hiking blogs i love

Earlier this year I was researching National Parks and came across a map of the National Trails. Though I’d heard of the Appalachian Trail, and more recently had become aware of the Pacific Crest trail, I didn’t realize there was a network of several trails that wound around the country. As I dove into researching their terrains and paths, I found trail journals of hikers who had traversed these paths. Thus began my infatuation with backpacking. I thought I should share some of these great blogs with you, since they really are awesome and so inspiring.

Hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail

This was the blog that really started it for me. The Pacific Northwest trail is a newly designated National trail (only designated in 2009, though it was established back in the 1970’s) and has significantly less thru-hikers than more popular trails like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest trail. I found Katherine’s blog and gobbled it up all in one night from start to finish. She hiked the trail solo in 2013 in just over two months. I loved reading about her journey and it really opened my eyes to the troubles and joys of backpacking.

Carrot Quinn

I am currently obsessing* over Carrot’s journal of her hike on the PCT. I found her blog right before she started on the trail this year and was excited to travel along with her on her journey. This is her second year in a row hiking on the PCT and her writing is witty, fun and also earnest about the struggles of her expedition. You can go back and read about her hike from last year or even about some of her travels on freight trains. As of this posting she’s nearly 1000 miles into the trail.
*Sincerely obsessing, not just blogger hyperbole.

Myla Hikes

Myla and Jeff are hiking the Continental Divide trail this year after meeting last year on the PCT. They are true ultra light hikers and it’s interesting to read about their gear choices. Mostly I just enjoy following along reading about the different terrain of the CDT.

One Who Cannot

I found Steven’s (aka Twinkle) blog through Carrot Quinn, as they are in a small group of hikers traveling together. He has some great in depth writing about the trail and some lovely photos as well.

Other stuff:
Shawn and I watch a lot of hiking and gear videos and they’re usually pretty terrible, but I really liked this one about the CDT.

Do you have any favorite hiking blogs?

special delivery

A few weeks ago, this lovely Bunny organized a gift exchange for any bloggers/twitterers who were so inclined to participate. I jumped at the chance to join in and give something to one of the internet folk who I chat with on a regular basis. I was excited to give a gift to someone I admired or perhaps find someone new out there on the web to appreciate. Everything was chosen at random, but I have to say, I got really lucky. While I was extra enthused about the giving aspect, I didn’t think too much about the receiving half. Until last a few nights ago.

On Monday night, in the midst of busying myself with last minute pre-holiday things, the doorbell rang. When I opened it, much to my surprise, there stood Becca with a gift in hand. Strangely, I immediately knew who she was and was filled with happiness and excitement. Just by chance, my gift giver is my sort of neighbor.

On top of meeting someone with a blog I admire, I got a really adorable gift. How cute are these owl pot holders? LOVE THEM.

Then yesterday, I saw this post from Liz about the gift I sent her as my part of the exchange. So much happiness.

As a girl, who’s always been a little shy and introverted in real life, it brings me so much gladness to have found people on the the internet to relate to. I am thankful that I am able to connect with people out there who inspire me and have been able to turn that into genuine friendships. I know it sounds pretty sappy but I feel like many of the writers of blogs that I read and readers of this blog are my dear friends, even if we’ve never met.

So thanks for being here, you all really mean the world to me.

reading material

I’m always looking out for new blogs to read (while simultaneously culling my somewhat out of control google reader). I am drawn to blogs that have a combination of lovely imagery and an intimate demeanor. I like to read about people’s personal journeys, but I can’t help loving some nice photography to go along with it.

These are some recent finds that I’m just getting into.

A Day With Kate

This blog about a girl in Pasadena (hi neighbor!) wins my heart as she writes about her life and adventures. It doesn’t hurt that she loves coffee and fresh vegetables.

I love her casual and yet beautifully composed photos. She also has a shop with amazing hand-painted cards, tags and more.

The Velvet Bird

I must admit I’m highly swayed by anything in the woods but Vanessa has much more going on than that. Besides a beautifully selected vintage store, she’s also started making her own line of dresses which are just stunning.

Her photos are just adorable and she has goats. Seriously, goats! What more could you want from a blog?

What are your favorite blogs right now?

Shout outs

In light of the ridiculous news that VegNews is using stock photos of meat and trying to pass them off as vegan, I think today would be a lovely day to point you all in the direction of some other vegan blogs, sites and photographers.

I have a lot to say about what went down with VegNews but I think it’s pretty much been covered, so I’ll be brief. Using stock photos for completed recipes is just wrong in itself, let alone using images of non-vegan food. For that matter, I don’t know why anyone would want to read a magazine that uses stock photography on the cover under any circumstances. It just shows that the magazine doesn’t care about what they are publishing. I don’t know why they would then expect us to care enough to visit their site or buy a subscription. A magazine is not just about text, it’s a complete product.

But let’s move on…there are so many other vegan resources for you to check out besides this magazine, so here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order).

Quarry Girl – Have to give a major shout out to the blog that broke the news about this whole scandal. Go here for restaurant reviews and sass.

Post Punk Kitchen – The godmother of vegan recipe blogs brought to you by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  Innovative takes on the classics and inspiring new recipes all rolled into one.

Vegansauraus – Vegan news and fun around the internet. Great writing and totally amusing.

Your Vegan Mom – Reliably good recipes that are uncomplicated and mouthwatering from Trina, accompanied by witty storytelling.

C’est la Vegan – Wonderful recipes especially for desserts and appetizers, with great ideas for entertaining guests.

Little Vegan Planet – I like this blog so much I married the guy. Seriously though, fun stuff and amazing photos.

These are just my top few of today. It’s always changing. Here’s a whole list of awesomeness.

Since the controversy really comes down to photos, I thought I’d share some talented vegan photographers as well.  VEGNEWS, MAYBE YOU SHOULD CONTACT THESE GUYS:

Nicole from Bonus Round

Sara from Simply Stardust

Ryan of Suckatash Productions

Nora from Pride and Vegudice

Shawn of course (yes I’m listing him again, I’m totally allowed to do that).

Not to mention, when I asked for a vegan photographer on twitter, I had tons of responses, ranging from newbies willing to take photos for free to established working photographers.

I’m working on compiling a list for the future so if you’re a photographer that would like to be included, or have someone to add, please let me know.