Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

7 Days in Wyoming

For a girl who loves the ocean, I sure do feel at home in the mountains too.

My family and I spent seven glorious days in Wyoming just a mile outside of Teton National Park. After having a blast in Whistler last summer, we couldn’t resist Teton Village’s hiking, biking, and more. This trip was my last hurrah before surgery. My doctor gave me the green light to hike and bike to the best of my ability before I left, and I definitely pushed those limits. Teton Village Wyoming Hiking Wildflower Trail

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming 11

Hiking in Teton Village

I went all out on vacation. Some people drink or eat like it’s their last chance while on vacation – I hiked my heart out until my ankle couldn’t take it anymore. That said, it held up so much better than expected. All taped up I was able to hike four miles with 2,677 feet of elevation gain. Not too bad for an old, hobbled lady.

My little ducklings on today’s gorgeous hike. #hiking #wyoming #tetons #vacation #travel #mountain

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on

Teton Village Wyoming Hiking Wildflower Trail Teton Village Wyoming Hiking Wildflower Trail Piste

On our first hike we made our way up to the gondola stop and took it all the way down. Man were we happy to sit down, but the fast ride was a bit depressing given how long it took us to get up there.

We had originally intended to hike to the summit, but lunch and hunger got in the way. Instead, we took the tram up to the very top a few days later and hiked back down to where we stopped earlier in the week. The hike down was beautiful, but a bit much for my mom who hates heights and the feeling of walking along a drop off/mountain side. We did all get some good laughs at her attempt to use her hands as blinders to avoid looking down. (Don’t worry, karma paid me back with some wicked ankle pain. Downhill on loose rocks is bad news for me.)

Also, shout out to the bear between towers three and four who had been making appearances (and apparently sniffing the faces of friendly staff members). Super thankful you decided not to come play with us.

Downhill Mountain Biking

My mom desperately wanted to downhill mountain bike. No joke. She was so stoked to try this out, and her excitement was contagious.

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Downhill Mountain Biking 7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Downhill Mountain Biking Beginners 7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Downhill Mountain Biking Ski Lift

I think this was the highlight of the trip. We all suited up and hit the trails. I felt like a princess being toted up in the ski lift so I could ride back down. It felt like cheating to downhill mountain bike without riding the way up too, but oh man was it fantastic. We got in around 12 runs.

I’m proud to announce that no one got hurt. Less proud to say that everyone knew when my mom and I were on the trails. We might have squealed around some of the turns, but we got braver and braver and by the end we were tearing up intermediate trails. (We also laughed so hard once that we had to stop riding until our tears cleared up. I might have started it by narrowly avoiding a wipeout…)

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Downhill Mountain Biking Trails

The two in the helmets are my parents. They claim to not be ashamed to be seen with us, but this picture suggests otherwise…

We returned dirty, exhausted, and giddy. Wicked fun.

Teton National Park

My heart broke a bit standing in front of these majestic mountains, broken. I wanted to hike around and explore them, but instead I was confined to the car and the mile or so I could walk from there. I’d love to come back one day and really backpack around these beauties.

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Teton National Park – Grand Teton 7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Teton National Park – Grand Teton 7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Teton National Park – Grand Teton and Little Teton from REI

I’ve been joking for years about taking Little Teton (above) home. I’ve had the little guy since outdoor ed in 6th grade. From Warped Tour to hiking to kayaking, we’ve been places together. I hope he enjoyed his trip to his namesake.

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Teton National Park – Grand Teton – Jenny Lake

While we spent most of our time in Teton Village, we also got the chance to see Teton National Park and Yellowstone. I’m so glad we were able to see both parks, especially since this year was the National Parks’ centennial and Yellowstone was the first national park. (Stay tuned for more on our day trip to Yellowstone.)

Pictures via my phone and my dad. You can check out more of his stuff at Dean Ferreira Fine Art or Pinterest

Beginner Trapeze Class

The first few steps of the ladder didn’t seem so bad, but the higher I got and the more the platform swayed, the less I thought this was a good idea. I got to the top and the stood on a plank the width of my feet. I refused to look down to the net or the ground 20 or so feet below me. Why am I doing this?

The first time the instructor asked me to grab the trapeze and lean waaay out, I wanted to get back down. I spent what felt like forever gripping the platform and ignoring the instruction.

But I made it!

When I (secretly) signed my boyfriend and I up for the beginner trapeze class at Circus Center in San Francisco, I did my best to not think about what it actually meant – heights and terror. But I’m so glad I pushed myself out my comfort zone. The other six students were encouraging and incredibly friendly. The staff was beyond amazing. Our instructor, Jennings McCown, had the most soothing voice – it almost made me forget he was basically asking me to jump out of a two story window.

Beginner Trapeze Class Basics

The class (thankfully) started on the ground where we learned the basic movements, cues, and terms. We were quickly strapped in to our tight waist belts and encouraged up the ladder.

We each got five swings on the trapeze. Three basic (like the one above) and the last two times on the trapeze we actually got to be caught!

The class was an hour and a half, but it felt like 20 minutes. Between the adrenaline and chatting with the other students and instructors, time flew even faster than we did.

The Landing

While I won’t be running off to join the circus, I had a blast. If I lived closer I would absolutely go back. It was thrilling and a great memory. I’ll be honest, it never really got easier to jump off the platform, safety net/harness and all. But I hesitated less and less each time I never dreaded going up there.

My bum ankle has gotten in the way of a lot of things, but I feel like I’ve finally (at least a little bit) lived up to my intention of doing more things that scare me.

PS. If you try the class at Circus Center I highly recommend eating at Zazie after. The food was incredible!

10 Best Summer Vacation Books

I can’t help myself from packing like Rory when I go on vacation. To be fair, I rarely return with an unread book. Vacation is synonymous with relaxation and reading for me.

These are some of my favorite books and books I have read around the world. From the plane to the beach to the tent or luxurious bed, these books will keep you hooked. You won’t regret making room for (at least) one of these great books.

10 Best Summer Vacation Books

Best Summer Vacation Books

Modern Romance
What’s a vacation without a little romance? This book was insightful (and also vaguely terrifying). When did love get so complicated?

My Life on the Road
I can’t imagine how one woman can travel so far and accomplish so much. Gloria Steinem’s story is incredible, and you will meet dozens of women who made history along the way.

All the Light We Cannot See
You might not see much of your destination either. This book dragged me in and I wanted nothing more than to read it continuously. I had trouble pulling myself away from it. I read it on a ski trip (where I conveniently couldn’t ski, more time to read!), but I don’t see why it would be any less good on a beach or by a pool.

Station Eleven
I read this book last year while in Whistler, which means this book is forever synonymous with vacation for me. Don’t let the doomsday vibe deter you – this was an engrossing story that I would have gratefully read everywhere. I loved the traveling troupe and the rich story. Although fair warning, you may never look at an airplane the same again.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Nothing says great vacation like death. I’m kidding, but despite making my cry at the end, this book had me laughing frequently. It will also help you appreciate your trip even more.

The Martian
Sand. Heat. A rough flight. Astronaut Mark Watney’s experience on Mars is sort of like a tropical vacation. A really horrific vacation. I loved the snark of this book, and it will forever remind me of the train ride from Barcelona to Valencia.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette
I started this book on a flight and refused to do anything else until I finished it (I know, I’m a fantastic travel companion). Set in a quirky community in Seattle, this book follows Bee and her quest to get her agoraphobic mother and her disengaged father to Antarctica. Instead, Bee ends up on a search for her missing mother. Bonus points if you read it while on a cruise to Antarctica.

The Happiness Project
A trip is a great time to pull back and take a hard look at your life. What really makes you happy? What makes you miserable? Dive into happiness and extend the vacation glow long after you return home.

Packing for Mars
Your hand guide to the ultimate trip. Mary Roach dives deep into the oddities of trying to get humans on Mars. And you thought trying to get everything into your carry-on was hard.

I can’t end this list without one of my favorites. I may never lace up my boots and take on the Pacific Crest Trail, but this book inspired me to get outside more and push my travel limits.

Best Mineral Sunscreen

Let’s be real, I use a lot of mineral sunscreen. Anytime I’m outside or driving for more than 10-15 minutes I’m usually slathered in something or wearing sun protective clothing. After years in the sun, I take sun protection and sun damage very seriously.

Why Mineral Sunscreen

For years I have avoided non-mineral, or chemical, sunscreens. After reading the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide, I refuse to use anything that has oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, or nano particles. I want to know that my skin is safe and I’m actually being protected. With that in mind, I would much rather drench myself in mineral sunscreens that will protect me better and not seep toxic chemicals into my body.

The Best Mineral Sunscreens

the best face body waterproof mineral sunscreen-mineral-sunscreen-face-body-waterproof

Face: MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28
I had been unhappy with my face sunscreen for a while, so much so that I was neglecting to put it on at all. But after doing a ton of beauty research for this article, I was motivated to find a new one.

I picked this one up on a slight whim before my last camping trip, and it exceeded my expectations. It goes on SO easily for a mineral sunscreen. There’s not endless rubbing and constantly having weird, white streaks down your face from where it didn’t get rubbed in enough before it dried. It also doesn’t leave you looking like an Edward Cullen wannabe. Finally, a face sunscreen that goes on clear!

While I’m usually wary of putting anything on my sensitive, temperamental face, I haven’t had any problems with irritation or breakouts. After I do my morning skin routine, I apply it before I leave the house, including before I exercise. The only time I notice it is when I sweat a little bit. My face feels like I have something on it, but it’s not bad and it feels pretty similar to other sunscreens. The rest of the time it’s incredibly light and I forget I’m wearing it. Bonus points for being untinted – no more staining my clothes! You can find it at many natural food stores and Amazon.

Body: Solar Body Moisturizer SPF 30+
When I was commuting hours each day in the sun, this beauty was my best friend. It goes on like body lotion and makes my skin feel moisturized. There’s no heavy, oily coat on your skin, and it works great. I took this all across Spain with me. It’s so easy to apply it on the go. I frequently bring a little bit with me in a smaller tube if I’m unsure of the weather or I think I might end up taking off a layer (or two).

It’s not water or sweat proof, so it’s not great for extended exercise or a dip in the pool. I do, however, put it on my legs before I run and it stays on great. Whole foods and a few other markets carry it – although Amazon is usually cheaper.

Water/sport: BurnOut Eco-Sensitive SPF 35 Sunscreen
This little tube is by far my hardest working sunscreen. I wear it when I ride by bike, go for a run, swim, or do anything else where I’m going to sweat or otherwise get wet.

From the tops of my feet to the part in my hair, I use this sunscreen everywhere. I haven’t had any trouble putting it on my face. It’s a bit more work to rub in than the other two, but once you’re done you can’t really tell it’s there. I’ve tried a few other sunscreens from BurnOut, and I think this one goes on the most clear. It stays on in water pretty well, and based on the burns I’ve gotten when I’ve missed little spots, it definitely works. This one is usually a bit more expensive in most natural food stores, but it’s also on Amazon and it looks like it might be cheaper at other random online stores if you Google it.

In case you missed it:
All the sunscreens I’ve tried in the past
Sun Safely, my article in Yoga Journal

Hiking in Butano State Park

Towering redwoods, bounding deer, lackadaisical banana slugs – hiking in Butano State Park was fantastic coastal adventure.
Hiking in Butano State Park

I had been talking about hiking for months. My poor physical therapist was constantly answering my pestering questions about when I would be ready to run or at least hike on uneven terrain. I was so excited to slip on my trail running shoes last week. I bought them three days before I hurt my ankle, and they spent nearly six months sitting in my closet. A constant reminder of all of the things I wanted to do but couldn’t.

Hiking in Butano State Park, Butano Creek Crossing Nike Terra Kiger

Our first adventure together was a success. We hiked a three mile loop along a trail that started in the campground and took us in a loop around the park. The park had been closed for the wet winter and had only opened a few weeks before we visited. Between the hoards of spider webs (some spiders attached) across the trail and the frolicking deer who looked just as startled to see us as we them, it was pretty clear the trail hadn’t gotten much use yet.

Hiking in Butano State Park-Hiking-in-Butano-State-Park Hiking in Butano State Park-Hiking-in-Butano-State-Park-coastal-wildflowers

We carried a stick to clear the path, and we were constantly trying not to step on banana slugs. The coastal wildflowers and lush ferns didn’t disappoint. It was one of the most peaceful hikes I’ve ever been on. The last hike we did in the summer was swarming with people. We saw one other person on the trail, and we had gotten so used to being alone out there that the mountain biker felt out of place.

Hiking in Butano State Park-Hiking-in-Butano-State-Park

Besides the spiders (I will admit, I very much disliked that part and was constantly stopping to ask for a “spider check.” Untrustworthy creatures if you ask me.), the hike was just what I needed. And hiking during the week? Amazing! I see more non-weekend hikes in my future.

PS. Camping in Butano State Park.

Camping in Butano State Park

Growing up, camping was something mystical that other people did. Our sleeping bags were used for indoor sleepovers and trips to grandma’s. I “camped” in the backyard once with neighborhood friends, and we 100 percent ended up sleeping inside in beds and blankets.

Camping in Butano State Park was my fourth camping trip, and I have to say, it’s growing on me. There is something to the quiet of the outdoors (until the birds have their say anyway), the lack of cellphone service, the space, the friendly people.

Camping in Butano State Park-camping-in-

I haven’t moved away from car camping yet (I’m not ready to sacrifice all comfort. I’m working on it.), but we take as little as we can with us. Especially for a quick overnight trip like this one.

The first day, a quiet Sunday, we lounged around and read before cooking up dinner and sitting around the fire. On Monday morning we went for a short (my first since injury!) hike before packing up our camp.

What We Brought

Camping gear:
Two-person tent
2 sleeping bags*
2 sleeping pads*
2 pillows (stolen off our beds)
1 extra fleece blanket (so thankful we had it!)
1 yoga mat (this princess put it under her sleeping pad for extra cush)
1 lantern*
2 camping chairs* (First time we ever had them, so great!)
1 tarp*

*Borrowed from my awesome brother or his friend’s

“kitchen” stuff
1 medium microfiber towel
1 dish towel
1 dish rag
Small bottle of castile soap (for hand and dish washing)
2 reusable plastic plates
2 forks
2 spoons
Forgot the knife
Didn’t have a dish pan (oops)
1 small Jetboil
1 cloth napkin
1 small/medium cooler*

Zero Waste Camping Food-zero-waste-camping-food

Zero waste carrots in a jar
Zero waste bell pepper in a jar
Refried beans in a jar (heated in the Jetboil)
Soy milk
S’mores ingredients
Lots of snacks (granola bars, rice chips, crackers, tortilla chips)

My bag
Notebook and pen
2 pairs of socks
2 pairs of underwear (my mom always taught us to have a spare. Can’t kick the habit)
Trail running shoes
Fleece sweats
T-shirt to sleep in
Down jacket (doubled as a blanket at night)
Sports bra
Sweat-wicking shirt
Cropped leggings (too cold to wear them)
Forgot the toothpaste
But had the toothbrush and floss
Travel aloe vera
Travel jojoba oil
Water bottle, which I spilled in the tent yet again.
Wore in: yoga pants, 3/4 sleeve t-shirt, slip on shoes, and a sweatshirt

We got so lucky and had beautiful weather during the day, but since it’s so close to the ocean in Pescadero, it got cold at night. I ended up sleeping in my fleece sweats, t-shirt, sweatshirt, and socks all night. I also used the blanket and covered my feet with my down jacket. Not once was I too warm.

We had a great time and although I spent all week confused on what day it was, I really enjoyed the Sunday/Monday trip.

Intentions, not resolutions

When I sat down on New Year’s Eve to reflect on the past year and think ahead for the coming one, I was at a bit of a loss. I couldn’t remember the resolutions or goals that I had set the year before (if I did). Instead, I wrote pages of quick notes about my memories from the year and what matters to me right now.

The more I wrote, the more I realized I didn’t want to set out to change a habit or hit a mileage goal or give up sugar. It just didn’t feel right this time around.

I’m setting intentions, not resolutions.

I want to give myself focus and a way to prioritize the things I do. I grew a lot last year, and I really tapped into what makes me happy. I want to continue some things, and dive deeper into others.

So this year, I’m all about priorities or focus. I’m not making new goals or resolutions. They aren’t measurable or tightly defined. At least not to start. There may be times where I do something like the 30-day writing challenge that does give a measurable task, but overall these will be my touchstones, my guiding purpose.


My intentions for 2016: Creativity, health, simplicity, and adventure.

This year I want to make more time for my creativity. I want to do more of the things that made me happy last year, and explore the things that left me feeling at peace and fulfilled (like journaling and blogging more).

On top of that, I’m starting the year with a healing ankle and a deep desire to better nourish and care for my body. The things my body can do bring me a ton of joy and a sense of self. Once I’m healed up, you will certainly find me building my base so I can run and lift to my heart’s desire.

I plan to continue to simplify my life and make more time for the things that get me talking too fast and unable to control my excitement. I want to avoid the trap of busyness and consciously choose what fills my time (and brain).

Mini-trips, across-the-world travel, trying something new – they all fall into adventure. I want to keep pushing my comfort zone and exploring the world around me. I want to say yes to the things that scare me, and make it to a bucket-list destination (or two).

Where to start

Want to set some intentions for yourself? I suggest:

1. Give yourself 5-10 minutes to write down all of the things you remember from the last year.

2. Take 2-3 minutes to look over what you wrote and pick out the things that came up a lot and made you happy.

3. Jot down all of the things you would like to focus on this year.

4. Pick out the ones that are the most important to you and assign them to a category or defining word.

2015 Highlights

Yesterday I fell down the blog black hole of year in reviews. There’s something comforting about reading about other people’ triumphs, travels, milestones, and struggles. A year is a long time, and yet it often feels like it flies.

I started jotting down the memories that stood out to me the most from 2015, and I realized just how much time it was. 2015 was an amazing year – it had some lowlights, but it had even better highs.

My 2015 highlights

I went to Spain! My first time out of the country (sorry, Canada, you don’t count).


I got strong. Real strong. My ankles healed, I built up my fitness, and I dove head first into olympic lifting and running.


I wrote a TV commercial… still weird to say. And begged Adam Savage to come play with us.

I made it through my first full training cycle without an injury… twice!

I hit a major half marathon PR that has me ready for more.


Minimalism was no longer something I just thought about a lot. I cut back on the time I spent watching tv, cleaned out the excess stuff and obligations out of my life, and made finding my essentials a priority. A touchstone.

I fell in love with writing all over again, and recommitted to my creativity.

In May I celebrated a year at my first full time job. Plus sprinkled in a little freelancing to indulge my other interests.

I moved closer to work, and experienced the joys of a shorter commute and more time for the things that truly matter to me.

Went camping twice, thus tripling the amount of times I had been camping in my life.

I started the year with a mild concussion and ended it with a massive sprained ankle. But winter is for resting, right?

Maybe I didn’t hit my original goals. 2015 might not have started off quite as I had hoped. There were times where I was disappointed, where tears were shed. But looking back, I remember 2015 as a year of taking risks. As a time of going all in on the things that I loved. As an adventure. Happy.