Meet John Muir, my buddy! Adopted 11/18/2017


John and I fell in love at first sight when he was waiting for a fur-ever home at the Idaho Humane Society.  He’s a middle aged (ruff-ly 7 years old) yellow lab-corgi-combo.  John’s definitely a well behaved and happy fella!  I can’t wait to take him out on some hikes, short ones at first to get him used to nature, but I think he’ll adjust wonderfully!

Get ready for some new posts here with fur-ther adventures and still focusing on the preparation of the Pacific Northwest Trail!

But Wait, There’s More!

When I was a kid, I lived for Saturday mornings and all those great cartoons from Hannah-Barbera, goofy programs from Sid and Marty Krofft, and of course Warner Bros.

Now, again, I live for Saturday mornings but for a different reason.  Good friends, a good hike, some really good cold brewed coffee, and scones.  SCONES?  Yep, Matt Bishop, proprietor of Café Mulé, has a friend who bakes.  Meet Nathan Pyle, tall fella on the far left.  He makes scones.  Really good scones. And he’s standing out there with Matt getting known.  Nathan if you see this, comment here or shoot me a message as to where your fantastic scones are available, I didn’t write it down when we were chatting.  I’ll update this blog entry so people can find you!

The word is out about Café Mulé and regardless of the hot scorching sun, people are walking, running, and biking in droves to get some of that really good cold brewed coffee and a little loving from Richard the Mule.  Kristi and I were early customers again, we like early hikes because it’s cooler and less crowded.

But on this Saturday, June 24, 2017, it felt like late summer in Death Valley and people were swarming like the world just might end if all those peoplethey didn’t get their coffee!  Oh, and the trail chatter was to turn left at Mr Potato Head, then you were surely heading in the right direction.

Check out the hashtags on facebook and instagram, #RichardTheMule and #CafeMule to see what all the excitement is about!  And check out the Café Mulé website to help feed Richard the Mule, where they plan on being next, and where to purchase some really good cold brewed coffee!

Peace and love, my friends ~ Dawn



Savoir Faire Is Everywhere

My journey isn’t going to be an easy one, but I’m okay with that.  Having unprecedented expectations, I embrace my future knowing the choices I make aren’t always sensible, but I’m still here.  I’m not going to changing my mind.

I accept the challenges of hiking my own hike.  Having COPD might slow me down but it’s not going to stop my exuberant wanderlust.dsc09544-e1498359967808.jpgAnd with grace I go, knowing that if I choose to turn molehills into mountains, I sanction myself to suffer rather than savor my climb.   ~ Dawn

Hills and Valleys

For a person 5’7″ standing on ground level, the horizon has a distance of about 3 miles.  If this person is standing on a hill 1000 feet high, the horizon’s distance is about 40 miles.  Can you tell how far I’ve hiked by how tiny Boise’s skyscrapers look?

(And yes, the hike began from a residence in the city!)


So, there’s this guy…

His name is Matt Bishop, muleskinner-barista, and he cold brews really good coffee.  And he has a working  gimmick.richardthemuleActually, he has a mule.  Richard the Mule.

Matt passionately prepares the cold brewed coffee and with the help of Richard he gets the coffee out there.  Literally OUT there on the trails in the Boise Foothills.  For no charge, he serves his coffee to hikers, bikers, and runners who wander up to him or check the posted location on his Café Mulé website.  Every week Matt updates the map on his website showing where he’s going to set up his next trail service.  And people flock to him!

On Saturdays Matt and his accomplices (family and friends) get Richard the Mule packed up and hike a few miles out into the foothills.  After Richard is unloaded and comfortably grazing, Matt sets up for service.  Tables, kegs, taps, plastic cups, a garbage can or two, and a stove and coffee pot for those who like their coffee hot.

This is Matt’s second year serving coffee on the trails, and he’s got followers.  Can you believe people hike 4 miles uphill for a little cup of cold brew?  Haha, I couldn’t believe it either, but Kristi and I are now two of their biggest fans!


Kristi and I were Café Mulé‘s very first customers this year (May 27, 2017) and took pictures to honor this glorious event!  There’s Richard in the background to the left of me.  Matt is second to the right in his signature straw hat.  We also happened to be the first customers of his second trail service this year on June 3, 2017.

 Although Matt serves his delicious brew at no charge on the trails, it can be purchased it in various establishments listed on the website.  You can also help  feed Richard through Paypal donations, the link is on the website as well.



This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Facebook: Richard The Mule

Facebook Fan Page:  Café Mulé

Boise Trail Information: Ridge to Rivers


Edited to add: Kristi and I were Matt and Richards last customers of the year as well!  Congratulations Matt!  Can’t wait to see you next year!

Dirt Paths

John Muir said “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”


About to ascend into the fog.


What adventures lie beyond?


Every step is part of the journey.


Fort Boise Reserve Cemetery


Journeys are full of wonderful distractions.


Purple blooms everywhere!


Boise, Idaho


Resting among the little sunflowers.


The sun came out, time to head back to the city.

The Saturday before Mother’s day.  It was cold and the fog was thick.  The night before we even had some new snow at higher elevations.   None of these were going to discourage Kristi and I from walking a few dirt paths with her dog Willow.

I, Intruder

This past weekend I stumbled upon a little hideaway where somebody was living.  I was drawn to the spot after seeing a pink balloon in the brush.  I hiked in to check it out and saw a rolled up air mattress.  It freaked me out a little at first, of course my first thought being there’s a body hidden in there!  Well, there was no body, just the air mattress and a faded pink birthday balloon.  I turned to see a pink Disney princess sleeping bag hanging over a bent tree to dry.  It was soggy, dirty and very worn.  As I turned more I saw a tarp on the ground and some items that most would have assumed were trash, but I figured they were the only possessions this person/family had left.  I clicked the camera and climbed through the brush to get out of there as quickly as I could.  I felt an odd and unusual emotional sensation, like I accidentally saw into somebody’s dismal misfortune.  I wanted to cry.  I didn’t look back.


I walked onward to one of my favorite sections of the greenbelt, about half way between Quinn’s Pond and Veteran’s Park.  There’s this massive stone bench I perch myself upon to immerse my thoughts deep into the Boise River.  Her banks still overflowing beyond restraint, I wonder when she’s going to gain back control or if this will be her new normal.  Then I asked her in a subdued raspy whisper Do YOU believe in me?  Do YOU know if I do it?  I feel I CAN do it, the thru-hike!  I KNOW I can do it!  Why couldn’t I?  WHAT CAN STOP ME?  And then I waited, listening for her answer that I’d never hear.  I laid back on the cold stone and smiled at the sky.  I thought how grateful am I that the flock of geese overhead didn’t drop a turd on me.


All the benches along the greenbelt have memorial plaques, this one is on top on the left side.


What I really like about springtime is not that winter’s over, it’s that so much is reborn! The scents were heavy, sweet, and floral.  I could have easily become intoxicated by them and lulled into a nap in the warm grass.  I didn’t though in fear of somebody thinking I may have passed out or worse, dead!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Peace, my loves, wherever your journey takes you!  ~ Dawn


GuideToWildFoodsRemember the scene from the movie Into the Wild when Chris thought he was eating one type of plant, but instead in his excitement of finding something he thought was edible, ate the one that, with all tragic irony, caused him to starve to death?

This is a different book than the one he used.  What I like about this book is that it’s got some good information on edible plants, including where they grow, their preparation, stages of the plant’s life, the seeds, nutritional and medicinal values, as well as tastes and smells.  It also includes tidbits about when the good plants are bad to eat and which plants not to eat, like the toxic and deadly ones.  The author added some interesting lore for the plants in the book too.  BUT with hand drawn one dimensional images, I have some trouble with the descriptive data! However, it only cost me a buck at a thrift store, is the 4th edition 2nd printing published in 1997, and it has a damn catchy title.

What disappointed about this book (other than the illustrations) is that it was only about plants.  I was hoping it included insects, fish, fowl, and game.  And reptiles and amphibians.  And worms and shit.  And color photographed images.  And in a pocketbook size.  My search continues.

Journey on!

~ Dawn