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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 over 2650 miles (4260 km) and is one of the most popular thru-hiking trails in the United States. Its path travels from the US-Mexico border to the northern US-Canada border, passing through California, Oregon, and Washington.

2650 miles       $29.99 full guide
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Washington, Pacific Crest Trail
Photo by Justin Helmkamp
A trail meanders through a green and mountainous landscape on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Washington, Pacific Crest Trail
Photo by Justin Helmkamp
Get our hiking guide for this area!

Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is an epic journey of over 2650 miles (4260 km) and is one of the most popular thru-hiking trails in the United States. Its path travels from the US-Mexico border to the northern US-Canada border, passing through California, Oregon, and Washington.

2650 miles
$29.99 full guide
Explore the Trail
About the Author
A woman wearing a baseball cap and American flag tank top stands in front of a beautiful view.

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 and places and nature, which might explain why she has almost 23,000 photos currently residing on her phone. She takes care of all things social media/marketing-related and might be seen frolicking around Flagstaff taking photos of the Arizona Trail.