Jamie And Ze Explore America: Day 1, Shenandoah National Park

“We’re still in New Jersey, I can still turn around,” Ze stated, half serious, half joking as she drove us south towards Virginia in a car full of much of her life and belongs, my one Patagonia travel bag, and my outdoor Ukulele.  She half smiled, but of course kept driving, as the rain lightly hit the roof container above us in a tapping, musical pattern. Almost as if the sky of Jersey was in the same state of split emotion: excited for what was to come, yet somber.  Read More

Jamie and Ze Explore America: A Cross Country Road Trip

As I type this up, I am a day behind in posting the start of a cross-country road trip from New Jersey to California. I am traveling with my friend Ze, who is moving there. I met Zevilla not that long ago, officially back in August on Instagram. We started to hike together in the fall, in her often large and varied group of hikers, whom she seems to attract and acquire as if it’s second nature (which for her it probably is). Read More

Stewardship In The White Mountains: AT Thru-hikers and Camp Life

I’m not sure what I imagined when I first considered this trip. I know I imagined it would be somewhat uncomfortable. Somewhat of a culture shock, having to be so far away from all the amenities that I have become so accustomed to. I was nervous about having to dig a hole in order to go to the bathroom. Let’s be real, it’s not something anyone particularly looks forward to. And I was nervous about filtering water. There is something about drinking unclear, slightly brown water that anyone who is use to drinking clean, fresh tap water automatically cringes away from.

But the news that we were to camp up at the shelter changed all that completely. Read More

Stewardship In The White Mountains: Hike to Lonesome Lake Hut

Imagine ten women (eight of which have no backpacking experience) strapping on backpacks full of all the normal gear plus shared food, kitchenware and tools, and tackling the rock scrambles of New Hampshire for the first time. Then imagine that again, but with rain.

I had no hat to speak of, though there was one sitting smugly in my Jeep back at AMC’s Camp Dodge, which I talked about in my first post. I had a rain jacket, of course. An old EMS one I bought in 2009, that was starting to peal off in places, but worked non-the-less. I wasn’t wearing it, though. Instead, rain poured down on me soaking my t-shirt, shorts, and underwear through. It rolled down my hair, flowing from my side bangs so that my vision was a frightening mix of dark brown hair, water, and unfocused trail in front of me.

Before the rain hit us the weather was the opposite. Read More

Stewardship In The White Mountains: Arrival Day at AMC Camp

Day One, Sunday, July 17th 2016

When I got in my car to head on my 8+ hour drive to New Hampshire, I had a 9 hour playlist and (of course) a cup of coffee. The weather was perfect. Sunny, with enough clouds to invite a smile and a delighted appreciation. I had a plan–at least as much as a girl who is so bad with time management like I am could have. I would pick up fellow trip-goers Terri in Massachusetts as my first stop, and pick up Dulcie as stop number two in New Hampshire. Then we’d finish the last leg of the journey to Camp Dodge, AMC’s volunteer camp in Gilborn for our women-only spike trail maintenance vacation. We would be there for a week, including arrival and departure. Read More

Copyright Luis Hernandez

52 Hike Challenge: No.10 Breakneck Ridge Trail, NY with Fire Tower

The Breakneck Ridge Trail ended up being one of the hardest and challenging day hikes I have done to date. I had been told the hike would be around 10 miles with a lot of scrambling and elevation gain, but I had no real idea what this would translate to in real life beforehand. By the time we were done it ended up being quite certainly one of the most enjoyable hikes I’ve completed.

This trail marks No.10 in my 52 Hike Challenge, and we completed it on 10/15/16. Located in the Hudson Highlands State Park, you can find the trail map here.

Although I can’t say for sure, I’m gonna go with this trail getting its name from the steep rock scrambling you’ll find throughout the first half of the hike. You aren’t just going over a few large boulders that require a step up or two. On this trail there are times you are nearly (though not quite) vertical as you scramble up to continue.

The rest of the time you are drudging up a rocky hill, getting good use of your lungs, and wondering why you do this to yourself.

Luckily, Breakneck provides ample opportunities to enjoy gorgeous, breathtaking views of the Hudson River, and you suddenly remember this is why you do this to yourself. Read More

52 Hike Challenge: Hike No.9 Terrace Pond, Wawayanda State Park

I was running 20 minutes late, and I was never going to make it. That was what I was thinking as I texted the group of other hikers as I got into my car to drive to the trail head.

For hike 9 of my 52 Hike Challenge I ended up finally meeting up with who I knew only as Zezefox on Instagram, and a group of other fellow Instagrammers she had invited. I’m pretty behind in posting ever on this blog, so this was actually completed on October 9th. Read More

52 Hike Challenge: Hike No.8 Worthington State Forest & Camping

Last weekend I was camping at Camp Taylor in Columbia, NJ with the Meetup group Campers’ Group. This group has been around way before Meetup came along originating sometime in the 1960’s. It’s not known who the original founder was. The group plans camping trips, cabin trips, day hikes, parties and more for “people who love the outdoors and want to share the experience with like-minded folks.” Although there is no official head of the organization, it is often most run by Ken Q. Many other members host and help plan events as well. Read More

52 Hike Challenge: Hike No.7 Tourne Park, NJ

On Wednesday 9/7 I joined in my second only Meetup hike. The hike was among is a series of after work hikes (though this would be my 1st), and as it was at 6 p.m., it was perfect timing for me to head over straight after work.

Except, life never works so perfectly, right? As I drove to my destination, time ticked away as if bleeding minutes. Soon, I watched as my ETA became 6:10. Then 6:15. Why does traffic have to be so sucky?

Read More