Reflections on the past 11 months while preparing for the beaches of Indonesia!

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A sneak peak of our next adventure and our home for the month of April…more info at the end of the blog!!

It’s been a long time, friends, since we posted anything. Since we last wrote, Rob, Daddie Gizmo, and I have spent a magical winter in the Catskill mountains in Hunter, New York. Having the opportunity to experience a full winter – and some of the coldest temperatures here since the year I was born (hint: 35 years ago this April) – has been a dream come true for us. The snow and ice of this winter mean we have been fully immersed in all 4 seasons this past year. We walked through the super bloom of the Anzo Borega desert this spring while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, spent the summer soaking up the sun road tripping through Northern California, Colorado and wondrous New Mexico, and here in Hunter watched the full cycle of the leaves turning colors and then making a beautiful crunchy layer on the grass. As I write this introduction I am watching it snow out the window of the tiny bungalow we spent months remodeling this fall and winter. The same place I played house as a kid and am now playing house again, for a winter, with an actual husband this time!


Snowy Schoharie Creek


Hunter Mountain, where Rob is tending bar, snow up to my knees and beautiful frost on the windows


Driving back to NY for the winter with a stuffed car!

I will ALWAYS look back on this winter with an intense fondness. As we drove to Hunter after spending all of November learning about Earthships in Taos, New Mexico, Rob told me that he thought this winter was going to be really good for us, as a couple. I didn’t really understand what he meant at the time, but turns out he was right. Nesting into a new little home, remodeling & working with our hands, having low stress jobs at the ski resort and working together towards our next goal has allowed us to continue to grow together. Hiking the 800+ miles of the PCT is nothing compared to the constant work being in a successful marriage takes and we both continually commit to make it our first priority.



Atlantic City, baby


Amazing experience at the Earthship Academy in Taos that put us in touch with the right people and lifestlyle that we were looking for


Saying goodbye to the Earthship family

I have never been more comfortable to be out of my comfort zone than this past year. Where is the adventure, excitement or challenge when it’s easy all the time? When you know exactly what to expect, how to act, how to react? I want to be scared, walk through my fears, prove to myself I can do things I never even considered in my life. Learn what I didn’t even realize I was ignorant of. This past year has been full of so many life experiences, relationships, accomplishments and failures that I wasn’t anticipating. And thank god for each and every one of them. Even those failures or disappointing moments aren’t necessarily bad. Without that contrast how could I possibly discern the good moments? And wow, what a wild fabulous ride it has been. It all started with a little dream my husband and I had to walk 2,650 miles from the border of Mexico and California straight up the country to Canada. Many thought we were crazy, others totally expected it from us. No matter the response we received from those around us, we were steadfast in our determination to be thru hikers and soak all of ourselves in the beauty of nature, rise and lay to the sun, climb mountains day after day and push ourselves to our physical limits. I will be the first to tell you I have learned that together Rob and I are a couple of badasses! We make one hell of a team. We pushed ourselves, encouraged each other and vowed to stop at every beautiful campsite along the way to savor the moment. Hiking the PCT taught us how to be teammates, not just husband and wife. You may be annoyed with the other person or even in an argument, but when you are climbing that mountain none of that matters. You have to work together to get through the wilderness you committed to. That is one of the biggest lessons we learned this past year that took our relationship to the next level. We are a TEAM and while every couple has their issues we share goals, and strong ones at that, in which we continue to be connected and continually focused. That makes the 2 of us tick.



Enjoying a snowy walk


Back up at the summit of Hunter Mountain where we were married, but with a little snow this time!


Enjoying a beer and a fire after snowshoeing with my soul sister

What makes me tick? I learned a lot more about that, about me, this past year. Never have I been so comfortable in my own skin, happy to be me, unconcerned about what people think of me. More connected to the land. In tune with myself and those around me. Being comfortable in my own skin makes me desire eve more to be in situations that push me, take me to a place of discomfort so that I can settle into a new space. How freaking fortunate am I to have found a partner who enjoys the same desire for change and growth, supports my own and has transformed so much himself?! My evolution is nothing compared to the leaps and bounds Rob has come to get to the place he is today vs. a year ago. In short, I’m blown away. We have minimized our lifestyle, careers, luxuries and bank accounts to live much more simply and be more aligned with how we see our lives playing out.  We have never been more content and fulfilled. Take the BS out, focus on the people and things that matter, nurture your own spirit and its amazing the places you will go. Opportunities continue to come before us that take us on new paths that we couldn’t predict and I believe it is because we are finally living our truth, the way we should be. Life is really good right now. Actually it is great. And no, I am not doing anything fancy this winter. Actually, we have spent the winter in a summer cabin that took many below freezing months to fix up and make fully habitable. We went the first 2 months without running water while the temperatures ranged from -10 to 30 degrees on average. We took care of business outside, but got to enjoy the stars as we did. Admittedly, once it got below 0 it stopped being as fun, but overall we had a great attitude about it. We were happy to be experiencing a winter together in the Catskill mountains, seeing the gorgeous layers of snow on the trees and mountains and feeling the chill in the air.  I even made a great friend who introduced me to snowshoeing!  Through Rob’s tireless hard work and my family’s wonderful generosity allowing us to remodel a little bungalow on the mountain, we made a very cozy home for ourselves with running water, heat and insulation. Challenges, yes! It just makes us appreciate what we have even more. But our time here is coming to a close as the winter season ends and our desire to move onto the chapter is growing.

As the universe has provided for us yet again, we leave at the end of March for another spectacular adventure that has come at just the right time.


Kenawa Island, Indonesia aka Earthship Island aka our home for April 2018


Steps from the ocean…General_Finish_1

Through the Earthship Academy that we attended in November we have secured a position as the caretakers of one of 2 earthships that they built last year on the island of Kenawa in Indonesia as part of the Eco Regions Indonesia project.  Kenawa is a tiny island – only 34 acres – and known for amazing snorkeling as the coral reefs are protected.  These are the first 2 earthships in Indonesia ever!  The project addresses eco-tourism development, environmental performance, the needs of the local community and sustainable economic development.  They are aiming to create Asia’s largest eco-region.  As earthships are machines and need to be functioning properly to get the best performance, just like a car, our jobs will be to monitor the electric, fresh water and grey water systems, temperature inside the home vs. outside (by design, earthships should always maintain a constant temperature), make adjustments as necessary, continue parts of the construction and assess the cultural impact on the island with the local people.  All while living in the type of home we plan to build for ourselves when we settle down…except this time our front door is ten steps from the ocean and we are in a little slice of paradise!  Two to four former Academy students have been taking care of the homes on the island since December so we have many months of others’ experience to guide us.  Our time in Indonesia will combine our passion for the outdoors, protecting the environment, the sustainability of earthships, our wanderlust (we have every intention of staying on that part of the world for another month to explore) and a little bit of sun and surf after a beautiful winter.  Yep, this is really happening.  We are still in a bit of shock as we only found out we are going less than a week ago.  Kenawa doesn’t have any official population.  People take a fishing boat over for day visits and camp on the island sometimes, but we will be living on a near private island.  We are loving the sound of that right now.  Stay tuned as we prepare to leave on March 28th and continue our blog from the beach. 

If you have any travel suggestions for May, send us a message!

The beauty of Kenawa…



This is a good article I found about the Indonesian earthship:

Shameless plug #1 – If you know anyone looking for a 2/2 in downtown Dallas, TX send us a message!  Our condo on Main St. is available for rent 4/1.  Any and all inquiries accepted – thanks!,-96.746807,32.736534,-96.855469_rect/12_zm/1_fr/

Shameless plug #2 – Hunter, NY truly is a beautiful place.  Having spent much of my youth here, been married on the mountaintop and wrapping up a magical winter I would invite everyone to discover this little slice of heaven!  If you find yourself looking for a special mountain area to explore in any season, check out my family’s rental home:


Colorado to Canada and beyond…soaking in nature’s beauty by foot, car, plane and motorcycle September 7, 2017



Celebrated our two year wedding anniversary in Vail with a gondola ride


Whiskey tasting on our two year wedding anniversary


Gizzie finds a big mushroom


Overlooking Dillon, CO


A rainbow right outside our front door in Dillon, CO


Figure 8:
Our two weeks in Colorado were filled with beautiful scenery, the solar eclipse and familiar faces. The home we rented was in Dillon, near the lake, with trailheads out our front door. We were so fortunate to be able to see our friends from Dallas three different times since they were on vacation less than an hour away from the home we rented. I hiked my second 14er this summer, Mt. Elbert, in their company.


Hiking up Mt. Elbert


Hiking up Mt. Elbert


Summit of Mt. Elbert

Of all the hikes I have done since we left the Pacific Crest Trail earlier this year, Meadowcreek Trail, in CO was my favorite. It began with a steady 3000 ft elevation gain along a creek and popped out into a stunning meadow reminiscent of the Eastern Sierras. It was at that point I had planned to stop and head back to the trailhead for a total of 9 miles but the view was so stunning that I just kept moving forward to see what was next. Climbing higher up the mountain I came to a ridge that overlooked the mountain tops and valley between in each direction. I stopped for a long time and soaked in the beauty before heeding the warning of the dark clouds and heading back.


Meadowcreek trail


Meadowcreek trail


Meadowcreek trail

It’s true that I miss thru hiking or even multi-day hikes. I wouldn’t hesitate to start the PCT again in March and make it the whole the way this time hopefully. Rob’s knees are slowly getting better and as soon as he is ready I have already said I will be the Sherpa and carry all of our backpacking gear as long as we can hike together again. In addition to my hiking every other day, Rob and I saw an amazing flamenco concert, Rodrigo and Gabriel, at the amphitheater in Vail. What a great experience to hear such lively music while watching the sunset over the mountain and eventually being under a blanket of stars. We visited Loveland Pass, Breckenridge and Pikes Peak as well.6241778160_IMG_1014Giz does Pikes Peak:


IMG_7226Pikes Peak was really impressive being able to drive to the the top and Rob LOVED being able to drive on the windy climbing road that is also the race course!
Leaving Colorado on August 27th we drove back to Dallas. No, no, thankfully we are not even six months into our trip so not heading back for good. Not that we would head back to Dallas. We are definitely moving to another state when we are done, but Rob is selling a car in the Mecum auction today – a ’78 Lotus Esprit, the James Bond car from Spy Who Loved Me!


Lotus on auction floor

And, I needed to get my helmet so I could go motorcycle riding with my dad for a few days to Canada. This is the 11th year my Pops and I have taken his motorcycle on a ten day camping trip through New Hampshire, Maine and Canada. I had a whirlwind 32 hour visit in Dallas bouncing from friend to friend catching up and sharing laughs before taking a 5am flight to New Hampshire where I met my Dad. I joined part way through the trip this year and we went to the Bay of Fundy in Canada. I have been there many times before but I just love that area where the tide changes are the highest in the world. There is a certain stillness and softness to eastern Canada that I haven’t seen elsewhere.  Being on the motorcycle trip this year (which I never expected to be since I thought I would still be on the PCT) made me realize how much I have gotten my adventurous spirit and love of the outdoors from these moments with my pops as a younger person. As he said, I took his love for adventure and took it to a whole different level.


View of Bay of Fundy from house we had in Alma. High tide and mid- low tide on right:



Took the bike up Mt. Washington


After a beautiful and relaxing weekend, my dad and I rode back to Hunter, NY, in the Catskill mountains where Rob and I were married. I am spending a quiet week here until Rob drives north from Dallas so he and I can start the epic Canada portion of our adventure! He has never been to Canada and we are going all the way to Newfoundland. We will be gone 3 1/2 weeks before coming back mid-October to NY to see my best friend/sister from another mother who will be in the country for two weeks.

At just under 6 months traveling, exploring and discovering new pieces of myself, I am in a great head space. Rob and I are planning our future and learning more about ourselves, this vast beautiful world we inhabit and our marriage along the way. I am sure we will have lots to share from our Canada trip so stay tuned!

Moving mountains and hitting the 5 month mark💞🌸


Two glorious days ago, August 13th, marked the 5 month anniversary of the beginning of our travels as we drove from New Mexico to Colorado. We had a very special time in Taos soaking in the spiritual nature of the land, cooking up a storm every day, watching the daily monsoons roll in, hiking and getting to know the local scene.


Where’s Gizmo?!



Rob enjoys a huge beer in Taos ski valley area

We had homemade salsa and guacamole in the house at all times, but Rob’s claim to fame in NM were the roasted butternut squash enchiladas covered in a hatch green chili cream sauce. Amazing! Whether we were chatting with the Taos residents at happy hour in town or nude in a hot spring on the Rio Grande (yes, we had a full 30 minute conversation with a gentleman in a spring while we were all naked. God, I love New Mexico) we learned that residents feel very passionately about Taos, its history and community.


Lots of hiking on then Rio Grande


IMG_5499 Rob and I both felt the connection to nature that we were searching for even though we were off the trail. I got in some amazing hiking. There is no shortage of it in the area. With our rental up we decided to travel to Colorado, 25 pounds of roasted hatch chilis in tow, to play in these mountains. We are in Dillon and have a dozen hikes right outside our door. Daddie Gizmo’s knees are slowly improving and he has been testing them out on flat hikes while I am going for the long miles and elevation gain. There is the best of both here. Our new jeep has served us well and feels like another piece of gear to help us explore and hike. We have had so much fun that we already blew a tire out in a rocky dirt road! Surprisingly, we have a plan for the next couple of months. I am going to go a motorcycle camping trip with my Dad to Canada when we leave here and Rob to Dallas to wrap a few things up. Then he is going to drive to New York and meet me in the Catskill mountains again. From there we plan to head to Eastern Canada. Rob has never been and of all the places I have been in the world I believe it to be one of the most beautiful. I will show him Cape Breton and Nova Scotia while we consume mass amounts of mussels, oysters and lobsters before we head to New Foundland where neither of us have been before. October or November will find us back in Taos.  This is the most planning we have done in a long time. We have had a windy adventure over the last 5 months and right now we are ready to take Colorado by storm. ❤️💙💛6176649648_IMG_09796176649648_IMG_0980


Overlooking Dillon and Silverthorne where we are staying.


Started the first day in CO with a beautiful 9 mile hike…


…that ended in a huge waterfall

We are in a different state, but our state of mind remains the same⛰☀️🌸 August 1, 2017



View from my hike before I got caught in the rain coming down the mountain. A nice outdoor shower 😉


The Rio Grande!

IMG_6907Daddie Gizmo and I spent five days in LA together since we last wrote during which time we planned our next move. We decided to “play house” while he rests his knees. Our requirements while looking for a place to stay were somewhere connected to nature, secluded but close to lots of hiking and a working kitchen.  We bought a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee in LA and drove it to New Mexico this past Saturday where we had located the perfect place for us to relax for two weeks.  The home we rented is a beautiful earth ship in a small town 15 minutes outside of Taos, El Prado.


This window in the living room looks out onto the gorgoeous mountain range.

It’s many windows, seclusion from neighbors, and accessibility to endless hikes are just what the dr. ordered. We have spent a lot of time in the kitchen making salsas, guacamole and delicious meals. Everywhere you look in this home you are staring at the mountains and I LOVE it! We really love the laid back earthy vibe this town gives off too. I have done 2 great hikes so far that have had beautiful views.6176650448_IMG_09356176650448_IMG_09406176650448_IMG_0947


Hiking to Wheeler Peak



Giz feeling accomplished after making it to the peak

I love waking up in the morning, choosing a hike that will start my morning deep in nature for a few hours and then coming back to have lunch and spend the day with Daddie Gizmo. It’s funny how we almost feel like we are on vacation here, but vacation from what?!  We have been on vacation for 4 1/2 months since we left Dallas. During that time we have hiked 800 miles of the PCT, visited great friends in Seattle, spent two weeks relaxing in the Catskill mountains, enjoyed a 3 week road trip around California, several small trips to LA with the hospitality of Papa Romero and now at least two weeks in New Mexico.6176650448_IMG_09606176650448_IMG_09586176650448_IMG_09576176650448_IMG_09526176650448_IMG_0937IMG_6837 All in all, I’d say we are doing alright! We know we are going to rest somehwere for another 2 weeks when our rental is up. We attended a tour at the Earthship Biotecture/Greater World center today. We were both incredibely inspired and moved and looking into possibly doing the two week internship this month where we can learn how to build an earthship. One thing we decided for certain, that determines our forward path, is that we are going to buy land and build, with our own hands, several earth ships that will become our hospitality business. One of us will be attending the 29 day, 6 day a week academy in October to gain all the hands on experience and classroom knowledge regarding regulations that we will need to set off on our own. We were meant to be here in Taos to discover this shared passion for off the grid sustainable living.


Loving the greenhouses


Exposed tire walls in the mechanical room


Beautiful fireplace in this earthship



This bottle wall is east facing and illuminates at sunrise


Hello Again!! July 17, 2017

IMG_6751We owe all our Friends, Family, Fellow PCT Hikers and Everyone traveling along with us on the Blog an update. Sometimes these are easy to write and other times, like this, maybe not.
Completing our Thru hike has been in jeopardy ever since the second meniscus tear hit my right knee about 4 weeks ago. Now, just getting back on trail anytime soon may be out of our hands. My left knee meniscus tear accepted 3 weeks of therapy and responded very well letting us restart after Kennedy Meadows. After almost 4 weeks of rest and just a little therapy, my right knee has taken 2 little steps forward and then somehow regressed to the original pain level and difficulty just walking while it tries to lock-up in certain positions.


We camped on the edge of a bluff in Mendocino and fell asleep to the crashing waves below us. Bright green sea anemone awaited our discovery the next morning.

My thoughts and emotions are all over the spectrum. Guilt, that I am the factor that caused our hike to stall out. Frustration, over the pain and injury itself. Depression, over the failure of reaching our goal and losing contact with such a wonderful sense of camaraderie we had with the whole trail community. Happy that I’m not pounding away on a laptop, airplanes and a mobile phone for 60 hours a week.IMG_6747.JPG
Hiking the PCT everyday has kept our lives simple and incredibly rewarding. You achieve a big physigcal goal every day in a settling that is absolutely spectacular. Figure 8 and I have felt our relationship and marriage grow broader and deeper. Sure, these temporary question marks do cause stress. We traded the chaos and negativity of the daily news for conversations about nature, waterfalls, flora and fauna. We had successfully replaced the hustle and bustle of traffic and city noise for deer quietly moving through our campsite like we weren’t even there. We’ve had scary moments, amazing sunsets, lots of love and aches & pains but I’d still do it all over again given the chance. We’ve met the most kind hearted Trail Angels along our journey and received the support of our truest Friends and Family in the form of places to stay, logistics, care packages and encouraging words.


We enjoyed an unbelievable view over Lake Tahoe at this campsite

Where do we go from here? For the last 3 weeks we have enjoyed the continued freedom that renting a little Jeep afforded us. We continued exploring the Eastern Sierras, circled Lake Tahoe, laid on the beach in Santa Cruz, camped on a bluff in Mendocino and wine tasted in Anderson Valley.


Camping in redwoods in Anderson Valley


Crazy photo booth at Bonny Doon


Seeing a familiar face in Santa Cruz💜

Figure 8 would prefer to be back on trail. I could follow her in a car but that wouldn’t quite be the same as us experiencing things together. After being so close together for 4 months, I have a bit of separation anxiety just thinking about it.
#Vanlife is an idea we have talked about often. Buying a used Sprinter or Transit Van that we can up-fit to our own functional yet simple design and use to continue our journey. This is pretty appealing and does make some sort of logical sense.IMG_6741.JPGIMG_6748.JPG
Another option which could serve us well now is to find a month long place to stay inexpensively to rest, heal and make our best plans while I can cook for her, get beat up in Scrabble games and she can still be out on day hikes in the mountains or coast. Where… is the question? Anyone need a Paris trained personal chef for a month?
When we started our sabbatical year, we knew we would begin with our PCT hike. Then likely outfit a van to further travel in Canada or maybe even up to Alaska for another six months. We would’ve used much of this time to scout out a place on the West Coast (combination of mountains and coastline) to start a new business and a new life after the corporate world. Maybe the timing has just been jumbled up? The near term uncertainty is difficult although we still have good plans later in time.


We looooove the coast in Mendocino

One day, in the not too distant future, we will have a B&B, little cabins to rent or something similar to make our living and continue a lifestyle we have grown to live in and love. Everyone will get a Family and Friends rate because everyone we will meet and greet will be a new Friend.
I share all these thoughts, in part, because it’s therapeutic for me to get it all out in the open. But truly, all suggested spins of the Twister Board Arrow, Compass or Map will be appreciated for our life’s next steps. We have camped most of the last three weeks and are enjoying a night in AC and wifi to try to get a game plan together. We have plenty of time and a willing ear as we sort through all sorts of options right now.

A little gypsy update

IMG_5195.JPGDaddie Gizmo:

X-rays of the knees again. Nothing broken or major ligament damage which is good news. The pain is exceptionally strong and the not-so-good news is a torn meniscus now in my right knee. It’s in a different area than the one we rehabbed on my left knee and it didn’t feel like the same type of pain, so I was a bit worried to get the diagnosis. Once again, more therapy recommended before I get back on trail. Movement, yes. Weight bearing stretches, yes. But no extended miles, elevation change and definitely no pack weight on my back. It’s hard to swallow, taking my wife back off the trail that she loves so much, again. Realistically, though, three weeks should be enough time to get my knee back in decent shape. I’ve learned to be very disciplined with the therapy simply because I know it works, now. Three weeks will also lessen the snow load above 10,000 feet and hopefully lessen the severity and danger of the creek crossings for both of us as well. We really want to pick right up where we left off and continue traveling north on the thru hike. So many people are skipping around and hopping around this year north-south-north again, but the experience of a straight thru hike is what we are here for. To begin at the southern border and make our way up through California 770 miles so far has been incredibly rewarding. Hopefully, we can continue this after a few weeks off. In the meantime… We rented a little Jeep and are going to explore all the areas around Mammoth and further north to Lake Tahoe. Maybe further north than that and even up to Oregon. Can we resist the urge to head west to the beach?


Hot Creek Geological Area



Got some wheels for two weeks


Convict Lake

The Eastern Sierras are a magical sight and the experience of being in the high valleys, lakes, mountains and breathing this air is something we both love so much and just want to soak it all in. Just like on the trail, it is a great feeling to be unburdened by time or day of the week or some sort of preset itinerary where we can go with the wind and do exactly what makes us both happy. Travel. Experience nature. Experience the camaraderie of people we meet. Receive a little help when we need. Give a lots of help, when we can. Throw in a margarita or two along the way, maybe a rum punch, and life continues to be good, even in the face of injury and adversity.


Hilltop hot tub with a 360 view


Swimming in Convict Lake


Rock Hot Tub where we camped the first night we had wheels. Cocktail in there by night and coffee in the morning

Figure 8:
It’s been a week since we got off trail and in typical fashion for us, we are having way too much fun. We weren’t really sure how to inexpensively spend 3 weeks, but finally decided on renting a car and making everyday a new adventure as we explore the Eastern Sierras. Taking the bus from Independence where we had picked up our bounce box to Mammoth Lakes turned out to be a fantastic idea. We are both blown away by how pretty it is here. Just about every outdoor activity is available here – hiking, snowboarding (we watched people coming down the Mountain at the Main Lodge), mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, canoeing etc. We have been exploring the many Alpine Lakes in this area. Just when we think we have seen the most beautiful picturesque setting of water and mountains, the next lake is even more stunning.  The melting snow is creating magnificent waterfalls coming down the mountains that are more lush and green now than any other time of year. There is an abundance of gypsy (free) camping in this area.


Gull Lake


Unpacking for third gypsy campsite. We are using snow in the cooler so we don’t need to buy ice


Marina at Lake Mary


Lake George



Waking up in the 4SR


Lakes George and Mamie from above


Camping spot #2 in Inyo Forest

We have camped by the Hot Springs and in the woods. All the time enjoying finding a new place each night. Last night as we discussed how much we are loving this little adventure a deer walked through our camping area. This was the third deer sighting we had yesterday. The largest were a dozen young bucks playing on the side of the road. Between a cast iron skillet and grill top purchase we are easily making dinner each night. We have tried to repay the hitchhiking love and spent a couple hours with a lady we picked up earlier this week. We took her to swim in Convict Lake with us and she invited us to the hippie Rainbow Gathering in Oregon. We declined, but it was fun getting to chat with her. We have the car for two weeks and are going to wind our way up 395 while exploring all the little mountain towns and natures beauty along the way to Lake Tahoe. It’s likely we come back through Yosemite before getting back on trail where we left off. We still find that all we need is everything we used on trail – tent, sleeping bag, stove etc – and our never ending desire to discover the next gorgeous scene. 💞🌈💜