Photo provided by Heather Anderson

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My Trail Story featuring Anish

Heather "Anish" Anderson is a living legend in the long-distance backpacking world. She recently released her first book and memoir, "Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home."

Natalie McMillan      My Trail Story       02/28/2019

Natalie McMillan

My Trail Story

02/28/2019

Anish writes:

Anyone who loves hiking has a fundamental understanding of the psychological benefits that come from connecting with nature. We all have found peace, comfort, joy, and renewal on trails. Thru-hiking is therefore a kind of next level transcendental experience, albeit a dirty, hungry one!

I’ve completed many thru-hikes in my lifetime. Always, people have asked for the stories: “What happened?” And the superlatives: “What was your favorite/scariest/best/worst___?”

Really the heart of time in nature doesn’t come from the events themselves, but from how those events shape us, teach us, and help us to grow. I have always dismissed the idea of writing about my hikes because they are exceedingly mundane.

As thru-hikers know, 99% of the journey is walking (and eating). Yet, in the 1% comprised of things that are beautiful, terrifying, and exciting, there are to be found the growth, wonder, and better knowledge of oneself. These are the stories to share. I’ve reached a point in life where I can see the greater lessons life on trail has taught me and finally find the words to express something beyond the walking. By hiking I have found myself and my voice.

A woman hiking on a trail with snow covered mountains in the background.

Photo by Heather Anderson

My book, Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home, isn’t a play by play of a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike. It’s about how the 1% of time spent on the trail opened me up to myself. The stories I never thought were worth sharing have become a way for me to connect with others through shared experiences. We are on a journey together, even when we’re not on the same path.

Autographed copies of Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home can be purchased from https://squareup.com/store/Anishhikes . Unsigned copies are available from Mountaineers Books. More order info is available on Anish’s website: anishhikes.wordpress.com.

A book called Thirst: 2600 miles to home by Heather Anderson.

Photo by Heather Anderson

A stack of books called Thirst: 2600 miles to home by Heather Anderson.

Photo by Heather Anderson


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Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is an epic journey of three states and over 2600 miles. Its path travels from the US border with Mexico to the northern border with Canada.

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Washington, Pacific Crest Trail
Photo by Justin Helmkamp

Washington, Pacific Crest Trail
Photo by Justin Helmkamp

Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is an epic journey of three states and over 2600 miles. Its path travels from the US border with Mexico to the northern border with Canada.

2650 mi (4260 km)

$29.99 full guide

Learn more

Get our trail guide for this area!

About the Author

A woman wearing a denim jacket and a brown hat stands in a field of wildflowers.

Natalie McMillan

Natalie grew up hiking in Arizona where she fell in love with the outdoors. Her favorite hikes are to Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon and Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, UT. She loves taking pictures of people, places, and nature, which might explain why she has almost 47,000 photos currently residing on her phone. She takes care of all things related to social media and marketing and recently moved to Denver, CO from Flagstaff, AZ. You may find her frolicking around the trails and mountains of Colorado, or exploring the new city she gets to call home.