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)

Oh, wintery Wyoming…

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This is our current view in Wyoming, but it's windy and it looks like it's going to change very soon down the road.

Overheard at a truck stop today:

“You seen the weather comin’ through. It’s a shit storm. Wyoming’s a shit storm even when there’s no shit storm comin.'”

That made me laugh. I love this state because it’s so freakin’ pretty, but the dude’s kinda’ right. The driving conditions are always sketchy here during the winter months! Even when it’s sunny you sometimes have to watch for spots of black ice or wind gusts – or both at the same time.

We receive text messages from http://Wyoroad.info/ that lets us know of any up-to-date changes. Today they look like this:

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Like how I gave "Wyoming" a pretty photo in my contacts list? That's because I hope if I like it, it'll like us back. :)

This is certainly not the worst I’ve seen in my very limited experience so far. That experience was a couple of weeks ago. There were miles of thick ice blanketing the entire road. Some trucks drove on the rumble strip for extra traction. All the trucks, as well as a few cars that were out there, were driving no faster than 30mph with their 4-ways on.

A few trucks were spread out across the snowy median, some already being assisted by a wrecker. It knotted my stomach every time I passed one. I silently wondered if they’d been one of the few trucks that flew past going 60, but I knew even going 30 can spin you out if you move just the wrong way or need to brake quickly. I learned that in skid pad training at school.

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Eek... :(

It’s just downright freaky when the ice gets like that. After we got through there, chain laws went into effect and eventually portions of the highway were just shut down. We’ve hit some gnarly weather, but thankfully haven’t been put too far behind because of it yet. I sure hope that’s because we’re lucky and not because we’re overly-brave. I think we’re being pretty smart about our decisions. So far, so good – I keep saying that, and hopefully always will be!

As for now, this is what lies ahead beyond that beautiful blue sky:

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Is it possible to add anything else to that list!?

So onward we go. It actually doesn’t seem like that bad of a storm, to be honest. All the texts, website listings and comments overheard by other truckers might over-dramatize it all just a bit. Hmm… reminds me a little bit of thru-hiking! You just always have to remember that the rumors and warnings could be true, proceed with caution, and know when to stop or turn around. (link takes you to my PCT entry when a snowstorm stopped us 60 miles from the Canadian border and the end of our 2,660-mile trek.)

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But again, right now… it’s gorgeous out there. Just gonna’ enjoy that sunny warmth while it’s here!


Tonight I love Audible and stories of travel and drifters. “I like songs about drifters, books about the same. They both seem to make me feel a little less insane.” -Modest Mouse

Wild… the movie

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I’m really excited to see Wild, the movie based on Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling book. If you haven’t read it, give it a go. I really enjoyed it for the whole story – not just because a trail I deeply love is a big part of it.

The thing is, there’s been some negative talk about Strayed’s book and the movie throughout the thru-hiking community. I haven’t read all of the comments because I tend to distance myself from negativity in social media because it makes me feel grumpy. But some of it I happened upon and read anyway – I guess I can understand where the thought processes are coming from and since I’ve hiked the trail I can maybe even relate in a way, but I’m not entirely comfortable with myself for that. The comments I’m remembering as I write this are things like, “she barely hiked the trail,” and “now everybody’s going to come and jump on the trail unprepared and cause all kinds of problems.” The problems mentioned range from litter to forest fires to unnecessary search and rescue efforts. And while on a small scale some of that could happen, it doesn’t mean that thru-hikers that are on the trail for reasons other than being inspired by the book won’t cause any of these problems either. We are all people, basically the same from the very core of our humanness – we are capable of making mistakes no matter how prepared we are, and sometimes you don’t even know you’re unprepared until you’ve got that knot in your tummy and you’re whispering, “oh shit” under your breath.

Here’s the thing. It’s not called, “Wild. A thru-hike on the PCT,” or “Wild. A how-to guide to the PCT.” I think most people know this. It’s about this girl’s life struggles and the way she chose to deal with them and herself – and in my opinion, she chose one of THE best ways to do it! And she wrote about it. I think that’s pretty cool.

The book will inspire some to give the PCT a shot, and some will make it and some won’t. Just like everyone that’s already attempted it every other year. Who cares how they’re inspired? They’ll get out there, meet other hikers, learn a LOT, and hopefully have a safe, amazing, soul-finding journey. Just like I did. Just like a lot of us did. And you gotta’ start somewhere! I’m a fan of diving into something crazy and learning as you go. Life is short, man. It’s frickin’ precious. Sometimes you don’t have the time or patience to be a pro or “ready” for something big. Sometimes you just have to go for it. I totally get that. I admire the approach.

I read Wild before heading out on the PCT. I was in the planning stages of my thru-hike and was totally obsessed with everything PCT. So naturally when I heard about the best-selling book, I had to get my hands on it. I didn’t read it for advice or as a guide, and I was already plenty inspired. I read it because this girl went for a big ol’ hike and wrote about why she went… and her crazy experiences throughout the journey. And I loved it. There ya’ go friends. I loved Wild. It made me smile, it made me nervous and it made me cry. It gave me all kinds of emotions. The journey part of the story could have been anything besides the PCT and I’d have still enjoyed it.

So I’ll be watching the movie when it hits theatres in December, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I’m excited to see places I might recognize from the trail in beautiful cinematic light on a big screen. I enjoyed the story and I really like Reese Witherspoon. I guess she not only plays Cheryl Strayed’s character, she also co-directed the movie with the director of Dallas Buyer’s Club, which I haven’t seen yet, but from what I hear is another great movie.

I’m no professional book or movie critic. In fact, I honestly don’t read a whole lot – it makes me fall asleep. And I can get into just about any movie within seconds and probably find enjoyment in it somehow, no matter what. And on top of that, my memory for movies I’ve seen is embarrassingly horrible. Adam and I will be talking about a movie… well here’s a very recent example:

Adam: (reads me a movie quote) Remember this quote from Fight Club?
Me: No.
Adam: Really? Don’t you remember that scene?
Me: No. I don’t even remember what it’s about except some people get together to fight with each other.
Adam: (excitedly) REALLY!? Do you remember the twist?
Me: (blushing) Um… There’s a twist?
Adam: What! Really? We have to watch it again! I’m so jealous! I WISH I could watch a movie again for the first time!

So yeah… my opinions on books and movies shouldn’t weigh too heavily on anyone’s mind. I just wanted to put it out there. I’m a PCT thru-hiker, and I’m a fan of Wild. And I’m pretty darn excited to see the movie. I hope it’s really successful, and I’m sure I’m going to love it.

Oh, and please don’t remind me of the twist in Fight Club – I’m going to see it for the second first time very soon! :)

Watch the WILD Trailer here (Reese Witherspoon – 2014): http://youtu.be/dHJDeIrq340

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

Portland

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I-84 West heading into Portland. I LOVED this drive. Complete with rainbows and a view of Mt. Hood!

When we were told our next load was going to bring us to Portland, Adam and I both smiled and cheered. “All right!”

Being a holiday weekend, we had to deliver on Tuesday instead of Monday, so we hauled some butt to get there a little early… for a really awesomely fun reason. We had PCT hiker friends in Portland!

Adam sent out a message to a group of hikers and friends that we could remember off the tops of our heads that lived in Portland. I know we missed some of you, and you must let me know so I can let you know next time we’re in town!

We were really excited to hear almost everyone could make it out to see us! We found a truck stop on the edge of town that had a restaurant next door, and we coordinated a meet up. What fun!

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Aloha, Mr. Green, Toots Magoots, Fun Size, Hunny Bunny, Hedgehog, Bramble, and Tanner behind the camera.

We brought everyone out to the back of the truck stop where rows of big rigs where parked and gave them a grand tour of our truck, neatly tucked in with all the others. Then we went to the restaurant, ate food, talked trail memories and caught up on a few “whatchya been up to’s” and discussed our next big adventures we hope and dream to make. More PCT thru hikes, hiking unfinshed PCT miles, the CDT, the Te Aurora, a 50-mile run in the mountains, a marathon in Paris, Macchu Picchu, trail angeling… These are my people!

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Field trip-style truck tour!

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You could fit A LOT of hikers in a big rig! Next Pickle Jar for trail angeling should be a truck like this! Imagine the rides to town!

After dinner we jumped in a couple of cars and head to a nearby theater to watch a movie. We saw X-Men in 3D. We ate copious amounts of delicious popcorn and I gulped down a ginormous Sprite. My favorite thing ever was right after the movie when Fun Size leaned over and said, “well, guys… I’m gonna do a quick resupply and hit the trail right away… get in a few night hiking miles.”

For a second – just a teeny, tiny moment I fell back to trail life. I was convinced for just that sliver of a moment that yeah… we were all just going to hit the trail after we left that theater. Then I laughed while silently pouting inside. It was good, though. It was an overwhelming comfortable feeling, and I thank you, Fun Size, for that awesome moment. You make me smile.

Saying good bye was sad as always, but my hopes are that we’ll meet up like this again soon. Portlandians – please message me if we missed you! I’m going to start a list!

Later in the evening, Kris and her girls Missa and Erica came out to see us, too. Hedgehog stuck around, so the six of us hung out at the restaurant and drank… get this… pie freakin’ milkshakes! You pick your pie and they mix it into a milkshake! Oh heavenly deliciousness! I had peanut butter, there was a strawberry rhubarb, a peach and a smores. Yum! It was really nice to see Kris and the girls – they were following my blog last year and met me on the trail for some epic personal trail magic. They brought treats, soda, Kris gave me a foot massage, and they hiked with me for quite a nice stretch. It was another cool reunion.

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Erica, Missa, Kris and me

A big, huge thanks to everyone for coming out to meet us! You made that the best day of work ever!


Tonight I love clean fingernails. I know it’s totally unrelated to my post, but hey… I have no rules for my “tonight I love.” Anything goes! So really, getting the dirt out from under my fingernails… it feels so nice! I loves it.

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Also at the Portland truck stop: in-cab movie time. We saw "Smokey and the Bandit II."

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Pinball!

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A crazy pretty flowering tree at the truck stop. There's joy everywhere when ya' look.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

PCTA Photo Contest

I took a couple thousand photos on my PCT thru hike last year, and really enjoyed trying to capture as many memories as I could as I hiked along. Whenever I miss the trail I can scroll through them and allow a wave of happy emotion take over my entire self. Those photos bring back a flood of feelings and help me remember specific details about that day… and that moment. The breeze, the warmth of the sunshine, or even feeling frozen to the core from a constant Washington rain.

I get photo crazy for the same reasons I blog. The main reason is for me to remember. My memory isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, so I try to capture moments, experiences and adventures by way of words and photos. The other reason is because I really enjoy sharing it all.

When I heard that the Pacific Crest Trail Association was holding a photo contest, I gathered a handful of my best and favorite shots from last year and submitted them. Even if I didn’t win, I was happy to share them and allow the PCTA to use these shots for their marketing materials. That’s a win in itself.

But then I received an email saying one of my photos was selected! I was excited! Below is the photo of mine that they selected, and a link to the rest of the amazing photos that won. I know a few of the other winners from the hike last year, so it was really cool to see their names in there, too!

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This is my winning photo. I was hiking near the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness through an old burn area. I enjoyed a lot of the burn areas because they were usually blanketed in wild flowers, and the skeletal trees looked beautiful against the sky. Seeing signs of new growth under the remains was uplifting and I always got really good views of mountains and scenes ahead through the vertical mass of barren trees. This tree in particular obviously caught my eye because of the new PCT trail sign nailed to it. I’m not a pro photographer, and I took it with my phone camera (as I did for all of my photos), but I knew when I saw something I thought was cool.

Anyway, I’m kinda’ proud of this, so I thought I’d write about it and take a moment to toot my little horn. :)

Definitely take a look at the rest of the winning photos – they are incredible and WILL make you want to get out there and hike the PCT! (Do it!)

2014 PCTA Photo Contest

(I wasn’t able to view this slideshow on my phone, so I just wanted to note that you may have to look at it on a laptop or other device if it doesn’t work on your phone.)


Today I love motorin’. I’m hittin’ the road with Adam this morning!

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

Weight loss on a thru-hike

It’s a popular subject and in some cases the main motivation for people to do a thru-hike. Weight loss. It’s a common question – will I lose weight on a thru-hike? How much will I lose?

eating from a block of cheese

During a thru-hike is the best (and one of the only) times to eat directly from a block of cheese. Yum!

While everybody is so incredibly different when it comes to weight loss – in any situation – I can pretty much assure you that if you embark on a journey that involves at least eight hours of hiking on uneven terrain with anywhere from 10-40 pounds on your back… every day for 5 months straight, you will lose weight. Whether that loss is a few pounds or 100, however, obviously depends on the person and so many factors like gender, metabolism and diet, to rattle off a few. But I’m not going to even pretend to be an expert and try to get into any of that in detail. What I will share with you is the experience I had on my 2013 thru hike.

A quick history about me and my weight/health:

I was always a bit overweight growing up. I lost a bunch of weight my senior year in high school and got down to 145 pounds from about 175, but it didn’t last long. I went to college and gained the “freshman 15” – times two. Then I got sick with Aplastic Anemia and was on heavy medications (including Prednisone) for a whole summer that caused me to gain at least 15-20 more pounds. By the time I graduated college, got married and started my career I was over 200.

I maxed out at about 235 – that’s how much I weighed when I decided to thru hike the American Discovery Trail in 2005. I joined Weight Watchers and got back down to about 175 before the hike, and after 9 months and 4,700 miles of backpacking I only lost about 5 pounds overall. I ate like crazy on that hike because I freakin’ love to eat… and because I could get away with it. Fried chicken, giant calzones, candy bars, pizza, burritos, milkshakes, milkshakes and more milkshakes! But I still came out five pounds lighter!

Between the end of my ADT thru hike and the start of my PCT thru hike (about 5 years), my weight bounced back and forth within a 15-pound range. I’ve never been one to keep a steady weight. One day I’d be 160, and two days later I’d be 168. The next week I’d be back to 160. I always had to have a couple sizes of blue jeans to wear, depending on where my weight was that week. My exercise was good, intense and consistent, so I figure the fluctuation was due to my diet being all over the place. I knew how to eat healthy, but actually doing it only happened in streaks. If only I could get myself to consistently eat healthy! Damn pizza, beer and delicious popcorn! And ice cream!

Banana Split

The banana split – this was one of my favorite off-trail treats.

I’m 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weight charts seem to think I should weigh 140 pounds, but over the years I’ve found that I feel my best around 155. Before the PCT my weight’s fluctuating weight range was usually between 160 and 170, but I exercised 5-6 days each week. I ran, hiked, went to cardio kickboxing, muscle conditioning and spin classes at the local YMCA. I felt as though I was in really good shape, but I just couldn’t break out of the 160’s while still enjoying my favorite foods and weekends out. I was doing a pretty darn good job at maintaining, though, so I couldn’t beat myself up too hard about that frustrating scale reading.

So what happened to my weight on the PCT? I weighed myself about a week before I started and weighed 172 pounds. I found myself eating more pre-hike this time with the mentality, “I’m gonna’ be hiking like crazy – it’ll come off.” And it did.

I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to step on a scale during the hike, but after the first couple of weeks I noticed my hiking skirt getting loose. I was able to continue wearing it by rolling the waist band over and yanking it up a little, with my backpack’s hipbelt acting as a belt to hold it up. I carried on like this until the early Sierras. Then I had a seamstress take it in while I zeroed in Mammoth Lakes. Any actual weight loss was usually noticed by how my clothing fit. It was somewhere in the middle of the Sierras when I really started to notice other hikers thinning out, too. Faces were thinner and clothes baggier. Some were really noticeable while others just slightly, but this shows just how everyone is so different.

And oh, the strength. I remember noticing how awesome I was feeling somewhere in the Sierras. I felt strong, healthy, and I had the energy I needed to hike up and down the passes with a smile on my face. I was just feeling… really, really good. This feeling lasted for the rest of the hike, too.

The first time I stepped on a scale during the hike was northern California – 150 pounds. I honestly didn’t really care what that number was at that point – meaning it wasn’t going to change the way I was doing anything – but I sure was curious. And here’s the funny thing – I weighed 150, but after a day in town it was easy (and sometimes necessary) to eat so much that I probably put on 5-7 pounds before getting back out on the trail! With my history of bouncing weight, this wasn’t a challenge – this part was fun. Eggs, bacon, toast and biscuits and gravy for breakfast? If it fits in my tummy, then why not!?

I learned from other hikes I’ve been on that a multi-day hike was no time for a diet. Skimping on calories just doesn’t work if you want to feel good thru hiking, because your body needs that food energy to move 20+ miles day after day. I ate when I felt hungry, which actually didn’t happen as often as you’d think because I was snacking so often to keep my energy up throughout the day. It wasn’t too far into the hike when I could sense what my body was asking for. If I was starting to feel just a little lethargic, maybe I just needed a little snack, a sip of water, a break, or a combination of the three. It’s fun and incredibly satisfying for me to be in a situation in which I can push my body to exhaustion, test myself and my strength, endurance and attitude… and in return learn, feel and know what I need to keep going while feeling good doing whatever it is I’m doing.

I would guess that my weight fluctuated between 150 – 160 pounds during the hike, but from start to finish I came out 15 pounds lighter. Some hikers figure how many calories their body will burn backpacking, then count, calculate and carry how many they need from one stretch to the other, and I commend those that do all that work. It seems like a smart way to go about things. For me, however, I’ve had to count calories for a lot of my life to maintain a healthy weight, and this was my chance to not think about that for five months. I needed that break, and it’s one of the things I miss most now that I’m home.  I ate a little smarter and healthier on this hike compared to my ADT hike, but I still always felt well-fueled. I think my key to a happy hike was that I continuously fed my my body on the trail, gave it what it craved in towns (strangely salads and cottage cheese), and adjusted both as I felt my metabolism speed up the further north I got.

Chef Salad

My favorite salad was this one. A chef salad at a cafe in South Lake Tahoe. Sadly, I can’t remember the name of it, though!

So… how about now? What happened to my weight when I suddenly stopped hiking 20+ miles every day? Well, it started coming back on pretty easily, so I immediately cut my portions once I was off the trail – not an easy thing to do! I did okay for the first couple of weeks and was able to maintain my weight at about 160 pounds. Then the holidays hit and all of a sudden my jeans no longer fit comfortably. Maybe I had too many consecutive days in my pjs. Maybe I just ate too many mashed potatoes, beers and cookies… but I got up to 168 again. I was actually starting to feel lethargic and slightly sick to my stomach on a pretty consistent basis. Not cool! And this was just a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been working pretty hard at feeling better. I’ve been annoyingly watching my calorie intake (temporarily – I very much dislike counting calories), watching portions and exercising daily, if only for 10 minutes. If I lose a few pounds, that would be a bonus, but I’ve already noticed my tummy feeling better and I’m feeling mentally stronger – and that’s what it’s about. I feel good again…

…but I don’t know that it’s possible to feel as good as I did when I was hiking the PCT. Unless, of course, I hike again. It is BY FAR my favorite way to keep my weight stable, eat for fuel and fun, all while feeling totally healthy… and unstoppable. Confident. Strong. Healthy. Happy.

A fellow cross-country hiker and good friend of mine, Gimpy Geezer, really said it best as we discussed long-distance hiking and weight:

“I just set it aside for six months and found it again when I got home.”

I just love it – that pretty much says it all!


Tonight I love sparkling water. It’s random, but it’s one of my new favorite things.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

An Instagram A Day on the PCT

On my very first day hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (2013), I got the idea to post one Instagram each day, mostly so that I didn’t flood social networks with a bazillion photos that I knew I’d want to share. It was a fun exercise in control since I know that I have a tendency to get post-crazy, especially when I’m doing sometime so fun like hiking. Each night on the trail, after writing my blog entry, I’d look through all of my photos from that day and choose one that stood out for some reason. I thought about what I wanted to do with them all when I was done hiking, and I have plans to frame them into one giant collage photo to remember my 2013 thru-hike of the PCT.

I wanted to add the entire project to my blog somehow, but I hiked 165 days. Posting all 165 daily photos seemed like a bit too much. I thought it would be fun to share a portion of the project instead, so I chose 30 of them for this entry (the captions are the original captions from when I posted them). If you’d like to see them all, as well as others I will post in my upcoming adventures and daily life, follow me on Instagram. My user name is rgrapa.

I hope you enjoy!

PCT Snowman

Day 14: Our first snow sighting – I couldn’t help it – I had to build a mini snowman.

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PCT solo day

Day 29: A nice, long solo day… just me and my shadow.

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PCT Aquaduct

Day 39: Hiking along the Los Angeles aquaduct. No water for 20 miles… except for the tons inside this giant metal tube we’re hiking on and have no access to! Darnit!

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PCT Horned Toad

Day 40: He’s just the cutest horned toad in the Mojave desert!

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PCT Gnarly Tree

Day 52: So many crazy-awesome trees today!

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PCT Heart Lake Dive

Day 62: I couldn’t resist a perfect diving rock into chilly Heart Lake… above 10,000 feet in elevation!

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PCT Marie Lakes

Day 63: Coming down off Selden Pass to Marie Lakes.

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PCT flowers

Day 69: Crazy pretty little flowers that grow between rocks.

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PCT flowers

Day 77: Flowers galore!

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PCT Desolation Wilderness

Day 80: I <3 Desolation Wilderness.

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PCT Ramen Noodles

Day 83: Ramen noodles in the setting sun… ahhh…

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PCT camp

Day 87: Great little spot for camp.

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PCT waterbug

Day 89: Waterbug in a still pool at Feather River.

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PCT Shoes and gaiters

Day 90: Saying good-bye to these old friends. Thanks for the epic 800 miles, ol’ shoes!

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PCT Trail shot

Day 92: A little pathway known as the Pacific Crest Trail – 20″ across and 2,650 miles long. Also my temporary home. :)

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PCT Mt Shasta from Hat Creek Rim

Day 97: Well hello there, Mt. Shasta! (Hello to you as well, Mr. Giant Raincloud!)

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PCT Burney Falls

Day 99: Burney Falls. 10 million gallons of water per day pours over that edge – all from a spring only one mile upstream. Amazing!

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PCT roadside

Day 102: Hiking out of the forest and into town… still magical.

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PCT Etna fire smoke

Day 108: Tears and G-Bird hiking into the wildfire smoke.

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PCT Three Sisters Lake

Day 124: Morning fog rolling off one of the several glassy lakes in Three Sisters Wilderness. Amazing sight.

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PCT sky

Day 129: A day of beautiful skies.

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PCT Fuzzy Flowers

Day 130: The cutest little fuzzy flowers.

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PCT Oregon

Day 132: Dear Oregon, You are perfect. Don’t ever change. Love, Toots Magoots. <3 XOXO <3

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PCT Mt Hood

Day 133: Mt. Hood and some fabulous sunshine.

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PCT Sign

Day 142: A morning sunbeam highlights a unique trail marker, leading me closer to Canada.

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PCT burn area

Day 145: The last mile of a 26-mile day was through a really old burn area full of vibrant color… and loads of huckleberries!

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PCT bee and flower

Day 146: I didn’t realize I caught this little buzzer on camera until later in the day looking at my photos… photobomb extraordinaire.

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PCT Pika

Day 151: A super-duper-cute squeakity little pika. This pudger was in his hole but popped out so I could take his photo.

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PCT Glacier Peak Wilderness

Day 157: A happy-jump for one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington. Wow.

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PCT Washington Trail

Day 158: There’s nothing in the world like hiking down a path, towards mountains, with everything you need to survive carried on your back. This is freedom.

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There are 135 more like this – if you’d like to see the rest of them, find me on Instagram. My username is rgrapa.

Tonight I love reliving memories through photos. When I looked at each of these, I was able to recall almost the entire day.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)