I spent the weekend in Mount Shasta, a small town that I resided in a few years ago, and a town that several close friends still live in. It was a spontaneous trip, one in which my friend Candi and I thought we could soak up as much Cali sun as we could, while we could. Afterall, winter is around the corner. And with winter and a winter thru-hike justs months away, I really need to soak up all the sun and warmth while I can get it.



My good friend’s new pup, Grandin.

While there, we played disc golf in the high-mountain desert and beside the solitary beauty of Mount Shasta, a 14,180-foot volcano. We paddled the Klamath River, a segment accessed after a highly scenic drive, where I can roll down the window, turn up the music and let the magical sense of open-country entice my imagination. I love this place.

When I visit Shasta, I am always welcomed back into the lives of these wonderful friends. Whether we walk with the sunrise along the shore of Lake Siskiyou or sip fine wine and enjoy the cool blue night sky, it’s a place of beauty, comfort, joy and simplicity. It’s a place that regularly spurs the question, “Do I want to move back?”

Fortunately this is not an answer I need to make overnight, and I think having the entirety of next year to hike, will no doubt lead me in the right direction. What I do know, is that I am drawn back to that beauty, comfort, joy and simplicity. Perhaps this is why I am drawn to hiking the Calendar Triple Crown. Just because you’ve seen it once, lived there once, doesn’t mean it’s not a place worth returning to.

Married to the Trail_coverBut first, I have a big year ahead. Three long-distance trails, 7,500 miles, one year. I’ve roughly laid out my itinerary and I’ve been busy partnering with sponsors. Meanwhile, Married to the Trail is published, printed and ready to be purchased! Literally a box of 100 copies arrived as I was sending this post. (As for those in Mount Shasta, I’ll be visiting for Halloween so sit tight!) It’s a wild notion to see the story of my 2011 thru-hike along the Continental Divide Trail come to fruition, just as another long-distance adventure blossoms. Lots of things on this girl’s list-to-do, which I suppose are more like checkmarks on a bucket-list.

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