Hey there, and welcome to Cairn Free! This blog is dedicated primarily to the outdoors, but every now and then I may wander off. In August of 2017 I spent two weeks hiking the John Muir Trail. On this blog you can find posts based on journal entries I wrote during my time on the trail, as well as tips for future JMT hikers.

What is a Cairn?

A cairn (pronounced like Karen, but without the extra syllable at the end) is a stack of rocks created by hikers on portions of trails that are not clearly marked. Just follow the cairns to stay on the path and reach your destination.

About Cairn Free

Your 20s can be a confusing time; at least they have been for me. I spent my early 20s stressing about my career, the unknowns of my future, and why my life didn’t seem to match the social media highlight reels of my peers. (You can read all about it in my previous blog, Life on a Branch.) I was always on the lookout for some sort of trail marker to tell me how to live my life, thinking that everyone around me already had everything figured out.

But my early 20s taught me that few people actually know what they’re doing, and no one can tell you exactly how you should live your life. Rather than waiting to move until you see a marked path, you need to forge ahead, in your own direction. At times you’ll doubt yourself, turn around, walk in circles and maybe even get mind-numbingly lost, but how else would you find the best views?

About Me

I live in Colorado, but my heart will always have a soft spot for wide-open lakes, fresh cheese curds, the Packers, and all things Wisconsin. The outdoors has been my rock (literally) through times of uncertainty and doubt. I’ve taken many much need trips and gained some much needed clarity in the mountains, pine forests and alpine lakes of Colorado. When I’m not writing or finding a new trail to explore, you can find me scrolling through Netflix with my cat and husband.

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