Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Proving Grounds- Now Available

Proving Grounds-True Cost of an AT Thru Hike is now available. During my second, successful Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail, I pondered lots of deep questions. The title was chosen because all the way up the trail, I realized I was proving to myself I could still do this. I met others proving similar things, plus proving their gear worked, proving they could stand the rain. Proving they had the stuff to make it all the way to the great Mount Katahdin.

What does it cost to take five months off and hike this thing?
I soon realized, there were three aspects: financial, emotional and physical. As the first days evolved into a strong, unequivocal commitment, I ditched my stove and covered many thoughtful miles, alone. Of course, I made tons of friends and had the time of my life.
In this book, you'll find complete sewing directions for my prototype, signature tent. I've included a hiking Glossary in the back because sometimes we use words the uninitiated backpacker finds mystifying.
I've listed all my resupply points and detailed how to resupply without killing the bank or your back.

I hope you enjoy it. If you have Amazon Prime, you can read it free. The digital copy is only $3.99, or you can order the paperback. Just click on the link.

Please write  a review, especially if you've found it helpful or enjoyable. By writing a review, you help others discover good books.

Happy Trails.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Hiking Atop the World, in Quartzsite Arizona

Just thought I'd share this short clip with you. I hiked up both jeep roads and game trails to reach this perch. Its amazing how far one can see, which is one reason I always bring a survival pack and water. You never know how far you'll go, trying to reach that distant summit.

Contrary to my normal spontaneity, I also told the guys at the visitor center I was heading to yonder view. They nodded. When I returned several hours later to check in, they only smiled. Most have ATVs. Crazy hikers are rare as water here in the vast desert.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Books of Lasting Value

There are two books which have made a huge impact in my life. The first one I read while a young woman, raising kids. Clutter's Last Stand asks the question, Is there Life after housework? His whole premise is to keep a streamlined existence. Get rid of knickknacks, souvenirs that  take up valuable space, or gifts you've never used. Free up the closet space holding out dated clothes and rags you'd never be caught dead in.
Makes sense. Real-estate is expensive.
The other book is The Gift of Fear. Gavin de Becker talks about women trusting their instincts and never letting a guy talk them out of their convictions. He says fear can be a good thing, actually and alert you to under the radar danger.

With that in mind, I'm working on my writing. The best thing a writer can hope for is impact. So, True Cost, my next book, I hope will fill some gaps in the way we count the price paid for a long distance hike. Not only financially, but physically and emotionally, the true cost can be surprising.
If we can make a positive impact in someone's life, then our lives are enriched.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Power Miser

Having bought and installed twelve LED mini lights, in place of the incandescent bulbs that are the default on many RVs, I felt good about my upcoming self-grid experience.
And now that I've been here a week, I'm taking stock.
I can't really say I'm off the grid. I need power for my laptop, my phone, the water pump, and my propane frig. The motherboard, imagine that, is all important to deliver the spark that lights the flame that cools the thing down.
Two LED lights bit the dust. Thankfully, they were from Walmart, obviously defective after only a few days' testing.
I have candles. What a romantic ambiance that brings as I listen to Phil Collins on my phone, long after sunset.
I use the library and my car's 12 volt port when ever I drive the car.
I also walk, for exercise and give my little car days off.

But, I freely admit. I need power. As a long distance backpacker used to living off grid, I can deal, probably better than most. Its challenging and I horde my house battery's power like Scrooge hordes smiles before Christmas.
Here in Quartzsite, I'm not the only one living on the cheap. I see others walking, biking, living in tents or tiny trailers. Plus, I'm getting used to the heat, loving the sunshine, enjoying the cactus views.
While I'm also careful with my water, I'm frugal about power. Even the electric steps are shut off. I use a step stool instead.
Power. Its all about the power. Soon, I'm going to turn on the generator and let it run while I watch a movie on my flat screen. I promise. Its good for the generator and I'm Positive its good for me.
A splurge is coming on.
I can feel it building.
Which movie among my great collection will win the night's honor?
As they say in Mexico, Quien Sabe?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Special Popcorn Trick

Just made this short video and decided to share it here. If you'd like a fuller sack of delicious air popped corn, use 1/3 cup seeds.

I love to enjoy a bag of popcorn while watching a good movie.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Another Give Away

You guessed it. I'm back and I'm devoting the same kind of energy to my writing as I did to my second thru hike of the Appalachian trail.
The news this week is that on Saturday and Sunday, October 8th and 9th, you can download your free copy of The Cookbook Project-Sharing Our Best.

This new edition has the page numbers even in the index. I know! Many profound thanks to my first readers who struggled through the original reproduction/
As you might expect, new stories, tips and refined directions help you be successful.
I love this book and have been relying on its recipes for twenty years. Batch cooking is made simple when you have menus and formulas to follow.

So don't forget to get your free download this weekend at
Bon Apetite!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Updates on the Homefront

Updates on my minimalist lifestyle are shown in the video below. I made this film for YouTube and decided to embed it here for your convienence.

As I count the bulbs I'd like to replace to bring my power needs down to solar panel levels, I realize we're talking fifteen bulbs. If anyone knows of a better deal than Walmarts 2/14.99, please let me know. Hope your fall is going great.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Inspiration Now for the Long Haul

Henry David Thoreau is one of my favorite authors. His books seem a little dry at times, the prose a tiny bit over done, but if you get into his frame of mind, and realize what a pioneer he was in his day, all that takes a back seat.

I read Maine Woods while I was a ridge runner two years ago. Living in a tent right in Henry's stomping grounds, I could just picture his party portaging up the river and bushwhacking their way to the mighty mountain they called, and we call, Katahdin.

August 3, I completed my second thru hike. Katahdin hadn't changed, but I had.

And so, I googled quotes by Henry David Thoreau and came up with this site :
You can plug other names into its search engine, also.
And Volia!
In an instant, you'll have more inspiration than any one can deal with for a day. I had to pull myself away to continue working on my notes.

Then, I thought, why not share this with you?

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. Henry David Thoreau 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Book Reviews Requested

Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful fall weather. Hard to sit down and read, or write for that matter, when the colors are changing so dramatically.

If you did read my new book, Living the Dream-everything I know about seasonal work I learned the hard way, which was promoted three weeks ago via free download, and would take a moment to write a review at, I would appreciate it.

On the product page, which you can find in the last blog post- just click on the link to give your opinion.

Coming soon, I'll share videos of my RV as I prepare to boondock down in Arizona this winter. Seems like it will be the perfect place to work on a new book I'm calling, True Cost.  As the title suggests, this new tome will be a very candid look at my second thru hike of the Appalachian Trail.

Thanks for your patience with me as a writer.

Happy Trails,

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Free Down Load-Living the Dream

In celebration of Labor Day, my new book Living the Dream will be available for a free download. Both Monday and Tuesday, the 5th and 6th of September, you'll be able to click on the link and enjoy your free copy.

this short book contains quizzes and tips, along with true stories and lists to help anyone who wants to live the seasonal lifestyle, work in great places and meet new people.

If you read this book, please write a review for me at It can be a single word. It helps other folks know if the book was useful. It also helps me as an author to receive feedback. Thank you.

And now, having successfully completed my second thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, I feel strong and ready to share the adventure with you by way of another book. The anticipated publishing date is not until 2017, but it should be my best work ever, and include directions on how to make some of my favorite gear, plus resupply points, the cost and changes I've witnessed along the way. My first thru hike was fourteen years ago.

My tent is worn and much loved. I'll be remaking it. As a prototype, I found it just a little short when I placed my pack inside during rainy nights. But I love it so much, with six extra inches in length, it will be perfect. My hiking poles provide the support. It weighs just 22 ounces.
And as always, thanks for all your comments and support. Happy trails.