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Why I Hike

  • August 30, 2018

I came across this poem by David Wagoner this morning that seems to answer the puzzled looks I receive when people figure out I actually hike 5, 8 10 even 20 miles (well, maybe not so much these days) for pleasure in a day. This poem explains why. I'l accompany with some shots from this summer that give a visual for this idea of finding self and grounding oneself through a walk in the woods or on the beach.

Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.

No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

David Wagoner

Lucky summer and there's still time left!!

I remember looking at this flower and thinking, I am ready to be reborn as a blue flax. I was reading You are Here at the time, being reminded that the dirt and death are as necessary as the flower and really all part of the same cycle.

Love going to the same place in different weather - seeing a scene transformed

It's all about perspective - for me hiking is about vistas and close ups, insect riddled trees.,

and stark contrasts of color.

Hamilton's Mesa Vista

Stewart Lake - had it to myself for awhile

Noticing the early morning dew

Returning to a spot. This is a marker on a trail leading to Stewart Lake. Have hiked this trail with Kristi Jamason and Rand Nash, my kids, my husband, the Conines, I'm sure others. I sat on this rock and thought about all those people, my hike with them and what they might be experiencing at that moment.

Getting lost on Elk Mountain...

Ken getting found on Elk Mountain

Aspens on 247

Ken at the hike to the caves at Panchuela

A hike to Crosby Beach near Liverpool

Hike to a bridge I love and had not seen in years. . .after a lunch with a dear friend.


On Ashton's Seat overlooking Edinburgh, Scotland

Leaning on a rock and reading a book.  At complete peace.  "The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you."




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About Struck By Living

In Struck by Living, Julie Hersh picks apart the irony of her life with humor and brutal honesty. Despite a loving husband, healthy children, financial security, Julie attempted suicide three times. With the help of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), Julie broke the deadly course of her disorder. Now well, Julie promotes the importance of mental health with collaborations with other artists and organizations.

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