Category Archives: Inspiration

In Search of the Golden Gate Bridge – Lands End Hike

In honor of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary, I sought out a hike that would include glimpses of the Bay Area’s greatest icon. If you head west on Geary Boulevard until you see ocean, you’ll stumble upon a gem of a hiking area right in San Francisco! Lands End, no relation to the Yacht clothing company, is an easy hiking area with views of the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate strait. It’s also a place of San Francisco history containing the ruins of the Sutro Baths, once the largest swimming pool complex in the world, and the Cliff House, a restaurant overlooking the ocean. You really have to visit Lands End to understand its name. Prepare for awe inspiring views and contemplation on tectonic plates, urbanization and your own mortality. I mean it!

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My Secret Obsession with Pacific Crest Trail Travel Memoirs Part I

It became clear my passing interest might be an obsession when my friend Nicole saw me reading and asked, “What book are you reading?”

I shrugged saying, “Oh, it’s just this travelogue about a young woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.”

“Oh Yeah,” Nicole said “I remember you were reading that last week. I read about that book online somewhere.”

“Well, actually this is a different book about another girl hiking thru-hiking the PCT.”

“So this is the second book you’re reading about the same trail??”

“Hm, no. The third—”

The cat’s out of the bag. I’ve gone from being someone who would have said “The pee see what?” to someone who can name several of the re-stock towns, trail-heads, the length, history and issues surrounding thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. And I’ve never seen it.

The Pacific Crest Trail goes from Mexico to Canada all along the west coast. Some people call it the Appalachian Trail of the west coast, but really it’s just another long-distance trail that people take on for the extreme challenge of it. It’s a commitment hiking the PCT. It takes around 3-5 months to complete. You need to prepare all your meals in advance and divide them into increments that you will collect along the way at post offices. Think about it; it’d be nearly impossible to hike with 5 months of food on your back.

So what, you say, is this Jersey raised young woman who has never hiked more than 8 miles and who has never even slept in a tent doing fantasizing about a 2,650 mile long trail on the other side of the country?

I’m sharing all this as a clue for the next hiking adventure I’m going to share with you… Stick around for Part II of the Garden State Hiker’s obsession with the PCT. I’ve got to get to sleep because tomorrow we will be hiking the PCT!!! Coming up I’ll also go into detail about the books I’ve been reading for those of you who want to read about intense hiking journeys. (A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple’s Trial by Trail; Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail; The Trail Life: How I Loved it, Hated it, and Learned from it) Until then, I’ll be out on the trail.

Go, get your hike on.

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Is this how they do hiking on the West Coast?

Funny video I thought you’d all enjoy. I have yet to be this prepared to hike. Happy Earth Day!

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Catching the Hiking Bug

You know the feeling. That itch to get outdoors and soak up the sunshine. Whether it was during family camping trips, joining an outdoors club in college or dating a nature aficionado, all hikers can remember when they first discovered the love of being out on the trail. Believe it or not, my inspiration to begin hiking did not start in the great state New Jersey.  I caught the bug far away in the mountains of Tibet.

Check out the jeans and socks on that hiking newbie.

A year ago, in the spring of 2011, I found myself thrust into my first backpacking journey. My professor in China led us on mid-semester trip through the Tibetan Autonomous Region. He warned us that it would not be a tourist trip and gave us a long list of necessary items. So, I bought all the gear and I was that person: the novice who buys all the gear before actually trying out the activity. I didn’t know why I would need a pocket knife, but I had one just in case.

Got a deal on that knock-off North Face.

After realizing I could survive without proper toilets (truly a shock) and could hike mountains without spraining my ankle, I came to enjoy nature and the lands untouched by humans. There was something too about the camaraderie that formed on that trip, that you couldn’t find in another setting.

Through the gate, toward adventure!

After I returned to the states, I took a good hard look at the hiking boots I was required to buy for this one trip. The outdoor adventures must continue–even in New Jersey, the unlikeliest of all places.

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