Girl in the Woods

Girl in the Woods, by Aspen Matis, is the true story of a 19 year old girl who hiked the PCT as a way to heal from being raped at college. I’m not finished, so I won’t review it yet, but reading it has inspired me and I can’t stop thinking about hiking.

I wish I was a girl in the woods on a mountain today. It’s definitely my favorite place to be. I grew up being an ocean and pool-loving girl , but now I love the beauty and remoteness of the desert and the challenge and mystery of the mountains.  Last summer I flew alone to Colorado, met up with my sister and hiked one segment of the Colorado Trail, slept on the mountain at 11k feet, and the next day hiked together up the Mt. Massive Trail to 14k feet. I already wrote about my hike here, but I’ve been reminiscing and enjoying the photos again this week so I thought I’d share a few more photos. Please click to see larger photos.  That’s my awesome sister, my guide and mentor , in the photos. I’m so blessed to have an older sister who really enjoys teaching me things and cares about me. These photos show the first day of our hike and the place we camped. I was so nervous about whether I could handle the altitude and the trail itself, but I had no real problems.  I was pretty scared of seeing a bear, but we never did. We had a hilarious time getting our food up into a tree to protect it from animals. We walked around for a long time looking up for the perfect tree! The branches had to be a certain height and not close enough to another tree that animals could jump from one tree to another. Later I read in a book that bear canisters are way more effective. My sister is a wearing an attractive mosquito net hat in one photo and getting water from a lovely cold stream in another. She taught me so much that day. We didn’t do any cooking, just ate some cold chicken that we packed and it tasted like Heaven after hiking all day!  I loved all the beautiful trees, dead and alive, and the rocks. We both slept comfortably, exhausted,  in the small tent on the left and we put our packs in the other one. She has all the cool gear.  The air was nice, dry and chilly, in the upper 30s that night.  Everything was so perfect. The sunrise was amazing. The trail was well maintained and marked. Highly recommend! For more photos, please see my other post.

Do you have a sibling who has made a difference in your life? What is your favorite escape or vacation place?  What’s the longest and highest hike you’ve done? Favorite hiking trails?


  1. Great post and great pictures! I read your original post from 2018 too. You and your sister did the hike the smart way, good job! Going up above 14,000 feet is tough on the body. I’ve never done that particular hike, but Long’s Peak just about killed me. It was an awesome view from the top though. Glad you came out to Colorado. It is a lot of fun hiking around in the Rockies! 🙂 God bless!

    • Thanks for reading. Altitude is so tricky! I was really nervous about but God blessed me . I also did a few things right, took in lots of salt and water the whole time, and yes, the gradual increase in altitude. That was my sisters idea. We stayed at about 9k the first night I arrived. Then 11k, then up to 14k. I never got sick, but I did get gassy. Lol. I live at 300 feet btw. 😀

  2. That sounds like so much fun. My wife has gone hiking all over the country with her friends, but mine has been limited to Texas. I love Big Bend, and also Caprock Canyon State Park.

    • Oh cool! Good for her! I’m dying to go to Big Bend. Someone just posted pics of BB in the Hiking and Backpacking Texas facebook group. Beautiful. Caprock looks great ,too. Both places are about equally far from me.

  3. My sister in Arizona loves to hike, and every time we’re together for a week or two I lose a few pounds! We get together every spring for our “sisterly adventure” – a road trip in her RV to different places where we explore mountains, deserts, lakes, canyons, national parks, woods, etc. And sometimes cities, like Las Vegas, for a major change of scenery.

  4. We mostly stick to hikes close to home at this point 😉 And honestly, I have really learned to enjoy hiking again as an adult. When I was a child, we went hiking with my parents and extended family quite often. But unfortunately, the emphasis was always on getting to the top, which took a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me because I was always so tired and I just wanted to. go. home, lol. But now that we have children, if we don’t get to the top, that’s ok! We just turn around and are grateful that we made it out of the house, lol. This attitude has really helped me to enjoy hiking again, because if they, or I 😉 don’t want to go any farther, then we don’t. 🙂 God Bless!

    • Well it’s certainly understandable that you don’t want to be on top of a mountain when the ‘time’ comes, Lol! And that’s great that you can slow down and enjoy the hike. That’s the best way to see everything, too!

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