Mini Misadventures

Ever since Louisa May Alcott introduced me to Jo March in Little Women as a little girl, I knew I wanted to someday write something. I wanted to be like Jo. As I got to know Helen Hoover as an adult and she took me within her Years In The Forest, I again felt that inspiration to write something, someday. I wanted to be like Helen.

And so here I am, that someday is today, that something is Mini Misadventures. I finally did it. The little book I have worked so hard to do all myself is done and as soon as I hit “publish” I immediately changed my mind, second guessing myself in every way. Then I remembered the three women fictional and real mentioned above. Those original inspirations; strong and adventurous.

Now my little book has been available to the world for an hour (at the time of this writing) and I still feel nauseous. It somehow feels different from just posting on the Snuggle Diaries. The book isn’t much, it’s not a novel, and it’s also not exactly what I had in mind when I first thought about it, but it’s mine and I did it.

Mini Misadventures is currently available as an e-book, on Amazon for your reading pleasure. Simply click HERE to find it. Paperback copies may be a possibility in the future, stay tuned…



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

Something that will be happening soon – Outdoor Evolution 

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail  – New Items Posted Just Last Week!

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Following The Boot Marks Of Those Before Us

And So It Begins…

The Things That Remain

The Season of Reflection and Gratitude

I miss a few people and a few places.

Darwin and I were talking about this before he left to film the other morning. I seem to be listing out people and things I miss daily; Bowie, Mom, the Blue Ridge, etc.  Darwin fed up with this, looked at me with his blue eyes and without hesitating told me he was happy with where he was, who he was with and didn’t miss one thing at that moment, “I’m happy right now, here, doing what we are doing,” he said.

The comment stuck with me.

After he left, I started out down a dirt road I have walked, many times before. It was about this exact time last year me, Darwin and Bowie were in the same place, Flagstaff, AZ. I stopped at one of our old camp spots and thought of Bowie being tormented by squirrels, getting our little box camper stuck between two trees, the fawn leg we found and how we wondered what happened to the rest of the fawn. The pictures Darwin took of me eating breakfast and the picture I took of Bowie by the trees. I thought of who I was then and who I was now. The experiences I have had since this time last year.

I walked further to yet another spot we had camped at. I thought of the time alone with Bowie while Darwin was hiking a section of the AZT. The time I woke up to find a flat tire on the Stallion and only Bowie was there to help or rather, not help. I remembered how cold the dishes were to hold, how they froze when I washed them, and the fire pit I dismantled, twice.

Places seem never to change much and upon revisiting them I seem to always feel overwhelmingly nostalgic, longing for a time long past. Like Darwin had suggested to me in our morning conversation, I tend to really miss places and people after leaving them but I came to the conclusion then, that maybe this is important. It doesn’t mean I’m not happy.

I began to feel an immense surge of gratitude as I continued to walk.  Warmed by my thoughts despite the chilly air. 

I was thankful to have so many experiences to reflect on; it’s a wonderful feeling to have so many friends and family TO miss.

I have the ability to revisit places I love, which in turn gives me a special opportunity to reflect on my life, to recognize that although I am not with certain family or friends all the time, the time I do share with them is even more special and never taken for granted. I don’t have to see these special people every day to know they love me.

By the time I reached the Arizona Trail I had turned my list of “missings” into a list of people and things I was thankful for. I thought back to the times I had spent with them and looked forward to our future times together.

I was comforted then, by the feeling of love I knew I had from my family and friends, those very same people I missed. 

Thank YOU for reading and following along with the Snuggle Diaries.


(Another Place To Miss, The View From The Clydesdale) 

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

Something that will be happening soon – Outdoor Evolution 

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail  – New Items Posted Just Last Week!

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries

Somewhat Related Posts To This One:

Hiker Trash Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Bowie, Adventure Companion

Thank You National Parks!

Hiker Trash Holiday Gift Guide 2018

The holidays are once again just down the trail! Here is our list of some super cool hiking and outdoor related items that would be great gifts for yourself or a loved one. Follow the links provided for further item descriptions and prices!



Snuggles’ Top Picks for Outdoor Adventures:

BUFF:  Use this multifunctional piece of cloth to pull your hair back, cover your ears, cover your face, use as a pot/mug holder, use as a wash-cloth, neck gaiter, the possibilities are endless! I will never hike or adventure without mine! –

GOGIRL: A more convenient way to pee! I can’t believe I went so long without using one! A perfect stocking stuffer for the lady hiker or adventurer! –

PURPLE RAIN ADVENTURE SKIRT: A hiking skirt that I wear both on and off trail! Best of all it’s made by a thru-hiker so you know its trail ready! Options are available for both males or females! –

SEA TO SUMMIT INSULATED SLEEPING MAT: Due to space issues I couldn’t carry my foam mat on our recent bicycle tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway and took this air mat. Now this is where I admit I liked it and it worked way better with my quilt. Check it out! –



Darwin’s Top Picks for Hiking Gear:

TENTLAB’S DEUCE OF SPADES TROWEL: Practice and Promote Leave No Trace Principles by using a trowel! The deuce makes digging a hole easier and faster too!!! –

SEA TO SUMMIT SPORK: Sure to become your beloved companion on any outdoor adventure! A perfect utensil for backcountry meals! –

COLUMBIA SILVERRIDGE LITE LS SHIRT: A multi functional piece of clothing that will work in a wide range of climates. It’s light weight, can be worn with sleeves or short sleeves, keeps you cool, gives you coverage from the bugs and sun and most importantly looks great with a pair of shorts! –

CNOC VECTO WATER CONTAINER: Hard to beat when it comes to versatile water storage on the trail. Almost 4,000 miles on mine and still loving it! –


amazon logo

Darwin’s Amazon Link:

Doing your holiday shopping on Amazon? The link below uses Darwin’s special code and will take you to Amazon to start shopping! Anything you purchase using the link (outdoor related or not) will provide us a small commission at no additional cost to you! This supports us in creating more media for you. Thanks for your support!

Click Here to Start Shopping!



Snuggles’ Van Life List:

LUCI LANTERN: Perfect to use while living in the van this year for a little extra light while reading. Packs up easy and of course is solar-powered! –

PRESSURIZED JERRY CAN: A must when traveling, camping or van dwelling! Gives you the ability to filter and store water then give you clean water on demand. An AMAZING GIFT for just about anybody who spends time outside! –

SOLAR POWERED BLUETOOTH SPEAKER: I used our speaker when watching a movie on our computer or simply listening to a podcast or music from on my phone. Its solar so no cords to worry about, extremely portable, and waterproof. Its made to be used outside but can just as perfectly be used inside! –



A Few Other Awesome Gift Picks From Darwin:

ULTRAPOD TRIPOD: Great for the UL adventure film-maker! Carried one out on the PCT and out on the Blue Ridge Parkway, won’t hike or ride without one! –

CROWN TRAILS TRUCKER HAT: Great to for hiking or everyday! I have several of my own showing my support for the trails I hike. With every National Scenic Trail Hat purchase made, Crown Trails Headwear gives 8% back to the trail. A gift for you, and a gift to a trail!

UCO AIR HEADLAMP: 3,000+ miles and counting! My favorite head lamp on the trail! I’m sure you or a loved one will love it too! –

KATADYN BEFREE 1.0L FILTER: Hiked the last 500 miles of the PCT with this filter and even though it is on the pricey side, it would be great for small trips and you can’t beat the flow rate! –

ASS PAD: Therm-a-Rest Z Seat is has multiple uses and is ALWAYS worth the weight. A game changer on trail. –


Hiking Related Items:

Darwin & I have created trail inspired necklaces and key chains over at our Etsy Shop Travel&Trail. We also are selling vintage outdoor and national park themed items too! A great place to find a gift for the National Park or National Scenic Trail Geek! New Items Just Posted!!!!



Great Books = Great Gifts

A great gift for the prospective thru-hiker, section hiker and of course you! Appalachian Trail: 100 Tips, Tricks, Traps and Facts was written by two thru-hikers Chica & Sunsets and you can find it on Amazon here

The Last Season is a mystery and true story about a National Park Ranger who goes missing. Get a glimpse behind the scenes of the National Park System and the life of a Park Ranger. A true page turner! Pick up a copy here

The Stranger In The Woods an incredible story about a hermit living in the wilderness of Maine for twenty-seven years undetected. You will find yourself torn between feelings of understanding for the hermit for leaving society but also victimized along with the towns people he stole from to survive. –



Stocking Stuffers:

Roam Wallets are super functional, light, and perfect to carry your id and a little cash while out on the trail! Darwin and I BOTH carry one! Check them out and get 20% off your purchase when you use the code “Darwin”. Oh! They sell rings too! Click Here!

The gift of coffee is always a good idea especially when it is instant coffee that tastes good and perfect for the trail or life on the go. Check out Alpine Start and give the gift of caffeine! Click Here! 

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

Mini Misadvenures Update: Awaiting a proof copy to review in person!

Another something that will be happening soon – Outdoor Evolution 

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail  – Check Out Our New ITEMS!!!

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries

Other Possible Gift Related Posts:

The Hidden Life of Trees – REVIEW

Snuggles’ Mental AT Prep List

(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!)

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Blue Ridge Parkway Tour Part III

Darwin and I had a serious sit down in Blowing Rock, NC. I confessed I didn’t really want to quit but I felt so tired and hurty all the time. We had started the ride together and wanted to finish together, we would make some adjustments. We looked over the elevation chart for the rest of our ride and discussed the minimal amount of mileage needed to finish by our deadline. We planned to try to ride a majority of our daily miles in the morning before taking a lunch break. After lunch, my energy level seemed to poop out. With this new strategy in mind, a hot shower, pizza, and a beer, we rode out of Blowing Rock, NC the next morning together.

We rode forty-seven miles, the climbs feeling shorter and more tolerable. Knowing that we only HAD to ride thirty-miles every day to make our finishing deadline, felt less intimidating and helped my mental state. We rode past beautiful farms giving us a classic autumn scene of pumpkin patches. The parkway also provided long stretches that were relatively flat and continued to lead us closer to Roanoke, VA.

We found ourselves in Fancy Gap, VA in no time and shocked the staff at The Gap Deli with the amount of food we consumed coming right off the parkway. We dodged a rain shower at the Mountain Top Inn  and when I blew a tire the next morning before even leaving the parking lot, Peter the owner saved the day. He was a huge help along with Darwin in fixing it even offering us tea before we rode out.

The parkway greeted us to intense wind but we were able to somehow push out fifty-miles that day. I can only thank the fried apple pie I ate at the Mayberry Trading Post for the power to get through the wind. We woke early the next morning and finally, FINALLY made it to milepost 120 where Roub was waiting for us. We spent a day off in Roanoke, VA eating and laughing a lot. This was my end goal, I had made it, I could quit. Roub, however, wouldn’t hear of it and informed me I couldn’t quit. Honestly, we only had a little more than a hundred miles to go, I actually didn’t want to quit either.

Roub rode out with us from Roanoke just like our days on the Appalachian Trail, both he and Darwin would stop occasionally for breaks and to check in; me always going a little slower. We stopped off at a service road that the three of us remembered would lead to the Appalachian Trail; we had taken it out to the parkway to meet Momma Roub before heading to trail days back in 2015. Having already taken on his own tour of the Parkway, Roub turned back leaving us to reflect more on our 2015 hike as we continued to cross over the Appalachian Trail the next few miles. As we rode on, we took in the beauty of the Peaks of Otter thinking of our most recent visit there with Roub in February.

Our last days on the parkway were not easy; the temperature dropped the wind picked back up, the climbs returned but I find myself enjoying it. I yelled into the air a countdown of mileposts on our last day. Darwin smiled back at me and pointed at the milepost with the number two. I breathed in the crisp air and closed my eyes for just a second or two, trying to take in everything from the numbness in my feet, the aching pain in my right knee, to the tenderness in my ass.

Then there it was, the sign marking the end of our tour. I raised my fist in the air and let out a “whoooooop”. I had stuck it out and finished. I started at one place and rode four-hundred-and sixty-nine miles to another and I had done it in one go.

As I hugged Darwin at the sign a bittersweet feeling bubbled inside me. The journey was tough and uncomfortable; I started out of shape and oblivious to the challenges that waited for me but I still did it. I finished and after all of it, I felt confident I could do it again, but more efficiently, more prepared. I felt ready to start looking up another tour, my interest in bike touring had been peaked. A feeling I can’t say I had after the Appalachian Trail.

Important People Involved In Our Adventure:

Jo & Allen – Thank you for babysitting the Clydesdale, for dinner, and for providing such a great AirBnB stay!

Connita and James – Thank you for providing a ride to the start of the parkway, lets never drive on the Tail of the Dragon again!

Joe & Kippy – Thank you for opening up your home to us, cooking for us, and great conversation when hiding out from the weather.

Miller’s Campground – Thank you for being so kind to us during our stay!

Peter at Mountain Top Inn in Fancy Gap, VA – Thank you for all your help on my bicycle, it was such a pleasure to meet you!

Roub – For always being a great friend and coming to our rescue.

Carlee and Connie at Budget Rental in Roanoke, VA. – Thank you for trusting and understanding two strangers and treating us like human beings, and allowing us to actually rent a car! We will now ALWAYS use Budget Rental because of you two!

AND…to the lady who bought two water bottles for us at a visitor center, the wonderful lady who gave us a hitch in her truck in Waynesboro, VA, and to everyone else that followed our adventure, offered assistance, those of you who read the blog and gave words of encouragement!

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

Keep an eye out for the 2018 Hiker Trash Holiday Gift Guide, Coming Soon!

Darwin’s Vitamin Trail shirt has 5 more days left to purchase! Check out this and a reboot of the Embrace the Suck shirt here!

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

Our Etsy Store: TravelandTrail 

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries

Other Posts Related To This One:

Blue Ridge Parkway Tour Part II

Blue Ridge Parkway Tour Part I

Going Home Part III: What I Discovered In Virginia