2021 – Where Did Jan Jaunt?

I had major knee surgery in October of 2020 which resulted in a slow rehab of patience and persistence so my year looked much different than many. However, step by step I climbed my way back and according to Gaia I walked/hiked nearly 1,500 miles with over 100,000 feet ascended/descended during the year. I don’t track everything but it’s a good indicator of my activity.


This was a month where I came to appreciate ADA (American with Disabilities Act) trails, notably flat, smooth, and often paved. Being outside and finding local beauty kept me sane. 2021 – Winter Wisdom . . . Quantum Leaps and Silver Linings


It was early wildflower season and while still hiking and walking with one crutch I was able to spend more time on trails, including some easy dirt trails. It was fabulous to get off the pavement. CA – February 2021 Jaunts . . . starring Shasta and Tehama Counties


It was another month of working with physical therapy to rebuild hip strength and gait. Thankfully it was also early spring in far Northern California so I enjoyed green grasses and wildflowers. It was a fun game searching for flattish good terrain trails.


Some novice botanists befriended me and were happy to share adventures. My hiking was still somewhat limited but my knee rehab was going according to plan.


This was a month of progress, setbacks, and timeouts in my recovery. I graduated from physical therapy at the end of May and that was reason to celebrate! Oh and dare I mention another month of enjoying plentiful wildflowers, many new to me.


This was an exciting month as I pushed boundaries and set new milestone victories. My longest mileage was 7.5 miles, biggest elevation gain 1500′, and finally reached a 3 mph active pace on flattish pavement.


Be still my heart, it was time to travel once again. I was beyond excited to share time with my friend Joan while being back in adventure mode. I was still in knee and body rehab mode and continued achieving more victories with a 9 mile maximum, 2,000′ elevation gain and my first backpack trip.


This month marked my time to escape wildfire smoke. It was an opportunity to spend time in the Redwoods which provided plenty of gentle trails and fresh air.


I found myself celebrating autumn in Washington. What a wonderful treat to play among larch trees turning yellow and wander among the tapestry of color lining many trails. I also did my first solo backpack trip since my knee surgery and set a new milestone of 11.25 miles.


I turned south and celebrated autumn colors in Washington and Oregon before finishing my fall jaunt with snow in Crater Lake. It was a magical way to close out this year of rehab. By the time I returned home we received early season rain cleaning the air of residual wildfire smoke and extinguishing any remaining. I celebrated my knee surgery anniversary, set new rehab milestones including a 15-mile hike, another with 2,600 feet elevation gain/loss and my first snowshoe outing.

What will 2022 bring? More travel, more hiking, more backpacking, more adventures!

Travel Summaries:

2020 – Where Did Jan Jaunt?

The year 2020 started like any other. By late February I was ready to begin my spring jaunt. I started in Northern California and worked my way through Arizona.

In early spring Pandemic concerns sent me home to far Northern California where I spent the next few months adventuring locally.

Fall and winter were a bust following my injury in early September. I’ve focused on the silver lining that the timing of this body failure was better now than next spring. I’m continuing my rehab and will say goodbye to 2020 as I celebrate my 3 month post-surgery recovery. I’ll still have another 3-4 months before I can start hiking. Just like climbing a mountain, it’s one step in front of another.

It wasn’t the year I had planned but there were enough good bits to make it memorable. It’s easy to focus on what wasn’t but as I reviewed my photos, I was reminded to focus on what was. In this case I still enjoyed 63 days of hiking, snowshoeing and backpacking. I spent 30 nights in my tent and 25 in my car. I marked off more areas on my local maps, and swam more in alpine lakes than I can ever recall. I added paddleboarding to my activity list as well as filled my days with walking, biking and jogging.

In 2018 I wrote, “this year will be mostly remembered for the fires, so much lost especially too many lives. Such a good reminder to live life fully, without regret, making each day count.” I can revise this for 2020 by saying, “this year will be mostly remembered for COVID-19, so much lost especially too many lives. Such a good reminder to live life fully, without regret, making each day count.” I feel like I broke my life rules this year and promise to get back to living without regrets in 2021.

Travel Summaries:

2020 – A Summer of Surprises

Spring was filled with much confusion. I was in Northeast Arizona when the COVID-19 restrictions began. Traveling wasn’t fun. I felt ostracized and unwelcome. Once I realized this wasn’t going to be a short-term problem, I scurried home and spent spring recreating locally while struggling to process this current reality. I wrote a lot. It will be a good reminder of this time in my life.

My county officially declared itself ready to move to Stage 2 pandemic reopening on May 6th. In celebration I ran away and visited a waterfall.

With temperatures climbing to the low 90’s, I took my #stimuluscheck inflatable SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) for it’s maiden voyage on Trinity Lake.

Little did I know how the SUP would help me set new challenges. Why not try to paddle around the perimeter of Whiskeytown Lake? GAIA proved to be a helpful tool, working as well on water as on land.

Living near this lake for several decades I’ve spent plenty of time along it’s shores and hiking the trails but this was my first summer ON the water. I learned about the old highway that runs under the lake and is still visible (the shadow line on the right). How is it possible for pavement to remain intact under water for decades?

While in general the joy of hiking wasn’t present during my paddles, I found satisfaction swimming, watching fish, frogs and birds, discovering the creek inflow channels, and imagining camping on one of the little islands.

Spending the last six summers in the mountain states, I’d forgotten how hot it gets in Redding starting in June; my melting point is around 80F. It was easy to start questioning my decision to stay local. Several times I considered running away.

I’ve become quite heat intolerant so I found swimming and paddling to be better options than hiking and biking. I spent time in cooler climates like this paddle at Castle Lake.

Life on the road gave me the opportunity to run from weather or fires and smoke. Staying home, meant daily checks of the air quality starting mid July. This was my last day of paddling. Soon enough instead of buying backpacking gear I was buying an air purifier and dragging out my N95 masks, for smoke rather than COVID-19.

But with smoke comes beautiful sunsets.

Rewind to May. I found the bike a better option than walking the nearby paved trails. I was thankful as the community reopened, the crowds mostly disappeared.

I also enjoyed blooms in my yard, watched over by my friend and namesake, BeeKeeper aka Queen Bee.

And then it was finally time! My local forests sort of invited participation with this statement, “We ask the public to please recreate responsibly. Law enforcement and/or search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19 issues. High risk activities such as rock climbing, etc., or backcountry activities that increase your chance of injury or distress should be avoided.” Maybe a little selfish, hiking and backpacking in my local wilderness areas was a decision I didn’t take lightly, but one imperative to my personal well being. Trails were open, and with careful planning I selected options with few cars at the trailheads and rarely a human sighting while on trail. I didn’t stop anywhere along the way, no restrooms, no gas, no food or drink. I’d return home to resupply, do laundry and grab gas before hitting the repeat button.

Looking at this list makes me realize I didn’t have a wasted summer. It wasn’t anywhere near the #epic summer I had planned, but at least I got out. The biggest regret I have is giving up a month of opportunity. I suffered from the heat and was miserable during my early July jaunt on the PCT in the Russian Wilderness. I decided I needed to wait until fall. In retrospect I realize what I should have done was find places where I could lounge around lakes during the heat of the day. It’s not my style, but then again neither is staying home feeling sorry for myself. Once again, maybe I should have run away?

By mid August fire season was in full swing.

Air quality sucked. I was stuck inside left to wonder whether my fall hiking plans would be only a dream.

FINALLY, the week before Labor Day weekend, we had a weather change and were gifted a break from the heat and smoke. So off I went to find my happy spot, and yes more swimming. Did I say this was my summer of swimming?

And just as I was ramping up for some fall fun, my body decided otherwise. Little did I know this would mark the end of my 2020 season.

I spent September learning a lot about knee anatomy, followed by knee surgery in early October. For six weeks, it’s crutches and 8 hours a day in a CPM (continuous passive motion) machine, so basically 24×7 in bed. Oh fun!

With the mild temperatures I’ve been able to enjoy outside Vitamin D breaks. The sun is a huge mood booster. It looks like fall is due to arrive by the end of the week.

I took advantage of my downtime while I was cooped up inside, hiding from heat or smoke, to write my series on a decade of lessons learned.

I also worked on a few DIY projects.

Lastly I’ve been busy contributing to other communities, including my interview with Jester (link).

In Susan Alcorn’s recently released book, I’m one of the women interviewed and hear I have a dedicated chapter (I’m still waiting for my complimentary copy to arrive). It’s a little nerve wracking not knowing how content will be used and edited, especially in a project like this one. “In Walk, Hike, Saunter, long-distance hiker Susan Alcorn introduces you to 32 experienced outdoors women who consider hiking to be an essential part of their live. The common theme of Walk, Hike, Saunter is that there are many paths to incorporating hiking into your life. Whether hiking is one of many things that you enjoy doing, or whether you find hiking such an passion that you don’t mind living out of your car in order to pursue it–you can reap the rewards of exploring the world on foot. The women, all 45 and older and in the prime of their lives, are all superstars–shining examples of the richness that hiking can bring to our lives.” The book is currently available in paperback but at some point in the future will be an e-book as well (Amazon link).

I’m also happy to be contributing to the PCT Foundation Document (link). It’s a very interesting project. You can learn more and add your two cents if interested.

My blog will probably be fairly quiet for the next few months as I go through rehab. I’ll be spending a lot of time in my home gym, although I’ll be dreaming of being elsewhere. January will be my 3-month post surgery mark and April 6 months. I’ve been forewarned that patience is the key to achieving the desired outcome, which to me means full function of my knee.

My goal is to keep smiling, stay optimistic, work on creating photo journals from my blog, do lots of rehab and be ready for some #epic adventures in 2021!

Disclosure: Amazon affiliate links may be included which provide me a tiny kickback to help pay for this site. 


More Miscellaneous Jabberings

2020 – A Decade of Section Hiking Long Distance Trails . . . my podcast debut and resume

As I prepared for an interview with Jester on Section Hiker Radio, I took a trip down memory lane. I had many stories, tips, tricks, lessons to share, but 45 minutes just isn’t enough time. During a recent hike, I came up with this solution. Why not supplement the podcast with blog posts? So here is the interview, an introduction and the first of several posts to celebrate a decade of hiking (PODCAST LINK).

PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) Highlights:

Between 2010 and 2020, I’ve hiked about 1500 miles on the PCT.  Many of my stories and photos can be found on my PCT page (link).

AZT (Arizona Trail) Highlights:

Between 2010 and 2020, I’ve hiked about 500 miles on the AZT.  Many of my stories and photos can be found on my AZT page (link).

CDT (Continental Divide Trail) Highlights:

My time on the CDT has been mostly unintentional. It’s been a mix of being invited by friends to join for sections or coincidental as I hiked other overlapping trails. Here’s a link to my CDT hikes.

PNT (Pacific Northwest Trail) Highlights:

Like the CDT, I didn’t make a plan to hike sections of the PNT. Sometimes I found myself on the trail and only realized by looking at the map. It’s rare to find a trail marker.

Wonderland Trail:

I can actually mark this one complete. It’s the only long trail I completed in one go. I’m not satisfied though as there are so many side trails I’d like to explore.

What long trails await (map link)?

So many trails, only so much time. I feel my personal timeclock ticking. Whether I’m section hiking a long trail or exploring trails with WOW per mile, I’m happy with that pack on my back moving my home each night while chasing sunsets, sunrises, wildflowers and so much more.


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:


Spring Jaunt 2019 . . . 92 days, 5 states, 7000 miles, 36 blog posts

This was my fifth spring jaunt. It’s hard to believe I began this new lifestyle in August 2014. Arizona was the winner this year based on number of days per state. I’m glad I spent time exploring this state I considered devoid of beauty during the five years I called it home. My eyes have certainly been opened to landscape diversity as my appreciation for geology blossomed over these past few years.

I added 7,000 miles to my 2008 Honda CR-V during this jaunt. How many miles on my feet? I don’t know as I don’t keep a log, but I wore out at least one pair of shoes. My guess is 600-800 miles.

My Honda CR-V was my home away from home when I wasn’t backpacking. This was my first long jaunt were I didn’t stay in any paid lodging. I only stayed four nights in paid campgrounds as I prefer dispersed camping options. Showers are more important to me than lodging so at least once a week I sought that solution ranging from $1.50 for 5-6 minutes (campgrounds/RV parks) to $10-12 for unlimited time (travel centers/truck stops).

This map includes my spring travels with linked blog posts. Note: If a link doesn’t work, most likely the location is from a more recent adventure and the post is pending release.

High Points:

My first goal was to chase wildflowers. I can mark this as a WIN! Below are a couple of my favorites:

Rock art (pictographs and petroglyphs) became an unplanned focal point.

There were so many other memorable moments, like spending time adventuring with Joan and Nancy, adding to my Arizona Trail miles, and hiking both Little and Big Grand Canyons. Watching sunrises, sunsets, star-studded skies and the moon cycles. Plus so many firsts like photographing a colorful collared lizard, driving through three butterfly migrations, and seeing blooming ocotillo, joshua trees and century plants.

Low Points:

I also had a few challenges, as can be expected on a long journey. Weather played a significant role this year; it seemed I was always running away from or being chased by storms.

Dealing with a spot on my camera lens after dropping it in the sand was a low point. Initially the lens was stuck out which would have been a deal breaker but thankfully with a little cajoling the mechanical problem resolved. I purchased accident insurance through SquareTrade just for this reason.

Finding myself on a couple roads where I wasn’t comfortable but had to push through. First was on a one-lane road with blind corners and hills, those 20 miles kept my heart pumping. Second was on a sandy road after rain where the sand encased my tires eliminating anything resembling traction. It was a white-knuckle drive up a one-lane steep hill with serious consequences should I slide.

Choosing a legal dispersed campsite can be tricky at times. I have a layer loaded on my Gaia app which shows public lands. Additionally I check with visitor centers, ranger stations and BLM/FS/NPS websites. Well this was a first I’d prefer to avoid. I was at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Entering the park from the north means no resources other than a park map. I checked the map for any information on dispersed camping as well as their website. Nothing was noted. At 9pm one night, we were confronted by vehicle spot lights and two Law Enforcement Park Rangers informing us of our illegal campsite referring us to the Superintendent’s Compendium, a word I’d never heard. In all the years I’ve been asking about dispersed camping not one person had ever used that term. Once home I researched further and found this park includes very vague information on their website about backcountry camping, which includes vehicle camping. They include a link to a camping map which wouldn’t have been helpful even if we had a copy in advance. Thankfully I wasn’t solo and we didn’t get cited, although they ran our plates and licenses. As a result we ended up at this nearby campground packed beyond capacity on Memorial Day weekend.

By far the worst part of traveling is coming home to chores and responsibilities. My invisible twin just doesn’t take care of things in my absence. I still haven’t found the right solution. With motivation to get in and out within a month, I stayed focused and things came together efficiently. First priority was cleaning my car. You can imagine what the inside looked like after living in it for three months while driving on dusty roads. It took me a few days to get the grime and stank out!

Adventure Date(s):

  • March 1 through May 31, 2019


  • I use a laminated yearly planner calendar to keep track of where I’ve been, what I’ve done as well as future commitments. I like the At-A-Glance version as it’s two sided. I use one side to mark activity and commitments, the other for location, etc.
  • I travel with an atlas and state maps. I use permanent highlighters to mark my travels. Thus far I’ve only found these markers at Office depot.
  • I use a note app on my phone to journal.
  • I mark my Gaia app with my campsites, even when disperse camping. I find it very helpful if I end up traveling through that area again. I write notes on the waypoint as to whether it was quiet, ok in the rain, had cell signal, etc.
  • I have a lot of details outlined in my posts about traveling and living in my car (link).



2018 – Where Did Jan Jaunt?

Welcome to 2019, how did I spend my last 365 days?

This is an interactive map of the places I visited in 2018. If you click on an icon you’ll find the link to the associated blog post. As of this date, I have a few months of adventures to add to the map and blog. 

2018 Factoids:

  • 209 days spent OUTSIDE hiking, walking, snowshoeing, etc.
  • 27 nights spent in my tent (sadly prime backpacking season was disrupted by my accident)
  • 79 nights spent sleeping in my car
  • 10,000 miles driven
  • 1,500-2,000 miles hiked
  • 20,000+ blog visitors (WOW!)

Travel Summaries:

Popular Posts:

2019 Goals:

  • More time in Colorado, including possibly hiking the Colorado Trail
  • Late winter/early spring trip to include Southern California, Southern Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and possibly Texas.
  • Time in Glacier National Park is still high on my list
  • More shared adventures with new and old friends
  • More PCT and CDT adventures
  • Possibly fall in the Sierra; maybe early summer on the Tahoe Rim Trail if this continues as a low snow year.

Backpacking Gear Choices:

Clothing Choices:

Specialty Gear:

Car Camping/Travel Gear:

Please let me know if any of the links are broken. THANKS!

Disclosure: Some items include Amazon Affiliate links where I might get a small financial kickback if you buy through the link.



2017 – Where Did Jan Jaunt?

Map Notes:

  • Links to blog posts can be found by clicking each pin. My summer/fall posts are current; sadly I haven’t completed most of my spring posts (with the exception of Idaho).
  • Use +/- buttons to zoom for more details, or click on bracket in top right corner to open in full screen mode. The window looking icon in top left corner shows the list of hikes.
  • Map Legend:
    • Orange is Winter/Spring 2017 trip (78 days)
    • Purple is Summer/Fall 2017 trip (93 days)
    • Blue is other 2017 wanderings
  • This is my first time to use the map format in my annual review post. Please let me know what you think!

2017 Factoids:

  • 173 days spent OUTSIDE hiking, walking, snowshoeing, etc.
  • 51 nights spent in my tent
  • 85 nights spent sleeping in my car
  • 15,000 miles driven
  • 1,500-2,000 miles hiked
  • 20,000 blog visitors (WOW!)

Travel Summaries:

Miscellaneous 2017 Posts:

Popular Posts:

2018 Goals:

  • More time in Colorado, including possibly hiking the Colorado Trail
  • Late winter/early spring trip to include Southern California, Southern Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and possibly Texas.
  • Time in Glacier National Park is still high on my list
  • More J&J adventures
  • More PCT and CDT adventures
  • Possibly fall in the Sierra; maybe early summer on the Tahoe Rim Trail if this continues as a low snow year.

Backpacking Gear Choices:

Clothing Choices:

Specialty Gear:

Car Camping/Travel Gear:

Disclosure: Some items include Amazon Affiliate links where I might get a small financial kickback if you buy through the link.

Summer/Fall Jaunting 2017

July couldn’t come soon enough. I was impatient but knew snow would be a problem in the areas I had on my agenda. Although I didn’t return home from my spring trip mid May, I wanted to explore the high elevation mountains bookmarked for summer travel. With my favorite local haunts inaccessible due to the 2016-17 snowpocalypse, all I could do was wait . . . patience is not my strong suit. But once I got the green light, off I went. This trip met and exceeded most expectations. What a wonderful way to spend a summer and fall. Staying fairly current with my blog made it even more pleasurable.

Length of Trip:  93 days (July 16 – October 18)

States Visited: 4 (Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming)

Miles Driven: 6,412 (averaged 69 miles per day, 25.9 miles per gallon, cost was around $700 at $2.50-$3.00 per gallon)

Activity Days: 52 (averaged 4 days per week)

Night Spots:

Slept in Car (42 nights, with only 2 in campgrounds)

Tent (37 nights, all while backpacking)

Friends/family (7 nights, special thanks to all who hosted me)

Paid Lodging (9 nights)


Wind River Mountains

Grand Teton National Park


Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Colorado National Monument

Colorado Trail

Lizard Head Wilderness

San Juan National Forest

UTAH Jaunts:

Bears Ears National Monument

La Sal Mountains

NEVADA Jaunts:

Great Basin National Park

This smiles says it all. Making lots of deposits into my books of memories. Living life and loving it!

Chasing Spring 2017

You may recall my February post, “HELP Readers, I’m in search of early Spring.” I received many great ideas and spent time marking maps with possible destinations. However, it became quickly apparent that my wishes were unrealistic. I was not going to find my idea of spring in March this year and I was much too impatient to wait until April to begin my spring jaunt.

Detailed posts will be forthcoming, but until then, here’s a summary of my spring jaunt.

Length of Trip:  78 days (February 27 to May 16)

States Visited: 8 (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming)

National Parks, Monuments, Recreation Areas Visited: 10 (yes, I’ve been making good use of my annual pass)

Lassen Volcanic, California

Great Basin, Nevada

Arches, Utah

Canyonlands, Utah

Natural Bridges, Utah

Capitol Reef, Utah

Chimney Rock, Colorado

Rocky Mountain, Colorado

Fossil Butte, Wyoming

Hells Canyon, Idaho

Miles Driven: 6,851 (averaged 87 miles per day, 25.2 miles per gallon, cost was around $700 at $2.15-$2.50 per gallon)

Activity Days: 49 (averaged 4.5 days per week)

Night Spots:

Slept in Car (39 nights, with only 5 in campgrounds)

Friends/family (22 nights, special thanks to all who hosted me)

Tent (9 nights while backpacking – not nearly enough)

Cabin (4 nights on a backcountry ski adventure)

Motel (4 nights, two nights shared)

Photos Taken: 36 gigs (I’d call that a successful trip)

With summer just a few days away, I think it’s high time to share some of those photos and stories.