Keeping my hiking obsession alive

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This. A dirt ribbon of trail that goes on forever. I love it with all my heart. I miss it every day. It is my passion and it calls to me.

I’ve made a couple of bold statements on Facebook recently, and I hope that helps hold me accountable for them. They are both kind of a big deal to me, too.

If you’ve been following me recently, you know that I’m a truck driver, teaming with my husband.

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My current home, job and life. Many, many miles have yet to be covered on this journey!

If you’ve been following me for a couple of years, you know that I recently thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (2013).

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I ♡ this trail so much it hurts.

Longer? The Tahoe Rim Trail (2009).

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This was an amazing thru-hike with five amazing friends.

Longer? The American Discovery Trail, or ADT (2006).

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Mom and I - a hiking blur on the American Discovery Trail.

So with that…

My first big statement: I’m going to write a book! It’s still a little scary (but exciting) to state that in writing!

The ADT was a doozie. It was my first thru-hike. And I hiked it with my mom. Yes. I shared a tiny, lightweight, not-quite-2-person tent with my mother for 9 months. And you know what? It was awesome. I have stories, and lots of them. My mom turned out to be one of the most entertaining, laid-back hiking partners ever, and when you put the two of us together? Well… we laugh until we pee. I’m serious. We’ve literally peed our hiking pants. Several times. The fun news is that I’ve finally gotten the bug to write about it all! I’ve got fire crackers going off in my tummy from excitement whenever I think about a chapter I want to write.

This book has to happen, so there you have it, friends. Please don’t hesitate to encourage me or kick me in the butt now and again. Lord knows I’ll need it! I’m probably way in over my head and don’t really have a clue what I’m doing… but what the heck! I’m going for it anyway!

My second big statement: I’m planning another thru-hike!

I have the bug. Duh, right? I want to thru-hike every trail in existence, and even though that’s totally unrealistic, I dream of it anyway.

So which trail? I don’t really know! Or care! And I don’t know that I’ll ever hike the trail I end up planning. Adam and I have tons of driving to do yet. Tons. But to keep my aching hiker-mind at bay, I figured I’d plan a big hike. It’ll be fun, and then later on if an opportunity arises, I’ll have something in my back pocket. Maybe I’ll plan a few. Who knows.

Okay… So admittedly I already have one in mind – for now. I’ve secretly picked an odd trail to obsess over. I’ll come clean. It’s the Florida Trail. I’ve got a few good reasons for picking this one, so we’ll see how it goes. If nothing else, I can virtually hike it and maybe follow a few others currently on the trail and go back to read old trail journals. I need to obsess over something – this is going to be my thing. For now. Could change. I allow for that.

So there you have it. I’m still driving a big truck, I’m still loving it (although I’m anxious for winter to be done), but I’m also keeping up my passion for backpacking in the best way I know how while working the crazy life of a trucker. A girl’s gotta’ do what a girl’s gotta do!

Keep dreaming, friends! It never gets old!


Tonight I love the present. I love where I’m at. But… I also love the past – so many memories and stories. Oh, and I love the future, too. Who knows what it holds, and that’s freakin’ beautiful, man. I love it all. Life is good.

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So much hilarity happened in this bathroom along the ADT. The story will definitely be in the book! We probably didn't pee our pants, though... I mean, there's toilets. Two of them. Right there. Right?

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We never let a moment be dull! Even resupplying.

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One last trail photo.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

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15 thoughts on “Keeping my hiking obsession alive

  1. I think it’s awesome you’re going to write a book. Your writing is wonderful – full of humor, love, and spirit. Do it!

  2. It’s great that you taking the next step with your writing. Will your book be about your experiences with your Mom on the ADT? I’m sure it will be awesome and I can’t wait to read it.

  3. Good for you, Robin! You have a great blog and trail journals, so sign me up for a copy of your book :) I totally get needing to have “someting in the works” even if it never happens….I have half a dozen vacations always in planning mode, some of them may never happen, but it’s still fun to plan. And the Tahoe Rim trail is on that list!

  4. You said your next big hiking trip will be the Florida Trail. Why that one in particular? I’ve heard it’s a lot of road walking and swamp crossing.

    Among the list of trips I really want to do is the Ouachita Trail in Oklahoma and Arkansas. I’ve heard it’s a great Fall/Winter trip and it’s one of the best for real solitude. But this year I’ll be doing the Tahoe Rim Trail (my “hometown trail” – I grew up in Reno). I read your trail journal about it and I’m thinking I really need to get into shape for it!

  5. Definitely write a book! Read Carrot Quinn’s blog on her experience of hiking the Florida Trail first. From her experience, you might want to pick another trail to thru hike.

    • I love Carrot’s blog! I did read her FT experience, but later listened to a podcast about it from a thru hiker that really enjoyed it and described some of the really cool sections, so I figured I’d keep it on the list. I think the biggest negative comment I hear about the FT is the road-walking – it’s definitely hard on the body at those distances, but I’m always up for a challenge. I did quite a bit of road walking on the ADT and didn’t mind it. Shoot, give me a backpack and some time off, and I’d go almost anywhere! :)

  6. So glad to hear our journey will finally be put into words, I know you’ll make it entertaining hope you can bring out all that strait from the gut laughter we shared. Can’t wait to read it! Two toilets! Teeeee heeeee heeeee heeee ha ha ha!!!!!!!

    • Doing the PCT again is actually pretty high on my list! This will happen at some point. And I hope to hike the JMT with my parents – they’d like to hike it after retirement. So many trails… ;)

  7. Hi Toots,
    I met you briefly at Crater Lake in 2013, I was visiting friends of mine who were thru-hiking. I think writing a book is a great idea! I have recently come back to writing and creating and it has been so wonderful! Also, I live in central Florida so that is exciting that you chose the Florida Trail as your next adventure. I’ll be following your progress and will be your trail angel at some point!
    Allison

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