About Me


I am an author, trail nerd, elevation junkie, and mountain-loving dirtbag. My husband Shacky and I have been living and traveling full-time in our 22-foot Rialta with the dog and cat since 2013. (Update: My dear kitty passed away peacefully in my arms in 2016)

I have published two books: Daughters of Distance & The Summit Seeker, both available on Amazon.

Running for me was something that was born in the midst of my worst hardships and continues to carry me through life. I started running trail ultras in 2011 and never looked back.

Ultrarunning has taught me that there is nothing broken that cannot be made strong. It has healed all my wounds and forced me to reclaim my body, mind, and spirit.

I started this blog in 2007 when I was still trying to finish 5Ks. I am now a five-time 100-mile finisher, training to run longer and faster on the trails. The blog has changed over the years, as have I. The focus now is on trail and mountain running, living simply, traveling, and racing ultras.

I have run several ultra distance races as well as a Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim crossing of the Grand Canyon. In 2012, I covered 2053 miles and snagged five 100-mile finisher buckles. In 2013 we drove across the continent, exploring trails from California to Alaska, across Canada, and down the East coast. Come share some miles with me.

See you on the singletrack!


“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” (Edward Abbey)

closerSome Popular Posts to Get You Started

Why We Need Nomads

Winter Life on a Homestead

Are You There, Running? It’s Me, Vanessa

Social Media–Bane or Boon to Trail Running?

10 Overlooked Rights Worth Fighting For

Sequoia National Park: Finding Resilience in the Forest

4 Powerful Lessons From a Nomadic Life


“Reading your post is almost as good as standing on a mountaintop after a several-mile run to the top. It’s in those moments that I feel my spirit’s immenseness and I explode with a smile that emanates from everywhere and nowhere.” – Erskien Lenier

“It’s refreshing when someone thinks with their heart, processes with their head, and answers with their very soul. Stain the Earth with the passing of you.” – John Y.

“Vanessa, thank you for simply being you. I love reading your stuff. Your courage to journey and share is ultra incredible. Your talent with words, your passion for bending them just the right way and splashing in, is always right on time. It’s always an exciting read. You are living the life so many of us runners want to. I’m grateful I can live, at times, vicariously through you. Keep dreaming and living it.” – Teyana Viscarra

“I just love your way with words. You stir the emotional pot and make me think. Well done!” – Angie Bee Hotz

“Vanessa you are amazing and I wish I were a great writer like you. I am really enjoying your book. I must say I feel like I have known you forever and I feel like you were my little sister in a past life. Hugs to you, Shacky and Ginger and Momma kitty.” – Catra Corbett

“Vanessa, you have more wealth than Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison combined because you are contented and you have your health. I am inspired to follow by your example.” – Naeem Ravat

“It’s so awesome to see all that you’ve done with this year. It feels like you guys just started this adventure and a whole year has already passed. Time flies! That’s why we need to start living now. I’m continually inspired by you.” – Kate Buntenbach

“Your writing is so clear and the ideas so important. With much gratitude for a great read.” – Leah


My Books: