Are the What If’s stopping YOU from living YOUR BEST Life?

I recently wrote a post about stewers vs doers (link). For many it’s easy to become stuck in a type of paralysis playing the What If game making it extremely challenging to go from a stewer to a doer. I think this image puts risk into perspective.

Are you a worry wort or a carefree risk taker or more likely somewhere in between? Does your worry prevent you from doing? Does it cause you to limit your adventures? Do you weigh yourself and your pack down with the what ifs?

In a book I was reading this morning this quote stood out and seemed applicable to so many situations, “No use wasting time being afraid of something you can’t do anything about.”
My goal is to go prepared mentally, physically and with the right skills, gear and safety equipment so that I can be free to worry less, laugh more, live more, adventure more . . .
What have you done to successfully transition from spending too much time worrying to more time living? What advice do you have for others in same situation?

2019 – Where Did Jan Jaunt?

It’s been another year filled with plentiful adventures. I’ve added more chapters to this book called the Life and Times of Jan. I hope you’ve been able to do the same. I life by these words of wisdom shared by an elderly gal, “spend your time making deposits into your bank of memories so later in life you can make withdrawals.”

2019 Factoids:

195 days of travel, driving about 14,000 miles while exploring 8 states

136 days spent hiking and backpacking while traveling

42 nights nights spent in my tent and 124 nights spent sleeping in my car

Thanks for following along, although as they say “all good things must come to an end.” As most of you know my photos links broke in early October and as of this date I haven’t found an easy solution. For those interested this is the situation and I’m still hoping for a Christmas miracle.

I inserted photos using URL links rather than uploading to wordpress. It appears Google changed the storage location of my photos and thus my old URL links were replaced with new ones. I wish they were only a few characters different but alas the addresses have nothing in common. I’m not the only one confronted with this problem. I found several threads in Google forums, but sadly no easy solution. These are the options I’ve found so far (remember I have 400+ blog posts needing repair).

  1. Replace all old URL links with updated URL links. This would requiring editing every post knowing most likely the links would break again at some time in the future.
  2. I can still see the original posts so I could go into each photo, select save as and download to my computer. Then upload to wordpress then replace each photo in the applicable posts. As you can imagine this too would be very time consuming. Furthermore I’d have to start paying wordpress to store these photos.
  3. Since I can still see the original posts I can save as a PDF; however, I can’t download as a PDF as those images don’t really exist. Instead I can print to file. I would then need to pay for PDF editor to make them user friendly. Then I’d have to pay for an upgraded wordpress plan so I can include a pdf viewer plugin. Then I’d have to edit each post to include the new PDF.

So as you can see these are all time consuming and expensive solutions. I’m still in denial and find this situation extremely disheartening.  I wish I could wave a magic wand or wake up Christmas morning to a restored blog.

If you know of additional solutions, please share. I’m all ears!


Travel Summaries:


The Abundant R’s of Winter

We might not hibernate but winter typically signals a period of slowing down, spending more time indoors, and for me doing a lot of R’s. Funny as I thought about this post, every descriptor began with an R so I decided to run with it.

Rest, Recovery and Rehab

My body says thank you for slowing down, tending to aches, pains and neglected areas.

Recondition, Revise, Repair, Replace, Recycle

It’s a time to evaluate my clothing and gear. Broken zippers, holey socks . . .  With discounts at their best from November through January, winter is the time to replace or upgrade gear. It’s also a good time to see if I have clutter worthy of selling, donating or tossing.


My food and resupply bins are usually looking quite sparse by this time of year. Nothing says prep quite like the dehydrator, boxes of bars and


Might as well put things away where they belong when done with inventory and restocking. When it’s time to play I want to be able to grab and go.

Rewind and Reflect

This is typically the time of year I catch up on photo processing, blog posts and my map track. What were my highlights and lowlights? Yes, my broken blog photo links have been my lowest low of the year. I’m still working to resolve.


While I’m reminiscing about my joys of the previous year, it’s also a good time to starting planning for the upcoming season. Where oh where shall Jan jaunt in 2020?


The holidays and winter provide great opportunities to reunite with friends and family. It’s when I need more social time. My hiking groups tend to provide motivation along with face-to-face interaction during the dark, wet, chilly days of winter.


My coping strategy is to spend time being active outside at least an hour a day. This has made a huge difference in my moods. Embrace winter! I’m glad I enjoy snowshoeing and hiking in brisk temperatures.


Generosity seems to be in the forefront of our minds during the holiday season. It’s a good time to not only make my annual financial donations but also to thank those who’ve helped me during the year. I think about ways I might want to contribute in the upcoming year. Do I want to volunteer or teach? If so, where, when, how?


For me that means resisting the urge to overeat, be lazy and shop the sales (as I sit here staring at 5 down jackets, a tent, pack and sleeping pad).


I’m still alive and I’ve added another chapter to my book of memories! Hopefully it was a year with few regrets, good health and lots of laughs. If not, I can still sing my thanks for living to hike another day. I’m Alive!


Winter is my most challenging season. The shortened hours of daylight combined with rainy days can lead to the blues. I like many people experience Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). I feel a bit like a caged lion or maybe more like a tigress. Recently Anish (aka Heather Anderson) posted her thoughts on the changing seasons. One phrase caught my attention, “We’re in a season of darkness now. Look to nature. She sleeps.”

Life is simpler on the trail.
So many of us crave that simplicity.
It’s a place where we find our natural rhythm.
A sustainable pace in sync with sun, wind, moon, blossom, and Fall.
We’re in a season of darkness now. Look to nature. She sleeps.
She is not frantically racing, acquiring, preparing.
That time is done.
Now it’s a time for drawing inward.
Relying on that which was set aside already.
Holding tight to the fire within.
Awaiting the return of the light.

When it seems like there is too much busy-ness this time of year I take my cue from Mother Nature. I step back. I draw in. I take a break. Winter is for resting, preparing for another year. The trail gives us calm because it connects us to the essential ebb and flow. Holding on to that off trail is what keeps me balanced.

I know if I focus on the R’s of winter, I’ll be ready for the greens of spring.

What are YOU waiting for?

The reality is time doesn’t stand still. Can you believe it’s gonna be 2020 in the blink of an eye?

I’ve met many people who think big but just can’t seem to convert that energy into wonderful memories of adventure. If you fall into this category, what’s stopping you? How many fantastic opportunities have you missed out on? More importantly how many future ones have you lost because your friends have given up on you?

  • One of the first people I mentored on PCT prep fell into this category. I worked with her on gear, training, realistic expectations, etc. but in the end it was enemies within that kept her from taking those first steps.
  • I’ll never forget a gal I met on a meetup camping trip. She’d come with her ex-husband. She told us she’d been trying to attend events for several months. Fear had immobilized her. She’d get as far as the carpool or meeting location but couldn’t get out of her car. By recruiting her ex for that first encounter, she felt safe and as a result became an active member of the group.

I think of my friends who set goals, make plans and take actions. They are the ones who have chosen to live in the moment. They know tomorrow may not come. Our health is not guaranteed. The forest we dream about may disappear in a wildfire. Other trails may be lost to floods, avalanches or neglect. Today’s perfect weather, wildflower explosion, or snow conditions could just as easily be the opposite. Air quality has become an issue with what the all too frequent large and long-lasting wildfires. Is the risk of waiting worth it? What will you regret not doing?

  • A friend works full time, he’s 60+ and yet makes adventure a priority. Sometimes that means getting up at 3:30am on his day off, driving 5 hours so he can spend the day snowshoeing up some mountain he’s been eyeing. He’s also been known to grab those enviable sunrise photos, and when I’m invited I say YES!
  • Another friend who also works full time, uses much of her vacation time section hiking the PCT. It’s a huge investment in money and time. The logistics are overwhelming. She balances life with a husband, pets, and the desire to meet her goal of PCT completion. She prioritizes an active lifestyle by squeezing in mini trips locally to ensure fitness prior to her vacation adventures.

I can go on and on about both doers and stewers. I’m sure you have stories of your own. If you’re a stewer, what’s stopping you from becoming more of a doer?

  • Chores or obligations?
  • Fitness level?
  • Money?
  • Companions?
  • Knowledge?
  • Time?
  • Weather?
  • Gear/Clothing?
  • Transportation?

These barriers can be overcome once you decide to prioritize yourself.

If you want to be a hiker, backpacker, snowshoer, rock climber, runner, whatever . . . just do it! Tiny steps lead to bigger ones. First steps don’t need to be epic. Just get out of your comfort zone and take that scary leap. Stop saying I wish I could but . . . Instead start saying YES I can and will.

Make 2020 your year of change!

CA – Falling into Winter, Eastern Sierra Style


I miss blogging. It’s my therapy between trips. It’s how I put words to photos and memorialize my adventures. The photo links are still broken on my 400+ previous posts. I don’t like the “best practices” method of uploading photos to WordPress but at this point, it’s my best quick solution option. Each of the below deserve their own post with plentiful photos. Hopefully I can repair my blog and resume these posts.img_20191010_130850236

Bodie State Historic Park

I consider the Bridgeport area an arbitrary northern boundary of the Eastern Sierra. My timing has never allowed a visit to Bodie. I found the interpretative pamphlet worth the few bucks to bring the history alive.dsc02371

Virginia Lakes Trailhead

There was a lot of WOW per mile on this trail. It ranked in my top two jaunts this fall. The lakes, geology and trail conditions made for a wonderful day. dsc02625

Lundy Canyon Trailhead

My first trip to the Eastern Sierra a few years ago showcased Lundy as a premier location for leaf peeping. Well I was a little too early this year although late September was peak my first year, early October was not this year. Instead I enjoyed waterfalls, a bug-free trail, gorgeous rocks and most of all brisk temperatures of the changing seasons. dsc02909

Lake Sabrina Trailhead

You may recall in early June this year I visited a few trailheads including this one. Most were still blocked by snow and lakes were topped in ice. I was looking forward to hiking these trails while gaining deeper access into alpine country. I ended up hiking two trails out of this trailhead.dsc04373

On October 4th, I hiked a lollipop loop including Blue, Donkey and Baboon Lakes.dsc03108

A couple weeks later I returned this time hiking to Dingleberry and Midnight Lakes.dsc04445

Big Pine Trailhead

This was another area I’d visited during my early June jaunt. I hiked North Fork Trail to First, Second and Third Lakes then on toward Temple Crag.dsc03415

Next up was South Fork Trail to Brainerd Lake. High point was a bit over 10,000 feet.dsc03637

South Lake Trailhead

I’d heard plenty about the popular North Lake South Lake Loop so was looking forward to seeing for myself a bit of the hype. Of course a good percentage of the loop is shared with the JMT which I’d previously hiked.  This was my other favorite trail. I loved the views from Bishop Pass and the geology surrounding the Chocolate Lakes.dsc04017

North Lake Trailhead

It didn’t take much time before I knew if I was hiking the North Lake South Lake Loop  I’d begin with the more gentle climb out of South Lake to Bishop Pass and ending with the steeper trail descending to North Lake from Piute Pass.dsc04212

Little Lakes Valley Trailhead

In early June we had to park near Rock Creek Lake and snow hiked to this trailhead. It was very satisfying to hike deeper into alpine country up to Morgan Pass with side trips to Chickenfoot and Gems Lakes. DSC04814G

McGee Creek Trailhead

This trail proved to be the winner on my search for fall foliage this season. Not only was the geology WOWtastic, but the colors kept me smiling. dsc04886

Green Creek Trailhead

Although I missed peak colors, I enjoyed experiencing the lakes close up and personal that’d I’d seen earlier on my Virginia Lakes hike. dsc05431

Crowley Lake

This was more exploration and wandering than hiking. I’d heard about these columnar formations and wanted to see them for myself. With road access more appropriate for a true 4×4 with high clearance than my baby 4×4 (Honda CR-V 4×4). With an adventurous  friend visiting with a 4Runner inviting some play, it was the perfect opportunity. It was a steep, narrow, sandy track with a few very deep holes. I would NOT have taken my car but surprisingly we met an individual driving something similar. dsc04518

I really enjoyed spending the first few weeks of October in the Eastern Sierra. With overnight temperatures from the mid teens to low 30’s, I wasn’t very motivated to backpack. Sleeping in my car and day hiking was much preferable although I missed out on amazing sunsets, sunrises and further exploration opportunities. This trip however reinforced my desire to spend a summer wandering these wonderful trails.dsc03766

As for the state of my blog . . . this post was highly unsatisfactory. Embedding the photos was extremely time consuming and not being able to share the full experience is not my style. I hope with the help of my IT friend, we’ll find a better long-term solution. I appreciate your patience.

Photo Problems, ARGH!

It appears Google made some changes to their URL’s. Thus the reason you might not be seeing photos in my posts.

If this photo is visible, it’s because I used a workaround posting option. Not one I can do regularly. I’m out chasing fall colors and will work on this problem when I return home. At that time I’ll update recent posts and reissue. Thanks for your patience.


WA – North Cascades National Park, Hannegan/Copper Ridge Trails

After completing my trip to Sahale Glacier (link), I found myself once again at the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount. I arrived at 6am and had the place to myself. It was sprinkling so I was happy to wait in my car. When the next car arrived they did the same. By the time the third arrived I checked in with them to see if they’d honor the line so we could all wait in our cars out of the rain. The answer was a resounding YES and in fact by the time the office opened there were 5-6 vehicles. A ranger put out a “take a number” box 5-10 minutes before opening. It would be helpful to do this much earlier, maybe even the evening prior. But alas, I was first in line and got the permit I wanted. Tip: The office in Marblemount opens at 7am whereas the one in Glacier, nearer this trailhead, doesn’t open until 8am. Both are open 7 days a week.

My fingers were crossed I’d get this permit as I needed to drive the 40 miles to Sedro Wooley to retrieve my replacement credit card, and it was conveniently on my way to the trailhead.

Initially the forecast indicated a clear day starting Monday but reality was a bit different.

I dilly dallied and made a second pot of coffee waiting to see if the storm would blow over.

I drove up Mt Baker and finally got enough signal to check the radar. I drove back to the Glacier Public Service Center to see if I could delay my permit by a day. Success!

So back up the Mt Baker Highway I went and caught a teaser of the mountain.

It was so beautiful on the mountain, I was looking forward to exploring further when I returned from my latest outing.

The next day the skies were looking much improved.

Bleeding hearts.


Not sure on the ID of this one.


I hadn’t seen this plant previously and have since learned it’s a dwarf fireweed.

Aster with morning dew.

Monkey flower.

First sighting of a black slug. Ewwwww, right?

It was nice to see evidence of recent trail maintenance.

Survey marker at Hannegan Pass.

Views from Hannegan Pass.

I couldn’t help but admire the texture and colors of this mountain. I learned later that this is Hannegan Peak. My plan was to summit on the day of my exit.

New wilderness for me.

Looking down at Hannegan Pass. To the left is Ruth Mountain, with Mount Shuksan in the middle and Hannegan Peak to the right.

I was so happy berries were finally ripening. In fact I believe berry picking saved me from a collision with a bear.

Insulator from old telephone lines.

Silesia Camp is on the top of this hill and would be my home for a couple nights.

There are two campsites at Silesia Camp. My first night I had the protected site without a view. The bonus was no condensation.

The second night I switched sites for this one with a view of Mineral and Whatcom Mountains. Initially I had the tent set up front and center but after the wind started gusting I relocated to the side. I was surprised by the amount of condensation I experienced.

It’s such a convenience having a bear box in camp.

Toilet with a view.

From camp I had great views of these mountains.

Morning light.

This helicopter made a few stops at Copper Ridge Lookout with parts for repairs.

The lookout is barely visible on the distant peak.

The trail to the lookout.

Copper Ridge Lookout

The butterflies liked my gaiters, I’m guessing they thought they were flowers.

Egg Lake is just below Silesia Camp. It’s the nearest water and is quite a descent followed by a stiff ascent. The lookout is on the ridge behind the lake. When I returned from the lookout I couldn’t resist stopping by for a swim. I was thrilled I had the lake to myself. It was deep, clean and a decent temperature.

Looking toward Hannegan Pass; Hannegan Peak is to the right.

Photo bombed by this beautiful creature. 

Going up Hannegan Peak

The amount of snow, ice and glaciers is quite amazing.

The ridges had open invites for further exploration.

So much eye candy.

Looking back up at Hannegan Pass as I’m returning to the trailhead.

You can see the transition up to Ruth Mountain.

I believe this was my first visit to the Mt Baker Wilderness. 

It was cool to find out part of the trail was shared with the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT). I met a few thru hikers. I wouldn’t want to hike the next section which includes 5 miles on the dirt trailhead road and 10 miles of paved Mt Baker Highway.

Adventure Date(s):

  • August 13-15, 2019

Hike Details:


  • Permits are required and can only be obtained either in advance from the site or from a wilderness office for same day or next day camping. Rangers are out and about checking permits.
  • This intimated me and as a result I chose not to hike the Copper Ridge Loop. I later found out the cart was broken and you can walk through the creek. I’m sure it could be challenging based on snowmelt.
  • Be prepared for biting flies and mosquitoes. I’d sprayed my outerwear, pack and screen on tent in advance with Sawyer’s Permethrin (Amazon link), and applied Picardin (Amazon link) to my skin when needed.
  • Dispersed camping is available on nearby USFS lands.
  • Set mouse traps in your car.