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Sometimes You Need More Cowbell

Ah, camping. The great equalizer.  This is my happy place. Well, not standing in that specific spot with a beer in my hand the entire time, although one of those things might still be true… Upside: Peace, quiet, communing with nature, hiking, clear rushing creeks and towering trees. Oh, and absolutely no cell service. Places where you can’t even hum a few bars. When I’m camping, the absence of electronic connections is a palpable relief,

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The Art of Pilgrimage

“Pilgrimage is a metaphor for any journey with the purpose of finding something that matters deeply to the traveler.” ~ Phil Cousineau I picked up a book during my travels in Nepal. This is nothing new. I am always buying books, especially when I travel. If something catches my eye, or my heart – it becomes a sort of verbal souvenir. I’ve also found that many times, local shops in foreign countries carry small press or

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Adventures in Nepal – Motorcycle Style

**Warning: This post contains references to poop and motorcycles! If either of these things make you nauseous, turn back now!** After eight days in country in Nepal, I flew to a small city northwest of Kathmandu. The beautiful city of Pokhara finally gave me a glimpse of the front range of the Himalayas, which had hidden themselves under smog the whole time I was in Kathmandu Valley. My hotel room was on the corner of

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So There I Was…(a.k.a. Half-Dead in Nepal)

When pilots get together to tell their stories over whiskey, it tends to start with “So there I was…” Of course, their stories only have to be 10% true I’m going to tell you a story that is 100% true. I’m also going to ask for a pass from any old fighter pilots who might be reading this, mostly because I’ve got a glass of Jameson’s in my hand as I’m telling it (which tastes far better

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7 Essential Tips for Renting and Riding Abroad

  If you’ve come here looking for an extension of the January 2018 Modern Moto Magazine article you’ve come to the right place! I wanted to expand upon a few of my points to give readers a little context for why I gave the advice I did in the article. Disclaimer: If you’re reading this article and you don’t live in the US, some of these things won’t apply, such as specific advice on IDPs,

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Lions and Tigers and… Again? Really?

I’m about to tell you a story that you may have heard before. In fact, you may have heard me tell a similar story just bear-ly a year ago.  No, that’s not a typo. Yes, I saw another bear. But I didn’t just see it –  it saw me too! Up close. Personal. Way more personal than I wanted to be, anyway. I know lots of people have seen bears. I just happen to have

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Issue #3 Modern Moto Magazine

I write for a women’s motorcycling magazine called Modern Moto. It’s a great resource for all things women and motorcycling. Gear, clothing, and inspiration to take you to your next destination, whether it’s on the bike or just in life! This issue features an article I wrote about finding your passion and creating your own internal revolution. Check it out at http://www.modernmotomag.com

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Modern Moto Magazine

This is the magazine I write for: It’s a fantastic new gear / fashion mag specifically aimed at women riders. I write some product reviews, but mostly inspirational stories about life as a woman and a motorcyclist. I’m really proud to be part of such an amazing team of women writers and riders with a passion for riding yet a desire for safe, well- fitting and functional gear and clothing. If you ride or know

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The Timeline of Life’s Story

I’ve been journaling for as long as I can remember. Literally. As soon as I could spell I started keeping a diary. In the midst of a difficult childhood, it became the only way that I could safely process my thoughts and feelings. As time went on and life got more complicated I still turned to this almost daily habit whenever life got overwhelming, but as a busy young mother, my entries became more of

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The Far Side of the Mountain

  Standing naked in my kitchen one day, making some salmon fillets and a microwave baked potato, I was forced to think about my life and my choices. Ok ok. It had nothing to do with the salmon. Or the baked potato. Most people have something they don’t like about themselves. Mine is an apparent inability to figure out what I want out of life. Ok that’s not entirely true. I know exactly what I

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Beauty From Ashes. Literally. What it means to be a survivor…

I was fourteen when Mt. St. Helens last erupted. I remember my brother, who lived in Eastern Washington at the time, telling us how the ash fell like snow and they were scraping it off their cars. The devastation near the mountain was incredible. None survived within the blast zone, especially not the hardy old Harry Truman, who refused to leave Spirit Lake when evacuations were ordered. Foremost researchers and volunteers died that day. Fifty

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I’m afraid…not. (Confronting the fear of being a woman and traveling alone on a motorcycle)

Some people call me fearless because I ride my motorcycle and camp solo, but the truth is, this shit scares the hell out of me.  Don’t get me wrong, Belle and I make a pretty good team (“Belle” is my Harley – I named her that because she’s Beauty And The Beast) but I’m still solo a lot of the time. It isn’t that I’m against riding with other people, but a lot of the

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What the heck is a YURT? a.k.a. Motorcycle camping for the wet and wild :)

Yurt camping is kind of the best of both worlds – you get the experience of camping but with several of the comforts of home – like the ability to stay warm, and dry which – in the Pacific Northwest – is not always easy to do. It also gives you a bed off the ground and all you need is your sleeping bag – no pad, no tent, no worries! This trip was kind

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Thoughts Along the Way – Changing Perspectives

I was walking along the beach on my last motorcycle trip, picking up rocks and shells and looking at the things the ocean had left behind. I picked up a particularly  beautiful light green stone that looked like it would be much more at home on a beach in the  Mediterranean than the Pacific Northwest, and I wondered how far it might have traveled through the seas. I wondered what its journey had been like.

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Gear Reviews Part 2: More camping gear and helpful electronics

If you’re just tuning in and you want to find Gear Reviews Part 1 (tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc) please click here.   Ok moving on to some of the smaller gear type items: Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit: I wanted to be as self sufficient as possible while traveling, and tent campsites don’t usually have power, so charging my electronics is tricky on the road. I have my phone which is

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Some Thoughts On Gear: Reviews from a relative newbie (Part 1):

Ok so starting with my camping gear: Mountain Hardwear Shifter 2: Absolutely loved this tent. I was astounded at how fast and easy it was to set up. It has a rigid but adjustable back vestibule that can be used to stow gear. It comes with its own ground sheet, fully taped seams, and the air flow was so perfect within this tent that even though I was camped at the ocean, there was not drop

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Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History…

    I think the thing I hear most often when I’m traveling by motorcycle is: You’re riding alone? Most of the time the answer is yes. This time I shared the first day’s ride and then camped with a friend. It was only a 2 day adventure but I covered 433 miles with plenty of stories and a bunch of gear to review because of it!   Setting out from Portland I went north

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The Time Has Come. The adventure begins.

Tomorrow I will load out my bike with all the camping gear I have slowly amassed over the past year. I will undoubtedly overpack, then set out on an overnight “dry run” with my friend Shannon. The two of us are planning a 10 day bike trip later this summer that will take us through Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta (Canada) then back through Montana and Idaho before returning home, a total of just

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We were together, and this was just a part of our life…

We were sitting in a cafe last night about 11 pm having a little pastry before bed (because in Madrid you can do that, and because when you’re on vacation, calorie counting is sacrilege) and my daughter asked me what the most memorable part of the day had been for me. I had to think about it. I’d had very little sleep in the last 48 hours so my brain felt fuzzy and even the

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Day 1 Madrid – My Own Year Of Magical Thinking

And so it begins. My own year of magical thinking. Not exactly like Joan Didion’s memoir, but yes, grief is a part of it. I don’t think you ever get to the middle of any story worth reading without encountering some degree of conflict, some measure of pain, some leggy seedlings of wistful regret. But this isn’t a time for nurturing regrets. It’s a time for putting the past in perspective, and then leaving it

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