That Tingly Feeling Before A Trip…

It’s that’s wonderful tingly feeling time before a trip…

I have a list of todos involving gear, food, and packing…

The smell of old sweat and dirt fills my nostrils as I grab gear from drawers and closets; each piece holding memories of previous trips.

The road is calling, the trail is pulling, adventure awaits and so do friends.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Darwin and I will be heading out to Oregon soon. We’ll be hovering in Bend visiting some friends then skirting off to take in the beauty of the Timberline Trail. We haven’t hiked a trail from start to finish since the Appalachian Trail and I’m feeling both a little nervous and very excited. From there we will be heading to PCT Days immersing ourselves in trail talk, hiker trash, and beer.

Due to our upcoming agenda, I will not be posting a Snuggles Diary next week, but I plan on journaling during our trip and of course, taking pictures so stay tuned here and on Instagram.

Enjoy the upcoming week and maybe I’ll see ya if the trail leads you to PCT Days!

IMG_5200 copy

(A Lonely Little Flower)

 

Something Coolz: 

Found A Fun An Helpful Article From Purple Rain (for those of us who sometimes hike in kilts/skirts) About Chafing…Here

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Last Week’s Post:

To Lose A Day In The Forest…

To Lose A Day In The Forest…

It’s really a wonderful thing to lose a day in the forest.

To not pay attention to the time and just start hiking down a trail.

To hike until your satisfied; only turning back for civilization when you are full of fresh smells, cleansed by sweat and dirt, and your mind has worked out whatever thoughts and problems that were lingering when you pulled up to the trailhead.

Stopping mid-hike for a rest; cuddled by the sun and tickled by little ants and flying bugs that traverse the length of your arm or leg as you doze off to another world.

Taking a picture of beautiful scenery all the while knowing that anyone who looks at the picture will never fully be able to appreciate it and understand it, but you’ll be immediately taken back to that moment, those sounds and smells; that experience.

It’s really a wonderful thing to lose a day in the forest because even when you return to your other life, part of you still stays behind among the trees and wildflowers.

Part of you never really leaves but is always waiting for your return; when you’ll be whole again.

trail

(Aspens, Trail, and Wildflowers)

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Another Blog Post You May Enjoy:

Like Any Animal, I Am Aging

All Connected

Last week Darwin and I attended a small Film Fest put on by the Arizona Trail Association for Latino Conservation Week. We watched three short films and had a brief discussion after each. I was greatly impacted by a short film on the Colorado River (Colorado River – I Am Red). Thanks to this film, I plan on researching and learning more about water conservation via americanrivers.org. Although it was a small turn out, I was excited to meet a few new people and start building a connection to my community and the organizations that help support it.

Taking a lot away from the film fest and the people I met there, I have been slowly trying to make the first steps to get involved. I renewed my membership to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) a community of my past and always my first love and started a new membership with the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) the community of my present. I find myself utilizing the Arizona Trail daily and felt it only appropriate to start shedding some drops of sweat from trail work instead of recreation, thus I have signed up to start volunteering too.

As I write this however there is a forest fire currently burning over 1,000 acres of Coconino National Forest. Just outside the window, I can see plumes of smoke. If I sit outside flakes of ash can be seen dancing on the wind and the smell of smoke is present. The forest neighborhood where Darwin and I would park the Clydesdale over last few years is burning and those that currently live in the area are being evacuated.

My community requires water to contain and suffocate a fire and the water source that helps provide water to many, many, communities in my state The Colorado River, has been used beyond its means and is also in need of help. The trail I’ve been using almost every day and those that connect to it, are most likely going to suffer from the fire too.

Everything is connected in some way or another. The action of one individual or actions of numerous individuals will cause a ripple of effect whether good or bad. Those “ripples” may be noticeable now or years from now.

Every one action and reaction touch someone, something, or someplace and this week I’ve been reminded of that in numerous ways. I am such an insignificant creature when it comes down to it, but my actions can leave such a lasting impact on others and Mother Nature.

You can get more updates on the Museum Fire here.

How do you connect to your community?? To Mother Nature??

 

(Top Left: Taken just a few weeks ago on a run; Bottom Left: Photo taken on Monday around the same area; Largest Image: Closer photo of fire) 

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Last Blog Post:

Taking A Walk Instead

Taking A Walk Instead

I’ve been doing a lot of walking lately. I’ve walked to the post office, downtown, to the grocery, to the office where I now work, and other places. Where is the Clydesdale (our van) you may ask? Hanging out, I’m choosing to walk out of the pure desire to do so.

Let’s get this straight, I consider walking and hiking two totally different things. With walking there is less gear to carry, the distance is typically shorter, wearing “wicking” material is not always needed because cotton is okay, I don’t worry about how much food to carry, walking typically is on asphalt or concrete (not always, but mostly) were as…

Hiking takes place most usually on a dirt trail, your located a majority of the time in a forest, wood, park, or what have you. A hike is usually several miles in length, lunches and snacks are included, water is a must, sweat will likely happen, gear is needed and plans are made.

The “walking” I’ve been doing can easily be handled by a quick drive or ride, but the keyword there is “quick”. I’ve found the need to take things slow and easy. When driving you miss a lot. The fresh air, the smell of the Jeffery Pines, the coolness of the morning, mule deer grazing in a wooded yard… I do love to ride The Prince Veronica (my bicycle) but I have to admit even when riding there are things that I find I’m missing out on; I crave the small details.

When I’m walking I notice the cracks in the asphalt and concrete and wonder how they were made, I admire the ants busy at work, running across from here to there, I take in the silence around the neighborhoods and wonder about the people who live there, I take in the beauty of the weeds growing in the cracks on the sidewalk; I can’t help but think they are pretty. I let my mind clear and let it think all the thoughts it needs to think and challenge it to strategize when I need to play Frogger to cross the street. Sometimes I just tune out and listen to an audiobook; multitasking by exercising, reading, exploring and errand running all in one.

When I arrive at my desired location I’m refreshed and awake. I feel ready to tackle any task and I feel grounded or centered if you will. Best of all I feel good for not just falling into the habit of driving; I know the areas that surround me more intimately than those who just drive past them.

I just can’t help but express my fondness for walking lately. I greatly enjoy my little walks (not to be confused with my hikes) and I encourage you to walk a little too. Next time you need to go somewhere try going by foot. Find all the beautiful little things you are missing when you ride or drive. There’s a whole world out there that we all miss because we are moving to fast.

IMG_1852

(One Girl’s Weeds Are Another Girl’s Flowers)

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Last Blog Post:

Just When You Think You Know A Place…

Just When You Think You Know A Place…

Being in a new place can at times be a little overwhelming however, being back in Flagstaff is more like coming back home. I am familiar with the area; I know where a lot of the essentials area, grocery stores, and thrift stores, gas stations, coffee shops, etc. However, now being more centrally located here, I have time to wander about finding that there is even more exciting stuff to explore, discover and experience.

For instance, earlier this week I went out for a run. Trying to still acclimate to the elevation this was my first real attempt running off a treadmill, a self-propelled run if you will. Instead of heading to my right down a road I was familiar with already, I decided to see what was to my left at the other end. I expected to see housing and apartments however I was surprised to find a dead end. This dead-end, however, was only a dead-end for the road, a trail branched off from the road.

Of course, I had to keep going to see what I could find down the trail and thus I kept running stopping occasionally to take a good look around, having then been transported into fields of high grass and pines. I eventually came up to a trail junction and was shocked to find the Arizona Trail intersecting with yet another trail, one I had not heard of before. I felt the urge to keep going but on which one? For a run, I was expecting to be short and on asphalt, I was now two miles in heading further down a dirt trail. What a lovely surprise!

Later in the day when I returned from my surprise trail run,  I visited a local bookstore and purchased a Flagstaff Trails Map. As I unfolded it, trails of all sorts stretched out in front of me, weaving in and out of the city, spider-webbing out from parks and roads. I immediately felt an exciting urge to ride, hike, or run on each of them. They were all out there waiting for me.

Moral Of The Story: Just when you think you know a place, turn down a road you haven’t traveled before, and look a little closer. You’ll probably find there is more waiting for you to explore.

IMG_1958

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Last Blog Post:

June Things, Places and Doings

June Things, Places and Doings

Linger, Stay, Remain, Loiter, Dawdle, Dally, Stall, Delay

These are the words that explain what we are doing…in Arizona.

 

Evansville, IN; St. Louis, MO; Albuquerque, NM; Flagstaff, AZ; Joshua Tree, CA

These are the cities we have visited within the last two weeks.

 

Blue Ridge Parkway Bicycle Tour

The trip my newest tattoo commemorates.

 

Gateway Arch and Grand Canyon

These are the National Parks we have visited in within the last two weeks (one of which we did not know was now a National Park…surprise!)

 

2

The number of friends I got to watch try to comprehend just how big the Grand Canyon really is for the first time; A treat that was even better than seeing the Canyon for the first time myself.

 

Flintstones Bedrock City

A place I have always regretted not visiting and finally went to days before it closed down forever.

 

12

The number of years Darwin and I celebrated being married for this month.

 

GRAND CANYON

(A view from the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon) 

Cool Thingys That I Also Do:

My Book: Mini Misadventures

Etsy Store: TravelandTrail

Instagram: The_snuggle_diaries  

Latest Book Review:

The Dirtbag’s Guide to Life – Review

 

The Dirtbag’s Guide to Life – Review

Full Title & Author:

The Dirtbag’s Guide to Life: Eternal Truth for Hiker Trash, Ski Bums, and Vagabonds

Written by Tim Mathis

How I Came Across This Book:

I have seen this book well it’s cover at least, when searching the interwebs for outdoor themed things. It was really brought to my attention when Jen (Chica) posted about reading it on her Instagram. For whatever reason, I just never took time to stop and actually buy the book but was always interested. Then, Tim Mathis himself contacted me about it.

Here is the honest upfront part of this review…Tim asked if I would like to read it, I said yes because I’m a bookworm and why would I say no to any book? and thus he gave me a digital copy. There was no money traded for a review, I didn’t say I would for sure do one, but yet here it is because I feel like it was worthy of one. If you have a problem with this, just don’t read any further, but don’t take that out on the book, check it out online and read the other reviews on it. 

First Thoughts:

I judged it too early. I honestly felt that this book was going to be a bit on the boring side. A guide with a numbered lists of things to read over with a little meat in and around the lists but, I did still want to check it out. Having lived as hiker trash and vagabond I wanted to see if Mathis really knew the realities of this lifestyle or if he just dressed it up and told only the parts everyone wants to hear….”it’s so easy”, “we pay no bills”, “we go wherever we want.” It seems like the dressed up version of this lifestyle is all anyone hears or sees and so that’s what I expected with this book. Mathis, thankfully, disappointed me.

Review:

Throughout the entirety of the book, Mathis really doesn’t use a filter. Although I have never met him, I feel like I know him by reading his book. He is upfront, honest, and very open about the realities of dirtbagging; he simply tells the reader how it is…the good, bad and the smelly.

I found the whole book to be easy to read. Sometimes in “guidebooks” you get stuck on boring parts and find yourself skipping around (which isn’t always a bad thing when looking back over a guidebook) or reading the same sentence ten times before really understanding it. Not to worry, I highly doubt this will happen with the dirtbag’s guide. Mathis mixes his personal experiences with helpful suggestions, presents common situations from different perspectives and adds a sprinkling of resources for your continued learning. You’ll be mistaken if you go into this book thinking it’s a guide specifically from Mathis, it’s not. I feel that Mathis really represents and shares an inside look to the community of dirtbags; it’s not just you alone on the road, trail, or wherever, there is a community surrounding and supporting you. The way Mathis has put this guidebook together really portrays this.

Oh! If your confused about what exactly a dirtbag is, Mathis defines that for you first thing! I honestly thought the term was more directed towards climbers and Mathis does discuss the roots of the term starting indeed with climbers, however, he gives the reader a full understanding that the term actually encompasses many types of people; a community.

The book is divided into chapters at which can easily be read straight through and set up in a way that is easy to refer back to (as any guidebook should be set up in my opinion). The chapter topics are all forms of questions that I had before I personally started traveling and questions that I currently get asked from others. For example, “Money” and “Responsibilities” are two chapters that Mathis focuses on. When the reader dives into each chapter, it’s not just short and sweet. Mathis really digs in and tells you what the perception is from looking outside the dirtbag life, what the reality is, what his experience is, what other people he personally knows experiences are, and how it can or maybe cannot work for you, the reader.

Not only does he give you a great break down of the various aspects of each chapter topic, but one of my favorite things was the number of resources Mathis gives. This allows you the reader, to have a better understanding of a topic and also encourages researching more on your own if you still have questions. Mathis doesn’t claim to know all the answers, he encourages you to get out there and live it to obtain your own understanding. He also doesn’t just give you resources for more books, but information on other people who are actually living and exemplify dirtbag-ery in one form or another. Awesome! Where has this book been all my life!

Conclusion:

I learned a lot from this guide. I wish I had it when I first started traveling and before Darwin and I hiked the Appalachian Trail. There are so many aspects of the dirtbag life that Mathis touches on that would otherwise be something you kinda just have to learn on your own. I highlighted so much of this book for its awesome quotes, topics and for subjects I wanted to look further into, it’s basically yellow and I’ve lived this dirtbag style life! In a perfect world when someone sends an email or in person slams me with questions about my lifestyle, questions about money, or even pops in some criticism,  I’ll hand over or send over a copy of The Dirtbag’s Guide to Life, smile and walk away.

If your not a full-on dirtbag this book is for you. If your interested in what it means to be a dirtbag, this book is for you. If you know someone that lives a weird dirty traveling lifestyle, but don’t understand why, this book is for you. If you already are living like a dirtbag, this book is for you.

If you have any sense of travel or adventure, you’re going to get something out of this guide. It’s definitely not one of those books you’re going to read and be done with, your going to find yourself referring back to it for information. I’m still going back and taking more notes!  Mine will be close at hand and for you, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

book cover

(Book Cover) 

You can find this book on Amazon via this link https://amzn.to/2N1Is8i available in both paperback and on Kindle!

Learn more about Tim and his wife Angel via their website BoldyWentAdventures.com. You can check out their podcast there too!

 

A Few Other Book Reviews I’ve Also Done: 

Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home – REVIEW

Learning To See – Review