We drove up to String Lake in the late afternoon. It's June, but somehow still feels like early season. The mountains are snowcapped and the parking lot is surprisingly bare. I can hardly contain the joy in my heart as I hike the familiar trail. Memories of fly fishing, singing silly songs to keep the bears away, and packing a picnic lunch to eat along the rocky shore flood my mind. Trails all around Jackson and Grand Teton National Park hold pieces of me and my childhood within them like magical time capsules. Maybe that's why when recently asked what my favorite outdoor activity is I answered, "Hiking."
I grew up hiking, and although I always enjoyed it, I remember the moment it shifted for me. Shifted into something both cathartic and soul-filling (is that a word? I am making it a word! Who doesn't want their soul to be filled?). I was visiting my friend Tanya (the fab lady behind A Boy Named Sue) in Hong Kong to work on a photo shoot for their site. Each day we did 4-5 hours of work, and then we would head out on a hike... in the middle of Hong Kong! I had no idea that such a metropolitan place had access to hiking, but Tanya did. She knew all the trails and confessed that is was the only thing that kept her sane. She also disclosed to me that she often schedules a 'hike meet-up' rather than a coffee or drink to get her exercise in while catching up with friends or new collaborators. It's genius, and I have since adopted her athletic rendezvous practice.
Last year, when I lived in LA, I remembered Tanya's beautiful balance of urban life and nature, and even though the ocean was so close, the hills called to me. The Santa Monica Mountains provided the terrain and hiking them became the best part of my day. I read a book called Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It, and took the author's approach to seeing the root of everything as love- beginning with self love. On the hike up I would churn the Universe and think about all the things I wanted to solve in my life and how. And on the way down, I would let it all go, and repeat one simple phrase over and over again: "I love myself. I love myself. I love myself." I called them my Love Hikes. And, man, were they powerful. I still do Love Hikes, and Rendezvous Hikes, and lately I've returned to the old classic- Appreciation Hikes. Lost in awe of the beauty around me, my mind goes from one thought of appreciation to another.
So, when Micah from Haumeya got in touch to see about collaborating to feature their eco leggings, I felt a hiking post was perfect. Made from 65% plant-based fabric made from wood pulp, their leggings are incredibly soft while retaining their shape and elasticity. My favorite part is the sideways pocket in the waistband in the back. Designed to keep your phone snug and secured, it allowed me to be hands-free with comfort and ease. I'm a fan. Interested in getting a pair for yourself? Check out their Kickstarter page to pre-order a pair.
If you find yourself in the Jackson Hole area, these are a few of my favorite hikes: Cache Creek, Death Canyon, Ski Lake and the Old Pass Road. And, if you are in the West LA area, check out Los Leones, Temescal Canyon, and Mandeville Canyon. Also- please share your favorite hikes in the comments section below!
CROPPED TEE, The Lost Travel Tshirt Company #tencel #ecofabric
PLAID BUTTON DOWN, IOU Project (similar style), #fair #artisanmade
LEGGINGS, (gifted) Haumeya #plantbasedfabric #social #local #ecofabric
FLYKNIT SHOES, Nike #recycleable #zerowaste
NON-TOXIC SUNSCREEN, BeautyCounter #nontoxic #natural #zinc #physicalblocker
NON-TOXIC BUG SPRAY, Four Elements #nontoxic #natural