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.

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.
Taking my bike across town to Orchestra Hall, then a ten-mile ride back after the concert.
My biggest successes come when I went easier on the training and was more intentional.
In episode three, I meet Irene and encounter real
To achieve anything, we need to acquire a thru-hiker's mindset. It's a matter of steps, one after the other.
Look closely and you can see the pee rag (tie-dye peace sign bandana) hanging from the back of my pack.
A pee rag enables a female hiker to get the job done and focus on being her badass self.
Judy met a guy with a much lighter tent while hiking the Appalachian Trail and it was not a
The need for a lighter tent that wasn't a "coffin" led Judy Gross to design and make her own.
The benefit of pacing a long distance thru-hike more slowly is to be able to increase bliss.
Melinda and Henry planned to hike the PCT from south to north, but came across deep snow and dangerous river crossings in the Sierra, so flipped up north to Washington and headed south to meet the spot where they left off.
It takes courage to change directions mid-stream.
He was the youngest solo thru-hiker on the PCT, but still couldn't finish the pancakes.
Lonnie Dupre knows grueling expeditions that need planning to implement and says surviving Covid is a lot the same.
To stay sane during a pandemic, find ways to stay active says a very active person herself under quarantine restrictions.
The Blissful Hiker spends the off-season building a professional recording booth with plans for a podcast.
The pandemic and its shelter-at-home mandates are pushing people to walk as never before in memory.
Taking a walk in early spring and thinking about the coming limits to our freedom to move.
"Sierra Cowboy" was the winning photo of the 2019 Pacific Crest Trail photo contest in the equestrian category.
Rounded edges of 1950's cars appear like faces crowding the lot on a summer's eve.
Home is a good place, especially when you have love, memories and hobbies surrounding you.
The chorus of birds on both the Te Araroa and the Pacific Crest Trail were glorious. Hear them for yourself!