Christmas is for the desert. Christmastime in the Southeastern U.S. is (usually) damp, get-in-your-bones chilly—and at least for me, full of a lot of time sitting indoors, eating. Good times, for sure, but in the spirit of a balanced lifestyle, I’m absolutely elated to be headed back into the desert with a few of my favorite dudes to climb for the next week—breathing another year’s worth of life into the best sort of tradition. Pictured: a few snaps from last year’s festivities for your enjoyment and amusement. [Shot on #sonyalpha , #notfilm ]
“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
🏔 Tag someone that needs to #escapeoften ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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@miriamsubbiah in her turmeric #tumbledowntoque in Orcas, Washington! There are two of these pretty babies left in stock on the site and today is the last day to place an order until the new year! We’ll be taking a much needed break and baking all of the cookies, watching The Holiday and Home Alone and knitting some presents for friends! Thank you all so much for your support in 2019!! ♥️♥️ #powersprovisions#knitsbygretchen
Every time I post a photo/video of me wearing this jacket I get a handful of messages asking what it is and where it’s from so I’ve connected with my friends over at @stiomountain for a little holiday surprise! We want to give one away to one lucky follower!
This jacket is called the Colter Down Jacket and it’s made with 650-fill RDS HyperDry™ water-repellent down. It’s the perfect jacket for everything because even though it’s perfectly styled as an around-town jacket, it’s actually got tons of features for skiing/snowboarding like a helmet-compatible hood, pit zips and a secret stash side zip that customizes the fit for whatever activities you partake in.
To enter to win this jacket all you have to do is: like this photo, follow me and @stiomountain, and then tag 3 friends in the comments below. Unlimited entries allowed and bonus points if you tell me a little about why we should choose you. Fellas- feel free to enter to win this jacket as a holiday gift for a special lady in your life- Moms and girlfriends will LOVE this jacket and it might save you a little money on your holiday shopping if you win! May the odds be ever in your favor! #stiopartner#lettheoutsidein
590 4,6658 December, 2019
The days no longer consist of walking and I quite frankly can’t figure out how to do anything else. I need a second. One more second. A minute. I need a day. A month has passed and I just need a little more time. Time to sit with my thoughts, organize them, write them down. I want to look at pictures and recall each moment. Not now. People need you so snap out of it. Maybe tomorrow. How can taking time to reflect make one feel so guilty?
I try to act like nothing has changed because I don’t want to disappoint the ones who need me to be who I used to be. But the truth is, the experience has changed me. It has changed everything. Why bother explaining when I can’t even gather my thoughts? Only those who have lived it would understand and I’m okay with that. I know they get it, I know they feel it too - no need to explain. My life has become an unread message and my phone regretfully mocks me.
It’s overwhelming to transition from one world to another. To leave a way of life that made me feel so alive. So please, bear with me as I try to pick up where I left off.
26 48617 hours ago
Nature invokes in us certain emotions: a sense of calm, for some, or a freeing detachment from our worldly thoughts and possessions, for others. Staring out amongst certain landscapes, I have felt both intense longing and peacefully grounded at the same time. I have both smiled and cried to myself. I’m so glad to know these places are out there, so that even when I’m back in the chaos of the city going about the daily grind, I can recall these feelings and experiences. I can be riding in a train deep underground but still remember what it felt like to stand on top of a mountain or look out across a valley like this.
81 52014 December, 2019
12/11 || Appalachian Trail || Day 159 || Mile 1847.7 ||
I’m behind on posts and hoping to catch up this evening but the comeback kids are baaaack!
Wednesday morning I had a 10 am appointment with my surgeon and in thru hiker fashion I showed up to his office in my hiking clothes with a lightly packed slackpack ready for good news.
He looked over my incisions, said I was healing nicely, and removed my lift restrictions. We shook hands as he offered well wishes on my continued journey to Georgia, but warned that I be patient with myself as I rebuild my strength and to not be surprised if I find myself hiking slower, doing lower miles, and fatiguing far easier than before.
Elated, Winnie and I got dropped back off at Indian Grave Gap where I got off trail 2 weeks prior to clean up the miles between there and Erwin. An easy 7.7 miles downhill I’ve never seen Winnie more ecstatic to be back on trail. She was running all over the place and I had a lot to think about as we hiked passed the exact spot my appendix decided to perforate.
I thought about all the times I wanted to quit this trail and when I was finally handed a legitimate reason to I clapped back and said, “No.”
I’ve dreamed of hiking this trail for years and thought about it daily as the countdown to Katahdin clicked by, and how naive I was! The dreaming part was the easy part and the actual execution of it has been by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
My thru hike thus far has been a sloppy, patched together mess, but it’s mine and I love it and I own it and in the beginning I would have bet against myself until the determination to reach Springer Mountain grew into its own entity.
Some would say I’m stubborn, some heroic or focused, I just know I want to finish the thing more than I’ve ever wanted anything ever, and we’re slowly marching south to Georgia again ❤️
Have you ever driven through a world so ancient that you could feel time actually stop? This was the first place I took my daughter, Ende, at just two weeks. Years before, I learned of my first niece being born while timelapsing here. I hold this place near and dear.