I started something new…well, not exactly new.

I began screen printing about 7 years ago, designing images, making screens in my boyfriend’s bathroom, and printing on recycled clothing. I originally designed about 10 different bike images and would upcycle thrift store clothing and sell them at bike events around Bend.

That experience led me to start the business Hikertrash with another long distance hiker, Brian Frankle.

We ran that for three years, and just sold it this spring to another hiker in town who is taking it to new levels…but I’m still designing. Here are a few new images for the Hike Like a Girl series coming out soon:

All this is to say, I’m still having fun with design and the things I love, hiking and biking. SO….

I started a store on Zazzle, an online store that will put my logos on cool things and do all the shipping and fulfillment for me. So I’m bringing my bike designs back to life!

You can shop in my new store here.

Here are a few items you can find there…take a look!



Arctic Refuge Drilling, we can stop it!

I wrote about the Arctic Refuge Drilling issue in my last post, and even though the budget resolution that would open up this sensitive area up to drilling passed both the house and senate, there is still time. Action items below! Please make a call today.

Read more below from the Conservation Alliance:

Congress Votes in Favor of Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, But the Fight is Not Over
The battle to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling continues.

Two weeks ago, the Senate took the first step toward opening the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling by voting against an amendment to remove Arctic drilling from its budget resolution, then narrowly passing that resolution. Less than a week later, on Thursday, Oct 26th, the House adopted the Senate’s budget resolution in a 216-212 vote.

The good news? We have successfully fought this battle before. In 2005, the Arctic Refuge faced a similar threat. Republicans controlled both the House and Senate, and the White House, and all wanted to open the Arctic Refuge to oil development.  Republican leadership used the same convoluted budget process they are using today to advance Arctic drilling.  The Senate and the House voted then to drill the Arctic Refuge using the same sequence of votes in 2005 as they did earlier this month, but Arctic Refuge supporters remained steadfast. At the 11th hour, the cultural significance and unmatched beauty of the Arctic Refuge ultimately prevailed, and Arctic drilling was struck from the 2005 budget.

Read more on our blog.

ACTION ALERT:  Take Action to Protect the Arctic Refuge
Each step in the budget process requires our community’s attention. Now that Congress has passed a budget resolution, the next stage in the process is called reconciliation. Reconciliation is the part in the process where we will see actual legislation that would open the Arctic Refuge to drilling. This Thursday, November 2nd, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing to discuss potential oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge (as instructed by the resolution).

It’s important our elected officials understand how you feel about opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development. Below are four important actions you can take today to join the fight to protect the Arctic Refuge:

  1. Call or tweet Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (202-224-6665 / @lisamurkowski) and Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan (202-224-3004 / @SenDanSullivan) and tell them that you do not agree with drilling in the Refuge and that the fast-tracked budget process is an unethical method to use on such an important topic.
  2. Call or tweet Maine Senator Susan Collins (202-224-2523 / @SenatorCollins) and thank her for voting in support of the Arctic Refuge in the Budget Resolution process.
  3. Call or tweet Arizona Senator John McCain (202-224-2235 / @SenJohnMcCain) and ask him to help the public understand his reasons for voting down the amendment that would have kept the Arctic Refuge out of the budget process.
  4. Call or tweet your representative and ask them to tell GOP leadership to keep #ArcticRefuge drilling out of the tax bill. #NoArcticRider #ProtectTheArctic

Post Hike Rejuvination

Yes I was bummed that I wasn’t able to finish the Tahoe Rim Trail a few weeks ago, but the following 5 days provided such a boost of inspiration that I was able to quickly move past that disappointment and get over myself. There are so many more important things to spend time worrying about than my gimpy feet. (Update: my right shin is still sore, and after a visit to a podiatrist learned that my left foot has structural issues and I’ll be wearing a custom orthotic to mitigate that kind of pain again!)

I was immersed in the Patagonia Tools Conference. If you aren’t aware, the clothing company Patagonia has extremely strong environmental roots and ethics, and has been providing grants to nonprofits involved in a variety of conservation issues for years. This is a company that puts their money to good work, and if you pay more for your puffy, it’s probably because it’s sustainably sourced, fair trade, and a portion of the profits supports some local organization in your community. This year they granted over 800 different organziations funds to support their campaigns, and 80 of us showed up on the shores of Fallen Leaf Lake to learn some best practicies from professionals in the field.

Everything was covered from campaign strategy to communication tactics, fundraising to lobbying, and we dove in to the nitty gritty of how to be effective in challenging times like these. What I came away with was a renewed sense that we CAN make a difference no matter what is going on at the federal level…in fact some of the most successful environmental work is done locally.

I also walked away awed at the work being done around the country by those in the room with me.

One particularly moving plea for help came from Bernadette Demientieff of the Gwich’in Nation in the Artic Circle. Patagonia made a film about the threats to this region of the world and the people who have called it home for many thousands of years.

Here’s a bit more:

A bill is due to hit the Senate floor in the coming weeks, after the Senate returns from a weeklong recess on Oct. 16.

I’m not really thinking about my feet anymore…and this is just one issue out there, what’s happening in your neighborhood?

Day 8 – 1.5 miles…backwards.

I woke, made my coffee, ate my instant apple  cinnamon oatmeal, popped a healthy handful of vitamin I, and faced the trail. I willed my left foot to feel no pain, but my powers of persuasion were lacking. The 12+ hours off my feet had no impact on the pain level in the bottom of my left foot.

I only stumbled a few minutes up the trail before I faced reality. This was not working. There is acceptable pain, and unacceptable pain. And this pain was unknown and acute, so unacceptable.

I felt failure throbbing in my foot, and turned around. When I told myself a few days ago that I would get back on the trail and see how things went, and keep my options open if my leg wasn’t feeling better, I guess I never expected I wouldn’t feel better.

Is this 40? Is this getting old? Or have I been lucky with my feet thus far?

Not. Happy.

I made my way back to the trailhead and stuck out my thumb once again. And the ride that stopped definitely helped pull me out of my pity party. Dave and his dog Ra picked me up. On the short ride down I learned he had been an outward bound instructor for years and had even worked in wilderness therapy like me too. We talked shop and he even treated me to breakfast. I’ll tell you, when I trust that the world will provide and is full of kind and generous people, that’s exactly what I find. Attitude is everything. And so that’s when I stopped feeling sorry for myself. I’m still in an amazingly beautiful place, have a few days off before my conference, and should enjoy what I do have.

So I got the car, picked up some fruit and veg at the store, and found a hotel room to put my feet up and chill.

I ended up watching too much TV, man TV sucks. It’s so full of emptyness.

But I did a good job of not walking, and tomorrow I’ll play tourist in Tahoe.

Day 7 – 16.6 miles – 88.9 miles total

I was the first out of camp this morning and walked into a chilly morning. I had all my warm layers on, and kept them on for hours. The sun was out though! And the day simply amazing.

I cruised a few miles until taking break and a making a hot drink to try and keep the chill away.

The next section to Mt Rose area was a mountain bike trail too. And I found myself there on a Sunday, so LOTS of bikes. Most were great and would stop for me, well trained bikers!

I finally warmed up and the miles were coming easy even though my ankle is still swollen. I took a nice long lunch and did some reading.

When I started again my left foot was really painful. Hmmm. I hoped to walk it off, but the pain only got worse. Was this related to the new shoes? Or the big miles in the sandals? Or overcompensatation for my other injured foot?

By the time I made it to the highway I was limping and in a foul mood. I crossed the road to an incredibly busy trailhead, and decided to walk about one more mile and make camp. I was going really slow, then i put my lunas on to see if that helped…nope.

I pitched my tarp and had a chill evening. I fell asleep to the yipping of coyotes and hooting of a nearby owl.

Day 6 – 9 miles – 72.3 total

I iced my ankle ankle off and on during my stay at the hostel, and while it wasn’t 100%, I decided it was worth trying to hike on. But, as my time was getting shorter and I didn t want to stress it out too much, I would skip some miles.

I packed up, wishing Tom Tom, Spider Bite, and Purina a good hike as they hopped back on the PCT, and went to a nearby cafe for breakfast.

Made myself a hiching sign, and walked to the edge of stateline to try and get a ride, and wouldn’t you know it, after only a few minutes an awesome couple and their dog Blue pulled over for me. I love how great people are here! Giving rides and helping you out. Love it.

I disembarked at Spooner Summit and began to hike up. Someone had been through today, it looked like 2 sets of footprints on the snow. I didn’t put my gortex socks on, a figured cold feet might help the swollen ankle…

The first few miles were in the trees. I slowed my pace considerably to not put too much stress on the foot, and slowly plodded through the forest. At one point I decided it was time for some music. I hadn’t listened to any music yet on this trip, so when Ben Harper’s She’s only Happy in the Sun came on, I practically burst with joy. This song was on heavy repeat when I hiked the Colorado Trail 10 years ago, and could be my antham. I love it. I love this. I love hiking. Suddenly nothing else mattered except the fact that I was walking through a gorgous landscape, exactly where I am happiest. This is me. This is happiness. It doesn’t matter that I won’t complete the TRT on this trip. None of that matters. I am here, and that is the most important thing. 

I was getting glimpses of the Nevada valley to the east, and Lake Tahoe to the West. Then I was above treeline and on top of the world. It was overwhelming.

I spent the rest of the day in a state of bliss. I worked Spotify to play me all the albums I had on the CT hike a decade ago, and remembered how wonderful that solo hike had been.

My feet were getting cold and wet by this point, but I didn’t care. I met 2 day hikers, and a young couple with their tiny baby in a sling on the dad. Yes! They are doing it! That kid is one lucky dude.

By late afternoon I was back in the trees and got to camp pretty early. Again, I wanted to take it easy, and do some reading. I haven’t read as much as I would have wanted, so now my slower pace and shorter days would give me more of what I want.

A group of 10 came in not long after I stretched out in my sleeping bag, cowboy camp style. They were a guided group doing the TRT together. Nice folks. I’m not used to so much company, but this was an established campsite and was recommended that hikers camp here instead of on their own in this area. Maybe bears? But it was ok. We were all in bed fairly early and sleeping towards another day on the trail.

TRT Day 5 – 0 miles

That soft dry bed was amazing. I wanted to save some money and decided to forgoe another night in cushy luxury, and head to a hostel in South Lake Tahoe. I needed a day of rest for my swollen leg. I waited until the last minute of check out time at the hotel, soaking myself in epson salts and icing the injury one more time. Finally I donned my pack and walked down the street to Heavenly Village. I had decided to see a movie, and was one of three folks in the theater for mother!

And while I heard the guy behind me say it was the worst movie he had ever seen, I don’t agree, and it will definitely give me food for thought in the upcoming days. Why not go see a movie you don’t totally understand and have to mull over? I’d rather spend $10 and walk away with something to think about, rather than just another violent action movie that means nothing.

So after that I walked over to Tahoe Sports and got myself a different pair of shoes. I love love love my Oboz, but due to the weird circumstances of my feet on this hike, needed to try something that put less pressure on my Achilles tendons. I found a pair that seemed ok, but really I won’t know until I put them through the paces on the trail.

Not much happened after, I sat down for some nachos and a beer while I puzzled over my map and crunched some numbers to see what I could potentially hike before I have to go the conference that I came down here for. I was invited to attend a 5 day workshop next week in Tahoe for environmental activists…Patagonia puts on this training every two years, and I was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to chew over the big issues facing our organizations, landscapes, country, and planet. Regardless of what I decided to do with the rest of my hike, I had a place to be next week, and would most likely not finish the whole trail now due to my injury. So, my plan is to find a reasonable spot to jump back on, and continue to hike back to my car in time to make the training.

At check in time I walked over to the Mellow Mountain Hostel and got my bunk spot (top bunk, bummer), but it’s only $25! And wouldn’t you know it, the place is full of PCT thru-hikers also recovering from the massive rain/snow storm. In fact, it’s still snowing. This morning a few inches of snow covered everything in town, who knows how much was in the higher elevations. I met some of the hikers who I had seen on that dark and rainy afternoon a few days ago, and found out everyone was ok. I was surrounded by hikers, awesome!

I spent the rest of the evening resupplying at the near by grocery store, and chatting with some of the other hostel goers. I hope to hitch back to the trail tomorrow, but will let my leg decide in the morning.

TRT Day 4 – 5 miles – 63.3 miles total

I woke up, still alive!

Not trying to be melodramatic here, but that was definitely the worst night I’ve ever had on trail. Much worse than when I set myself on fire on the CDT.

I was determined to take the shortest route out, which was 5 miles on the PCT instead of the TRT. I made coffee, dug out my stuff from the frozen ground under the snow, and got myself ready.

It wasn’t bad! The sky was blue, and snow is much easier to deal with than rain. Snow, I love snow! My shoes were soaking wet, but I had my trusty gortex socks to keep my feet dry.

I hiked. There were no other footprints and I wondered what happen to those other hikers. At one point I turned around to see more snow clouds approaching, so then it became a race against the next snow storm.

I was on the PCT through beautiful snowy meadows, following another traveler’s prints by this point, a bobcat I think.

A few miles in, the lack of sleep and pure exhaustion got to me. I felt I couldn’t take another step, but had to, I had to get to Carson Pass. Just transcend the pain…

Each rise was not the road. Did they move it? 

Finally I could hear cars, but the blasted trail paralleled it for a while. Oh the cruel, cruel trail.

Finally I was there. But not. The pullout to the ranger station I remembered was a bit further up the road, and I walked the highway shoulder practically in tears.

A car I had desperately tried to flag down had pulled over and I could see they were rearranging the car. I walked over and couldn’t speak for the tears.

I was crying for relief, for the kindness, for the pain of the last 12 hours. At last I was able to communicate, and Mark and Mary from Racine Wisconsin gave me a ride half way back to South Lake Tahoe. My trail angels. Literally.

I composed myself and stood on hwy 89 to hitch again, and after only a few minutes Paula stopped to pick me up. She knew. She had been there herself in the backcountry before and was ever so gracious. So grateful for those kind souls who pick up a half deranged girl from the side of the road.

Paula dropped me off at a cafe where I ate breakfast and the night immediately seemed incredibly far away.

I got a fancy hotel room, stayed in bed all day, realized my shin splint pain was due to a swollen leg, an injury that had occurred at some point….but rest. Time for rest.

Tahoe Rim Trail Day 3 – 20 miles – 58.6 miles total

The day started out so good.

I slept! At least in spurts. I would roll over and think…I must have been dreaming, that was one hell of a dream…then stare at the stars a while, and drift off again.

The stars were gone by the time morning came…obviously, but the sky clouded up in the early morning hours. I made coffee and enjoyed my open air breakfast. Nothing beats a good cowboy camp.

I thought I would try my shoes this morning as there were miles of granite rocky terrain ahead…and it was manageable! I may just be able to pull this off afterall!

The clouds made for a dramatic morning on the pale granite faces of rock and pocket lakes. I definitely remembered some of this terrain from 11 years ago. By the time I made it to Aloha Lake the wind had picked up and it was easier to keep moving than to lolly gag and enjoy the views.

I felt good and couldn’t help but think about finishing the CDT two years ago today. Ahhh, memories.

By the time I was approaching Echo Lake I was ready for a sit-down lunch. I figured the store was probably closed, but couldn’t help but hope…and wouldn’t you know it, yesterday it was open, today closed. I met knee, another PCT southbounder who was super bummed, but we found relief from the increasing wind on the side of the building and I ate lunch and made a mocha for moral.

I swore off the internet for this hike, but made an exception for weather, and saw there was a 20% chance of showers this afternoon and evening. I could tell from the wind and clouds, but 20% is not much, right? Onward!

The climb up and out was a rocky boulder-field and I definitely remembered this section. It started to drizzle so put on my rain coat and trash bag skirt. My gortex socks made for too tight of a situation on my painful feet, so opted for the socks and luna look. I knew the socks would get wet, but I had a dry pair for the sleeping bag.

Soon it was raining for real and I pulled out my trusty Silver Shadow (Six Moon Designs Umbrella I designed the logo for!).

Then raining harder, then pouring. Straight up pouring.

I contemplated setting up camp early when a few other hikers came up. Soaking wet. They mentioned the rain was supposed to turn to snow…and pushing on to Showers Lake would be a drop in elevation…maybe a good idea?

I surveyed the spongy forest floor and decided to follow their direction and keep hiking.

Oh! Showers Lake! I remember you. I got lost trying to find my way around you.

I was ready to camp. Soaking wet, my umbrella had saved me, but I knew I had minutes before hypothermia would set in. Most of the ground was puddle, so I tried to find a higher spot. I quickly set up camp, just barely staying dry. Only my sleeping bag was dry….the line between security and disaster is so thin.

I managed to start my stove in the driving rain and maker a hot dinner. I kept an eye on the growing puddle outside my tarp with dread.


If it kept raining this hard much longer I would be in the puddle. I would be screwed. Rain to snow to doom.

I finally decided I had to move.

I tried not to freak out, and tried to keep as dry as possible, but that was pretty much impossible.

I found a spot near by, not exactly flat, but farther away from the massive puddles forming everywhere.

But my stuff got wet. My down sleeping bag was wet in spots, damp all over. As soon as I had everything set up again, the rain turned to snow. I was uncontrollably shivering. I knew I would make it, but it would suck. Suck bad.

I was unable to stretch out because of the panicked way I set up again. I could only be in the fetal position. It was agony.

I checked my phone to see if I had reception, and called Kirk to have him talk me down. Then I listened to podcasts to keep my mind off the situation. The very real situation.

About 3:30am, I thought I might be able to sleep so turned off the 3 hour Tim Ferris podcast I was listening to and actually got a few hours of rest.