My first backpacking trip traversed through lodgepole pines on the John Muir Trail heading to Cathedral Lakes, where you'll find some of Yosemite's prettiest and secluded lakes. That's where I learned about backpacking and hoisting food into the trees, and cooking in the wild, and more…
I can think of no better way to celebrate Earth Day than to get out into nature. Get inspired by nature's beauty and preserve it.
Here to inspire you are my top seven! recommended earth day books:
Yosemite Adventures - 50 Spectacular Hikes, Climbs, and Winter Treks by Matt Johanson. Included in this round-up is the 7 miles beginner backpacking trip that I took in my twenties from Tioga Road to Cathedral Lakes Trailhead, elevation 8,585 feet. With breathtaking color photos, comprehensive trail maps, activities for all seasons, age and skill levels, plus the best scenic views and hidden gems, I highly recommend trekking Yosemite and getting this helpful, comprehensive book Yosemite Adventures.
My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir is a classic first published in 1911. This book inspired thousands to celebrate our landscape and preserve it. Muir traveled through the Sierra Nevada in 1869 and this book is his journal.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. This is a well-written memoir of a 26-year-old woman who hiked the west coast's pacific crest trail solo. Her book wonderfully goes back and forth between her hike and her memories of loss and by book's end she's a new, stronger person. Very inspiring.
Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved The Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery. Wow! When I finished reading Wild about the young lady who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail - alone! - I thought wow! what bravery but at least she had youth and vigor on her side. Whew! Then I was introduced to the 67-year old grandma Emma Gatewood who after birthing 11 children and working the farm, decided to walk the Appalachian Trail solo without much - she defined lightweight backpacking and lived to tell her story!
The author pieced together her journals, news articles, and interviews with family members and people she'd met on the trail to write a most inspiring story. I'm still in the midst of reading this one.
Make Your First Thru-Hike a Success by Brian Lewis - I was curious how people prepare for a long hike so I picked up this helpful book. There are three major hikes in the USA - The Appalachian Trail (AT), The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and The Continental Divide Trail (CDT). I'm enjoying learning from Brian who hiked all three trails and shares in this easy to understand book what you need to know before you go.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson is a funny, well-written account of his hike on the Appalachian Trail with his chocolate-eating buddy. Love this classic!
This Book Was a Tree: Ideas, Adventures, and Inspiration for Rediscovering the Natural World by Marcie Chambers Cuff. This is physically a beautiful book and would make a great gift for a child through adult. The author encourages readers to get into nature, and create! Ideas include make a pinhole camera, start a flower press, make a treasure map, camp out in the backyard!, recycle a sweater into a felted hat, gloves or a wine cozy. Learn local flora and fauna.
Learn how to connect with your natural world.
Photo of Half Dome in Yosemite, which I shot in winter, 2008.
Until next time, breathe easy and make life an adventure!
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