Traveling Alongside the PCT…

My days with Darwin are numbered. The Pacific Crest Trail looms over us, well at least it’s looming over me. I feel unprepared and even now my stomach gurgles at the thought of the PCT. Yeah I know, I’m not even hiking. If I were about to set off for the PCT I would be in even worse shape. Feeling the urge to poop at the very mention of the word “hike”, random moments of nauseous worry, constant list making, and obsessive gear checks. What is Darwin doing? Working on our van, filming, hiking, editing video, and pooping as normal. How he does all this I know not.

Besides reading about the PCT insistently, I have prepared myself for the next few months in other ways. I have set my eyes on several short-term and long-term goals to work towards while Darwin is hiking. I also have two pretty large projects in the works for the Snuggle Diaries, not to mention a full plate of responsibilities I’m taking over for Darwin. In short, I have set myself up a list of “To Dos” in efforts to keep busy and stay focused on personal goals that often get pushed to the side for one reason or another.

I’m looking forward to exploring the PCT without actually dedicating a large chunk of life to hiking the entire thing. While out on the Appalachian Trail I always thought it would be fun to live alongside a long distance trail and meet those who traveled on it. Now I have the opportunity to do so with the PCT. I’m excited to listen to trail stories and not just be the one to tell them. I’m inspired by those who challenge their comfort zones, hikers regardless of the distance, do that. I am in a position to provide trail magic for the 2018 hikers and I can’t wait to smell the stink!

Bowie our beloved pup will be serving as my co-pilot. The road takes its toll on everyone and our pup is no exception but she seems ready to go. Bowie always keeps travel time interesting and naptimes prevalent. She is my favorite partner in crime, despite her awful breath.

Although different preparations than Darwin, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. In less than a week, he will start his venture on the PCT while I start mine alongside it.

Excuse me while I go poop again…..


(The Bowie Dog Observing Her Humans Load Up The Van) 

*** Added Note***

To the person(s) that shot silly string all over the Spilt Rock Trail in Joshua Tree National Park yesterday, I cleaned it up for you. You’re welcome. Obviously if you feel the need to shoot neon purple and pink silly string everywhere in a National Park because your to dumb to notice all the natural beauty around you, you don’t need to be there. Please don’t come back. 

Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:

Coming Soon! – A book review about a National Park Ranger gone missing….

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Me On Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries

Other Posts You May Enjoy: 

Desert-ey Things I Have Discovered and Pondered This Week…

Girl In The Woods – REVIEW

GoGirl Review


Lifestyle Review: Lumi Outdoors, Foot & Shoe Odor Eliminating Powder & Spray

Reviewed By: Darwin & Snuggles

***Updated Product Review As Of 6/29/18 at Bottom

Lumi Outdoors Products:

Natural Foot & Shoe Odor Eliminating Powder (3.5 fl. oz. (100g))

Natural Extra Strength, Odor Eliminator Spray (4 fl. oz. (120 ml))


A hiker depends on their feet. They put their feet through hell trudging over extreme terrain usually in extreme weather. The feet withstand a lot of abuse and how does the hiker repay them? By getting up and doing it all over again the next day. At the end of a backpacking trip the feet are usually used and abused; sweaty, dirty, swollen and sometimes blistered. In an effect to take better care of the body part that keeps us going, we tried out Lumi Outdoors Foot and Shoe Powder along with their Odor Eliminator Spray.

First Impressions:

Lumi Outdoors first caught our eye by selling products that are made with natural ingredients. We are constantly exposed to chemicals in our daily life and just like we seek out the wilderness to detoxify naturally, we want to find the same quality in products we use close to or on our skin. The few ingredients that we were unfamiliar with we researched and found were in most cases forgotten natural remedies and often even edible in some forms (we do NOT advice you ingest either Lumi Outdoors product).

Lumi Outdoors as a company is small and family run and does not test their products on animals which we felt were both great qualities for both the product and the company. We always look for gear and products that can serve multiple purposes and found this same quality with Lumi Outdoors.

Quality & Durability:


Over the course of two months of testing, we have used the powder in our trail runners along with other shoes we wear off the trail. Specifically, with our hiking wear, we have found that applying the powder inside the shoes immediately provides a refreshing smell and eliminates almost immediately the funk that can develop over the course of even a day hike. When applied specifically in a sock before a run, hike, or even during an average day, foot sweat was noticeably minimal or even non-existent. Snuggles specifically used the powder directly on her feet (with and without socks) in order to help prevent sweating that can lead to odors, hot spots, and overall discomfort. As of date the foot powder has developed no ill effects after direct application to the skin and has only proved to be beneficial for these issues.

Although we both prefer to use anti-chafing balms as to powders, Lumi Outdoors powder can be used to prevent chafing. It is our personal experience that powders are harder to apply to specific areas of the body and tend to wear off easier than that of a balm. We have tested out the powder for chafing and it does seem to work as most typical anti-chafing powders do. We did, however, feel better about applying it to more sensitive areas as Lumi does not use Menthol in their powder and uses all natural ingredients.


Lumi Outdoors’ Extra Strength Odor Eliminator not only has a refreshing scent but also has ingredients that kill off the bacteria that cause odors in the first place. The spray is made of various natural antibacterial, fungal and microbial agents such as Peppermint Oil, Witch Hazel, and Apple Cider Vinegar to name just a few. When used specifically with our shoes/boots odors are covered immediately when sprayed and eventually disappear after a few treatments. We can only assume that this is due to the natural bacterial fighting ingredients used.

Not only have we used the spray in shoes/boots but we have also found the spray beneficial when used on clothing, bags, and as a simple room/van spray as an odor killer and refresher. The spray leaves behind a clean and fresh Lemongrass scent and we have experienced no ill effects when used on materials that come in direct contact with skin.

Using Powder & Spray Together:

Over the course of two months, we have utilized Lumi Outdoors’ Odor Eliminator Spray in addition to the Foot & Shoe Odor Eliminating Powder. When using the products together we have found that odors stay away longer. However, both products are still very beneficial when used separately.


Natural, Foot & Shoe Odor Eliminating Powder (3.5 fl. oz. (100g)) – $14.95

Natural, Extra Strength, Odor Eliminator Spray (4 fl. oz. (120 ml)) – $14.95

Compared to other options available currently on the market, Lumi Outdoors’ products can be more on the more expensive side. However, we find it worth the cost to support a cottage company along with knowing we are not exposing ourselves to unnecessary chemicals.

Lumi Outdoors’ products are not as easily found in stores as other products on the market however they can be ordered via Amazon or via Lumi Outdoors’ website. When ordered via their website Lumi does offer discounts when ordering larger quantities along with free shipping on select orders. You can find links to both Amazon and Lumi Outdoors Website via the links below.

Product Guarantees:

Lumi Outdoors does not offer any replacement or guarantees with their powder or spray. However, after using both the spray and powder for two months we have not had any issues. Because Lumi Outdoors products can be applied directly to the skin and on materials that can be in direct contact with skin, both products have warnings to stop usage if redness, rash, or itching occurs. This seems to be a standard warning on all similar products found on the market today.


We will continue to use Lumi Outdoors products in the future as we have found both the Odor Eliminating Powder and Spray very beneficial in our current lifestyle. Not only do we think a hiker and traveler can benefit from using Lumi Outdoors products, anyone who wears shoes or at times feels a little less than fresh would benefit from using Lumi products.

Although their products can be pricier than similar products (in regards to both the spray and powder) we feel its worth the cost to help support a smaller company and using a more natural alternative to what we have used before.

You can find Lumi Outdoors products on Amazon via this link or

You can also learn more about Lumi Outdoors on their website found HERE.


***Product Update As Of 6/28/18***

When meeting up with Darwin on the Pacific Crest Trail and with hauling hikers in the Clydesdale (our van) Lumi Outdoors has been a great help. Darwin’s shoes are typically disgusting and always damp from sweat. Lumi’s Powder always is helpful with eating up the smell and moisture giving Darwin’s foot a comfortable and somewhat pleasant environment to be in.

I found the spray helpful in the van after loading and unloading hikers as Hiker Stink usually lingers. I don’t always mind this however it is nice to freshen up the Clydesdale with just a few sprays of Lumi. I don’t worry about breathing any toxic fumes thanks to their all natural ingredients. As of date, Darwin and I both prefer and will continue to use Lumi Outdoors, products.

– Snuggles


 This post contains affiliate links! This means that if you click on one of the product links and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps supports Darwin’s YouTube Channel and allows us to continue to make content via the Snuggle Diaries! Thank you for the support!

Desert-ey Things I Have Discovered and Pondered This Week…

  • Always empty your shoes after a hike in the desert!


  • Yuccas are root vegetables.


  • I love the crunch of sand under my shoes in the desert. It reminds of cereal. Cereal reminds me of breakfast.  I’ve eaten cereal the last few days for breakfast. Does this mean I want to actually eat sand? Hmmmm….


  • Just because the temperature in the desert is cool enough to wear a jacket, doesn’t mean you still won’t get a sun burn.


  • A chocolate cake weighing at least ten pounds in deliciousness is extremely hard to say no too…if only I were thru-hiking….OOPS! This is about dessert not desert!


  • There is such a thing as a “Jumping Cactus” and it will find you!


  • I was reminded that camping and hiking are really great ways to get to know new friends!


  • The desert sky is filled with diamonds at night!


  • Coyotes will wake you up from a dead sleep when howling right outside your van.


  • It’s always interesting the places you will stumble upon in the desert…The Fire Pit is just such a place….



(New Friends Kat and Steve Observing A Wild Darwin In His Van) 


Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:

Darwin and I discovered a pretty awesome website called Hipcamp that helps you locate and reserve awesome campsites off the beaten path!

My full review on the GoGirl (Female Urination Device) is up! Check it out Here !!!

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Me On Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries

Other Posts You May Enjoy: 

Girl In The Woods – REVIEW

Like Any Animal, I Am Aging

Departure Into The Unknown…




Girl In The Woods – REVIEW

The date on Darwin’s Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) permit is growing ever closer. I am preparing in the nerdiest way by reading about the PCT and the people who have hiked it. Girl In The Woods is yet another book I have read in exploring the PCT via another person’s perspective.

With a background working with survivors of abuse, Girl In The Woods really struck me differently then expected. I felt I read this book more as a victim advocate rather than as a hiker. Author Aspen Matis very openly discusses her life leading up to her thru-hike of the PCT that involves an unhealthy home life, being raped in college, and various other detrimental relationships in her life. As so many have done before, Matis finds herself and healing powers out in nature.

I should be upfront and mention that Matis clearly describes her rape, the victim-blaming she experiences, and the lack of support from her family and friends. All of this can be extremely triggering for any survivors of sexual or domestic abuse. I feel it should also be mentioned that although this book does discuss the PCT and Matis does hike it, the PCT plays a minor role in the book. Matis writes more about her personal thoughts and feelings in regards to her relationships while hiking the trail and focuses less on terrain, gear, etc. Someone who wants to “experience” the trail vicariously through another should not expect to do so with this book. Writing A Girl In The Woods is clearly another step in Matis’ healing. She takes the reader along with her on an amazing journey of personal growth rather than a journey solely focused on the trail.

When looking more at the hiking aspects of this book, Matis does discuss her outdoors experience explaining she has always found comfort and security out in nature. Ultimately at a time when she feels the most disconnected from herself and family she makes the somewhat rash decision to hike the PCT in its entirety. It can be at times cringe-worthy to read Matis’ gear decisions putting herself in danger of exposure along with various other decisions she makes on the trail. She often does not listen to her own body and allows other hikers to make decisions for her. Overtime, however, Matis slowly starts to learn from her choices, finding confidence in herself and learning she is worthy of respect and love.

Overall Matis’ book when looked at solely via the eyes of a hiker, can be a guide of things not to do in prepping and hiking for a long-distance trail but again I feel the “hike” is not the main point of the book and regardless, she hikes it her own way.  Matis is very transparent in her writing and the story she is telling. An engaging read, Girl In The Woods is more about the girl and less about the woods, which I feel isn’t a bad thing.

To Learn More About Aspen Matis, Visit Her Website By Clicking HERE!

You Can Find Girl In the Woods via this Link on Amazon Or Check Out Your Local Library!



(Aspen at a book signing; Cover of Girl In The Woods) 

(Pictures borrowed from


Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:

My full review on the GoGirl is (Female Urination Device) is up! Check it out Here !!!

Outdoor Research is giving away a Female-led Adventure! Challenge your comfort zone and apply! I did!

Cool Thingys:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Me On Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries

Other Recent Book Reviews I’ve Done: 

The Hidden Life of Trees – REVIEW



(DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links! This means that if you click on one of the product links and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps supports Darwin’s YouTube Channel and allows us to continue to make content via the Snuggle Diaries! Thank you for the support!)

2018 Pinhoti Trail Thru-Hike (NOBO)

Hiked By: Darwin

Total Miles: 335 (complete thru-hike)

Day 1- 12 miles

Snuggles dropped Toasted Toad and me off at what we thought was the southern terminus of the Pinhoti Trail. From our research, we thought the trailhead was at the top of Flagg Mountain in Alabama. However, this was not the case. We found the terminus thanks to the caretaker at Flagg Mountain Cabins, Nimble Will. About two miles into the trail we came to our first shelter finding some gear and supplies. The first six miles of trail are in the woods. Almost exactly at the six-mile mark, we started six miles of road walking. Due to a delayed start, our twelve-mile day put us literally at a road intersection. If it wasn’t for trail magic offered by a local, Toasted and I would have needed to walk about six to seven more miles to camp back in the woods.

pinhoti again

Day 2 – 18 miles?

Started the day back with about six miles of road walking even walking through neighborhoods. Finally leaving the paved road to return to the woods on a dirt forest service road. It seems that part of this day’s section of trail is newer. From the information/guide we used, we were expecting more road walking around eleven miles prior to Bull Gap, however, we were rerouted and stayed in the woods.

Day 3 – 8 miles

Due to a water filter malfunction, Toasted Toad and I started hiking late into the afternoon. We got picked up at Bull Gap by a trail angel and drove into town to dry out from rain the night before and to get a replacement filter. Most of the trail today was in the woods with mild terrain.

Day 4 – 20 miles

A few water crossings today, waterfalls and overlooks. Overall mild terrain all in the woods.


Day 5 – 17.5 miles

Steep climbs! We had lots of ups and downs today reminding both Toad and me of the Appalachian Trail. We entered into the Cheaha Wilderness, which proved to be some pretty challenging terrain. The day ended at Cheaha State Park. There Toad and I got a burger at the park resturant and resupplied at the park’s general store.

Day 6 – 17 miles 


We had a very wet and foggy start to the day causing slippery trail. The roots and rocks along the trail were somewhat treacherous. Encountered our third stream ford today. Finished the day out at a “Trail Magic Camp” that was set up for Toad and I. We enjoyed brats, beer, and dry place to set up our tents for the night under tarps.


Day 7 – 9 miles

Made our first one hundred miles today! Hiked a smaller day to head into Heflin, AL for a shower and resupply. Our day was hiked completely in the woods. My hiking partner Toasted Toad has decided to leave trail due to lack of daylight and knee issues.

Day 8 – 21 miles

Joined by another hiker Leonidas who is hiking about a hundred-mile section of trail since Toasted Toad left. Hit a large section of trail that was flooded out due to the seasonal rainfall. Hiked passed a historic Alabama landmark the Shoal Creek Baptist Church. We found a campground still closed for the season to camp at for the night. Overall trail terrain was wooded and again very mild to flat.

Day 9 – 24 miles

We hiked in a lush Pine Forest today and entered into the Dugger Wilderness. We started moving noticeably up in elevation. This section of trail marks where the terrain becomes a little more difficult. Until now the terrain has been very mild. Climbed Dugger Mountain and Oakey Mountain which were both very steep and difficult climbs. We camped at Oakey Mt. Shelter for the night. So far most of the shelters on the Pinhoti have been newer and well maintained.

Day 10 – 21 miles

We started the day hiking on the Chief Ladiga Trail an old railroad bed and another piece of Alabama history. We hiked alongside a “swampy” area along with a section of trail called “The Pits” that looked like sinkholes. Stopped into Hawkins Hollow Shelter for lunch, which proved to be another really nice shelter stocked with snacks and community gear. We crossed a footbridge today and descended a small ladder adding a little variety to the dirt trail. The highlight of the day was crossing into Georgia! We camped at Spring Creek Shelter, the first shelter for us in Georgia.



Day 11 – 9 miles

The trail took us into Cave Springs, GA via an old service road that then turns into a paved road leading us down the town’s sidewalk. We hiked a smaller day in order to resupply and refuel on town food. We ended up staying in a camper in the Town Square provided by a trail angel. We also enjoyed some of the best Catfish I’ve ever eaten at the Southern Flavor Resturant. A must stop for any hiker!!!

Day 12 – 32 miles

Today was full of mostly paved road walking (around twenty miles) with only a small portion of about twelve miles on an actual dirt trail. The benefit of road walking is stopping at a few gas stations and stores for snacks and lunch. After several miles of paved road walking the trail turned back towards the woods and into the Simms Mt. Rail Trail another old railroad bed. The rail trail is very smooth and proved to be easy hiking. We hiked to the end of the rail trail hitting the two hundred mile marker of the Pinhoti and headed into Rome, GA where Leonidas left the trail.


Day 13 – 21.6 miles

Started the day out solo and hiking into the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. My legs are really starting to talk back to me after so much road walking and big days. Today provided some softer trail and smoother terrain with old service roads, which is a nice change from the paved. I ended the day at the West Armuchee Trailhead before heading into Summerville, GA thanks to a trail angel to rest and soak my legs.

trail head

Day 14 – 23 miles

Started the day off with more miles on forest service roads along with a few small water crossings. Had some great views on top of John’s Mountain after some steep climbing to the summit. One of the best views I’ve had in Georgia. Attempted to camp at Snake Gap, however, I hiked on three more miles in order to find some kind of campsite.

Day 15 – 13.5 miles

Hiked into Dalton, GA to resupply and rest up. I stayed at the Super 8 Motel, resupplied at a Kroger Supermarket, and ate ALOT of Pizza. My legs are still feeling very sore due to the trail returning to the road tomorrow, I wanted to rest up as much as possible.

Day 16 – 34 miles

Started a very large section of road walking out of Dalton, GA today; around twenty-four miles before hitting ten more trail miles. Made camp next to a creek.


Day 17 – 23 miles
Hiked primarily dirt trail, which has been great the weather has however been humid and sticky. I had a very big stream crossing today and continued hiking in bog-like terrain/conditions. I decided to go ahead and push it to the end of the trail. I however took a wrong turn and hiked three miles on another trail. Ended up walking a road for a while until I realized what I had done. Backtracked about 0.5 miles and made camp for the night.

Day 18 – 6 miles?

Due to a wrong turn on Mountaintown Creek Trail, I was unable to finish the Pinhoti as planned on Day 17. The terrain was for the most part smooth today with multiple knee deep water crossings. Made it to the Northern Terminus of the Pinhoti which meets up with the Benton Mckaye Trail. The Pinhoti’s Northern Terminus ends in the middle of the woods forcing me to hike another two to three miles up a mountain in order to find a major road crossing to head back into the closest town.


Helpful Links When Planning A Pinhoti Hike: 

Pinhoti Trail Alliance

At the time of my hike there was not a lot of current information on the Pinhoti. There are currently several companies now interested in having hikers document notes and GPS coordinates which would be a great opportunity for someone planning a thru-hike to look into. Please do LOTS of your own research before heading out! 



GoGirl Review

Reviewed By: Snuggles 


The Basic GoGirl Includes The Following When Purchased:

1 Go Girl (urination device)

1 Storage Bag

1 Set of tissues


I have heard about GoGirl and other female urination devices (FUD) before but have always found squatting in the woods sufficient. Recently, however, curiosity got the best of me and I purchased a GoGirl for myself. Initially, I felt the GoGirl would be a bit useless but after actually using it, I can totally see how it can be helpful and fun to use. Secretly I also wanted to try to pee standing up without doing so all over myself.


GoGirl was not developed specifically for female travelers in mind but for a female patient. Due to medical reasons, this patient was not able to just get up and “go” a task that most of us take for granted. What we now know as the “GoGirl” was developed for the sole purpose of aiding a loved one and giving them a sense of independence and dignity. After seeing the awesomeness and possible usefulness of the design, more were made and things took off for GoGirl. After learning the reason behind its creation, the GoGirl made a little more sense to me.

First Impressions:

I at first honestly thought the GoGirl was completely unneeded so it had a lot to prove. My first attempt at using mine was in the comforts of a bathroom with an extra set of shorts in case something went wrong. I also completely dropped my drawers to make sure everything was in place correctly. The first time was similar to that of peeing in a cup at a doctor’s office. I had to pee but as soon as I had everything in place, I couldn’t. The next attempt, I found myself fighting off the fear I was going to pee all over myself. After so many years of peeing sitting down, I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way. When finally things were a go, I had the immediate desire to pee on everything I looked at; I could aim!

It took several practice trips to finally feel comfortable enough on the placement of the GoGirl and with making sure it had a secure seal, to use only one hand. This, however, is a personal preference. It also took me several more practice runs to use the GoGirl without completely dropping trow. The GoGirl does come with directions and I do recommend they be reviewed before first trying it out.

Quality & Durability:

The GoGirl is advertised as being made from medical grade silicone and is 100% Latex free. Being made of silicone allows it to be lightweight and very packable. My basic GoGirl weighs 1 ounce and is about 6 inches tall (from the tallest point) and 2 inches wide (from widest point). The GoGirl is available in two colors Pink/Lavender or Camouflage/Khaki. Each is antimicrobial and moisture resistant allowing for quick dry times and easy cleanup. Out in the field, I shake my GoGirl after usage and wa-la! it’s dry and ready to go.

When it comes to cleaning, I simply just rinse out my GoGirl with water when returning to home base from a hike, or rinsing when possible on the road. It can, however, be cleaned with soap and water if so desired.


The GoGirl can be found online or at various outdoor/retail stores for around $10.99 for the basic version. There are other versions found online that include both the device and a twelve-inch tube extension. The extension can also be purchased separately along with other GoGirl branded items such as travel toilet paper and travel bag.

GoGirl has recently teamed up with another company providing a disposable biodegradable version of a female urination device named “Stand Up”. You can learn more about this product by visiting GoGirl’s website (see link below).

Product Guarantees & Replacement:

GoGirl does offer possible refunds for anyone not satisfied with their GoGirl however refunds will be issued at GoGirl’s discretion. Details on refunds can be found on GoGirl’s website (see link below).


I’m not sure if I would personally take the GoGirl out on a long distance backpacking trip but I can see where it would be useful in order to avoid taking off a fully loaded pack or other gear in order to urinate. If a lady wants to wipe every time with toilet paper or a pee rag, using the GoGirl may be a bit excessive. For me, digging out my GoGirl and toilet paper just to pee was a little too time-consuming and inconvenient which is why on longer backpacking trips I’ll probably just stick with a pee rag.

Using a GoGirl out on a road trip or a smaller hike is where I find it the most useful. I have found that in a pinch on a road trip using the GoGirl to pee in a bottle or bucket is perfect. The device funnels fluid in the proper place with no splashing or misses. On smaller hikes, my GoGirl fits perfectly in a side pocket to grab and use easily.

The only hesitation I still have with using the GoGirl in any setting is while I’m on my period. I simply don’t feel comfortable using it anywhere during this time and feel its more of an inconvenience when dealing with cleanup and along with other needed supplies that a female has to carry to deal with her period. This is more of a personal preference.

Overall I must admit the GoGirl is simply just fun to use! I’m glad I finally tried it and will continue to use it on some of my adventures. For only ten bucks, I think every lady give it a go. No matter if a female prefers the indoors or life outdoors, I think she will find some way the GoGirl adds to her lifestyle.

For more information, check out GoGirl’s website!

You can also find GoGirl on Amazon via this link or at most retail stores!



***6/7/18 GOGIRL UPDATE****

I’m really getting comfortable using my GoGirl and use it daily in my current van life. I have no hesitation anymore with the feeling I may urinate on myself and have successfully conquered using the GOGirl without exposing my whole backside! I have occasionally used it still while on my period, however, I find clean-up is a must after every use during this time. The key to the GoGirl is “practice makes perfect.” I could not imagine traveling without and only wish I would have bought one sooner!

– Snuggles





 This post contains affiliate links! This means that if you click on one of the product links and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps supports Darwin’s YouTube Channel and allows us to continue to make content via the Snuggle Diaries! Thank you for the support!

A Blooming Desert

Darwin and I returned to Joshua Tree National Park for our first hike in the desert since we left in December. A peace fell upon both of us as we slipped on our packs to start out. It was early and we ventured out into an area not often explored by other park visitors. The sun was up but the wind left our skin chilled and covered with goosebumps.

We hiked slow and steady over the ever-changing terrain enjoying the warmth of the sun when we could. The view of the desert expanse enveloped us, we felt alone in a deserted world. The sky was a perfect cloudless blue and the Earth was spotted with soft shades of green, tan, and golds. It was silent, all but the wind as it whipped around the rock formations that surrounded us. We noticed white buds on a few Joshua Trees as we passed them. Neither of us has had the pleasure of seeing these large Yuccas bloom before. The cone-shaped blosoms only added to their peculiarness.

We caught a glimpse of an owl as it flew across the small canyon we were hiking in, an unexpected surprise. Darwin and I tried to place where it landed but were unable to spot it again. I’m sure it kept watching us from its secret place as we hiked off. Only a few minutes after the owl sighting, we heard a rustling in the flora not too far off. I looked up in time to see the back of a Coyote as it headed over a large rock formation. I couldn’t believe my luck at seeing so much wildlife! It pays to hike and explore in the morning when the wild things are still waking.

Joshua Tree National Park has never ceased to impress me. I stopped periodically allowing myself to feel small in its vastness. It seems so easy to just start walking off towards the horizon. The desert’s beauty is so intoxicatingly romantic and yet it can just as quickly turn harsh and deadly.

I watched Darwin move swiftly over the parched landscape, jumping across little crevasses, plants and scuttling up boulders. He seemed to be a natural piece of this environment as if he has always been here. I followed his tracks along with those a Jackrabbit left behind in the sand.


(A Blooming Desert)

Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:

Outdoor Research is giving away a Female-led Adventure! Challenge your comfort zone and apply! I did!

Cool Thingys:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Me On Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries

Other Posts About the Desert:

The Desert Wind

Camping With Kids