mist and drizzle through the mysterious Devil Track past seven creeks to a friend's warm cabin.
A brilliant sunrise leads to a damp day and a wet plant "carwash" past Grand Marais, field-testing a rain poncho.
It's rolling terrain through forest past mountains with views, then gorgeous Lake Agnes and Poplar River.
A glorious day past rushing Cross and Temperance Rivers and over the highest point, Carlton Peak.
An exposed Canadian Shield island on Sonju Lake is followed by wild Manitou River and glorious Horseshoe Ridge.
It’s one of the most difficult days from Tettegouche to Section 13 on high cliffs above Gitchee Gumee.
The views are superb of the big lake and glacial Bean and Bear Lakes below basalt cliffs.
The trail begins to feel like it’s arrived on the shore tracing both Gooseberry Falls and wild Split Rock River.
The trail provides like magic on a day filled with birdsong and my first big climbs.
It’s a fantastically windy day on trail through regenerating forests and gigantic ferns.
More lovely streams and forests before following a snowmobile trail through swamp.
The heat is nearly unbearable, but dozens of cascading streams and the lake walk make for a great day.
The bug net is on and the humidity gives me ‘big hair’ as I move from forest to exposed rock.