I’m not sure where this new holiday came from, but I’m glad it exists!
What does it mean to hike like a girl?
It means hiking with awareness, curiosity, and joy.
Sometimes for me hiking like a girl means putting on a skirt, painting my nails, braiding my hair, getting dirt all over my legs, mud in my shoes, scrapes on my knees, sticks in my braids, and sweat stains on my shirt. It means reading a map & the lay of the land. It means being willing to get lost, and finding myself again. It means taking care of myself when I twist an ankle, get hungry, need to find water, or have to fend off raccoons at one in the morning. It means laughing at myself. It means dancing down the trail. It means scrambling over boulders & glissading down snow slopes. It means climbing mountains. It means skinny-dipping in alpine lakes. It means smelling flowers, and remembering to take my allergy meds. It means getting out of my warm sleeping bag on freezing mornings before the sun rises. It means staying up late reading a book as my headlamp batteries die. It means finding horned lizards, snakes, birds, dead things, flowers, pine cones, tadpoles, sparkly rocks, and perfect snow flakes. It means the world to me to be able to hike, and I feel lucky to be able to hike like a girl.
I wish everyone could have the chance to get out and wander around in nature. Moving alone in wild places can make a soul sing, but many people never let themselves try it. It took me a while to realize I could backpack by myself, alone, solo. Many of my friends and […]
Looking back to my time on the Oregon Desert Trail with 1859
Last winter I was interviewed for this recent article in 1859 Magazine, and that interview has re-kindled a philosophical debate for me. This article prompted me to re-visit my 2013 hike of the Oregon Desert Trail, which was a darn good walk. The walk was darn good, partly because it was hard. Years later I am still grappling with the issues I stumbled upon out in Eastern Oregon, and last winter’s Malheur takeover added some new twists. My new high desert home is full of complexities, and I am still trying to figure out how a hiker like me (who really doesn’t like politics, but loves wild open spaces) can fit in a place that is brimming with controversy. I still have no solid answers about the politics & land management issues in Eastern Oregon, but I know I love it out there, and these public lands should stay in public hands. Thanks to Anna Bird from 1859 for asking good questions and getting my brain churning again about designation, public lands, and one of my favorite places, South Eastern Oregon.